Author Topic: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum  (Read 3753 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

gen xer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 483
Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« on: April 29, 2013, 07:18:38 PM »

At work we have a"gift fund" where we all chip in two dollars per pay and out of it we take our office staff out for lunch on birthdays and purchase gifts for different occasions.  One of the "gift fund" policies is that anyone off sick for more than four weeks gets a get well gift from money drawn from the gift fund - the amount allocated for that is $25. 

I was not part of the drafting of the gift fund constitution but fine - I go along with it.

We have an employee who will be off work for at least two months which means the thirty dollar gift will be purchased.....but another employee has emailed the entire office asking if we want to contribute extra because this particular employee doesn't like the typical fruit basket etc gift ( you know - typical get well stuff ) and she wants to purchase her a gift card for a clothing store.

I didn't think much of it until I heard that another woman was hurt that when she had been off sick nobody gave her any special treatment....and I can see her point. 

What do the e-hellions think?  Is it rude to solicit extra for certain favoured employees or should we stick to the prescribed limits?  I personally think we should stick to the limits.  This seems to be how nicely intentioned ideas go south - the favouritism creeps in, feelings get hurt and beofre you know it - no more gift fund.

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5490
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2013, 07:23:43 PM »
Anything from the office would be very very equal. If someone wants to give more personally that's fine but that should be sperate from the office gift.

Library Dragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1350
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2013, 07:27:15 PM »
OP Agreed, it doesn't have to be a gift basket, but should be the same amount spent for others. 

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

GSNW

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 549
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 07:58:32 PM »
Agreed with above.  If the time was taken to draft such a detailed set of rules for how the gift fund works, I think there is/was a reason, and situations like this certainly bear that out. 

In addition, and this is just my personal opinion, "Get Well" gifts are meant to be useful to the sick person in their time of illness.  When I had my appendix out as a kid, there were complications.  My friends brought me books, magazines, activity booklets, and movies.  The fruit basket seems really nice since it's something healthy a sick person could nosh on.  A gift certificate to a clothing store?  I fail to see how that makes sense, but I realize my view might be a little rigid.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21355
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2013, 08:20:50 PM »
Agreed with above.  If the time was taken to draft such a detailed set of rules for how the gift fund works, I think there is/was a reason, and situations like this certainly bear that out. 

In addition, and this is just my personal opinion, "Get Well" gifts are meant to be useful to the sick person in their time of illness.  When I had my appendix out as a kid, there were complications.  My friends brought me books, magazines, activity booklets, and movies.  The fruit basket seems really nice since it's something healthy a sick person could nosh on.  A gift certificate to a clothing store?  I fail to see how that makes sense, but I realize my view might be a little rigid.

It depends what the illness is, IMO.  There are definitely medical situations where buying a comfortable outfit might make one feel better than fruit.

CakeEater

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2530
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2013, 06:53:36 AM »
Same monetary amount, and same gift, to a certain extent. Perhaps flowers if the illness means the patient can't stomach fruit, or fruit if they can't eat a cake etc. A $30 gift voucher to a clothing shop might be more suited to the taste of the person, but unless everyone gets something that is personal to their taste, feelings are hurt.

Kiara

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2555
    • My dragons!
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 09:34:05 AM »
Same amount, same gift.  Either flowers, a plant, or a fruit basket.  (Normally I'd say just flowers, but I'm sure there are people like me who have cats that see a plant and go "HEY!  Mom bought salad!")

OR, gift card to Amazon, going off GSNW's idea.  If you want to do a gift card, makes the most sense, and they can use it for whatever while they recover.  Still same amount for everyone.

YummyMummy66

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 723
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2013, 09:41:12 AM »
This is my feeling, "employee will be off work, so she/he is not off work as of yet", I have to wonder how much input she has given towards "her" gift.

I think someone needs to be the one who sends out an email questioning this particular gift, but in a certain way so as to not put the spotlight per se on this one person, but really not sure how to do that.

"Hey, I thought our limit was $25 for get well gifts?   Has this changed?   I am not sure this new policy is fair to others who have already put in their money and only received what was originally stated.  I think that we should keep the get well gift at the stated amount and if anyone wants to do more, then so be it. If the gift amount is to be changed, we should discuss this
on a yearly basis".   What does everyone else think?".

And I am sure everyone but the recipient of this current gift and the one who sent the email, will agree with you.

And if the person receiving the gift is not happy with fruit, why not the cracker basket or goodie basket?   I don't think you should go from a basket to now what seems like a more personal gift to someone.  Stick with somethng generic, so people do not get their feelings hurt.

If this was going to become the norm, I would be opting out of this tradition in the work place.

Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4848
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2013, 11:07:02 AM »
This is my feeling, "employee will be off work, so she/he is not off work as of yet", I have to wonder how much input she has given towards "her" gift.

I think someone needs to be the one who sends out an email questioning this particular gift, but in a certain way so as to not put the spotlight per se on this one person, but really not sure how to do that.

"Hey, I thought our limit was $25 for get well gifts?   Has this changed?   I am not sure this new policy is fair to others who have already put in their money and only received what was originally stated.  I think that we should keep the get well gift at the stated amount and if anyone wants to do more, then so be it. If the gift amount is to be changed, we should discuss this
on a yearly basis".   What does everyone else think?".

And I am sure everyone but the recipient of this current gift and the one who sent the email, will agree with you.

And if the person receiving the gift is not happy with fruit, why not the cracker basket or goodie basket?   I don't think you should go from a basket to now what seems like a more personal gift to someone.  Stick with somethng generic, so people do not get their feelings hurt.

If this was going to become the norm, I would be opting out of this tradition in the work place.

POD to this. If people went to the trouble of drafting rules for the gift fund, they ought to stick to them, and you can appeal to that without being unreasonable, I would think.

I could see how flowers/plant/fruit basket might be a bit restrictive. Maybe you could suggest amending the rules to allow for one or two totally different categories of things, like the Amazon gift card someone else suggested. Or a gift card to Wal-Mart or a popular local restaurant. So if someone's out sick for a long time, they could get flowers, fruit, an Amazon GC, or a Chez Luigi GC, depending on what their co-workers think they'd like best. I wouldn't personalize the official office gift any further than that, unless there's some sort of extreme circumstance (deadly allergies to lots of food and flowers, and... no Internet connection). Just because, as you've seen, someone is going to be hurt that they got a nice-but-generic flower arrangement, while someone else got a GC (of a higher amount!) to their favorite store, just because they happen to be friendlier with a co-worker bold enough to ask.
~Lynn2000

Dorrie78

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1276
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2013, 11:17:22 AM »
I would definitely insist that the drafted rules be followed as to the amount spent. But if someone really thinks that it should be a gift card instead of fruit, I don't see the big deal.  Although I would say that the person who wants it to be something aside from the usual fruit basket would be the one responsible to go out and get the substitute gift.

Is this mandated that each employee has to donate $40 a month towards this fund ($2 per day, $10 per week, $40 per month)? Yikes - I would withdraw entirely if I were allowed to. That is quite a bit of money, even if I do get one free meal per year out of it!

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8718
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2013, 11:20:30 AM »
I would definitely insist that the drafted rules be followed as to the amount spent. But if someone really thinks that it should be a gift card instead of fruit, I don't see the big deal.  Although I would say that the person who wants it to be something aside from the usual fruit basket would be the one responsible to go out and get the substitute gift.

Is this mandated that each employee has to donate $40 a month towards this fund ($2 per day, $10 per week, $40 per month)? Yikes - I would withdraw entirely if I were allowed to. That is quite a bit of money, even if I do get one free meal per year out of it!

I think it's $2 per "pay" i.e. paycheck, so maybe $2 every week or every 2 weeks.

Dorrie78

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1276
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2013, 11:28:56 AM »
I would definitely insist that the drafted rules be followed as to the amount spent. But if someone really thinks that it should be a gift card instead of fruit, I don't see the big deal.  Although I would say that the person who wants it to be something aside from the usual fruit basket would be the one responsible to go out and get the substitute gift.

Is this mandated that each employee has to donate $40 a month towards this fund ($2 per day, $10 per week, $40 per month)? Yikes - I would withdraw entirely if I were allowed to. That is quite a bit of money, even if I do get one free meal per year out of it!

I think it's $2 per "pay" i.e. paycheck, so maybe $2 every week or every 2 weeks.
Oh! Yes, I did misread that! Thanks - I was just kind of amazed that no one else raised the issue of how much money this was! $2 per pay makes much more sense.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3707
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 11:50:36 AM »
Is this a mandatory type of thing or voluntary? I hope it's voluntary! I would opt out of this kind of thing for the very reason that it is fraught with potential for this kind of inequality and misunderstanding. If the company wants to pay for a basket of fruit for someone out sick, fine. If someone wants to pass out a card to be signed along with an envelope in which to put a few dollars in with no one knowing who contributed or how much, that's fine too. But this business of everyone putting in a set amount every month and then the person who will be the recipient having input about what s/he will receive or someone asking to change the ground rules for a particular person, well, it's just not tennable.

If this kind of thing has even a remote chance of working, there should be an administrator for the fund who just does the same thing for everyone. But again, honestly, I'd just say, thanks but no thanks. I don't feel the need to contribute nor do I wish to receive any benefit from the fund.

Pen^2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1107
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 12:54:21 PM »
It's not fair for one person to get special treatment in something that is supposed to be equal. $25 for all. To do otherwise, as has already been illustrated, will only cause bad feelings.

Of course, if someone has been sick, then it's a nice thing to buy them something else separately as a get-well present. Don't hijack other aspects of work.

gen xer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 483
Re: Keeping it fair - the gift conundrum
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 01:06:28 PM »
Is this a mandatory type of thing or voluntary? I hope it's voluntary! I would opt out of this kind of thing for the very reason that it is fraught with potential for this kind of inequality and misunderstanding. If the company wants to pay for a basket of fruit for someone out sick, fine. If someone wants to pass out a card to be signed along with an envelope in which to put a few dollars in with no one knowing who contributed or how much, that's fine too. But this business of everyone putting in a set amount every month and then the person who will be the recipient having input about what s/he will receive or someone asking to change the ground rules for a particular person, well, it's just not tennable.

If this kind of thing has even a remote chance of working, there should be an administrator for the fund who just does the same thing for everyone. But again, honestly, I'd just say, thanks but no thanks. I don't feel the need to contribute nor do I wish to receive any benefit from the fund.

It is entirely voluntary - mandatory would have really made my heels dig in. 

It is exactly like you say - what starts out as a nice idea gets an injection of office politics / popularity barometer and it really sours me to the point of wishing they would just scrap the whole thing. 

I personally don't have any problem with deviating from the standard gift basket / teddy bear / balloons......what does bother me is that if $30 ( sorry I realize in my original post I said $25 - don't know what I was thinking ) is what is agreed on we stick with $30 and not start soliciting extra for "some" people.

What you do for one....you do for all.

I will definitely be declining to donate an extra amount of money.  Now I want to try to find a way to say something about keeping it fair and equitable without coming across as a sanctimonious female dog.