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Author Topic: s/o oh you're sick too  (Read 4857 times)

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Army Mom

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s/o oh you're sick too
« on: March 27, 2015, 11:29:22 AM »
I haven't said anything at my office about this and very likely will not but I'd like some feedback on if this was rude or if I'm being sensitive.  B/G:  I work in a university office of 15 people (staff not faculty) and have been here almost eight years.

It is common in my office for the group to sign and send condolence cards (and birthday and retirement etc).  I lost my brother in January and my father in February.  I did not receive a card for either. 

In between my two losses, a much higher-up the chain faculty member (not in my office) lost his mother.  A condolence card was passed around my office for him and signed by all, including me.

Rude or overly-sensitive?

EllenS

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Re: s/o oh you're sick too
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2015, 11:40:49 AM »
Certainly unfortunate and I don't blame you for being sensitive about it.
Who instigates the card-signing? Is it always the same person, or does it just depend on the recipient?
There are a lot of things that could be going on here, some of them less hurtful than others: Maybe the "card person" knew about the senior person's loss, but didn't hear about yours until much later? Maybe the people who know you well aren't the card-circulating type? Maybe the card-person was out sick or overwhelmed with work and nobody picked up the slack?

In any event, it's normal and not "over sensitive" to feel slighted, but if you otherwise like your job, it's better to try and attribute it to something impersonal/unintentional, if you can. If there's a pervasive pattern that you feel overlooked, unappreciated, or "kept out of the loop" about many things, then maybe looking for another job would be a good idea.

DanaJ

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Re: s/o oh you're sick too
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2015, 11:47:30 AM »
I find in my office card-signings are not universally applied and don't necessarily reflect how people see the bereaved/birthday celebrant/retiree etc. We used to have some colleagues who were the self-designated "social committee" and would look for excuses to give out cards, but since they've left, it really is hit and miss when it comes to whether or not anyone would think of a card for any given occasion.

IME, a lot of time offices rely on one person to take the initiative to get the ball rolling for stuff like that, and if that employee is too busy or doesn't know about a situation, it falls through the cracks.

I don't think it's rude of your colleagues (they probably didn't snub you intentionally), and I don't think you're being over-sensitive either.


(Edited to remove unnecessary quote of OP).
« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 03:56:45 PM by DanaJ »

bah12

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Re: s/o oh you're sick too
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2015, 12:00:17 PM »
I don't think you're being over-sensitive at all.  I can definitely see how this can hurt...especially during a time of grief.

I also don't think that your coworkers intentionally snubbed you.  I just think that things get overlooked depending on who typically initiates these things.  If you are snubbed on all your birthdays or other occasions where cards are normally given and you are the only one that is consistently overlooked, then my thoughts would be different...and in that case, it would be important to evaluate the circumstances for your situation vs. others. Like are you less vocal about these things or is there a relationship issue with your coworkers, etc?

Benni

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Re: s/o oh you're sick too
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2015, 01:37:02 PM »
This is exactly why we do not do celebrations in our office.  We will do funeral baskets/flowers, but that is all.  It is too easy to make a mistake and it is too easy to  have hurt feelings.  Besides, this is work.  If you want to let your co-workers know you like them, invite them to lunch.  If you want to let them know you appreciate their work, tell them.  Chocolate also goes a long way to say something (whatever you want it to say, it's chocolate).

Twik

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Re: s/o oh you're sick too
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2015, 02:15:54 PM »
I wonder what the reaction would be if you put two cards in a folder and passed them around "for Army Mom". Would the person who usually does this catch on?

It certainly is quite unfortunate to do this for some, and not for all.
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Lynn2000

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Re: s/o oh you're sick too
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2015, 03:26:57 PM »
Certainly unfortunate and I don't blame you for being sensitive about it.
Who instigates the card-signing? Is it always the same person, or does it just depend on the recipient?
There are a lot of things that could be going on here, some of them less hurtful than others: Maybe the "card person" knew about the senior person's loss, but didn't hear about yours until much later? Maybe the people who know you well aren't the card-circulating type? Maybe the card-person was out sick or overwhelmed with work and nobody picked up the slack?

In any event, it's normal and not "over sensitive" to feel slighted, but if you otherwise like your job, it's better to try and attribute it to something impersonal/unintentional, if you can. If there's a pervasive pattern that you feel overlooked, unappreciated, or "kept out of the loop" about many things, then maybe looking for another job would be a good idea.

POD to this. I think it's very understandable that you're hurt. However, I imagine there's no one person to blame for the situation--it's likely that it just fell through the cracks, unfortunately. :( I was just saying in the original thread how at my office, how we treat people who are out sick (in terms of gifts) has changed over time, from getting them nothing, to getting them something nice, and now back to getting them nothing. It's not really meant to penalize anyone in particular, it's just sort of a nebulous attitude shift, but I can see how it could be hurtful to someone.
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Raintree

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Re: s/o oh you're sick too
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2015, 01:41:47 AM »
I attended various going-away functions at a small office I worked at, and I had to pay out of pocket to attend (usually held in restaurants) and contribute to a gift, but when I left, after being there longer than these other people, nada. No get-together, no send off at all. I am pretty sure I was well-liked, and everyone was just busy, but seriously? It's not that i wanted anything like a gift, but I kind of thought they'd do for me what I'd been asked to do for everyone else.

Cali.in.UK

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Re: s/o oh you're sick too
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2015, 01:18:03 PM »
I attended various going-away functions at a small office I worked at, and I had to pay out of pocket to attend (usually held in restaurants) and contribute to a gift, but when I left, after being there longer than these other people, nada. No get-together, no send off at all. I am pretty sure I was well-liked, and everyone was just busy, but seriously? It's not that i wanted anything like a gift, but I kind of thought they'd do for me what I'd been asked to do for everyone else.
That's awful. I had a pretty unprofessional and petty manager who tried to block a going away party for a teacher that was leaving whom she disliked, but we (the other teachers) just bought our own "good luck" cards and some treats for her, much to the chagrin of manager.

DanaJ

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Re: s/o oh you're sick too
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2015, 09:48:49 AM »
This is exactly why we do not do celebrations in our office.  We will do funeral baskets/flowers, but that is all. 

Even when it comes to funerals it's a case-by-case basis. We had an employee's lose her husband very suddenly (literally collapsed while setting the table for dinner and was gone before the paramedics probably had the chance to start the ambulance's engine). We all got a memo that said, at the new widow's request, we were NOT to send flowers, cards, or even mention anything about her husband in any way. She wanted everything at work to be ordinary.

Similarly when our CEO's father died, a memo quickly went around saying "don't send flowers or cards" because the family was too sensitive and they found it upsetting.

Lynn2000

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Re: s/o oh you're sick too
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2015, 01:44:24 PM »
I think it's just super-tricky, because you're dealing with people who are already in a heightened state of emotion--lost a loved one, suffering a serious illness, etc.. In my observation they sometimes have something in their minds that they expect, which has no bearing on reality, and when they don't get it, they get vocally disappointed. I'm not saying any of the current OPs are like this, but it only takes one incident at an office to make other people shy about doing anything in the future, officially or unofficially, even for someone they value.

My boss can be a bit capricious with office celebrations. Sometimes when a person leaves, we get cake and coffee in the break room for an hour. With a different person, we get a catered lunch at the boss's house. She always brings in a cake for people's birthdays, but sometimes it's a fancy-schmancy cake from a nice bakery, and other times it's a frozen Pepperidge Farms cake or one from the grocery store bakery. (Honestly I thought they all tasted good, but there's a big disparity in appearances.) As far as I've observed over the years there's no pattern to it, it's just whatever the boss feels like doing at the time; she pays for it all out of her own pocket, which makes it hard to complain, as you sound like you're criticizing her generosity, even if the point is you're okay with everyone getting just a cake.
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