Author Topic: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!  (Read 3634 times)

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Lady Snowdon

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Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« on: August 26, 2014, 07:02:59 PM »
The medical office that I work in supports and donates to the "Vision Walk", a charity fundraiser in September.  Prior to today, there had been emails sent about about various fundraisers to support the Vision Walk, and flyers hung up around the office, but nothing that was really in your face or forced.  Today, my boss came back from a meeting and announced to everyone that there's a fundraiser happening on Sep 9th (two weeks away) for the Vision Walk and we're all supposed to sell two tickets for it!  She went around the office, and gave everyone two tickets, and wrote down what ticket numbers everyone was given.  We're supposed to bring the money from selling the tickets, or the tickets themselves, back to the office by Sep 5th. 

I didn't think fast enough when my boss was handing tickets out, so I didn't refuse to take them right off.  I am not going to try and sell them, however I'm slightly concerned that they were writing down ticket numbers so they can keep track of who didn't sell "their" tickets and cause problems for them in some way.  Is there a way that I can give the tickets back or refuse to sell them without causing problems at work?  My DH has suggested that I do the bare minimum and make a single post on FB about it, but I don't know that I even want to do that much. 

guihong

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 07:10:28 PM »
Can you buy the tickets yourself?  That's probably what I would do, given this is your boss.  A regular coworker, I would take the tickets back and say it won't be possible.



Lady Snowdon

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 07:22:27 PM »
Oh, silly me.  I forgot to mention - the tickets are $18 each, so it's a little expensive to just eat the cost. 

Arila

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2014, 07:39:20 PM »
Oh, silly me.  I forgot to mention - the tickets are $18 each, so it's a little expensive to just eat the cost.

I don't think there is any doubt about the etiquette of the situation, but let's look at this from a practical standpoint.

A nice blouse from a discount store like Ross or TJMaxx costs about the same (more, if you buy it from the retail store) and you buy and wear it to make a good impression with your coworkers and boss. Maybe it will help the pill go down easier if you think of it from the same direction.


Also, is there any benefit to attending this fundraiser? Food provided, or a good local band...? This might make the "wasted" cost lower if you account for what you are getting for the tickets.

Aquamarine

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2014, 10:02:25 PM »
You could just return the tickets to the manager and tell them that you don't sell things.  I have done this is the past, I will not do sales of this nature.  You are pretty much being asked to hassle friends and family for cash and I think that's way beyond the scope of your job.  They are simply asking too much of you.
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SoCalVal

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2014, 12:58:40 AM »
We've dealt with this often at church.  DH thought it meant we were obligated to sell the tickets when we'd been *mailed* raffle tickets (or whatever fundraising tickets) to sell.  I've said we've absolutely no obligation to do so.  He then pointed out that, at least, we need to return them (I've felt we don't have to since we never requested them in the first place, but he's nice enough to return them).  We've not run into problems for not selling them.  I say give them back (never mind the fact that it's completely inappropriate for your boss, intentionally or unintentionally, to use her position to intimidate everyone into selling these tickets for her).  The only thing I see if you decide to buy them yourself is that you'll be setting yourself up to get more tickets in the future.  I wouldn't do it.



browzer11

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2014, 03:01:45 AM »
"Can you buy the tickets yourself? "

No. That's basically extortion.

Tell the seller it's simply not possible.

veryfluffy

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2014, 03:47:14 AM »
We're supposed to bring the money from selling the tickets, or the tickets themselves, back to the office by Sep 5th. 

You are thinking that if you don't sell them, it will reflect badly on you. But you were given the option not to -- unless there was some subtext that makes you think there is a threat, I would just stay bright and breezy and say no one you know was interested in attending.
   

DavidH

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2014, 03:56:46 AM »
I don't know the politics in your office, but one reason for writing down the ticket numbers could be to track the money and make sure they either get back tickets or money and that no one pockets the cash or attends for free. 

Since they gave you the option to bring back the tickets, I'd do so, but I'd do it close to the deadline, so it at least looks like you made an effort to sell them, whether or not you did.  In general, I'd go with the just say that you don't sell things, but it would seem odd to do that a day or so after getting the tickets.  It would look like you changed your mind halfway through, rather than weren't quick enough to say no initially, even though that's not the case.

If I knew anyone I thought would like to attend, I'd ask them if they are interested, and then, if they say yes, mention that I have tickets for sale if they do, in fact, decide to go. I'd make it very clear that this wasn't a case of trying to make them go, more along the lines of if you are going anyway and haven't bought tickets, I have some to sell. 

Lynn2000

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2014, 11:08:05 AM »
Enforced selling is not cool. But I think there's two tracks, the etiquette track and the office politics track. Etiquette says you don't have to sell them--you can toss them in the trash or give them back (the latter is probably better logistically, as DavidH said, to prevent someone from taking the tickets and getting into the event for free).

Office politics might dictate you do something different, however, to maintain your professional reputation. You have to be the judge of that. I would probably casually ask if anyone was already planning to go, as I have two tickets they could buy, contact me by X date--one Facebook status to all my friends and family. If no one took me up on that, I would have to decide if I wanted to return the unsold tickets late, since I made an effort but it didn't work out, or if I wanted to purchase them myself.

ETA: You could also buy just 1 of the tickets (selling 50% is surely better than 0%) or offer them at a reduced price to friends and family, making up the difference yourself. I.e., if $18 a pop is too expensive, maybe charge $15 each, and contribute the remaining $6 yourself.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 11:14:26 AM by Lynn2000 »
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lowspark

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2014, 11:14:04 AM »
It seems to me that the very fact that everyone got two tickets implies that the boss expects people to buy them themselves as opposed to really trying to sell them. Makes me wonder if she, in fact, were handed a bunch of tickets and told that she needed to sell them and came up with this plan as a solution.

Only you know if it will be bad, politically, to make it obvious that you don't want to sell them. But other than that, you're under no obligation at all. I'd probably just give them back to the boss asap and say something like, "I'm sorry, I really don't know anyone I could try to sell these to."

mimi_cat

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2014, 12:53:53 PM »
I am not sure what else might be going on that you think someone would cause problems if you don't sell the tickets.  is there something else we're not aware of?

Regardless, I think you can hand the tickets back and just say "I'm sorry, I wasn't able to find anyone who was interested in buying them."  I doubt anyone is going to ask you for a list of who you asked or how you tried.  And, I would bet that you are not the only one who is not going to be selling them.

Next year, I think they can certainly ask employees if they are interested in selling tickets and provide information for those who are. 

DanaJ

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2014, 03:47:55 PM »
I am not sure what else might be going on that you think someone would cause problems if you don't sell the tickets.  is there something else we're not aware of?

The problem is that the boss is (presumably inadvertantly) abusing her authority. Normally, when your boss gives you an assignment, you do it because he/she told you to. Occasionally, yo umight have assignment that is a little bit outside the scope of what you normally do, but usually it's within reasonable expectations.

It causes problems when the lines are  blurred and it's not quite clear if employees are being asked to do something that is totally optional, or assigned a task that is not optional. The business supports a charity, if the boss just said: "Everyone is supposed to sell tickets to the fundraiser."

What does "supposed to" mean? Does it refer to the fundraiser conceptually? As in the intention of the fundraiser is to raise money via ticket sales (that's the plan, that's how it's "supposed to" work)? Or does it mean, employees are "required to" sell tickets.  If there is any ambiguity, then some employees like the OP are going to feel pressured to sell tickets whether they like it or not and numbering the tickets will reveal "who isn't being a good team player" even if the intention was just to keep track of them to make sure people aren't using the tickets as freebies.

If it's optional, the boss should have been clear: "We hope employees choose to participate by selling tickets, but it is not mandatory." and told her staff where they can pick them up if they would like to try.

gen xer

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2014, 09:59:09 AM »
You could just return the tickets to the manager and tell them that you don't sell things.  I have done this is the past, I will not do sales of this nature.  You are pretty much being asked to hassle friends and family for cash and I think that's way beyond the scope of your job.  They are simply asking too much of you.

I completely agree.  Managers just should not be pushing this stuff on people.  I hate to sound like a scrooge but once you let this type of thing take root it never ends.  Best to nip it in the bud.

bloo

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Re: Please sell these tickets for our fundraiser!
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2014, 11:20:30 AM »
You could just return the tickets to the manager and tell them that you don't sell things.  I have done this is the past, I will not do sales of this nature.  You are pretty much being asked to hassle friends and family for cash and I think that's way beyond the scope of your job.  They are simply asking too much of you.

I completely agree.  Managers just should not be pushing this stuff on people.  I hate to sound like a scrooge but once you let this type of thing take root it never ends.  Best to nip it in the bud.

Yes, this. I would do my part to change the office politics so that my manager understands where the boundaries are if they start to get blurred in his/her mind.

One of my managers tut-tutted when I didn't take part in something outside office hours. I thought I had a choice and there was nothing that said I needed to let him know I wasn't participating.

He was a little surprised when I said, "I like working with you guys but in my off time I'd rather be with my family," but he accepted it. I was sensing that he was starting to see the boundaries as more hazy so I felt I needed to make them clear. It didn't hurt me workwise as 1) there was no room to be promoted with my job but 2) it didn't matter anyway because he liked my personality and work ethic enough to try to move me to a division where I *could* have advanced.

He was, however, a fairly reasonable guy.