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Christmas Gift Blunders In The Office

This happened many, many years ago but still flabbergasts me when I think about it.

At the medical practice where I worked, there were two faculty secretaries. I had taken Sandra’s position doing the medical transcriptioning and the two of us had become friends. She collected lighthouses so I bought her a model for Christmas. I didn’t want to give Sandra a present and not Kimberly since the two of them shared an office, so I gave Kimberly a box of cheese and sausages. Later in the day, as I walked past their office, Kimberly called me in and in front of Sandra handed me the present back stating, “My husband and I don’t eat this kind of stuff.” Floored, I took the box back.

Kimberly never got another gift from me…  1104-15

{ 198 comments… add one }
  • Princess Buttercup December 17, 2015, 6:35 pm

    My in-laws are vegan and not all that great on etiquette but they would still smile, say thank you (even if maybe not the most sincere) and either bring it home to see if hubby and I would like it or if they can tell a store it came from, try to return it. All else fails drop it off at a food pantry.

  • Andy December 19, 2015, 1:45 pm

    She could have said “Thank You” and re-gifted the item. So ridiculous.

  • mark2 December 19, 2015, 10:23 pm

    I can’t read all the comments so if someone has already said this, my apologies. But is it possible that when OP presented a lighthouse model to the one worker, it could have been a large gift that cost a great deal? And then to hand the other worker a small box of food may have felt like a pity gift? And so she was offended? Still no reason to be ungracious, but just a thought.

    • Anonymous December 21, 2015, 11:42 am

      Honestly, I don’t think that was it. Unless you’re the boss, you don’t have to give Christmas gifts/cards/whatever to either everybody or nobody at work. It’s not like the elementary school Valentine’s Day party, where you have to give valentines to everyone if you’re giving any at all.

  • Dana June 23, 2016, 11:29 am

    The OP here – just out of curiosity I looked up my story.

    Kim was not vegan or vegetarian or anything like that. She just was a bad gift receiver IMHO. And I didn’t make a big show of giving anything to Sandra – I gave it to her quietly and alone. I can honestly say I’ve never had anyone hand me back a gift like that!

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