Author Topic: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)  (Read 5022 times)

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Christabeldreams

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I apologize if this is confusing, it was written in a hurry. I will gladly clarify anything thatís unclear.
Background: Iím the treasurer of a small costume club, with five or six members that meets once a month. The president, letís call him James, has always been the first to contribute money and ideas for gifts when birthdays and Christmas roll around. He even had a baby shower for one of our members.  He isnít what Iíd call a gimme pig, but I think this incident crosses the boundaries of good taste.


A few days ago was our club meeting. It was sparse with only three of us, including the president.  The president took part of it to talk about the next meeting, which would fall on his birthday.  He mentioned two rather expensive items he wanted, and suggested that everyone contribute money for the purchase of one. He too would contribute money and the treasurer (me) would collect it all. This felt like an etiquette violation to me, especially since he put the other member on the spot, asking if she would contribute. She said that she didnít have the money on her, and he left her alone. I went home shortly after that, with a costume Sally, a close friend of mine I would see the next weekend, had ordered. Later on, I got a phone call from him, asking if I had called one of the members that hadnít been at the meeting to ask for a contribution. In addition to collecting the money, I was apparently supposed to solicit donations! He would later call me again, to ask if first if Sally had gotten her dress, then if she was going to contribute.
To be honest, Iím not sure what I should do. I donít want to call everyone up, asking them for 35 dollars, but I donít want James to be disappointed on his birthday either. I'll probably give money just to be nice, but it won't be enough for one of the items.
Thoughts?

camlan

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 06:30:12 PM »
What would the group usually do for James' birthday? Just because he wants you to give him a certain present, doesn't mean you have to. You could just do whatever you usually would do.

Or you could ask everyone to contribute to James' birthday celebration, since it sounds like the group usually does collect money for some kind of birthday party/present for each member. Take all the money and get him a gift card to use towards the purchase of whatever it is that he wants. You don't have to buy him the item if the group can't afford it.

This thing must run about $150-$175. That's a lot of money for a gift from a club. Thirty-five dollars is more than I would spend on a friend's birthday.

James has been incredibly rude to a) expect a gift from the group, b) tell the group what to give him and c) demand an expensive gift.

I completely do not understand the "contributing to his own gift" part of the deal.
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Acadianna

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2012, 06:30:58 PM »
The president of your group was clearly rude -- people shouldn't propose their own birthday gifts in that kind of situation, let alone hound others about contributing.

The club should do something similar to whatever has been done for other members, price-wise, and collect from members in whatever way has been customary.

SamiHami

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2012, 06:35:43 PM »
Wow! Phenomenally rude!

The best I can come up with is to treat it like a joke. Next time he mentions it, laugh and say "Oh, very funny. You know darn good and well that you cannot ask people to donate money to buy you an expensive gift. You know we'll come up with something nice for you, just as we always do for people in our group. How about some beandip?"

If he persists and becomes insistent, I wouldn't hesitate to tell him that since he wants to be in charge of his own birthday gift from the group, perhaps he should collect any donations himself and purchase whatever he wants with the money.

Honestly? He expects everyone to donate $35 toward a gift for him? Is he crazy? That's what I would spend on a close friend or a family member. For someone that participates in a group like that I might go up to $5, maximum. A lot of people just don't have a great deal of disposable income to give away.

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NyaChan

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2012, 06:35:59 PM »
The president of your group was clearly rude -- people shouldn't propose their own birthday gifts in that kind of situation, let alone hound others about contributing.

The club should do something similar to whatever has been done for other members, price-wise, and collect from members in whatever way has been customary.

I agree.  Do what you would normally do for any other member.

rose red

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2012, 06:47:07 PM »
I agree with everyone.  And $35?!  My close friends and I do around $20 for birthdays, and we are people who'll do almost anything for each other.

Bijou

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2012, 08:07:11 PM »
Well, OP, then what IS a gimme pig? 
I think that he was unbelievably and even laughably rude.  Not only that, he wants to extend his bad manners to you by having you support his appalling assumption that he can tell people not only to buy something for him, but to buy an expensive something.   :o
I would tell him that I have no intention of participating in this grab and let people do as they please about his birthday. 
Hasn't he heard anything about the economy, never mind etiquette?.
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CluelessBride

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2012, 08:29:31 PM »
The president of your group was clearly rude -- people shouldn't propose their own birthday gifts in that kind of situation, let alone hound others about contributing.

The club should do something similar to whatever has been done for other members, price-wise, and collect from members in whatever way has been customary.

I agree.  Clearly rude.  And there is no real excuse.  However, i do wonder if there is an explanation.

Out of curiosity what is typically done for birthday's in your club?  And whatever it is, has it been done for the president too?  I could see a situation where the president  organizes, say a $30-50 group gift for everyone ($5-10/person) on their birthdays every year.  But then no one ever organized one for him.  And after a few years he feels left out and "due" and does all the wrong things. 


GrammarNerd

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2012, 08:39:47 PM »
I like the idea of acting like he couldn't really be serious.  But past that, I think you could point out to him that it's extremely uncomfortable to be 'told' that you'll be contributing that much money for an expensive birthday present for him.  Of course you wish him the best for his birthday, and you'll be happy to work with the others for a small celebration for him, but really, expensive presents like what he is demanding requesting are, in your experience, things that family or spouses buy for one another, not hobby-group acquaintances.  Additionally, with him being the President, his 'request' for a large gift smacks of him using that position (his position of presumed power) for personal gain to pressure the others into complying with his birthday request demand.  You could add that you're sure he didn't think of it that way, but regardless, you just won't be able to contribute that much.  And then don't say anything else, or just reiterate the same thing (that you won't be contributing that much).

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2012, 09:14:41 PM »
Wait, what?   

Really, really rude and presumptuous. 

So what if James is disappointed on his birthday?  What is he, five?  It would be one thing if the group collectively decided amongst themselves to go all out for the club president on his birthday, but his demanding you all do so should mean that he gets nothing or a token gift.  That kind of behavior needs to be nipped in the bud.
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Calypso

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2012, 03:04:02 AM »
I apologize if this is confusing, it was written in a hurry. I will gladly clarify anything thatís unclear.
Background: Iím the treasurer of a small costume club, with five or six members that meets once a month. The president, letís call him James, has always been the first to contribute money and ideas for gifts when birthdays and Christmas roll around. He even had a baby shower for one of our members.  He isnít what Iíd call a gimme pig, but I think this incident crosses the boundaries of good taste.

 
I suspect because James has been generous in the past to other group members, he feels he's owed for his birthday and, not trusting the rest of you to get it right, he's going to presidentially "help you out" by explaining what to give him.

Well, no.
Whoever the closest person to him in the group needs to quietly take him aside and tell him "Jamie, honey, you know we all appreciate the nice things you've contributed in the past. It was awesome that you gave Betty that baby shower. But, dude, I don't think you mean for it to look this way, but telling everyone what to give you makes it look like you were generous just so you'd get stuff back. If you think it's not fair that we can't monetarily match what you've put out for others, maybe we need to make a club rule that we'll all just do cards, or gag gifts, or something, from here on in. I'd hate to see money issues mess us up as a club."

Venus193

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2012, 06:30:37 AM »
Either that or there needs to be a moratorium on birthday gifting.  This is appalling.

cicero

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2012, 08:31:25 AM »
wow.

very very rude. I don't know if this is a paid presidencey or not, but in my experience, presents usually go the other direction, i.e., i am not surprised that he contributes money and ideas for others' birthdays. but to demand not only *a* gift, but a 35$ per person gift is appalling.

I would do whatever you usually do for birthdays.  so call the others up and say "it's James' birthday, let's all chip in 10$ (or whatever you usually do), i'll birng a cake and we'll get him a GC to [a store that sells whatever it was that he asked for]"

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Christabeldreams

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Re: I’m pretty sure this is rude, but I don’t know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2012, 01:11:26 PM »
What would the group usually do for James' birthday?
-snip-
James has been incredibly rude to a) expect a gift from the group, b) tell the group what to give him and c) demand an expensive gift.

I completely do not understand the "contributing to his own gift" part of the deal.

When birthdays roll around in the club, we usually all chip in for a costume or a DVD box set. James has a talent for finding affordable costumes and box sets that recipiant enjoys (I still enjoy watching the set of Ouran High School Host club DVDS), however, in this case, I'm beginning to suspect that he asked for these gifts because he knows he can't buy them on his own. As for him contributing to his own gift, I think he sort of realizes he's being rude, and is trying to augment that.
This is not new behavior, sadly. I'm actually tempted to talk about his birthday last year.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 01:42:25 PM by Christabeldreams »

Venus193

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Re: Iím pretty sure this is rude, but I donít know what to do (a bit long)
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2012, 01:37:09 PM »
Please do.