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Protocol for Birthday of Boss

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JenniMay posted 5/28/2014 08:17 AM

I'm not crazy about my boss. She is new to administration, just taking on a VP position in January (she was previously a member of our medical staff, so I've known her for awhile). For some reason, we just don't get along well. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but we seem to grate on each others' nerves somehow.

Tomorrow is her birthday & Administration has this ritual of a birthday lunch for the executive. We all order from a take-out place, get together for lunch in the Boardroom & gifts seem to be the expectation. Administration doesn't cover the lunch, mind you...we all pay for our own & then also pay for a portion of the birthday person's lunch.

I know this is going to sound horrible, but I really don't want to buy her a gift. I don't know much about her, really & she is a VP, so she probably has more money than she knows what to do with (she was a practicing physician previous to this job).

I've always heard that you don't buy for the person you report to, but everyone here seems to bang their heads against the wall trying to come up with "gifts" for these highly paid executives.

What would you do? What's your advice?

[This message edited by JenniMay at 8:20 AM, May 28th (Wednesday)]

jo2love posted 5/28/2014 08:21 AM

Could a bunch of you chip in for a gift card to a local restaurant, Dunkin Donuts, Barnes & Noble? This way it's not too much money to spend and it will be something she will use.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:22 AM, May 28th (Wednesday)]

JenniMay posted 5/28/2014 08:31 AM

The expectation is that each of us bring a gift. The table is filled with gifts...

little turtle posted 5/28/2014 08:44 AM

What are your co-workers buying her?

Pentup posted 5/28/2014 09:07 AM

If it is typical protocol, I would not skip out of it. Political suicide or major injury at least. I think a gift card to Barnes and Nobles is a safe, non committal gift. Or a frame for her desk. IMHO

GabyBaby posted 5/28/2014 11:11 AM

I hate this kind of crap too, but unfortunately you nmay have to play the game.
I agree with Pentup- get something small and generic.

t/j
It really chaps my hide that the lower paid "underlings" are expected to jump through these hoops and buy gifts for the higher paid execs. It is one thing if you respect and like the person and do because you want to.
But to EXPECT this? Grrrrrrrrr.........
end t/j

IrishGirlVA posted 5/28/2014 11:15 AM

So the rich get richer?

I don't know. What do you have lying around the house you don't want anymore? LOL

How about a decent bottle of wine ($15)? And instead of getting her a card, just get a wine gift bag and stick her name and your name in the card that dangles off the handle.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 5/28/2014 12:42 PM

I was always of the opinion that you don't *gift up* as it can be perceived as *buying favor*... but if it is protocol, do you want to die on this hill? Do you want to be the one person that doesn't give a gift? UGH I hate office politics. Sharing a lunch should be enough - honor the person, chip in and buy a cake or donuts or whatever and call it a day.

If she drinks wine, that could be an idea. Or a GC to Dunkin or Starbucks or whatever the *place du jour* is around you. But I wouldn't spend more than $10.

JenniMay posted 5/28/2014 15:15 PM

It really chaps my hide that the lower paid "underlings" are expected to jump through these hoops and buy gifts for the higher paid execs.

SO TRUE, GABY!!!!!!!!!!!

JenniMay posted 5/28/2014 15:16 PM

do you want to die on this hill? Do you want to be the one person that doesn't give a gift? UGH I hate office politics. Sharing a lunch should be enough

LOL, Lucky!! I don't want to die on this hill. What I want to do is call in sick tomorrow...

JenniMay posted 5/28/2014 15:18 PM

What do you have lying around the house you don't want anymore? LOL

How about a decent bottle of wine ($15)? And instead of getting her a card, just get a wine gift bag and stick her name and your name in the card that dangles off the handle.

Wine crossed my mind IrishGirl...

Lucky2HaveMe posted 5/28/2014 17:25 PM

LOL, Lucky!! I don't want to die on this hill. What I want to do is call in sick tomorrow...

Well that's an option too!

purplejacket4 posted 5/28/2014 20:46 PM

That is completely inappropriate. Has anyone discussed this with human resources? I can't stand it when my subordinates give me gifts (comes across as sucking up and I make much more than them so just...no). If they were my friends first beforehand that's different. I just think there should be boundaries. Saying all that I used to have a re gifting closet just for crap like that.

Amazonia posted 5/29/2014 07:27 AM

get her a candle. least personal gift EVER.

JenniMay posted 5/29/2014 12:17 PM

Thanks everyone...I just returned from the luncheon.

I went with some nice mint tea (she is a tea drinker) arranged in a nice tin wrapped up in a gift bag with lots of colorful tissue paper. I really concentrated on the presentation. She seemed appreciative.

Glad it's over.

[This message edited by JenniMay at 12:21 PM, May 29th (Thursday)]

JenniMay posted 5/29/2014 12:18 PM

get her a candle. least personal gift EVER.

LOL! That was one of my thoughts...

JenniMay posted 5/29/2014 12:19 PM

I can't stand it when my subordinates give me gifts (comes across as sucking up and I make much more than them so just...no).

I agree, Purple...I have made it very clear to my assistant that I don't want her doing gifts for me.

Pentup posted 5/29/2014 12:20 PM

Good job. It may go a long way towards smoothing the road between you as you gave her something that shows you noticed what she likes.

JenniMay posted 5/29/2014 12:22 PM

It may go a long way towards smoothing the road between you as you gave her something that shows you noticed what she likes.

That would be nice!!

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