Sunday, December 21, 2008

So Am I On The Naughty List For This?

Why is it that gift giving in the office is always a hugely political event? When did it stop being about giving something just to give it, because you wanted to and you could; and start being about everyone needing to contribute a certain amount for the group gift AND getting something just from yourself as well?

And it's quite possibly just me, but every time someone tells me Don't worry about it, just do what you can it always sounds so insincere. Why is there some big competition about the gifts, and who got the bosses what? Do we honestly think they'll promote us or increase our salary based on what they got for Christmas?

I don't talk about work much here, for several reasons. The least of which being the possibility that someone from my office will read it. My blog isn't a secret to people who know me here. But I have spent a large amount of my time the last several days being upset about this. I've got multiple bosses, and the office staff decided to go in together on gifts for them. (I say we all did, but really... I walked in on the tail end of the conversation and was put in the position of agreeing.) Ok, fine. We'll go in on a gift for each of them. The idea was to keep the cost down. After everything was figured out and added up, it was a little more than a few dollars. At least to a mother struggling to get her kids a decent Christmas at the end of a really hard financial year.

Do I point out here that I'm the only married person in the office, other than one of the bosses? Or that I'm one of only two people with kids? Or that of those two, I'm the only one with a child young enough to still not quite understand when money is too tight to do a Christmas like the ones in past years?

Regardless, I ponied up. And then found out that in addition to the group gift, one of the other girls had gotten each boss something more, just from her. And I am petty enough to have felt shown up. I am insecure enough to constantly feel like I'm in competition with this particular girl. Which means I am insecure enough to have decided I needed to do something more for the office for Christmas. So I spent this afternoon making salsa. Coach and the boys were really excited about this decision. I make a really good salsa.

Six pounds of tomatoes and various other ingredients later, I finally had a large enough batch of salsa to put into these cute little Christmas containers. I also made each person their personal bag of chips, in cute little Christmas bags. What I didn't do, however, was have enough left over for Coach and the boys.

So, to recap...

I am insecure. Apparently a lot more insecure than I gave myself credit for. My coworkers -- whom I suppose I like but certainly don't consider the priority people in my life -- are getting some really good salsa; while my family --whom I absolutely love and DO consider the priority people in my life -- are left with none.

But at least the bowls and the bags are cute.


Flea said...

*sigh* It's a story as old as time. My Hunny gave me the puppy dog face yesterday because I was taking some yummy stuff to work that someone had given us, when I could have left it home for the family. And I decorated egg ornaments for my coworkers - about as cheap as I can be. This is an insane time of year and the pressure is mammoth.

Have a very merry Christmas, SM. Your boys will enjoy theirs regardless. You and Coach - I hope you both relax and enjoy your boys. :)

Kidzmama said...

So glad I don't work in an office. I'd feel similar to you. My hubby brought in an awesome gift for the gift exchange at his work. When he came home he was a bit dissapointed because people started trading gifts. His gift was the "wanted" gift, but he felt bad for the person who gave the obvious "not wanted" gift. So sad that people can't just say thank you and move on.

I hope you, Coach, and the boys get some special Christmas relaxing time together. Some hot chocolate and candy canes should do the trick!

Aimee said...

I think that story is an excellent illustration of how I'm feeling this christmas. I feel like I've spent way to much time agonizing over what I should be doing (getting gifts for everyone and their brother) and what i'd like to do (give gifts to those people that i see more than once a year). This year has been so bad, I'm just ready for it all to be over.
And I'm with Kidzmama on that one too - I hate the exchange game because I stress about everyone not getting something they wanted. I got an awesome gift - a GIANT apothocary jar full of sea shells but then my fiance got stuck with a box of candy.

Burgh Baby said...

I am right smack in the middle of that mess right now. There's an email floating around to contribute to a group gift ($20 buy in) and people are seriously convinced that it will help them when it comes time for raises. Meanwhile, I don't have $20 to pony up at the moment and had already planned to give the boss a tin of cookies like I do everybody else every year. The group is making me feel like an ass for not being part of the "gang," but DAMN do I hate meaningless gift cards that are only being given in hopes of a bigger raise. SO STUPID.

I hope you end up with time to make your boys salsa. Good for you for seeing clearly through the whole mess, even if you are a guilt ridden mess. ;-)

Crazymamaof6 said...

way to go! o would totally do that too. UGH! but i'd grumble the whole way through. not fun!

but sounds delightful! MMMMM where is my salsa?