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  1. #21
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    This is why I hate mixing work teams with social functions. It's always ugly. If you're friends with someone outside the office, as an individual, you & other friends can get together to give a gift. But attaching it to a work team is just baaaaaad.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupid View Post
    I have to ask whose decision it was to purchase the "big ticket" stainless steel cookware set? That could run over a couple hundred dollars divided by 6 people that's a considerable amount of money. People sometimes have other financial obligations and might resent having to pony up all that money for a gift.

    Shouldn't the money people contributed be in whatever they could afford and then decide on what to give, or at least asked everyone what they felt was an appropriate amount of money per person?
    Yes, that's exactly what happened. I did not ask anyone for specific amounts. I asked everyone to let me know what they felt comfortable giving, and everyone pledged generous amounts. It just happened to be the exact price of the stainless steel cookware (except tax and shipping). The head of the department offered to cover the difference of tax and shipping.

    I have to buy the gift tomorrow and have less than half of the actual money in my hands. Looks like our colleague may get dinner plates instead.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupid View Post
    Years ago (30), I started working in a mid-size office. On my first or second week, i was approached and asked to contribute $10 towards a wedding shower gift (a set of "pans) for one of the employees whom I really hadn't even spoken with since I started working there.

    I said I couldn't afford $10 but I would be willing to contribute $5. She said fine, took the money, and never said a word. The gift was given, I wasn't invited to the little get together when she was presented with the gift, and I wasn't asked to sign any card, although I understood there was one and everyone that chipped in the $10 got a thank you note.

    I don't know how much you are asking for per employee, but 30 years ago, $10 was quite a bit, especially for a new employee earning meager wages, and then not to be included on the card. Maybe people feel put out by asking for so much?
    Well dern, I would think your 5 bucks would be worth something!

  4. #24
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    In my office, they either pass the envelope to collect money and the card to sign, or someone keeps it at their desk, and sends out an email inviting people to come by and donate or sign by a specified time. At the specified time, they count up whatever cash they have and give the person a gift certificate (usually Amazon that can have free shipping on a lot of items) in the amount received (rounded up or down to the nearest $5). That way nobody is on the line if people promise to donate and then don't (or they don't have to spend time tracking people down)
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by skaternum View Post
    This is why I hate mixing work teams with social functions. It's always ugly. If you're friends with someone outside the office, as an individual, you & other friends can get together to give a gift. But attaching it to a work team is just baaaaaad.
    I couldn't agree more and am beyond grateful we don't do this crap in my office.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    In my office, they either pass the envelope to collect money and the card to sign, or someone keeps it at their desk, and sends out an email inviting people to come by and donate or sign by a specified time. At the specified time, they count up whatever cash they have ...
    I much prefer this, because it means no awkwardness if some people want to give less. The envelope is kind of like church tithe - amount is anonymous, the a gift is bought based on the end amount.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    In my office, they either pass the envelope to collect money and the card to sign, or someone keeps it at their desk, and sends out an email inviting people to come by and donate or sign by a specified time. At the specified time, they count up whatever cash they have and give the person a gift certificate (usually Amazon that can have free shipping on a lot of items) in the amount received (rounded up or down to the nearest $5). That way nobody is on the line if people promise to donate and then don't (or they don't have to spend time tracking people down)
    This makes sense to me, although it also seems a bit awkward in that pressure is put on people to donate, when they may not be able to afford.

    And if you don't include those who don't donate on the card, might it not look odd to the recipient of the card?

    I work on my own so have no experience with such situations. But it strikes me a quite awkward.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    This makes sense to me, although it also seems a bit awkward in that pressure is put on people to donate, when they may not be able to afford.

    And if you don't include those who don't donate on the card, might it not look odd to the recipient of the card?

    I work on my own so have no experience with such situations. But it strikes me a quite awkward.
    At my place there is no awkward moment as the card is passed in plain envelope oor folder, a brown envelope with a telephone list stapled to the front is added and you cross your name off when you have had the envelope. No rules are given so in theory anyone can sign the card and contribute nothing, contribute any amount you like (no-one will ever know what you did or didn't put into the envelope) and you cross your name off just so that everyone knows if someone has not been made aware of the collection etc. I've been in my current job just over 16 months and still do not know many people on the floor below or the other building. If I am passed a collection for someone I don't know I ask the peron handing me who they are, if it doesn't ring a bell I cross my name off the list and neither sign nor donate. No-one's ever commented on my doing that.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    This makes sense to me, although it also seems a bit awkward in that pressure is put on people to donate, when they may not be able to afford.

    And if you don't include those who don't donate on the card, might it not look odd to the recipient of the card?

    I work on my own so have no experience with such situations. But it strikes me a quite awkward.
    But why would you sign a card that goes with a gift you didn't help to purchase? If everyone did that there wouldn't be a gift to give. If the card is going with the gift then by signing the card you are telling the receiver the gift if partly from you - when, in fact, it is not. That strikes me a particularly odd and, quite frankly, dishonest. If you don't want to contribute then don't. If you want to give a card, then buy or make one yourself, but don't pretend you were involved in purchasing a gift when you weren't. (Oh, by "you" I don't specifically mean you, Japanfan )
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  10. #30
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    the card should be from the office - and so should the gift, regardless of who pays. otherwise, the people who want to give a personal gift should do so on their own, and not use any staff time or resources to solicit for or talk about the gift.

    I have personal friends at work. I give them gifts for birthday etc and if they were getting married/giving birth/whatever while we were coworkers I'd give them a personal gift. I wouldn't try to get other coworkers to chip in, I wouldn't talk about it at work and I wouldn't give the gift at work. It would be based on my personal relationship with a friend who happens to be a coworker. I would, however sign any card being circulated at work because it's expressly from the office.

    People getting bunged up about everyone's name going on a card regardless of who chipped in $$ is a good argument for banning gift solicitations at work.
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  11. #31

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    I guess it depends how you look at it. I have bought gifts from the office and in those cases it was the company that paid for them. Everyone signed the card. Group gifts, in my experience, are usually organized during break time and more often than not do not include everyone. As far as I know, no one is forcing people to contribute or barring them from contributing. People can choose as they please, but, like I said, if no one chips in any money there would be no gift. I just think it is odd to want to sign for a gift that isn't from you YMMV.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    As far as I know, no one is forcing people to contribute or barring them from contributing. People can choose as they please, but, like I said, if no one chips in any money there would be no gift.
    Right, but if five of six people chip in for a gift, then the sixth person looks like a jerk if he doesn't chip in, and it'll be obvious from the greeting card that one person is the "cheapskate" hold-out. So there is social pressure to do it.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    At my place there is no awkward moment as the card is passed in plain envelope oor folder, a brown envelope with a telephone list stapled to the front is added and you cross your name off when you have had the envelope.
    That's how we do it too. Or if it's left on the desk, there are plenty of times when the person is away from the desk so if you want to just sign or donate a very small amount, you can do it without anyone seeing it. Ours is a pretty big group and there is always enough money for a decent gift (nobody except the person organizing it knows the final total) but anyone who wants to sign the card can.

    If it were a smaller group organizing a more personal gift, then I do think I'd limit signing the card to just those who donated. or have one small gift card with the names, and another larger card for everyone to sign.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post
    Right, but if five of six people chip in for a gift, then the sixth person looks like a jerk if he doesn't chip in, and it'll be obvious from the greeting card that one person is the "cheapskate" hold-out. So there is social pressure to do it.
    As far as I know, there is no minimum donation required. I find it hard to believe that someone who is employed can't spare $2.00 for a gift. If they really don't want to give a gift, that is fine, but then why would they want to sign the card? It reminds me of a fund raiser we ran at dd's school. Parents were asked to donate. Every time a family donated, the family's name was put on a card and added to the ladder. The theme was climbing to the top of the mountain and we were filling the ladder with names. I had a parent complain, while standing with a Starbucks latte in hand, that it wasn't fair because they couldn't afford to contribute. My response was that there was no minimum donation required. Give me a loonie and up goes your name. The amounts given were only known by two people and it was all kept strictly confidential. In fact, parents were even allowed to hand in an unmarked envelope so no one knew the amount of the donation. If they really couldn't afford to donate, the principal had the authority to add names without a donation and the committee was not advised so only the principal knew (kind of like when parents can't afford to pay for field trips and parents can go to the principal and it is all kept confidential.) It was our most successful fundraiser because people actually took an interest and donated rather than assuming someone else would do it.

    Now there will always be extreme situations and I think you need to use compassion. If there is someone in the office who really seriously can afford even a dollar, then yes, they should just sign the card. But seriously, how many situation like that are there really? In my experience, often the person is a "cheapskate" and just can't be bothered to donate because he or she knows everyone else will. It is kind of like the person who doesn't include a tip (or sometimes even the full amount of their dinner) in their portion of a group dinner bill because they know no one will know it was them and someone else will make up the difference, or leaves the bar just before it is their turn to buy a round of drinks, or never offers to pick up the coffee etc.

    I'm really not an unsympathetic person. I just get very tired of people who don't do their part and expect expect everyone else to cover for them.
    And FWIW, I received a number of group gifts when I got married, and it never occurred to me to double check all the names on the card to see who wasn't there ....
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    As far as I know, there is no minimum donation required. I find it hard to believe that someone who is employed can't spare $2.00 for a gift.
    Equally i find it hard to believe that other people feel entitled to determine what other people can give as a gift when they don't know what a person gets paid or what financial commitments they have

  16. #36

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    My office does the envelop pass around too. What I like is that if I have only a ten dollar bill and want to put in two dollars, I can make change from the envelope. I pretty much go with two dollars if I don't know, or don't like the person, to ten dollars if I do. Sometimes it also depends on how flush I'm feeling at the time. And it's also an office where I don't actually like a lot of the people.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    Because I have found that the person who doesn't contribute spends the next six month complaining about how they were left out, not invited, not told the deadline etc etc. I don't know how close this office is, but Bryan has asked for a response and the individual hasn't bothered to respond. That alone sends up alarm bells. Now maybe this person has just been distracted and an email with a deadline will jolt him or her into action. Maybe not. Like I said, having done dozens of these over the year in big and small offices, with classes at school, with volunteer organizations, I have found it is always best to cover all the bases. It just saves hurt feelings later on.
    I agree with you, but in such a small group, I would just ask them verbally. It saves time and it insures that they got the message, understand the time frame, and they can't procrastinate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
    So, I guess we are good, but I keep going back and forth on whether to put the straggler's name on the card/gift enclosure.
    I would not include the person who did not contribute. That is not fair to the ones who did. It could also backfire if they do send a gift on their own.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    Equally i find it hard to believe that other people feel entitled to determine what other people can give as a gift when they don't know what a person gets paid or what financial commitments they have
    I in no way feel entitled to determine what other people can or should give. They can make that decision on their own. I am simply pointing out that they do have a CHOICE, and that choice (like all choices) has consequences. If they chip in, they sign the card. If they choose not to chip in, they don't. What about the person who decides they would like to chip in, but it is a stretch for them. What if they choose to do without something else because giving the gift is important. How is it fair to them that potentially everyone else just signs the card because they have chosen not to donate. I'm sorry, but we are not talking about children here. These are adults who are perfectly capable of making decisions and should take responsibility for their choices. There are always, except in the most extreme circumstances, choices people can make.
    Last edited by mag; 10-28-2011 at 05:09 PM. Reason: grammer
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

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