Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not sure what to do ....

A hypothetical situation here. I'd love to hear your honest feedback here about how you would handle this if it happened to you.

Suppose a not so sane co-worker gave you an early Christmas gift. Today. (As in 43 days before Christmas!) This person is someone that you are friendly with but you wouldn't necessarily call them a friend. You would most likely give this person the same type Christmas gift that you would give to everyone else in your office.

When you open the gift, you discover that this co-worker spent a fairly substantial amount of money on you. Waaaaay more than the typical "I hope you have a nice Christmas, here is a $5 gift".

So this makes you feel awkward for several reasons:
a) it is a month and a half before Christmas
b) this person is crazy and might go nuts on you if you handle it incorrectly
c) you now feel obligated to return the favor and get them a nice gift
d) you don't want to do that
e) if you do that it will: 1) be weird for everyone else in the office and 2) become a recurring problem

What do you do? Is there a non-awkward way to respond/deal with the situation?


Megan said...

you just give the person the same thing you give everyone else in the office - with a nice note attached about how much you appreciate what he/she gave you. no questions asked. if you give he/she something nicer - this will happen every year - and open things up for a "real" friendship. ie: they might think you are closer than you are and expect to hang out, etc. you DON'T want this -esp. if it is a crazy person. so just be very polite and thank them profusely - saying things like - "you really shouldn't have done this!" and "this is too nice!" and then give them your $5 gift.

Sarah said...

I agree with Megan...the best approach is to be polite and very grateful, and give them the gift you would have given them if this hadn't happened.

No need to respond to this, but, I'm left wondering whether this person is male or female.

Katie said...

Good question, Sarah! I guess this does read like it was most likely a man, but it was actually a female. I probably should have made that clear.

Thanks for your feedback!

Anonymous said...

Give everyone else some of that panther cologne and give her nothing.
- The Panther

EquisBuffy said...

Umm crap! That is kinda scary. A friend of mine had a female co-worker that was off her rocker show her a little too much attention. Eventually things escalated and the friend had to file a complaint with HR because the situation became very uncomfortable at work. The girl ended up getting fired, they had discovered after the complaint was made that she was somehow breaking into my friends email account and reading her work and personal emails. No one wants to have that much tension in a place you spend so much of your precious time. I say give it back, keeping it is only encouraging her. Fib a little and politely say that you just wouldn't feel right accepting a gift that might not seem fair to the others in the office.

June Shin said...

I was also going to suggest giving it back saying that it is too much and you can't accept it. Otherwise, I agree with everyone else in giving that $5 gift.