Author Topic: Taking advantage of generosity  (Read 12669 times)

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hopeful4

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Taking advantage of generosity
« on: February 10, 2014, 09:08:12 AM »
One of my coworkers is incredibly generous.  She brings in treats occasionally and always has a candy jar anyone can help themselves to.   Unfortunately, this becomes the issue.  She has had to lock it up at night because the cleaning crew will clean it out.  Not that she didn't want the cleaning people to have any, however whatever was left in the jar when she left was all gone when she came in the next morning.  That much candy didn't get consumed with an office full of people in the day so my coworker got a little annoyed knowing that it was a handful of people (or maybe just one or two) emptying the jar at night.   So she started putting it away at night.  Problem solved. 

Now she had a new nuance in the form of a coworker from another floor.  She doesn't even know who he is but he came up, looked at the candy jar and asks, "Didn't you have some Milky Ways in this?"  Jar is full of peanut M&M's.   CW replies,"Yes, they are gone now. I get what is on sale."  To which he replies, "Well, I am allergic to peanuts. I like Milky Ways."  :o
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 09:52:51 AM by hopeful4 »

siamesecat2965

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2014, 09:10:07 AM »
My response to him woudl have been non-hell approved, simply for my tone of voice, but I would have said "Well, then, feel free to bring some in and add them to the jar!" We have a candy bowl near my desk, and we all contribute to it. There are some, however, my boss included, who takes from it pretty regularly, but never brings any in. Not a huge deal, since its not every day, but....he has commented, i think, trying to be funny, and I've gotten a bit snarky when telling him he's free to bring in whatever HE likes.

camlan

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 09:30:21 AM »
I can so relate. I used to have a candy jar at work. Emphasis on "used" to.

There's a limited assortment of candy that's good for a communal candy jar. Because people will paw through the candy to get their favorite kind, you really can only use candy that is wrapped. Or you can fill the whole thing with something like M&Ms.

There's also clear favorites in the candy world. Chocolate goes faster than anything else. So people will hunt through the jar to find the chocolate. Chocolate candy tends to be more expensive than most other candy, as well. So if you are providing the candy jar and paying for the candy yourself, it becomes expensive to keep lots of chocolate around.

I would find that someone would wait until I was not at my desk and take all the chocolate out of the jar. So I started putting just a bit of chocolate in the jar each day. When it was gone, that was it for the chocolate for the day.

Then someone found the bag of chocolate candy in my desk and emptied it. That was the final straw. With all the other complaints--"there's not enough variety" (12 different kinds of candy, most with multiple flavors), "how come you don't have x or y or x candy?", "you don't have my favorite kind of candy," it was far more trouble than it was worth. And the sneakiness and theft of whoever it was who was stealing the chocolate was just nasty.

And then people were upset that I didn't have the candy jar anymore. Heavy sigh.

I have to say that about 75% of the office was just happy I had the candy jar or just didn't care and didn't take any candy. But the other 25% treated it as something they deserved, not as a gift I was giving to the office. And they ruined it for me, and as a result, for everyone.

As for the co-worker in the OP, who has clearly joined the ranks of those who see the candy as something they are owed, not a nice gesture on the part of a colleague, I'd be looking him in the eye and saying, "That's nice. I think the vending machine/supermarket down the street carries Milky Ways."

The very least people could do is ask nicely if their favorite candy could be purchased.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


alkira6

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2014, 09:51:18 AM »
Things like this contribute to my general grumpiness with people in general.  This falls into the category of "this is why we can't have nice things".

I have had candy jars for my kids at school several times.  Each time it went well until that couple of kids took it too far and emptied the jar/complained/tried to pick through it/whatever.  When I had an office I had a jar on my desk and the same thing happened.  The worse person was my boss at the time - she would eat at least half of the candy in the jar, complain about the kind of candy, and then complain that I was "making" her ruin her diet.  When I got rid of the jar she complained about that too.

The same goes with work potlucks - those who go through and load up 2 plates before anyone else gets a chance to eat and they are usually those who contributed the least or nothing at all.

jaxsue

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2014, 11:37:22 AM »
Things like this contribute to my general grumpiness with people in general.  This falls into the category of "this is why we can't have nice things".

I have had candy jars for my kids at school several times.  Each time it went well until that couple of kids took it too far and emptied the jar/complained/tried to pick through it/whatever.  When I had an office I had a jar on my desk and the same thing happened.  The worse person was my boss at the time - she would eat at least half of the candy in the jar, complain about the kind of candy, and then complain that I was "making" her ruin her diet.  When I got rid of the jar she complained about that too.

The same goes with work potlucks - those who go through and load up 2 plates before anyone else gets a chance to eat and they are usually those who contributed the least or nothing at all.

Per the bolded: sadly, that is all too common. I recall how entire family trees seemed to show up for potluck events (and that seems to be the only time they appeared), and we were lucky if any of them contributed!

mimi_cat

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2014, 11:51:27 AM »
Sigh. 

Count me as a former candy jar owner as well.  For many of these reasons!  Some of our part timers were HS students, and I got rid of it the day one of them came by and was sniffling & wiping his nose and then stuck his germy hands into the jar and dug around. 

People can be so rude when free food is involved.  At the same company, we would order cookies or donuts to kick off the new month.  The plan was people would come in for either the AM or PM shift, and get a cookie or a donut.  Unfortunately, some people thought it was ok to grab 2 or 3, or take some home for their kids, etc.  Our VP came by one morning and was shocked at how people were behaving.  And pulled the plug on free cookies.

Secret Squirrel

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2014, 01:27:57 PM »
We rarely keep candy in our office for clients.  When we have had it out, we have not had to many 'clean outs' but we got sick of the mess.  Yes, when clients left we would see ground in mints in the carpet or candy wrappers thrown on the floor (yes, sometimes within inches of the trash barrel). 

The office down the way, which I visit on occasion as we are also friendly, has a candy dish.  On the rare occasion I feel like a piece of candy, I take one, and only one and throw the wrapper in the trash.  I feel she is generous enough to buy candy for her dish, I should be respectful to only take one. 

Hillia

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2014, 01:55:03 PM »
I've heard these stories and they always boggle my mind.  Whenever I've worked in an office where someone was nice enough to keep a candy jar, I always brought in a bag once every month or 6 weeks of whatever they usually used - M&Ms, or little snack size bars.  People's greediness and selfishness is just amazing sometimes.

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siamesecat2965

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2014, 02:32:15 PM »


People can be so rude when free food is involved.   

Free ANYTHING in my experience. Food, pens, pads, any kind of giveaway, I've seen people load up "to take home to their kids, etc" Sorry, but the food is here for employees, not to take home to your family, and if say the credit union is here, to sign up new people, same thing. they aren't there to supply you with pens so you don't have to go buy any! That kind of thing drives me nuts.

mumma to KMC

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2014, 02:37:11 PM »
Ugh, I used to work in an office as a receptionist, the woman who had the job before me had a candy jar and would keep it stocked with things. When I took over the position, it was expected that I was to keep the jar filled. I'd buy a few bags here or there, but I would more often than not just take the jar off my desk, as no one ever offered to reimburse me for the money that I was spending on the candy.

I worked there for three years and at least twice a month coworkers would come up to me and ask where the candy was.

It should be noted that I was the lowest paid employee by far in the entire place and was just barely making ends meet for myself, my coworkers could have bought their own bags of candies.

Not to mention, if there is candy in front of me, I'm going to eat it, and I did not need that temptation. :)

alkira6

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2014, 02:38:30 PM »
Under certain circumstances free is awesome. My district was cleaning out a couple of warehouses a few years ago. They were full of items that were donated, out of date, remnants, and so on.  I filled up my truck 4 times before I got tired.  I have yet to buy any highlighters, heavy weight paper, t-shirt transfers, white butcher paper, or labels.  I also have 30 cases of binders and 3 cases of promo bags the size of overnight bags that are heavyweight nylon with a long side pocket with a zipper and a top zipper.  Sure, some of the stuff was unusable - some highlighters were dry and some labels did not stick,  but overall I made out like a bandit.  The other teachers who bothered to go made out similarly.  I've given away a ton of stuff and still have a closet full and a corner in the garage packed.

JenJay

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2014, 02:43:31 PM »
My response would be "That's a bummer. If you want to bring in something else I'll be glad to put it out."  :D

Lynn2000

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2014, 03:09:25 PM »
My mom went through the same thing when she was the boss and kept candy. It got to be kind of a joke between us, when we went to the store and loaded up on bags of candy for the "whiny little babies" she worked with. But she was willing to put up with the whining in her case.

There's a line between thinking something is a treat, and thinking it's something you deserve; and when someone crosses that, it's not fun to provide the treat anymore. It makes me think of other favors, like giving someone a ride, that become expected over time. Several years ago I had the habit of offering a certain co-worker a ride about once a week, never planned, always spontaneous. Then one day she said, "Yeah, it's raining and I left my umbrella at home, because I figured you could give me a ride today." I immediately said, "Oh sorry, I can't today." It wasn't that she was terribly rude, it just started to peek over that line, between me doing something nice voluntarily, and me feeling like I was obligated to do something.

If I were the candy jar person, I think I would just take it home for a while. Kind of take a candy jar breather. Maybe in a few weeks/months, whenever the whining died down, I would bring it back for a while, but always remove it whenever someone got a little too egregious. Remind them that it is a privilege, not a right.
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veronaz

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2014, 03:27:00 PM »
Quote
My response to him woudl have been non-hell approved, simply for my tone of voice, but I would have said "Well, then, feel free to bring some in and add them to the jar!"

Yep, I would have said something similar.  >:D

I used to voluntarily provide candy/snacks at a place I used to work.  People would sometimes toss in donations (loose change, a dollar or two once a week).  Then when I went to the store I’d replenish.  Much cheaper than vending machines.

Then it got to where a few people would take advantage…….handfuls, or never contribute a dime, or they would ask “Where are the (their favorites)”?  And I began to feel I was obligated to make sure everyone had snacks.

I was off on medical leave for several weeks, and no one bothered to fill the goodie jar.  When I returned, I kept it up for awhile.  But it got old, so one day I just stopped.


« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 03:29:25 PM by veronaz »

Jloreli

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2014, 03:28:10 PM »
My boss is the one "taking some of XXX home" for her husband. Drive me round the bend! If we are out for a meeting with a partner agency she's wrapping things up in a napkin to bring home to him. It is pretty darn embarrassing but I remind myself that she's not my child and I'm not responsible for her behavior. And try not to think about how it reflects on our agency.  ::)

The one that really cheesed me off the most was the baby shower. We have many volunteers in our office and we grow pretty close to the ones who are with us for months at a time. One young lady was just pregnant when she started with us and stay through her whole pregnancy. So we threw her a baby party....lunch, a couple of small gifts, etc. I made a platter of cupcakes which I arranged rather nicely, and yes, there were a couple of extra. (Which I rather intended the GOH could take home if there weren't any unexpected folks in attendance) Before we even started lunch Boss was trying to take cupcakes (s!) for her husband! I asked if she could please wait until we served them to make sure everyone got one (and quite frankly because I was a little vain about how the platter looked. I worked hard on the darn things!)  Removing one or two would have been VERY noticeable! She grumbled off and I thought we were all set but wouldn't you know it when I put out the platter there were two missing.  >:( >:(