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.