Author Topic: New!#38 Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?  (Read 12346 times)

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JenJay

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2014, 05:38:08 PM »
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Speaking of not raising money themselves, I was walking in to Dunkin Donuts yesterday and there were these cute young girls with cans soliciting donations for their dance school. Three of them between ages 6-12. Everyone in my group put change in except me and when the girls point blank asked me to donate I simply said 'no. My son asked me why I didnt and I explained that I have a philosophical problem with parents teaching their kids to beg money from strangers to get what they want.

I said they could sell candy bars or baked goods or participate in a car wash. Earn the extra help not ask for it for free. The moms sat inside chatting and drinking coffee. I wasnt rude and only explained when asked, out of earshot.

But I am geting frustrated by the constant demands for my money. Requests, whatever you want to call it. Im sick of it and just because I can say no doesn't mean I'm not tired of regularly being put in the position of having to say it.

It may stem from the fact that it takes a lot for me to ask for help.  I fully expect to finance my own decisions. I never give thought to how I can get others to underwrite what I want. Consequently,  I go without a lot 'wants'.


And who is to know if 'mission' is really just a glorified vacation. OP's view of Bob may give her insight on that as well.

If Bob feels this is some thing he must do for his spirituality, he needs to pay for it and the workplace shouldnt be at all involved.

*applauds wildly*

*joins the applause*  :D

I think it's inappropriate for higher-ups to solicit money from their employees (whether that be fundraising for a personal cause, pitching in on someone's gift, drumming up funds for a party, etc.), and borderline for coworkers to do it to their peers.

kherbert05

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2014, 09:49:12 PM »


I think its off. Forward to HR and he shouldnt be soliciting from subordinates.

Speaking of not raising money themselves, I was walking in to Dunkin Donuts yesterday and there were these cute young girls with cans soliciting donations for their dance school. Three of them between ages 6-12. Everyone in my group put change in except me and when the girls point blank asked me to donate I simply said 'no. My son asked me why I didnt and I explained that I have a philosophical problem with parents teaching their kids to beg money from strangers to get what they want.

I said they could sell candy bars or baked goods or participate in a car wash. Earn the extra help not ask for it for free. The moms sat inside chatting and drinking coffee. I wasnt rude and only explained when asked, out of earshot.

But I am geting frustrated by the constant demands for my money. Requests, whatever you want to call it. Im sick of it and just because I can say no doesn't mean I'm not tired of regularly being put in the position of having to say it.

It may stem from the fact that it takes a lot for me to ask for help.  I fully expect to finance my own decisions. I never give thought to how I can get others to underwrite what I want. Consequently,  I go without a lot 'wants'.

And who is to know if 'mission' is really just a glorified vacation. OP's view of Bob may give her insight on that as well.

If Bob feels this is some thing he must do for his spirituality, he needs to pay for it and the workplace shouldnt be at all involved.


About the dance school - In the future - take a picture and forward it to the school. A few years ago I went shopping. Every time I turned around some kid was asking me for money. I had it.


I pulled into a parking lot and called the cops on a baseball team that was having kids 4th - 6th grade kids panhandle in  heavy traffic at an intersection of a 7 lane FM road and a 7 lane State Highway. (Speed limit 45 mph and 50 mph)


Then I went home and sent strongly worded e-mails to the organizations that were panhandling in parking lots and the corporations that were allowing it. I included the explicit language directed at me when I said no. Each organization was shocked that the kids were panhandling - the parents were supposed to pay the fees.


Near as the school district could figure out one teacher had made a sarcastic remark to a student along the lines it isn't my problem go stand in front of Target with a tin can and ask for money.The remark was taken seriously. Once the school district found out they made it clear that raising money this way would result in the person being banned from all extra curricular activities.


The corporations were shocked at the language but also felt they had to support the school kids. I sent them the memo from the district forbidding this type of fundraising.


I still call the cops on sports teams panhandling at that intersection every few months.
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misha412

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2014, 11:55:21 PM »
Take out the fact that the OP does not care for Bob as a co-worker. If anyone else had sent out such an email to "All Staff", would it be appropriate or inappropriate?

I say inappropriate, especially sending it to direct reports. It puts a subtle pressure on them to support his missionary trip because he is the person who has power over their jobs and livelihood. What happens if Susie doesn't give him support, but Karen does? If Susie and Karen are up for the same promotion and have the same qualifications, will Bob use Susie's lack of support for his trip against her? That is something that subordinates worry about.

I also think it is inappropriate to put pressure on people for any kind of fundraiser. Having a higher up in the company applying the pressure is even more inappropriate. Those who don't work for Bob today may work for him in the future. Will he remember if they supported his trip or not? Will he use that as a factor in assessing their job performance?

And bringing religious events into the workplace is always inappropriate to me, unless the business itself is religious in nature or sells religious-based products/services. It is one thing to privately mention you are going on a missionary trip to some of your co-workers. But, sending out a company wide email about it with a solicitation for funding?? Not appropriate.


bloo

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2014, 07:33:32 AM »
About the dance school - In the future - take a picture and forward it to the school. A few years ago I went shopping. Every time I turned around some kid was asking me for money. I had it.

I pulled into a parking lot and called the cops on a baseball team that was having kids 4th - 6th grade kids panhandle in  heavy traffic at an intersection of a 7 lane FM road and a 7 lane State Highway. (Speed limit 45 mph and 50 mph)

Then I went home and sent strongly worded e-mails to the organizations that were panhandling in parking lots and the corporations that were allowing it. I included the explicit language directed at me when I said no. Each organization was shocked that the kids were panhandling - the parents were supposed to pay the fees.

Near as the school district could figure out one teacher had made a sarcastic remark to a student along the lines it isn't my problem go stand in front of Target with a tin can and ask for money.The remark was taken seriously. Once the school district found out they made it clear that raising money this way would result in the person being banned from all extra curricular activities.

The corporations were shocked at the language but also felt they had to support the school kids. I sent them the memo from the district forbidding this type of fundraising.

I still call the cops on sports teams panhandling at that intersection every few months.

Wow. You handled it properly. I will say that when I've seen High School football players or cheerleaders panhandling in traffic (which I think is bad) they've never been abusive when I refuse to donate. Are you saying the dance school, if they knew about it, would likely not approve of this as a way of raising money? Maybe next time I will call them and ask.

kherbert05

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2014, 09:39:30 AM »

Wow. You handled it properly. I will say that when I've seen High School football players or cheerleaders panhandling in traffic (which I think is bad) they've never been abusive when I refuse to donate. Are you saying the dance school, if they knew about it, would likely not approve of this as a way of raising money? Maybe next time I will call them and ask.
That is exactly what I'm saying. My Sister's MIL has an dance studio. They also have 2 Dance companies. They have fundraisers to help the  dancers pay their fees for costumes and travel. They have a regular set of shows. The girls teach open classes and the fees paid go to pay for their expenses.

If Sis's MIL found out parents where having their dancers panhandle in the school's name, she would go ballistic. That is so not the image she wants for the school
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Syfygeek

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2014, 10:19:43 AM »
OP here. Bob sent it to the email group- All Staff. This means it went to everyone from the President down to the part time interpreters. And our PR firm. And all our volunteers. And all the employees who report to Bob.

There have been fundraising emails before- but for the MDA lockup, or other national charities where the employee was raising money, and it was recognized as the employees of My Company donated $$ to Charity, never a "give me money to go do good work".

I would love to ask our HR Department to do something, but the VP Bob reports to is the "HR Department". If I emailed him, he would then forward my email to Bob, with the comment, "Syfy geek said this, what do you think?" Or something similar.

On the upside, today is the first day of classes for me- I'm taking HR Management. When I complete the courses, I'm going to go to the President about having a dedicated HR person. I may use Bob's fundraising as an example of why we need a HR person, and policies.
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Kiwichick

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2014, 07:33:18 AM »

Wow. You handled it properly. I will say that when I've seen High School football players or cheerleaders panhandling in traffic (which I think is bad) they've never been abusive when I refuse to donate. Are you saying the dance school, if they knew about it, would likely not approve of this as a way of raising money? Maybe next time I will call them and ask.
That is exactly what I'm saying. My Sister's MIL has an dance studio. They also have 2 Dance companies. They have fundraisers to help the  dancers pay their fees for costumes and travel. They have a regular set of shows. The girls teach open classes and the fees paid go to pay for their expenses.

If Sis's MIL found out parents where having their dancers panhandle in the school's name, she would go ballistic. That is so not the image she wants for the school

I'm confused - I can't see why having the parents where the kids are panhandling is bad for the school. 

I would have thought having the kids supervised by their own parents would be beneficial.  Is it because, as indicated in your first paragraph, that she expects the kids to raise the funds through their own efforts?

bloo

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2014, 07:44:13 AM »

Wow. You handled it properly. I will say that when I've seen High School football players or cheerleaders panhandling in traffic (which I think is bad) they've never been abusive when I refuse to donate. Are you saying the dance school, if they knew about it, would likely not approve of this as a way of raising money? Maybe next time I will call them and ask.
That is exactly what I'm saying. My Sister's MIL has an dance studio. They also have 2 Dance companies. They have fundraisers to help the  dancers pay their fees for costumes and travel. They have a regular set of shows. The girls teach open classes and the fees paid go to pay for their expenses.

If Sis's MIL found out parents where having their dancers panhandle in the school's name, she would go ballistic. That is so not the image she wants for the school

I'm confused - I can't see why having the parents where the kids are panhandling is bad for the school. 

I would have thought having the kids supervised by their own parents would be beneficial.  Is it because, as indicated in your first paragraph, that she expects the kids to raise the funds through their own efforts?

I can't speak for kherbert but that's exactly why I won't donate to the little panhandlers no matter how cute and sweet they are. The fact that their parents were hovering makes it worse. There's a small part of my faith in humanity that clings to the idea that if their parents knew what they were doing they'd go ballistic. So with the Dance Moms looking on with approval as their DD's beg for funds* means that these young ladies are actively being taught what is, to me, a lesson in entitlement - which is 'If you really, really want something, ask others to help you pay for it.'

Sell me a candy bar, offer to wash my car, set up a baked goods stand. Host a spaghetti dinner. Do something that will benefit the community.


*And help paying for the costumes and travel for recitals or shows is not exactly the same as asking for help for someone that needs treatments for cancer or the result of some accident. Wants vs. needs and all.

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2014, 08:11:12 AM »
OP here. Bob sent it to the email group- All Staff. This means it went to everyone from the President down to the part time interpreters. And our PR firm. And all our volunteers. And all the employees who report to Bob.

There have been fundraising emails before- but for the MDA lockup, or other national charities where the employee was raising money, and it was recognized as the employees of My Company donated $$ to Charity, never a "give me money to go do good work".

I would love to ask our HR Department to do something, but the VP Bob reports to is the "HR Department". If I emailed him, he would then forward my email to Bob, with the comment, "Syfy geek said this, what do you think?" Or something similar.

On the upside, today is the first day of classes for me- I'm taking HR Management. When I complete the courses, I'm going to go to the President about having a dedicated HR person. I may use Bob's fundraising as an example of why we need a HR person, and policies.

I think that the company allows soliciting in general makes it a tiny bit less off.  I get the difference between donate to an official charity vs fund my mission but I'm not sure that the difference would be that clear to a person soliciting for a mission KWIM?

I think your idea of discussing rules in general is a good idea.

Margo

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2014, 08:44:40 AM »
it feels 'off' to me because
 - he is in a management position so there is a risk that those who report to him could feel pressurized
- this is for his mission so there is an element of personal gain, it is not something which he is doing for an external charity
- it is for an explicitly religious purpose

In our workplace, we don't have a 'no fundraising' rule but we do have a  'no pressure' rule - in practice, this means that someone who is fundraising will send one e-mail round, letting the office know what they are doing, and either attach a link (if sponsorship is on-line) or leave the sponsorship form in the kitchen. Following up, asking people individually, either in person or on line, or otherwise pressuring someone to donate are not allowed.

We don't have a formal, explicit rule against senior members of staff fundraising but in 13 years I cannot think of a single time when any one of us has done so, as it would potentially make people feel uncomfortable saying 'no'.



Collections for leaving gifts etc are done anonymously, in that an envelope is sent round - everyone puts in whatever the wan by way of a contribution for the gift and initials the envelope to say they have seen it. There is no record of who gives what, and as initialling the envelope says "I've seen it, don;t give  it me again"  you can simply initial it and pass it along to the next person if you don't want to give. Gifts are always given either as "from all at [company]" or (if the partners have given a separate gift) "From all [company] staff"

mime

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2014, 09:49:20 AM »
It sounds "off" to me, too.

Bob's role at the company will make people feel pressured to contribute, but even if he was at the bottom of the hierarchy, I still don't think it is appropriate-- what if everybody in a 50-person office did this every time they participated in a fundraiser? Once someone does this and is accepted, then others will feel free to follow suit.

My opinion on the religious aspect depends on whether his mission trip is religious in nature. Is he digging wells or is he handing out religious texts? Locally, I've been part of mission teams who just fill needs and provide services without a word about faith-- sometimes the volunteers even represented various different faiths. The word "mission" can be so broad and misunderstood.

Lynnv

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2014, 09:57:36 AM »
I would find it off for several reasons.

This is a personal trip that he is asking you to fund.  The fact that, during his personal trip, he plans to volunteer his time and effort in some way (whether it is handing out religious tracts or building a church hardly matters) does not negate the fact that he is effectively asking you to donate your money to support his vacation.

This is, IMO, different than supporting folks in a walk-a-thon or buying Girl Scout cookies.  I don't like either of those in a workplace and find it off-putting when a boss asks you do support these things, but at least you aren't being asked to fund someone's vacation in those.

To be honest, the fact that it is a request that people support his religion would put me off.  Religious causes, like political causes, should be off-limits for fund-raising in the workplace (barring an actual religious workplace, of course) as a general rule.  I wouldn't like it if he asked for support for a politicial party or politician either.  This has the potential to be divisive, to say the least.

He is a supervisor/manager and is putting pressure on his subordinates to use their money to support his cause.  I generally think that is out of line, no matter what cause it supports.

Lynn

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kherbert05

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2014, 10:41:52 AM »

Wow. You handled it properly. I will say that when I've seen High School football players or cheerleaders panhandling in traffic (which I think is bad) they've never been abusive when I refuse to donate. Are you saying the dance school, if they knew about it, would likely not approve of this as a way of raising money? Maybe next time I will call them and ask.
That is exactly what I'm saying. My Sister's MIL has an dance studio. They also have 2 Dance companies. They have fundraisers to help the  dancers pay their fees for costumes and travel. They have a regular set of shows. The girls teach open classes and the fees paid go to pay for their expenses.

If Sis's MIL found out parents where having their dancers panhandle in the school's name, she would go ballistic. That is so not the image she wants for the school

I'm confused - I can't see why having the parents where the kids are panhandling is bad for the school. 

I would have thought having the kids supervised by their own parents would be beneficial.  Is it because, as indicated in your first paragraph, that she expects the kids to raise the funds through their own efforts?
Panhandling is begging and disreputable. Not the image the dance studio wants. When is being done by kids that attend Memorial HS and some of the most expensive private schools in Houston it comes off even worse. If the parents want the kids to earn the money outside of the studio's fundraisers, they can have the kids do odd jobs for neighbors and family and do a good job at it or have them get a real after school job.


In the fundraisers the studio organizes the kids work and the people donating get something back - an Nutcracker tea for their kids, a dance lesson for themselves, or an evening out with some pretty talented entertainment.

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MurPl1

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2014, 12:25:11 PM »
...

On the upside, today is the first day of classes for me- I'm taking HR Management. When I complete the courses, I'm going to go to the President about having a dedicated HR person. I may use Bob's fundraising as an example of why we need a HR person, and policies.

I changed my major to Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources.  Partly because I was working in an HR office part time for a construction company and found it very interesting.  Over the course of the next few years, that company served as the "what not do" in many of our class discussions.  (I didn't work there long after I switched my major)

MurPl1

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Re: Is this "off" or is my opinion of the person making me think it's off?
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2014, 12:28:47 PM »

Wow. You handled it properly. I will say that when I've seen High School football players or cheerleaders panhandling in traffic (which I think is bad) they've never been abusive when I refuse to donate. Are you saying the dance school, if they knew about it, would likely not approve of this as a way of raising money? Maybe next time I will call them and ask.
That is exactly what I'm saying. My Sister's MIL has an dance studio. They also have 2 Dance companies. They have fundraisers to help the  dancers pay their fees for costumes and travel. They have a regular set of shows. The girls teach open classes and the fees paid go to pay for their expenses.

If Sis's MIL found out parents where having their dancers panhandle in the school's name, she would go ballistic. That is so not the image she wants for the school

I'm confused - I can't see why having the parents where the kids are panhandling is bad for the school. 

I would have thought having the kids supervised by their own parents would be beneficial.  Is it because, as indicated in your first paragraph, that she expects the kids to raise the funds through their own efforts?

In addition to the image issues PP mentioned, there's a potential for litigation.  If a student wearing a dance studio shirt causes an accident in the street, it's entirely possible that the driver might try to go after the dance studio because their "representative" caused the problem.  Or perhaps a student steps into the street and is hit by an uninsured driver - the parents might decided to go after the dance studio's insurance for it.