I'm tempted to inquire if this woman was raised in a trailer park, however, I would probably be insulting alot of actual trailer park residents who actual have manners!
Our office has about 80 employees and there is never an email or notice or any mention about “contributing” to gifts. Once word gets out about good news like a wedding or baby most everyone will just generously contribute. About 2 years ago, one of the top managers “Tom” announced his engagement to “Sue”. The office was extremely excited for him, as he is one of the favorite manager, a little bit older (about 42), and this was his first marriage. Contribution for a gift came fast and furious. Since I collect the money, I was just overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity. I collected $2300!
I found out that Tom and Sue were registered at a very exclusive high end store. So the following weekend I went with my sister to this store because neither one of us would miss an opportunity to look at all of the beautiful things at this place. I think we spent a little over 2 hours there and we became familiar with the store’s fine china associate “Elaine”. I was able to purchase 5 full place settings in their china pattern with the money that I had. Yes, it cost $420 for one 5 piece place setting! So with tax it left me with a little over $100 so I placed that remainder in the store’s gift card. The store offered to ship the gift to the Bride and Groom’s home. I could even send a personal card with it. So in the next couple of days I had everyone sign the card and I went back to the store to send it with the gift.
I received confirmation that the gift, gift card, and personal card was sent and received (they have the most excellent service at that store) but no one heard anything from Tom or Sue. I shrugged it off as perhaps it was just an oversight on their part. Maybe they were overwhelmed with the wedding, as it was going to be about 350 guest list and perhaps they would get to thanking everyone after the wedding. No one from the office was invited to the wedding but that wasn’t a big deal.
So the wedding date comes and goes and there is no mentioned or thank you for our gifts and about 6 months have gone by with no word. As an additional coincidence, I had another bride who registered at this same high end store. Again, I made the trip with my sister and we ran into the same associate Elaine. She recognized us right away and began to tell us this horrific story about Sue. A few days after the wedding date, Sue came into the store with everything everyone purchased for her on her registry at this store. She actually had to park by the “red curb” outside the store just to unload her SUV. Her total came to almost $12,000. A lot of people bought her gift cards too. Elaine wasn’t the clerk to help her with the return (because the manager had to be called in for this) but she overheard Sue tell her companion that it was a good thing she registered at this store because of their easy return policy and that she will be getting a lot of cash! The manager tried to give Sue a little bit of a bad time by telling her if she had “doubles” that this would be a little bit easier but returning her whole registry was a bit too much. Since she had the “gift receipts” they could give her store credit. This was unacceptable to Sue. She ranted, raged and caused a screaming huge scene. They finally gave in and gave her the money. When the manager was verifying the amounts on the gift cards, the two women would scoff at the amounts. The whole store was relieved when the two women left and they placed a noticed that she could not register for anything else there (Yes, they are that exclusive and frankly I don’t blame them!) I never told anyone at the office what I knew.
Two years pass by and Tom one day mentions that he is expecting a baby! The response for contribution this time was slim. I was curious if something had happened. I asked a friend of mine “Joe” who also worked directly for him what was going on. He told me that when Tom’s group came over to his house that following year for his annual Christmas party, they were in for a surprise. A small group of employees asked Sue if they could see the place setting that was purchased for them and they were taken back for a rude awakening. Sue tells the group which also included an executive that she returned it to the store. They were all floored. She was asked if she didn’t like it or if there was a problem with it and she casually says “I only registered at that store so that I could get the money.” She continued to tell them that she picked out the most expensive things to register for just for the money and then laughed. They were so stunned by her comments that they literally stood there in a group for a few minutes more and just didn’t say anything. When they did speak, they agreed that she could have just lied and said that she had them locked up somewhere and didn’t want to get them out. Later on, they all mentioned that they never even heard of any “thank you” for the gift. Word got out into the office about Sue’s behavior and I suppose everyone was just a little tainted.
So now it comes time for a baby gift and as I mentioned before the contribution is small. So I dipped into our office fund (I can do this) and placed some more money into a “gift basket”. I chose not go off of her registry and just purchase this gift basket from a very nice baby store. When the baby was born, I sent flowers to the hospital and the gift basket to the house. Tom came back about three days later boasting with pictures. When we looked at the pictures, I noticed that Sue was surrounded by white roses. Literally more than 6 dozen roses surrounded her. I commented on how beautiful they were and Tom tells us that his wife doesn’t accept anything less than white roses. Carnations and star gazers are just too common for her (a little bit of an insensitive comment since we sent a blue arrangement which included carnations). Tom showed more pictures which had different relatives and people in the room holding the new baby. In a few pictures, I noticed a table in the far back of the room in a very dark place that had several arrangements on it including the one I sent from the office. It was a little peculiar looking as it was not arranged but kind of stuffed into the corner. Again, no one ever received a thank you for this.
Before the end of the day, I got a call from the store I purchased the gift basket from asking if I would like to come in and get a refund. I was confused. Apparently, Sue was in the store trying to return this $265.00 basket only THREE DAYS AFTER THE BABY WAS BORN!! The clerk told me that since the transaction was new and not complete (I think she said it took 5 business days to go through) that if Sue couldn’t return this not even for a gift card until the transaction was completed. Sue had given the clerk my phone number so that she can ask for me to come to the store with the company credit card. She wanted me to refund the card and perhaps I would give her the cash. Sue gets on the phone and in this very sappy sweet tone tells me this too. (I have never spoken to Sue before and I don’t know how to answer people when I’m in shock). So the only thing that came out of my mouth was that I wouldn’t do it. She got irate with me where she was trying to belittle me. I didn’t want to take it. So I interrupted her and told her I was not going listen to her tone and abuse and requested that she not call me again! Luckily, I never did. Additionally, I called the store back 2 days later to see if Sue was successful in returning it and they told me that they didn’t and wouldn’t! They requested Sue not to come back into the store as her belligerent behavior was more than harassing it was threatening. A police officer was near by and they requested for Sue to be escorted from the store. She went kicking and screaming and didn’t calm down until the officer threatened to call Child Services to take the baby while they throw her in jail!
A year later, Tom announced his second baby. I wasn’t shocked that no one contributed, as Tom and Sue were becoming quite the topic of conversation because of her bad behavior and inappropriate outbursts while she visited the office or at company functions. When I didn’t send flowers to the hospital, Tom came to me a few days later and asked if we still do that. He proceeded to tell me that his wife was hurt that we didn’t send anything to her. I actually didn’t reply to him. I just smiled and went back to work.