Author Topic: Taking advantage of generosity  (Read 13320 times)

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KenveeB

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2014, 12:12:00 AM »
One of the secretaries at my office used to have a candy jar. After reading similar posts on E-hell, I made a point of periodically buying a bag or two of candy at random intervals and dropping it by her desk. She'd say the candy fairy had come to visit. :)  (She's not at the office anymore, so no more candy jar.)

I like to bake, but it's just me at home. So I bring things into the office to share. Some people are really nice about it, but some of the comments really irritate me. If you don't want one, don't take one! Don't complain about it being brought in just because you're on a diet.

Winterlight

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2014, 12:34:46 AM »
I feel the urge to go bake cookies for my nice, well-behaved coworkers. Even if it is after midnight.
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Mel the Redcap

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2014, 04:40:56 AM »
I've mentioned this one before, but I still feel gleeful about it, so...

At one workplace, I kept a glass jar of sweets on my desk to share. Nobody needed to steal them - and someone still did, probably because they wanted to take more than would 'look good' if they did it openly. Every so often, the level would go down a LOT while I was away from my desk. This... annoyed me. So I filled the jar with Atomic Fireballs (http://www.oldtimecandy.com/atomic-fire-balls.htm). They taste of cinnamon and heat and sweet, sweet pain… and if they're out of their little individual wrappers, they look just like Jaffas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaffas).

I was away for a day with a tummy bug. The level of my jar went down while I was gone. It never went down again. >:D
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cicero

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2014, 05:14:23 AM »
My problem wasn't candy, it was aspirin. I worked at a company that had a small bottle of generic headache tablets in the break room. They didn't help my tough headaches, so I brought in a large bottle of migraine strength Excedrin and kept it at my desk. One day an employee spoke of her fierce headache, so I offered her some Excedrin. After that, she would always come to me when she had a migraine.  When other employees had headaches, someone would say "Go see Miss March, she has aspirin." It got to where people would take aspirins from my desk when I wasn't there. I had brought in a 150 count bottle, thinking it would last me a year, and in no time at all, it was nearly empty.
yeah, you have to learn to lie about aspirin, tampons, bandaids, tissue, etc. I've had the same thing - in the days when i was still getting my periods, i always had a little plastic purse with emergency supplies. had a former co worker who *always* had an emergency. seriously? it comes every month. you've been getting them since you were a teen. get with the program. (former work place was not near any stores and many co workers didn't have cars, meaning it would take her at least an hour to get to a nearest store and back). my current workplace - we buy bandaids, wipes and OTC painkillers from office funds.

as for the treats/chocolate /candy jar - thankfully we don't have that here, i would not want that at all. unfortunately , due to one of my colleauges, we can't have *any* treats whatsoever because he will just eat them all up in one day. (great guy but has some  food issues). we've taken to hiding things but that becomes annoying because then he will just whine all day "i want chocolate, i know you have chocolate". it's annoying, because it would be nice to have a small stash for those days when you need it.

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cicero

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #49 on: February 12, 2014, 05:25:21 AM »
and now that i've read through the entire thread - wow. Some people are just so... wow. And it always gets me that the person supplying the goodies is often the lowliest paid admin, and it would never ocur to the higher uppers to donate. no, they just come up with ridiculous demands for bacon wrapped scallops ::)

other than my colleague with the food issues (i mentioned in the mail above), i occasionally bring home baked goodies - especially if there is abirthday or something (nothing fancy, but everyone loves my fudge brownies)

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MamaMootz

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2014, 07:53:47 AM »
I can relate to the candy jar woes because of my leftover candy and Raisinets Guy.Suffice it to say ---- no more candy for anyone at my job.

Link to thread here:
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=130943.0
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 08:00:13 AM by MamaMootz »
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hopeful4

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2014, 08:46:28 AM »
Seems as if this is a fairly common occurrence.  The greed and entitlement of a few people ruin the goodwill and generosity of others.   One thing noticed as I have read through this thread is, often times it is the higher ups, directors and upper management who are the greediest. Not always but often. 

Reminds me of some of the privileges that have been revolked at my company such as using our Corporate Services department to mail personal packages instead of going to and waiting in line at the post office.   Lower level employees would write a check to the company and pay for the postage but when the upper level management would mail packages through our CS dept and not pay, the practice ended for all. 

A conversation I had with a secretary who ordered office and coffee supplies for the departments was also enlightening.  She would have to limit the quantities she ordered on most items less they disappeared, and an employee would have to go directly to CS to get some of the more expensive items she use to keep in stock because some upper management would liberally help themselves to the supplies to take home.   So I guess making much more money and having much more power did not mean more class.  Seem like for a few, the more power they got the lower class they became and much more entitled.    :(

weeblewobble

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2014, 09:01:33 AM »
My problem wasn't candy, it was aspirin. I worked at a company that had a small bottle of generic headache tablets in the break room. They didn't help my tough headaches, so I brought in a large bottle of migraine strength Excedrin and kept it at my desk. One day an employee spoke of her fierce headache, so I offered her some Excedrin. After that, she would always come to me when she had a migraine.  When other employees had headaches, someone would say "Go see Miss March, she has aspirin." It got to where people would take aspirins from my desk when I wasn't there. I had brought in a 150 count bottle, thinking it would last me a year, and in no time at all, it was nearly empty.
yeah, you have to learn to lie about aspirin, tampons, bandaids, tissue, etc. I've had the same thing - in the days when i was still getting my periods, i always had a little plastic purse with emergency supplies. had a former co worker who *always* had an emergency. seriously? it comes every month. you've been getting them since you were a teen. get with the program. (former work place was not near any stores and many co workers didn't have cars, meaning it would take her at least an hour to get to a nearest store and back). my current workplace - we buy bandaids, wipes and OTC painkillers from office funds.

as for the treats/chocolate /candy jar - thankfully we don't have that here, i would not want that at all. unfortunately , due to one of my colleauges, we can't have *any* treats whatsoever because he will just eat them all up in one day. (great guy but has some  food issues). we've taken to hiding things but that becomes annoying because then he will just whine all day "i want chocolate, i know you have chocolate". it's annoying, because it would be nice to have a small stash for those days when you need it.

Has anyone ever said, "Then maybe you should buy some chocolate?" 

cicero

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2014, 09:26:52 AM »
My problem wasn't candy, it was aspirin. I worked at a company that had a small bottle of generic headache tablets in the break room. They didn't help my tough headaches, so I brought in a large bottle of migraine strength Excedrin and kept it at my desk. One day an employee spoke of her fierce headache, so I offered her some Excedrin. After that, she would always come to me when she had a migraine.  When other employees had headaches, someone would say "Go see Miss March, she has aspirin." It got to where people would take aspirins from my desk when I wasn't there. I had brought in a 150 count bottle, thinking it would last me a year, and in no time at all, it was nearly empty.
yeah, you have to learn to lie about aspirin, tampons, bandaids, tissue, etc. I've had the same thing - in the days when i was still getting my periods, i always had a little plastic purse with emergency supplies. had a former co worker who *always* had an emergency. seriously? it comes every month. you've been getting them since you were a teen. get with the program. (former work place was not near any stores and many co workers didn't have cars, meaning it would take her at least an hour to get to a nearest store and back). my current workplace - we buy bandaids, wipes and OTC painkillers from office funds.

as for the treats/chocolate /candy jar - thankfully we don't have that here, i would not want that at all. unfortunately , due to one of my colleauges, we can't have *any* treats whatsoever because he will just eat them all up in one day. (great guy but has some  food issues). we've taken to hiding things but that becomes annoying because then he will just whine all day "i want chocolate, i know you have chocolate". it's annoying, because it would be nice to have a small stash for those days when you need it.

Has anyone ever said, "Then maybe you should buy some chocolate?"
he's always on a diet ;D seriously, though, he does buy stuff every now and then to share but as i said - he has a problem so after everyone takes one or two pieces he will eat the entire box himself. i'd rather nobody brings anything in, better for *my* diet.

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Hillia

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2014, 10:08:05 AM »
I've seen plenty of candy jar entitlement, but fortunately never any of the take-it-home variety.  I did, however, see some great examples directed at the employer.

One company I worked for had a very nice on site cafeteria.  At Thanksgiving and Christmas, the company arranged with the cafeteria contractor to serve a free meal to employees - prime rib, sides, dessert, and drinks (soda or bottled water).  Free.  The last year I was there, someone wrote to the president of the company in one of those 'ask the president' type forums and complained that the sides weren't to her liking, the prime rib was too fatty, and why weren't there more dessert options?  It should also be noted that about once a quarter the company would sponsor a themed 'fun day', where they would serve a casual meal (hamburgers, BBQ sandwiches, etc) outside, complete with free Tshirts and some theme-related games or activities.  The event would run 3 hours around lunchtime (say from 11-2) so that as many people as possible could go.  People always griped about how 'cheesy' the activities were, or whined about how they didn't like hot dogs or BBQ or whatever.

At the same company, there was a story about a woman who was counting on her annual bonus to take a cruise.  So she booked the cruise, put down a deposit, etc, months before the bonuses were announced.  As it turned out, that year the company didn't meet financial goals, so no one got a bonus.  She was furious about being out the deposit, because she couldn't afford to take the cruise without her bonus, and threatened to sue the company.  I heard that the lawyer she consulted laughed her out of his office.

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Lynn2000

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2014, 10:43:04 AM »
One company I worked for had a very nice on site cafeteria.  At Thanksgiving and Christmas, the company arranged with the cafeteria contractor to serve a free meal to employees - prime rib, sides, dessert, and drinks (soda or bottled water).  Free.  The last year I was there, someone wrote to the president of the company in one of those 'ask the president' type forums and complained that the sides weren't to her liking, the prime rib was too fatty, and why weren't there more dessert options?  It should also be noted that about once a quarter the company would sponsor a themed 'fun day', where they would serve a casual meal (hamburgers, BBQ sandwiches, etc) outside, complete with free Tshirts and some theme-related games or activities.  The event would run 3 hours around lunchtime (say from 11-2) so that as many people as possible could go.  People always griped about how 'cheesy' the activities were, or whined about how they didn't like hot dogs or BBQ or whatever.

Well, complaining to the president does seem a little over the top! But, in my limited experience, I've been to some events that were company sponsored, and even though we were getting stuff free and nominally didn't "have" to go, there was often pressure to attend to look like a team player, or if you weren't attending you felt pressured to come up with an excuse. And some people's (probably true) go-to excuse would be a complaint about the activities or the food--not necessarily shouted from the rooftops, but a quick, "Oh, I'm not so fond of hot dogs," in passing.

One example: Every week, for years, we had a seminar at noon on Tuesday, and about half the time there would be a pizza lunch afterwards with the speaker. People started to complain about the pizza--that they were tired of it and would like something else. Of course there are rude ways to complain, but I don't think suggesting a change is, in itself, rude. That's a lot of pizza for some people and maybe they were starting to feel like they didn't want to attend the lunch if it was always going to be pizza. Would the organizers rather they just stop attending, or would they rather know what the issue was, and look into ordering sandwiches instead? (Now the people who popped in, took pizza, and left without chatting with the speaker? Rude. And I will freely admit I used to do that myself sometimes, because I saw other people doing it and assumed it was a normal thing, but when I realized how awful it actually was I stopped.)

Another example: once a year the company put on a ceremony and reception to honor employees in a certain category from the whole section--several departments put together, maybe a couple hundred people. I hated going to it because I felt it was poorly done. They got people's names and departments wrong in the program; the person announcing people's names obviously hadn't taken the briefest time to prepare and stumbled over the names of the many foreign-born employees; the food was not good; it was at an awkward time of day; etc.. And this was not just one bad year, I went to this for five years in a row and it was always like that.

I would complain to my mom and she would always be like, "Hey, they're honoring you, suck it up and go." But, to me it didn't feel like an honor, it felt disrespectful almost, because it was so shoddily done--like someone had told them they had to do this, but they didn't want to, so they put the least amount of effort possible in.

Sorry, didn't mean to pick on you!  :D Your post just made me think of similar situations I've been in, where I had the opposite perspective. It's like threads when people complain about gifts--some people find that tacky, full stop. Me, I'm a "it's the thought that counts" kind of person... and sometimes, you can just tell that the thought was almost non-existent, or even negative. That's what would hurt/disappoint me, not the fact that the gift/food/etc. was off-target.
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Thipu1

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #56 on: February 12, 2014, 10:43:17 AM »
We had a classic in our office.

A co-worker visited her family in Tennessee and brought back a box of two dozen Moon Pies.  These are quite a rarity in NYC.

  People in our office were good about these things and, at the end of the first day, only three had been taken. 

When we came back the next morning, there were only three Moon Pies left in the box. 
 

TootsNYC

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #57 on: February 12, 2014, 10:55:31 AM »
Seems as if this is a fairly common occurrence.  The greed and entitlement of a few people ruin the goodwill and generosity of others.   One thing noticed as I have read through this thread is, often times it is the higher ups, directors and upper management who are the greediest. Not always but often. 

Reminds me of some of the privileges that have been revolked at my company such as using our Corporate Services department to mail personal packages instead of going to and waiting in line at the post office.   Lower level employees would write a check to the company and pay for the postage but when the upper level management would mail packages through our CS dept and not pay, the practice ended for all. 

A conversation I had with a secretary who ordered office and coffee supplies for the departments was also enlightening.  She would have to limit the quantities she ordered on most items less they disappeared, and an employee would have to go directly to CS to get some of the more expensive items she use to keep in stock because some upper management would liberally help themselves to the supplies to take home.   So I guess making much more money and having much more power did not mean more class.  Seem like for a few, the more power they got the lower class they became and much more entitled.    :(

There's a really great story about a finance guy who retired and started a bagel delivery business, operating in big corporations. He found the same thing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/06/magazine/06BAGEL.html?src=pm&pagewanted=2

To save you searching for it--but it's a really interesting read on white-collar crime.
Quote
He also says he believes that employees further up the corporate ladder cheat more than those down below. He reached this conclusion in part after delivering for years to one company spread out over three floors -- an executive floor on top and two lower floors with sales, service and administrative employees. Maybe, he says, the executives stole bagels out of a sense of entitlement. (Or maybe cheating is how they got to be executives.)


And then there's the monopoly experiment, where people got visibly ruder and more "entitled"-acting as they got richer in the game.
http://nymag.com/news/features/money-brain-2012-7/

MayHug

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #58 on: February 12, 2014, 11:06:18 AM »
I work in a small office and I am the office baker. I enjoy doing bringing things in and they enjoy eating them! A few times I've had people "order" things or complain when I haven't brought anything in for awhile. But mostly they are good about it.

I recently had my annual review. I was pleasantly surprised as it went very well, despite my immediate supervisor being in on the meeting. (she doesn't like me)

As I was leaving, my boss said to me "This isn't part of your official review but we want to say thank you for all the baked goods you bring in! We really appreciate them"

TootsNYC

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Re: Taking advantage of generosity
« Reply #59 on: February 12, 2014, 11:17:05 AM »
I *have* encountered people who have said -wistfully- or -entreatingly-, "Next time, can you get Reese's?" Or "you haven't made cupcakes in a while!"

But it has never come across as a demand or expectation, and more asa compliment.

(Also, I used to have ibuprofen, etc., and this one guy started asking for them pretty often, and I was starting to feel a little miffed, and then he mentioned once, "You -are- expensing these, aren't you?" I was like, duh! So I did.)