Thursday, April 23, 2009

Admin Assistant's Day Gift Fail

Three of us in the office decided to give the admin assistants in our office boxes of awesome cookies from a local bakery. If Yelp opinions are any indication, they ARE quite killer. The cookies aren’t that cheap either. Each cookie costs $1.75 and a Baker’s half-dozen (i.e., 7 cookies) costs $9.75.

fail owned pwned pictures

I collected money from my co-workers, purchased the cards, the cookies and wrapped the boxes in a cute cellophane wrapper. Split three ways, the three of us contributed about $10 each.

We presented the cookies to the first admin assistant who verbally thanked us. The second admin assistant didn’t come in until a couple of hours later so we left the cookies and card on her desk.

When the second admin assistant came in, I heard her say, “What’s this? Oh NOOOO!! Fatty food! I can’t eat THIS!” I heard the first admin assistant agreeing. The second admin assistant later sent an insincere thank-you email. When I walked by the first admin assistant’s desk later in the day, she said, “Oh, I’m trying not to touch the cookies.”

Okaaaay. Fine. I realize the cookies weren’t expensive and I (we) didn’t put much thought into it other than that I LOVE the cookies. And I also didn’t realize that either of these ladies was on a diet. After all, the first admin assistant is frequently eating local Mexican take-out. (Here's a diet tip: Cut out the daily breakfast burrito.) The second admin assistant previously brought supermarket brownies and day-old discount donuts to work, so how was I supposed to know?

These gals are certainly entitled to their opinions. After all, I too have received chintzy gifts and wondered, "WTF?" But I always kept my petty thoughts to myself.

These are one of those moments where I just wanted to say, “Today is a bogus day where we have to thank you for doing a job that you're paid to do. If you don’t like the gifts, you gals should complain about it outside of our earshot. Better yet, you should’ve complained about how cheap we were on Twitter or on your blog.”

I don't know about you, but my $10 would've been better spent elsewhere. I swear. Sometimes I prefer the company of my cat versus my fellow human beings.


Money Beagle said...

Two possible suggestions for the future: one, try to make the gift personal for each of them. If they had all enjoyed the cookies in the past, then this would make a great gift, but if not, it can seem impersonal (especially since they all got the same thing). Second, I would look at gift cards, again focused on something that you see that they like or to a place where everyone can usually find something (e.g. Target). Even though gift cards can also seem impersonal, I still think they hold good value, for the simple fact that people can still trade or sell them, and get something that they want. I received some Starbucks gift cards for Christmas. I go there like once a year. But no big deal, because I was able to sell them to someone who's addicted to Starbucks, and got something that I wanted. Cookies, you can't do that with.

I think you did a nice thing, but if it didn't go well, try either making it more personal or easier to 'swap out of' next time. If they're still unhappy, well then just start getting a card :)

Debtfree2009 said...

I say next time go buy yourself and the others who contributed to the gift cookies and sit there and eat them. It won't take these ladies long before they come by and want one.

Truthfully, next year I would not get them anything.

Shtinkykat said...

@ MoneyBeagle: Personalization is a bit difficult when these people are just co-workers and they don't bother to get to know me and I don't know much about them either. I wanted to avoid the gift card route but I guess in situations where I can't personalize gifts, perhaps gift cards are the way to go.

@ Debtfree2009: The first admin assistant will be laid off in June and the second admin lady is a temp. So I probably won't have to ever give them gifts again.

444 said...


Thanks for the LOL of the day.

444 said...


Thanks for the LOL of the day. (I'm talking about the photo only. I have not read the post yet.)

sorry, my computer had a conniption. I was trying to edit and let you know that I hadn't read yet so I was just laughing at the picture.

Miss M said...

Sorry, I think you were very thoughtful. I don't think anyone did anything for our helpful assistants. Send them to work for us, they'll come back much more grateful!

444 said...

They acted ungrateful over a perfectly nice gift! If I were you I'd snitch the cookies off their desks and relieve them of the "burden" of trying not to touch the cookies.

Ms. MoneyChat said...

the point people often miss about gifts is this - no one HAD to give you anything, especially in the work environment. oh well.

paranoidasteroid said...

Ugh. I'm glad you got them gifts they didn't like -- those ladies don't deserve anything else!

Jenn said...

I think it was a very thoughtful gift. I work for a fairly large corporation, and I'm generally the only one every year in an admin position who does not get flowers from the company. It gets frustrating for me because I'm the one sitting the lobby who has to call everyone else to come pick up their flowers! And to top it all off, half of them just get so put out that they have to come all the way down here and pick them up. Some people are just ungrateful.

jpkittie said...

that is just a bummer --- I couldn't imagine being like that if someone got me something... oh well - everyone is different!

Anonymous said...

Sorry you wasted your time and money! Sucks when others don't appreciate your gifts. I get that you loved the cookies and assumed they would too, and surely still a better gift than boring old flowers? I would have been stoked.

And seriously, burritos for breakfast? That's kinda nasty.