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To hate the office whipround?

(59 Posts)
aliasjoey Thu 22-Aug-13 11:51:58

AIBU to hate the office whipround? I just can’t afford the apparently continous stream of demands for contributions for leaving gifts, retirements, birthdays etc. This month there has been someone getting married, and someone who’s just had a baby. Last month there was a big retirement do.

I probably am Being Unreasonable, because of my previous experience. I used to work in a large office. Whiprounds were frequent (even if the person was actually going to one of our competitors) and on the day itself there would be an extravagant ‘presentation’ with cards, gifts/flowers cake and speeches. I had more money then (pre-children!) and used to happily contribute. Then my position was made redundant after 10 years. I was in a strange role which didn’t properly have a manager, the closest thing to it was a woman who was not really my boss. She didn’t really ‘manage’ me though, and she was also away on my actual leaving day.

So throughout the day I waited for the presentation. The ‘We will miss you’ cards and the flowers. The speech. I may even have prepared my own speech. Nothing happened. Nobody even spoke to me. I know it was just unfortunate that my ‘manager’ didn’t think to arrange it, but I walked out and burst into tears.

Fast forward to current position. It’s a smaller office, but similar thing (although we don’t do the speeches!) I do wonder if by the time I ever leave, as people more frequently move jobs, there may be no-one here who has been here very long to arrange mine!

I feel resentful of being asked to contribute. I feel guilty if I don’t. So yes, IABU but I obviously still have ‘issues’ from my old job.

anna891 Thu 22-Aug-13 12:13:16

Yup I used to hate them. If someone was loud and popular there would be much fuss and I would be guilt tripped into giving even if I hardly knew them. Didn't help that i was struggling with money.

However a quiet rather shy person like me could get completely forgotten. You can hardly say HEY you lot what about MY birthday!! Can you.
I never liked those whip rounds they can be v unfair.

RiceBurner Thu 22-Aug-13 12:15:57

YANBU. It's organised mugging!

BillyGoatintheBuff Thu 22-Aug-13 12:20:48

Hate this!! hate it!! Like you say some loud people get big treats all paid for by everyone and others get forgotten. I always used to say that I didn't have my purse with me.

girlywhirly Thu 22-Aug-13 12:20:56

I don't think it's unreasonable to not want to contribute to every single collection. I used to limit to people I worked with at the time and those I knew well and had known for a long time. But it tended to be leaving the job, marriage, baby or retirement no one did birthdays.

You don't have any obligation to contribute, after all, would those who move on from your office be asked to contribute to your leaving? Clearly no-one did the last time when you were made redundant. Sign the card if you want and pass it on. Frankly, after the way you were despicably treated, I'd save up all the future contributions you could give and treat yourself instead.

Lweji Thu 22-Aug-13 12:24:05

I only contribute to people I know well enough, or just give a token amount.

EvieanneVolvic Thu 22-Aug-13 12:26:26

Dreadful things.

Now that DH and I own a teeeny tiny little business with a handful of employees whip rounds are banned (not explicitly but they don't happen). On employees' birthdays/ leaving/death (sadly it has happened) DH and I pay for it and invite the others to sign the card. Seems to work.

Jinsei Thu 22-Aug-13 12:29:45

OP, many people don't bother contributing at all. I know this because I'm "the boss" in our office and frequently end up digging deep into my own pocket to make up for the paltry contributions from the rest of the team. It seems that my team members are quite happy to initiate collections, but less eager to put into them. hmm

MyDaydream Thu 22-Aug-13 12:30:24

YANBU, I hate it. I've been so broke that making lunch at home to take to work was beyond my means in the past but you just come across as a bitch when you say no to the collection. I've also worked in an office that charity workers to come desk to desk with buckets and stand in the lobby looking for DDs, it made working very uncomfortable.

gaggiagirl Thu 22-Aug-13 12:35:59

YANBU I hate it too.
Currently my manager wants us all to put £5-10 for our area managers retirement.
I've only spoken to the area manager a handful of times in 5 years and quite frankly I think she's a horrible person.
so I'm just not putting into the gift fund I don't care how guilty people try and make me feel.

Grumpywino Thu 22-Aug-13 13:16:27

YANBU! This month alone I have been hassled over collections for two new babies and two leavers. Stuff the nights out!! I'll go out with my real life friends thank you very much. And I wont even mention the sponsorship forms thrust into my face....FFS!

TapDancingPimp Thu 22-Aug-13 13:19:49

Hate them - I'm getting married next month and genuinely hope my colleagues don't have one for me, the thought of it is embarrassing, only because I worry they think I expect it (I don't).

Our office is pretty bad in that it has a LIST of all employees names on the collection envelope so you can't even pretend you've seen it, as your name won't have been marked off!!

SelectAUserName Thu 22-Aug-13 13:30:03

YANBU. I've got a lot tougher as I've got older and moved around organisations and only contribute if I actually know and like the person.

Where I work now is not so bad as an envelope circulates so it is easy to pass it on without making a fuss about not contributing, but I am not afraid to say "no thanks, I don't really know them" or "I'm sorry, I simply can't afford it this week". The flip side is when it is a person I know and like I am generous.

Tbh I don't really care if the various people organising the collections think I'm odd or tight-fisted for not chipping in to every single collection; I go to work to do a job to earn a living not to take part in a popularity contest.

TylerHopkins Thu 22-Aug-13 13:32:42


I used to contribute to everything but now I'm more picky and only contribute to those people who have given me the time of day!

It gets ridiculous otherwise.

JugglingFromHereToThere Thu 22-Aug-13 13:33:12

I've grown to hate Secret Santa's due to various different issues with them over the years. Mainly I resent having to spend time and energy (and money) on buying something for a random colleague when I'm already snowed under organising things for friends and family.
The MN Secret Santa would be OK except my parcel got lost in the post sad
I don't mind putting the odd quid in for a collection as long as they don't expect too much effort blush

JugglingFromHereToThere Thu 22-Aug-13 13:41:30

Having said that I once worked as a supply teacher for the summer term in a London school and was getting married in the holidays, and no-one gave me a card when I left - it would have been a nice thought if they had

Other people made up for it though when I was expecting dd, and several people gave me presents (books to read to her or little clothes) even when I was only working with them for a week. I guess babies are cuter than weddings !

Lottapianos Thu 22-Aug-13 13:43:48

YANBU. I think specifying an amount that 'should' be contributed is really out of order. No-one has any idea how much spare cash anyone else has and it's really unfair to start making demands on people. I was in 3 birthday clubs at one point (£3 per birthday hmm) as I work in several different locations, but I eventually came to my senses and pulled out of all of them.

One of my co-managers absolutely chomps at the bit to start collections for people who have babies or are leaving. She always complains about how stingy the team are but actually maybe they're trying to tell us something?! None of them earn a fortune and I think it's a bit unfair on them. We have had 4 team members leave over the summer and 3 others have just gone off to have babies so that's a hell of a lot of collecting!

FloraFinching Thu 22-Aug-13 13:46:42

i didn't mind them in my last workplace, where you just chucked in whatever you fancied or could afford, but in my current office the organisers always attempt to instruct you on how much "we have all decided" to give hmm.

Littlegreyauditor Thu 22-Aug-13 14:10:29

Hate them hate them hate them. As others have said it is always the "popular" (loud and intrusive) people who get a big fuss made and the quiet ones get ignored.
Thankfully I am now self employed.

mirry2 Thu 22-Aug-13 14:17:49

Aliasjoey, I've had the same experience. I left one job having been there nearly 15 years, always gave to any collections but didn't even receive a card when I left (and it wasn't as if I was unpopular - I had recently changed teams, but not offices and my new boss) just never organised it. I was also in tears as I walked out for the last time. Actually I could barely believe it.

oscarwilde Thu 22-Aug-13 14:18:30

Tap - my office does the list too. It's horribly grabby I think. And what's the point? Everyone sticks in a £5 (min set contribution) for a birthday and then on your birthday you get the £60 or whatever back. Madness.

FriskyMare Thu 22-Aug-13 14:25:52

My first job was in an office where there seemed to be collections every other week, one girl in particular had a collection for her 18th, fine with that. Then she got engaged a couple of years later, again was happy to contribute. The big day loomed, another collection, although unfortunately the groom-to-be did a runner on her hen night. Six months later was her 21st, by now I was sick of buying her presents and refused to contribute. Didn't go down too well but I was past caring.

aliasjoey Thu 22-Aug-13 14:31:21

Wow didn't expect so many replies. Maybe I will just say 'Not this time, sorry' when it comes round.

mirry2 sorry to hear that - it sucks doesn't it? Even if you know its just an oversight, and not deliberate - after working there for so long, you feel like part of the 'family'.

BuntyPenfold Thu 22-Aug-13 14:44:55

In one job, I was asked for a donation on my first day, for the gift for the person leaving. As her replacement, I had never even met her.

specialsubject Thu 22-Aug-13 14:48:51

work colleagues are not necessarily friends and it sounds like it is all rather out of control. That said, just drop a pound in the envelope, smile and be done with it.

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