Author Topic: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?  (Read 2190 times)

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Offline Skeever

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Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« on: December 31, 2022, 04:01:41 PM »
For 5 years I worked for a boss who, around the holidays my first year working for him, said flat out that we don't buy each other gifts. I really liked that arrangement, we never bought each other anything, and it never came up again.

Last year I started working for a new boss, who gave me a $50 Starbucks gift card around the holidays. I thanked him for it but I did not get him anything in return as I was not used to doing that and didn't think about it. I figured, no harm, he won't get me anything next year and that will probably be fine. Then today, what comes in the mail but another $50 gift card.

I'm not a boss myself, but I know others here are, so I'd be curious as to their read on the situation. I do not want to reciprocate this gift and funds have been pretty squeezed recently anyway. But I am worried because I am sure that at least one of my coworkers has reciprocated this gift. Really I don't even want the gift (last year's giftcard is still sitting on top of my dresser), but I am wondering if most bosses just feel like they need to buy their employees something and don't care if they get anything else in return or if not returning a gift would be looked at as a foul on my end.

Thoughts welcomed!


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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2022, 04:14:40 PM »
So I've been on both sides.

As a rule, I generally never bought gifts at work from me to anyone. I have on occasion contributed to a gift though.

With your boss, you could say something like.."I really appreciated the gift, however I personally find it awkward to give out Christmas gifts at work. I will not be offended in any way if I do not receive a gift next year."
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Online El Barto

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2022, 11:14:57 PM »
Did the company pay for it or did the man pay for it? That's the crux of the matter.
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Offline wolfking

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2023, 04:05:59 AM »
Did the company pay for it or did the man pay for it? That's the crux of the matter.

I'd like to know this too. You'd assume it would come from his credit card,not the companies, but still would be good to know somehow.

I don't get my employees gifts.  I'll bend over backwards for them but gifts at XMas don't mean much in my book.  I've had a few staff give me gifts and I personally hate it, but that's me.  I hate the misses spending money on me.

In relation to the OP though, if I gave an employee a gift I definitely WOULD NOT expect a gift in return.  I don't think any boss would buy a gift for an employee expecting something in return.  That's probably just the type of guy he is and he appreciates your work.
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Offline chknptpie

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2023, 06:48:42 AM »
As a manager, if I gave out any gifts, I never expected anything in return. You could always have a conversation with your boss about it and make sure you are on the same page.

Offline lordxizor

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2023, 09:24:34 AM »
I don't think it's necessary or really appropriate to buy gifts for your boss.

This reminds me I completely forgot to get my team small gifts. I was out of the office for the last couple weeks of the year so I didn't even see them. Might need to get them something for Tuesday.

Offline XJDenton

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2023, 01:59:15 PM »
I wouldn't buy him something unless you were actual friends with him.
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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2023, 04:40:32 PM »
It makes sense for a boss to give a Christmas gift as a show of appreciation to the people who work for him/her. I wouldn’t think there is any reason for you to reciprocate unless you just want to.

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2023, 07:47:14 PM »
It makes sense for a boss to give a Christmas gift as a show of appreciation to the people who work for him/her.

I never did. I prided myself on treating my people fairly throughout the year, as opposed to being some unfeeling bastard only to give a cheap gift for Christmas.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums........or WTF.  ;D
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Offline wolfking

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2023, 03:12:13 AM »
It makes sense for a boss to give a Christmas gift as a show of appreciation to the people who work for him/her.

I never did. I prided myself on treating my people fairly throughout the year, as opposed to being some unfeeling bastard only to give a cheap gift for Christmas.

This 100%.
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2023, 05:09:00 AM »
You can be a good boss throughout the year and also give a Christmas gift.

Offline Podaar

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2023, 05:31:31 AM »
You can be a good boss throughout the year and also give a Christmas gift.

The horror!
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Offline Zydar

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2023, 07:00:22 AM »
You can be a good boss throughout the year and also give a Christmas gift.

Exactly. One does not exclude the other.
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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2023, 07:04:57 AM »
You can be a good boss throughout the year and also give a Christmas gift.

Sure you could.

For me, I was never comfortable with it. It's one thing if you have a very small team or business.
But I managed a major chain grocery store. At what point in my staff hierarchy do I cut it off? If I do my Department Managers, that could be like 7-10 gifts, and frankly, I didn't like all of them all that much. Even a rinky dink $10 Dunkin' Donuts gift card would put me out over $100. Fuck that. I'm not cheap, but it would come off as cheap, and well, they all weren't worth a gift from me.
I just wouldn't buy for some and not others.

It's also why I never went to anyone's wake if a family member died. You either go to all or none. And my staff knew how I felt. I didn't want to offend anyone by going to one's and not the other. I would've made an exception if someone lost a child, but thankfully that never happened.
I did make an exception once though. The wife of my Union Steward in one store passed away. I liked my steward and he was really good to work with as far as my staff went. I just felt it was important because of the Union thing and how that would be looked at.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2023, 07:51:04 AM by TAC »
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums........or WTF.  ;D
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline lordxizor

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2023, 08:32:18 AM »
You can be a good boss throughout the year and also give a Christmas gift.

Sure you could.

For me, I was never comfortable with it. It's one thing if you have a very small team or business.
But I managed a major chain grocery store. At what point in my staff hierarchy do I cut it off? If I do my Department Managers, that could be like 7-10 gifts, and frankly, I didn't like all of them all that much. Even a rinky dink $10 Dunkin' Donuts gift card would put me out over $100. Fuck that. I'm not cheap, but it would come off as cheap, and well, they all weren't worth a gift from me.
I just wouldn't buy for some and not others.

It's also why I never went to anyone's wake if a family member died. You either go to all or none. And my staff knew how I felt. I didn't want to offend anyone by going to one's and not the other. I would've made an exception if someone lost a child, but thankfully that never happened.
I did make an exception once though. The wife of my Union Steward in one store passed away. I liked my steward and he was really good to work with as far as my staff went. I just felt it was important because of the Union thing and how that would be looked at.
The cost is a perfectly good excuse not to give gifts if you have a big team. I have 10, so I hear you that even $10 a piece adds up fast. I'm honestly not sure if I can buy gifts for my team and expense them to the company. I feel like asking my boss would make me come across as cheap, so I don't want to ask.

On the other hand, a few hundred bucks isn't going to make or break me and I make quite a bit more money than most of my team. So I doubt they're going to feel a whole lot of sympathy for me not wanting to spend the money. Not that I would anything to them about it.

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2023, 10:05:46 AM »
The Company gives a bonus to the employees in their checks every Christmas. Keeps it fair. 
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Offline wolfking

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2023, 02:45:09 PM »
I have 30+ direct staff members I'd have to give a present to.  Not happening.
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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2023, 10:26:32 PM »
You can be a good boss throughout the year and also give a Christmas gift.

Sure you could.

For me, I was never comfortable with it. It's one thing if you have a very small team or business.
But I managed a major chain grocery store. At what point in my staff hierarchy do I cut it off? If I do my Department Managers, that could be like 7-10 gifts, and frankly, I didn't like all of them all that much. Even a rinky dink $10 Dunkin' Donuts gift card would put me out over $100. Fuck that. I'm not cheap, but it would come off as cheap, and well, they all weren't worth a gift from me.
I just wouldn't buy for some and not others.

It's also why I never went to anyone's wake if a family member died. You either go to all or none. And my staff knew how I felt. I didn't want to offend anyone by going to one's and not the other. I would've made an exception if someone lost a child, but thankfully that never happened.
I did make an exception once though. The wife of my Union Steward in one store passed away. I liked my steward and he was really good to work with as far as my staff went. I just felt it was important because of the Union thing and how that would be looked at.

Oh, I have no issue with not giving a gift to your team (and with a team that big it would seem impractical anyway). I'm just saying there shouldn't be any expectation for him to give his boss a gift in return. I think he can just accept it as a nice gesture and not worry about reciprocating.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2023, 08:11:25 AM »
Not enough info to determine here.  I think Bart's question is first and foremost, but after that, it still depends on your personal relationship with the boss.  Honestly, I wouldn't do it just because someone else "might have". 

Offline millahh

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2023, 08:20:39 AM »
Gifts show not flow upwards in the workplace.  There's a power dynamic involved, where the boss has power over raises, promotions, assignments, etc., and even if the boss is trying to stay impartial, it may influence things on a subconscious level.  And the boss is presumably getting paid more as well. It's fundamentally unequal.
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2023, 08:24:01 AM »
Gifts show not flow upwards in the workplace.  There's a power dynamic involved, where the boss has power over raises, promotions, assignments, etc., and even if the boss is trying to stay impartial, it may influence things on a subconscious level.  And the boss is presumably getting paid more as well. It's fundamentally unequal.
Completely agree. As I stated earlier a gift to your boss is unnecessary at best and inappropriate at worst.

Offline Lonk

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Re: Reciprocating a gift from a boss?
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2023, 09:03:08 AM »
I usually don't gift to my bosses, except at my previous job, and that was mainly because of the relationship I had with my boss at the time (even after I left, I was invited to her 40th birthday gathering at her house).

However, as a supervisor, I do like to gift to my supervisees. I don't expect anything in return, though I have received things in the past.
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