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NWR: Office Holiday Gifts/ Annoyed

JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
I just had to take a five-minute break to post this.

The other first-year associates at my (very large, very successful, absurdly well-paying) law firm have an email thread going around about what we are giving our assistants for the holidays so we are all consistent.  I had already asked around and heard that $100 x your class year is expected, either in cash or some kind of gift card.  I think this is pretty generous but our assistants are extremely helpful to us, so that's what I was planning on.  The first handful of people in the email thread all said the same thing.  I also asked a more senior associate, who also said $100 x your year.  Seems standard.

Then "That Guy" posts that we've only been here two months, and $100/year is $8/month, so that works out to $16.  And he thinks $100 is too much money.

Seriously, dude.  You are brand new and already make multiples of your assistant's salary.  Don't be That Guy.

I know we always say other people's money is not our business.  But I feel really bad for his assistant.  I hope he gives her more than $16.

Are holiday gifts a normal thing in your office?  Who does the giving and who does the receiving?  Do you think people try to standardize like law firms generally do, or do you give something more personal?
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Re: NWR: Office Holiday Gifts/ Annoyed

  • I've never heard of that, but it's interesting. I started my job in Feb, so I'm not sure the gift giving 'rules'. I will probably get something for my boss, but probably just something small, 30-50$. I haven't decided if I will or not, and I obviously haven't found anything suitable lol.


    At my old job we would bring in cookies and cards for everyone, and you would give small gifts to the people you were close to. For example, my previous boss(she was like, half a step above me)/her boss both got me ~$25 gifts. Which is the same I got for them. They gave each other slightly more expensive gifts, but they were closer.

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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2014
    That guy is an asshat. 

    We don't do gifts here. The owners give bonuses and buy us food (senior managers get taken out to dinner, other employees are bought lunch). That's it. 

    ETA: We're also allowed to take anything we want for holiday desserts. 

  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    Yeah. We all chip in about $10 each for gift cards for out EVP and Director of Operations. But they both give each team member a really nice, thoughtful gift, so I'm happy to contribute. Then the team exchanges cards and tchotchkes amongst themselves, which I think is pointless and I don't participate.
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  • That Guy is definitely an ass-clown. Seriously, if you are making that much, you can afford to spend more than $16 on your assistant. Also, do you really want to piss off the person who is making your life easier?

    Holiday gifts definitely are not the norm in our office. My boss did get me a birthday present this year, and she got H & I a kick ass wedding present, but she was invited to the wedding. Other than that, I haven't seen any kind of gift giving in our office.

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    We get nothing from our managers/bosses (no gifts, no cards, no bonuses, no parties), so I would be happy with $16.

    I do give a small edible something to three people I work with though.  But that is mainly because I want to, not because it is expected.

    jenna8984
  • My boss always sends bacon wrapped filet mignon to my home. I appreciate that it's away from work and therefore seems more genuine, for some reason. Plus, I think it's an awesome gift.

    I usually bake for some coworkers, but I am unsure what to do this year. Our breakrooms are already overflowing with edible gifts from customers and vendors. I brought my lunch today (for the first time in forever) and walked through there to a full BBQ lunch from a vendor. DAMN IT. 
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  • edited December 2014
    At my current company, I'm pretty sure our VP buys the department lunch on the company credit card.  She also sends a Christmas card to each individual that she doesn't even sign; she and her husband just have their names printed in a script font at the bottom.

    We don't give gifts to one another or the boss- at least not in an "organized' manner.  If people do give gifts I'm assuming they do it quietly on their own because they are friends outside of work.

    Last year I wrote out a holiday card to each person, and I'll probably do that again this year, just because I have extra cards and it doesn't take much time / effort but is still a nice gesture.  There are only about 12 of us in the department.

    ETA:  Sometimes I  will bring in something I baked or bought to share w/ the group, but we do that all year long, so no diff.
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We usually do small gifts among our staff (small bottles of wine, candy, popcorn tins, etc. - nothing more than $10). Managers usually gives $25 gift cards to each of us (there's 3 of them and they each give us $25-ish). Not everyone on the staff participates (there's one guy who has, in over a decade, never even thanked anyone for their gift, let alone given one in return - totally his prerogative but still seems pretty Scroogey given how small we keep our exchange). We also have a Secret Santa with a $25 limit.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • I'm still in training for my job and will be until early January so I don't know what the norm for gift giving here is. So the only coworkers I'm giving gifts to are the two that I'm friends with and was friends with prior to us working together.
  • Hahahaha. He won't last long. In my firm we don't scale up by $100 a year, but $100 is a standard minimum and if you don't get on board it has repercussions.
  • Eh...I'm not in love with the idea of having a formula for giving. That seems to completely make the idea of a gift an obligation - with a specific price tag. 

    I worked at a company for years that had "minimum suggested donations" for specific charities - based on your income. Ya know...because again, you shouldn't just want to give, and not to the charities you believe in - but you should be semi-forced to give what the partners believe you should give to the charities where they sit on boards. Thanks, but no thanks.
  • larrygagalarrygaga Czechoslovakia member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I'm new to my job this year, so I'm unsure if giving gifts is normal. I am part of a 3 person department, and I am pretty close to both ladies. I am getting them small matching travel lotion/soap sets from B&B. I am a little nervous, because I'm not sure what they always did before. It seems weird to ask. They are just small things anyway
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  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    We're a 4 person company. Last year, there were 3 of us and we exchanged gifts. This year, 2 of us remain plus 2 newbies. We agreed that we wouldn't exchange gifts this year- which I love. I hate shopping for people that I don't see out of work. Though my boss has a Christmas party every year that DH and I will attend. No one else from work will (I'm the only local person) and we'll bring a big bottle of her favorite vodka.
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  • That guy is a dink. I wouldn't feel right complaining, but I'd probably do some immature grumbling to my friends about $16.00.

    I'm a legal assistant at a one man law firm, and last year my boss and his wife gave all 3 of us a $50.00 gift card to the Keg, as well as a $400.00 bonus. I had been working here for jut over a year, one girl 8 years and the other 25.  
  • I don't exchange with coworkers - but we pool together (3 of us) to get a gift card for our boss (usually $100 total).  She usually gives us each a gift card to Amazon (usually $50 each). 
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  • Everyone from my group of 11 contributes $10 towards a gift for our boss. He usually gives us a work tshirt or hoodie. We're also having a happy hour paid for by the company this year.
  • At my department, we generally don't give each other gifts (unless there's a gift giving ring I'm not aware of, which is possible, since my office is in a different building from everyone else's), but usually on the last day of work before winter break out boss buys us all lunch.

    A few people in this thread mentioned giving the boss gifts, and that reminds me of an incident from last year that made me uncomfortable. One of the assistants bought her a $50 gift card and asked each of us to give $10 towards it. I pointed out that there were way more than five of us in the department and she said, "That's fine, we'll just give the rest as cash." So we ended up giving her like something in the realm of $200. I'm all for giving the boss a gift to show your appreciation, but that seemed excessive to me, and I got kind of peeved at the coworker who took it upon herself to guilt us all into that. I realize that might make me sound like a jerk, though. I think this year I'll buy her a little gift on my own so I don't feel guilty about not going with the crowd. I'd rather do that than give her cold hard cash.
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  • duhitsdduhitsd Central NY member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    There are about 20 people in my department. I think like 6 of them got together to exchange secret santa gifts. We usually buy something for the department chair and we each contribute whatever amount we feel comfortable with.

    I typically exchange gifts with two of my coworkers as we are close friends and hang out outside of work. I got them each very small gifts this year but I know they will both like them.
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  • SmileDamnitSmileDamnit Mile High City member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2014
    What a grinchy douche! 

    Last year, I took my staff (of 2) out to lunch and gave them each a $40 gift card. We work in a small NPO/association (read: we make no money) - I have no idea what the other Directors do, if anything, but I like to show my appreciation for my folks, even if it's nothing extravagant. 

    ETA - I also like to give my boss a nice bottle of wine. She's a wino like me (when I'm not pregnant, of course).
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  • I'm a teacher and our school does an optional Secret Santa, which I couldn't do this year due to finances... there's no expectations for gifts, otherwise. A lot of people who love to bake will bring goodies and leave them in the lounge. Last year I made goodie bags for everyone, but with a staff of 50+ it got pricey and this year I just can't spend the money there. On Friday (last day before winter break WOOHOOO!!!) the principal has lunch catered for everyone. It's pretty well known here we all like edible things though so it's always super nice when people bring in treats for everyone. Like the peanut butter balls that were brought in today... mmm...
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  • mrscatymrscaty Philly member
    Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    Usually the owners will host a nice luncheon (this year they will be serving filet mignon) and we get year end bonuses. For our department, most people will bring in cookies/treats at some point for everyone to share. We don't have anything formal as far as gift giving for each other/the bosses.
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  • What an assclown. None of my jobs have been big on gift giving, but if there's a precedent, you should go along.

    Last year my team of managers chipped in $5 each toward a gift for our director. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: I'll probably do goodie bags, maybe a $10 Panera card for my direct reports.

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  • hellosweetie1015hellosweetie1015 Where the skies are so blue member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I'm giving my boss a static discharger because he has now managed to shock my neck twice. He grabbed his dictaphone from me and I had my headphones around my neck and I got zapped, so he's getting one so I don't get zapped any more.

    I'll probably send him out with his wife for dinner when she gets back from helping their daughter with her new baby that's coming this week (!!!). I'm sure they would both appreciate that.

    I don't think gifts happen too often in the office in general though; there are five total (three attorneys and two secretaries, myself included) and the other secretary told me she doesn't do anything for her attorneys.
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  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    My 2 other coworkers and I went in on a small gift card for our manager, and I got my one coworker a small fairy garden gift set. Normally I wouldn't but she got me a gift card last year and this will be my last year at that job.
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    Anniversary
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    This is also the first job I've had where gifts seem standard.  But AFAIK they are only standard for attorneys to give our assistants.  The thinking on this seems to be that it's more of a thank-you and bonus for the assistants.  They really do a lot for us.

    I don't think That Guy actually wants to give only $16.  I'm sure he'll give a (higher) round number.  I just found it so off-putting that he would break down the gift like a monthly tip that way.  Ew.  
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

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  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm with @whatawagsbny - I don't like the idea of holiday gifts being exchanged with coworkers. It feels inappropriate to me. Performance reviews and bonuses, raises, and company sponsored holiday parties I can get down with, however.
  • Yes to company party time with a bonus for a year's wonderfulness to put in the bank!
  • Chipmunk415Chipmunk415 at the corner of Wine Ave. and Margarita Ln. member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Ugh. We just had the sections holiday luncheon yesterday. Basically the superboss bought ham and turkey, and other stuff could be voluntarily provided. Didnt work out that way, and I was voluntold by the assistant to make my buffalo dip. Whats burning asses is the fact that the executive suite people in superboss's suite conntributed the least and cheapest stuff yet they make the most money. Then they demand more from us who make less. I did catch superboss "Taste testing" my dip- he had a plate full and dug in with a spoon.

    in the non executive area, we all bring in goodies to share. Awesome coworker is getting a lot of stuff in her office, but she's coordinating gifts and treats for the family our office adopted.

    We used to do a nice lunch out and gift cards for the support staff but that's apparently been thrown out the window
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