Author Topic: Obligated to accept a gift?  (Read 3010 times)

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Mental Magpie

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Obligated to accept a gift?
« on: December 20, 2012, 06:41:17 PM »
I was not there when this happened.  I don't know the tone of voice actually used or the exact words, but I will relate it as it was told to me.

BG: We work in a very large facility.  It is shaped somewhat like a four leaf clover with the office (O) in question situated just a little left of center (where all the leaves come together).  The four areas (A), one in each leaf, are approximately 200 yards in diameter.  There are then four stations (S), one located in each of the four areas.
_____   _____
|   A   |  |   A   |
|S___|  |___S|
____O  _____
|S      |  |      S|
|__A_|  |_A__|


Some of my coworkers work one in each of the stations.  Every morning, we meet in the office before heading to our stations.  Fergie (the one who told me what happened) brought in four plates of cookies, one for each station.  Two of the other coworkers took their plates graciously.  When Fergie showed Mouse hers (I'm not sure if she tried to hand it to her or what), Mouse refused (again, not exactly sure how, whether verbally or non-verbally), but she did say that she didn't want to carry the plate all the way to her station.  That means that the person who takes over her station on swing shifts would also miss out on the cookies.  Fergie tells me that was all Mouse said before turning away to go to her station.

I do know that Mouse carries nothing other than her lunch box to her station every day.  I have seen her carry much more than the weight of her lunchbox, too, so I know it wasn't a weight issue.  I also know that Mouse doesn't have any food allergies or intolerances as I have eaten with her a fair number of times.

I say Mouse was quite rude.  Fergie doesn't know what she should have done.
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jpcher

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Re: Obligated to accept a gift?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 07:00:43 PM »
I can think of a couple of scenarios why Mouse didn't accept that tray of cookies.

Maybe Mouse is on a diet and didn't want a tray of goodies sitting at her station tempting her all day long.

Maybe Mouse didn't realize it was a gift for all and felt that she couldn't reciprocate.

Maybe Mouse didn't want to clean up the mess or have people hovering/noshing around her station all day.

Maybe Mouse did an extra strength workout the night before and her arms were killing her.

Maybe Mouse's cat died the night before and she wasn't feeling particularly joyous.

I don't think that Mouse was rude.

If Fergie was gifting cookies to co-workers, I think that she should have delivered them herself.

Asking CWs to bring the cookies to their station is perfectly polite.

Thinking someone is rude for not complying with your asked question (would you please deliver this to your station?) is wrong and, yes, rude.

JenJay

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Re: Obligated to accept a gift?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 07:14:49 PM »
Fergie should have left them in the office with a note that they were for the staff in area whatever. If possible she also could have asked if she could run them down real quick, or, sent work for someone else to come pick them up. After that they're pretty much up for grabs.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Obligated to accept a gift?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 07:42:04 PM »
Mouse is not on a diet (we've discussed this...and she had Rolos for breakfast just this morning).

Mouse is the only person who works at her station except for the person on swing shift.  No one would be stopping there for any reason.

Cleaning up the mess would consist of throwing away a plate.  We all eat at our stations.

Mouse (and the person on swing shift) was the person to whom Fergie was gifting the cookies.

She didn't have to like the gift, but to refuse one so blatantly without an apology of any sort?  I think that's definitely rude.  The asked question wasn't to take the cookies to her station.  The asked question (if it was even asked directly) was to accept a gift of cookies.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Yvaine

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Re: Obligated to accept a gift?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 07:48:36 PM »
I don't get why Fergie couldn't just leave them there at that station.

I also don't see anywhere that it was clear to Mouse that the cookies weren't just for her, and that she was denying cookies to the next person by not taking them. If she was just asked "to accept a gift of cookies," that doesn't sound like something she was being asked to share.

I think she was a little rude to decline the gift, sure--she should have taken it politely and then could have done as she liked with it. But Fergie's inability to just leave it in that station so the next person could have them, and the assumption that Mouse would know they were for the next person too, kind of make my brain hurt.

JenJay

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Re: Obligated to accept a gift?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 07:55:21 PM »
Mouse is not on a diet (we've discussed this...and she had Rolos for breakfast just this morning).

Mouse is the only person who works at her station except for the person on swing shift.  No one would be stopping there for any reason.

Cleaning up the mess would consist of throwing away a plate.  We all eat at our stations.

Mouse (and the person on swing shift) was the person to whom Fergie was gifting the cookies.

She didn't have to like the gift, but to refuse one so blatantly without an apology of any sort?  I think that's definitely rude.  The asked question wasn't to take the cookies to her station.  The asked question (if it was even asked directly) was to accept a gift of cookies.

Ohh, I pictured it more like bringing in a plate of cookies for each floor in a 4-story office. I guess Mouse didn't want to eat them for some reason, but didn't want to just throw them away, and figured Fergie could give them to someone else. I can understand why Fergie might be a little hurt but I'd just shrug and leave them in the office for the swing shift crew.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Obligated to accept a gift?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2012, 07:56:16 PM »
I don't get why Fergie couldn't just leave them there at that station.

I also don't see anywhere that it was clear to Mouse that the cookies weren't just for her, and that she was denying cookies to the next person by not taking them. If she was just asked "to accept a gift of cookies," that doesn't sound like something she was being asked to share.

I think she was a little rude to decline the gift, sure--she should have taken it politely and then could have done as she liked with it. But Fergie's inability to just leave it in that station so the next person could have them, and the assumption that Mouse would know they were for the next person too, kind of make my brain hurt.

I wasn't clear on the stations bit.  They were all in the office (O); each of them go to a different station and are in that station for the remainder of their shifts.  For Fergie to go to Mouse's station before going to her own would have meant she would be late for everything that happens at her station and would inconvenience everyone else in the entire facility.

As far as Mouse knowing that it was for her and the person on the shift after her, I can't say as I don't know exactly what Fergie said to her (I'll ask Fergie tomorrow).


JenJay: I can see the confusion lol!
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

JenJay

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Re: Obligated to accept a gift?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2012, 08:27:48 PM »
I know you don't work in an office but I assumed the other people on shift would have had access to the cookies, too, and they weren't only for Mouse.

If I were in Mouse's shoes I would have said thank you and made a comment about not being able to eat all of the cookies and sharing with Area coworkers, then I'd offer them all out without taking one for myself.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Obligated to accept a gift?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2012, 08:36:02 PM »
I know you don't work in an office but I assumed the other people on shift would have had access to the cookies, too, and they weren't only for Mouse.

If I were in Mouse's shoes I would have said thank you and made a comment about not being able to eat all of the cookies and sharing with Area coworkers, then I'd offer them all out without taking one for myself.

Understandably so, especially knowing a little bit more about where I work :).  I should have been a bit clearer.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

ebelie

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Re: Obligated to accept a gift?
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2012, 06:56:03 AM »
My hands shake.  If I was expected to carry a (full?) plate of cookies in one hand, and my lunch box in the other, for 200 yards then I'd probably refuse them too.  It's embarrassing when you spill cookies all over the floor.  (Or coffee, or lunch or whatever.  Sigh.) 

I also get tired of explaining to people that I can't carry easily spillable things because then they start asking me questions about medical tests they feel I should have done. 

Hypothetically, if this is Mouse's issue then no, I don't think she's obligated to take the cookies.
 
If it was really important to Fergie that the person after Mouse got cookies then she should have taken them over herself - whether that meant getting in earlier so she'd have time to walk the 200 yards (metric system here, I don't really know how long it takes to walk that far, but the OP indicated it would be an inconvenience to Fergie) or staying longer after her shift.  Or she could have just left them in the office area.

There are rude ways and polite ways of declining a gift, but I don't think the act of declining is inherently rude. However it sounds like Mouse could have been much more graceful in declining and may well have been rude in her delivery.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Obligated to accept a gift?
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 06:06:17 PM »
While I would agree that Mouse wouldn't need to carry something that far if she had shaky hands, I know for a fact that she doesn't. She wouldn't be able to perform her job duties if she did.

Also, if it helps, her lunch is on a long strap that she slings over her shoulder much like a purse.


I've come to the conclusion that Mouse wasn't inherently rude, just abrupt.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Virg

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Re: Obligated to accept a gift?
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2012, 02:46:19 PM »
ebelie, 200 yards is 180 meters.

Mental Magpie, I have to agree that Mouse wasn't obligated to accept the cookies or carry them, and your comments about possible reasons she didn't don't help your case because in the end, it's not rude to decline such a gift for any reason so she doesn't really need a good reason.

Virg