Author Topic: Dilemma with co-worker wedding gift.  (Read 2081 times)

merlin7676

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Dilemma with co-worker wedding gift.
« on: October 16, 2017, 09:07:34 AM »
A co-worker of mine is getting married and department is taking up a contribution for a "nice" wedding gift.

I don't like this co-worker very much as I think he's pretty lazy and manages to turn all his work projects from a few hours to all day projects all the time.  Additionally I've seen him cut corners and whatnot.
This same co-worker is the type of person that will never bring in treats for the group like the rest of us but has no problem eating what we bring in. At xmas we all exchange small token gifts, and he always accepts them from us but has never brought any in for the rest of us. So I am not planning on giving him one this year even though I will get the rest of the group one.

When I got married 2 years ago, my department gave me a $200 gift card which was much appreciated.  But it was from the group so I don't know who contributed what or if it was equally done.

They want the money by tomorrow. I don't normally carry cash on me but I do have $7 in my wallet from this weekend.  I don't want to be "that guy" who doesn't contribute but then again I don't want to be a cheapskate by only giving the $7 that I have. 

Any thoughts on what to do?



LifeHappens

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Re: Dilemma with co-worker wedding gift.
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2017, 09:38:43 AM »
My guiding principal in these situations is that social participation is worth a certain amount of $. It doesn't really matter how much you like or do not like a member of the team. Pick a dollar amount you are comfortable with. I always give $25 to wedding/baby gifts and for requested donations, but I don't work in a huge team, so the requests don't come more than 2 or 3 times per year.

The important thing to remember is that you aren't buying a gift. You are buying goodwill within your team. Maybe not with the co-worker who is getting married, but with the rest of the team organizing the gift.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Dilemma with co-worker wedding gift.
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2017, 10:34:01 AM »
I had a baby recently and my department hosted a shower.  Not everyone participated. I really don't even remember who contributed at this point, though I wrote hand written notes to each person who did.

So basically it depends on the culture of your office.  Here, no one would blink if you didn't contribute. Nor would anyone look to see how much you did.

pk_aeryn

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Re: Dilemma with co-worker wedding gift.
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 11:38:09 PM »
Ideally your department should be doing an anonymous donation pool for those who WANT to contribute. If unfortunately it's not, I would give a token amount similar to what you received divided by the number of people in your dept.  And if it is anonymous you could consider it as a return of favor on the possibility this guy donated to you- but overall this is why I hate office gifts so I feel your dilemna.

ChipmunkSavings

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Re: Dilemma with co-worker wedding gift.
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2017, 07:19:01 AM »
I'm with you on office gifts. It is always hard when the organizer says 'give what you feel like' because you always run the risk of looking like a cheapskate and not gifting enough, or over-doing it. If there's a set amount that they expect people to contribute, I would go for this more for the team spirit than for the person itself.

iris lily

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Re: Dilemma with co-worker wedding gift.
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2017, 07:55:15 AM »
I was the bitch manager who insisted there would be no "passing the hat" in my department. With 25 people and with their life  events, we would have been passing it weekly. It was a department of mostly women, and that intensifies the perceived need for celebrating by gifting. It was also important because requests would occasionally come from outside of our department for donations.Hell, no.

In a group of this size there is always a handful whose "love language"is gifting. Fine for them, let them partake but leave others alone My policy never prevented individuals from independently acting, on their own. If any one of them wanted to buy consumer crap for their colleagues, they could do that.

I will never forgot the giant "retirement party" for someone outside of my department that involved a pile of presents, balloons, a special  room, cakes and treats--a big deal, and costly. He "retired" and starting working the following week at a sister organization, full time. What was thenpoint ofmthat big party? A gift grab I think. Gross.

And then, there was my employee who, when I first arrived and observed the excessive present giving culture in place, wouldn't allow anyone to "sign the card" if they had not contributed to the gift. Screw that.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 01:48:19 PM by iris lily »

simonsez

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Re: Dilemma with co-worker wedding gift.
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2017, 08:30:26 AM »
Some people are bums - in their day to day work, their professional courtesy, and all other non-work related things that involves co-workers.  Don't let this person's behavior bring you down.  I personally would contribute and be finished thinking about it.  If you're the kind of person that picks and chooses, then pick and choose accordingly and be done with it.

I'm also naively optimistic but am aware of it.  My hope would be that this person is ignorant of what everyone else does normally with contributing to things and when they are on the receiving end for something bigger like a wedding, maybe it will click.  If it clicks, then great.  If it doesn't click, then be happy you're not ignorant like he is.

Heroes821

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Re: Dilemma with co-worker wedding gift.
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2017, 08:57:45 AM »
Did I wander off of MMM into a Martha Stewart forum or something?

Why are you chipping in for holiday gifts and tons of office group purchases?

Why are you guys funding free snack days?

If you are all about the gift of giving, then you give. 

If you think that giving should result in receiving then put up a giant countdown to FIRE somewhere you see it everyday and then add the $10, $5 w/e that you spend buying group snacks and office Christmas presents to your stache.

My office is similar in that at least three of the super spenders will almost weekly purchase something for the entire office to eat. Donuts, cinnamon rolls, 500 wings for an office of 20...  They really don't give a crap if other people bring in things. They just enjoy sharing stuff that they like with the group. 


Guesl982374

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Re: Dilemma with co-worker wedding gift.
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2017, 09:05:56 AM »
My guiding principal in these situations is that social participation is worth a certain amount of $. It doesn't really matter how much you like or do not like a member of the team. Pick a dollar amount you are comfortable with. I always give $25 to wedding/baby gifts and for requested donations, but I don't work in a huge team, so the requests don't come more than 2 or 3 times per year.

The important thing to remember is that you aren't buying a gift. You are buying goodwill within your team. Maybe not with the co-worker who is getting married, but with the rest of the team organizing the gift.

+1 It's not for the guy getting the gift, its for the people collecting the gift and taking mental notes unfortunately.

FLBiker

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Re: Dilemma with co-worker wedding gift.
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2017, 09:36:13 AM »
This almost never comes up at my office (fortunately) but I tend to opt out unless I legitimately care about the person.  That said, I'm also OK with making a token contribution for the benefit of "office culture".  Assuming, of course, that this type of thing is infrequent.

A wrinkle, for me, is that I'm a director in my department.  Salaries are modest (we're in academics) but I still make more than most of the people I work with.  Fortunately, we tend to do a lot more cards than gifts.  One thing I do every year is get a $10 gift card for folks I directly supervise (usually 6 or 7).  I do this because I trust my wife's judgment that it's the right thing to do. :)