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AIBU that this is a nice thing to do and not creepy/stalkerish?

(124 Posts)
Reastie Sat 05-Dec-15 06:37:51

At work a colleague has had a really rubbish year this year going through cancer (and coming out the other end) but said colleague since treatment has also been suffering with pains associated with this and depression (which she says is a common side effect at this point of the treatment). She's very open about this and talks often about it and how she's struggling through the depression.

So I decided to cheer her up I'd become a secret Santa (despite the fact there is no secret Santa at work) and sent her a card (anonymously) with a little poem about how I know it's been a difficult year but to look out for little treats and have arranged for a few little things like a roll of Christmas wrapping paper (to help with her Christmas wrapping), chocolate coins, a cracker, a Christmas tree decoration etc on her desk for her.

In my head this is a great idea but I'm now getting truly paranoid that it'll look a bit stalkerish and creepy, which really wasn't the intention. So am I being thoughtful or creepy? please say thoughtful, I'm genuinely worried

bittapitta Sat 05-Dec-15 06:46:56

Yeah it's a bit odd if it's anonymous and only her receiving things (though I understand the goodwill behind it)... Can you get other colleagues to join in and then have a "reveal" moment a week later where you say you are all her secret Santa? Wouldn't let it drag on anonymously too long.

Reastie Sat 05-Dec-15 06:51:26

It will only last a week and, yes, I was wondering that I would reveal myself at the end of the week (especially if this would make it look less odd).

limitedperiodonly Sat 05-Dec-15 06:54:55

It is thoughtful but way too overthinking grin I'd find it a bit odd.

Why don't you tell her it's from you and you thought it was a good idea at the time but now you're having second thoughts? Then give her your best wishes.

PotOfYoghurt Sat 05-Dec-15 06:55:07

I think it would be a lovely idea if presented from all of her colleagues, and It might make her feel more comfortable.

I'm trying to imagine how I would feel if I was in her position, and one person doing it I might feel like I then owed them something, where if the whole office did it I would be quite touched at how kind everyone was.

carabos Sat 05-Dec-15 06:56:39

Sounds nice in theory, very odd in practice. Sorry.

Reastie Sat 05-Dec-15 07:00:00

Oh no, it's odd then isn't it <sigh>. I don't think I can get anyone else in board as there isn't time for them to do anything and everyone is too busy and wouldn't bother. I don't want her to feel like she owes me anything at all, I genuinely thought she'd just be appreciative of the thought behind the gesture and it might cheer her up a bit.

Reastie Sat 05-Dec-15 07:02:32

Ok, I should perhaps back this up that when I plotted it I thought there would be a secret Santa going on and my initial plan was that I would ask to be rigged to get her. For the first year ever we don't do one this year (person who organises it is too busy). I will tell said lady this when I reveal.... Can I undo it with an email to her owning up and saying to look out fr treats to look less weird?

toopeoply Sat 05-Dec-15 07:02:56

Just get her a little gift and card. Write something nice. No anonymous se ret Santa stuff. That's what makes it weird.

Reastie Sat 05-Dec-15 07:05:06

That's the problem, she's already had the anonymous Christmas card saying to look out for little treats...

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Sat 05-Dec-15 07:05:57

I saw a thread like this about doing the same for an elderly neighbour.

I think it's as creepy as fuck, especially for someone who is vulnerable.

Just buy her a nice present.

lunar1 Sat 05-Dec-15 07:06:22

Sorry I'd find it really creepy and stalkerish.

Rosa Sat 05-Dec-15 07:07:20

i would do it but in one go and hand it to her just saying you have had a shit year and i wanted to do something for you ...

DoreenLethal Sat 05-Dec-15 07:09:38

Please do not leave some wrapping paper and /or a cracker on her desk. One is batshit and one could be taken completely the wrong way.

Just leave her some nice things if you are going to do it.

Reastie Sat 05-Dec-15 07:13:42

The plan was more to be thoughtful and cheer her up than anything of much monetary value (hence no big gift).

I think I may email and reveal myself and say to look out for a few small bits and I just wanted to cheer her up, that way she's not creeped out by it and knows it it's me?

Reastie Sat 05-Dec-15 07:14:37

In my defence she's not a vulnerable type of person and I thought she would genuinely appreciate the thought, but I realise maybe I've got this wrong.

bittapitta Sat 05-Dec-15 07:16:43

Yes no harm in following it up with a lighthearted email, say you've thought it over and didn't want her to be freaked out, and you were going to do secret Santa and that fell through or whatever. Then just a week of tacky or nice little gifts to make her smile, nothing that makes her feel obliged to return the gesture, as you've ascertained.

Slutbucket Sat 05-Dec-15 07:19:31

People should lighten up it's nice thing to do and I would find it fun.

DeltaZeta Sat 05-Dec-15 07:19:49

I think bitta's idea is a good one.

Slutbucket Sat 05-Dec-15 07:19:54

Although I would expect chocolate!

evelynj Sat 05-Dec-15 07:22:27

I think it's lovely. Most people round here would think it's lovely I reckon

Reastie Sat 05-Dec-15 07:25:06

Thank you, I'm currently wording an email to her to reveal myself so she isn't freaked out by my good intentions but potential oddness.

ToffeeForEveryone Sat 05-Dec-15 07:27:04

I think it's a really nice gesture and it all depends on how she takes it - can you see her when she finds the gifts? I would wait and judge her reaction now that it's underway, might be weirder if you announce it's you before the end.

Agree with pp, don't leave crackers on her desk, but everything else is fine and sweet.

Maybe end the week with a voucher for a gingerbread latte or something and take her out for a coffee? So if it is a bit awkward you can diffuse it with a normal chat.

VocationalGoat Sat 05-Dec-15 07:27:16

I'm having an ex-pat moment. In the States, you'd go down a treat OP. You're lovely and thoughtful and considerate. Not odd at all! And I am certain the recipient smiled and is wondering "Who made this really nice gesture?"
If a colleague of mine did this, I'd be really touched. And I am sure we'd have a good laugh once he/she revealed him/herself to be the secret santa.

Don't sweat it. You're worrying about nothing. And honestly, it's not odd at all!

Slutbucket said it best. People need to lighten up.

Senpai Sat 05-Dec-15 07:28:06

Leaving candy on someone's desk is creepy? confused I had someone leave candy and cute toys randomly on my desk during December one year and the deepest I thought into it was "Ooh... Candy!". End of.

It's not stalking as it's her desk which is not private information. I mean, as long as you're not calling her making deep breathing noises or leaving candy on her pillow at home, I think you're ok. wink

But... I'd stick to superficial things like candy and cute desk toys. You don't know if she's really up for celebrating holidays this year, so I'd leave out wrapping paper and tree decorations. The rest sounds fine.

Also, you know her in person. Just watch her. If she looks annoyed or worried about it, tell her what's going on. If she looks delighted at candies and trinkets, run with it. smile

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