I have to tell you about the wedding of one of my colleagues that happened last summer. Having worked with him for the past five years, his behavior did not surprise me in the least.
This guy (we’ll call him Ricky) has an almost notorious reputation for being rude, obnoxious and just generally difficult to work with. The very mention of his name usually evokes anything from eye rolls to shouts of rage throughout our company. As infuriating as he is however, even I was stunned at how he handled his wedding.
Vancouver has a large Chinese community and most of us have been to traditional Chinese weddings at some point. We all understand that as per tradition, gifts consist of money placed in a red envelope and that the amount given is up to each guest. Most people I know (myself included) give as much as we can realistically afford and the bride and groom usually wind up with a very substantial amount at the end. Until recently, I’d never heard of anyone stating a minimum “required” amount.
And then Ricky’s invites started coming out. He had told everyone in his department that he would not be inviting anyone on his level because he didn’t think that they made enough to contribute a satisfactory gift. He had sent invitations to everyone in upper management because even if he hadn’t met him yet they surely knew who he was. And lastly, at the bottom of each invitation was a nice little note stating that the REQUIRED gift was no less than 100.00 per guest. Shocking right? 0424-11
You have to pity people like Ricky because they seem to completely unaware that their self-serving behavior may have temporary benefits ( a large cash infusion from the wedding guests) but eventually yields poor long-term dividends as friends and co-workers slowly ween themselves from having any substantial acquaintance with the gimme pig.