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Not to buy toxic colleague a Christmas Present.

(23 Posts)
ExConstance Tue 22-Dec-15 14:08:23

Not really a straightforward colleague. I manage a department with a small administrative staff, think staff organising a team of heating engineers. I always buy all the office staff a present or chip in liberally if they want to do a secret santa. I always send all the field and office staff a nice card. This year I have 6 presents to buy as two of the engineers are working part time in the office.

No need for history here but one of the admin team is deeply unpleasant and I have to keep on top of her performance at all times, as she exceeds her authority and briefs against me constantly. No secret Santa this year so I've been wondering whether to buy nice presents for the 4 or little presents for all 6.

I've had cards from all the staff except for TC and now she is ostentatiously handing out bottles and bits and pieces. I bought her a very expensive bottle of perfume for her 50th ( think £50 for her and £50 for one of the others who was 50 this year.) She has never said thank you for any present I have bought her (usually birthdays, Christmas and holiday).

Would it be so terrible to ring in things for the others and just ignore her - I could do it without drawing attention to the situation?

knobblyknee Tue 22-Dec-15 14:10:42

If its secret santa then yes, if its personal gifts from you to friends at work then no. Just give her a card.

whois Tue 22-Dec-15 15:05:00

If it is a personal gift from you, probably ok. However I would do something like get her a very small, cheap box of chocs or something so that she couldn't use 'lack of gift' as some kind of issue against you.

thelaundryfairy Tue 22-Dec-15 15:06:36

I would just give her a card and give others their gifts subtly.

Marshy Tue 22-Dec-15 15:09:10

If you manage them all then it's gifts for all or none

RomComPhooey Tue 22-Dec-15 15:11:23

I agree with Marshy, although it could be a less nice gift so you feel less aggrieved about having to give her one.

TheWitTank Tue 22-Dec-15 15:16:16

I think as a manager, you need to tread carefully and either buy for everyone as a thank you to your team, or wait until you are outside of work and give to your friends in the team as a friend, not a manager (make the distinction clear -no 'thank you for your hard work' on the tag etc). You don't want any complaints about unfairness and bullying (sounds like she might be the type to cause you an issue!).

BondJayneBond Tue 22-Dec-15 15:17:20

I agree with Marshy.

Gifts for all or gifts for none.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 22-Dec-15 15:21:48

She will make a right drama out of no gift with HR if you give to the others.

Funinthesun15 Tue 22-Dec-15 15:23:46

If you manage them all then it's gifts for all or none


If you are their manager then you have you be very very careful.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Tue 22-Dec-15 15:28:05

Get gifts for everyone, but get her one that lets her know what you think of her.
My DS has just received a 'fart box' from a friend as a gift to our dc, and he thinks it is a fabulous gift...

RomComPhooey Tue 22-Dec-15 15:31:41

DH bought his secret Santa recipient an actual gift of nothing - it was very well received, as he knows his colleague well & knew he'd take it in good spirits. It might be pushing it to buy your colleague the same, but cherish that thought as a reserve option for next year. grin

RomComPhooey Tue 22-Dec-15 15:33:10

I hasten to add that DH paid <£3 for the one he bought - I've just seen that the one above is £11+! shock

OnlyLovers Tue 22-Dec-15 15:35:37

I agree with others, as a manager you cannot be seen to be leaving people out.

Can you give everyone the same nice but generic present? Then there's no chance at all of it being seen as favouritism, and you don't have to actually think about what to buy her or not.

ExConstance Tue 22-Dec-15 15:48:19

I've decided not to buy for any of them. The two engineers have not bought for me and will not be in the office again after today, both male so wasn't really thinking they would. One admin person will not see me again until after Christmas and so far no parcel. That leaves 3. One is very new and I'm not expecting anything, one I'm taking a bit of a gamble with and TC has given out her stuff. I wish they had done a secret Santa, I haven't really got enough in the kitty to get them all something worth having, and the place is awash with cheap wine and chocolate already.

OnlyLovers Tue 22-Dec-15 15:58:51

Sensible plan, OP, and sounds as though you'll get away with it. grin

Leelu6 Tue 22-Dec-15 16:38:50

YANBU (belated). I would not even give her a card.

AwkwardSquad Tue 22-Dec-15 18:01:41

If money was no object, she'd be a worthy recipient of an Oxfam goat.

Pidapie Tue 22-Dec-15 18:53:04

Good plan smile No presents then.

ExConstance Wed 23-Dec-15 07:54:23

Oh an Oxfam goat!!!! I will keep that in reserve for next year, or make a donation on her behalf to a "suitable" charity,

theycallmemellojello Wed 23-Dec-15 08:05:39

It seems inappropriate to me doing differential gifts among the team you manage. I doubt it would be looked on kindly by your higher management. I'm quite surprised that people are suggesting this. Just get them all a token chocolate or something.

Orda1 Wed 23-Dec-15 09:12:26

Don't buy any of them anything. I think it's a bit weird to expect them to get you anything either.

ExConstance Wed 23-Dec-15 10:18:49

We have always done presents until this year. Previously one of the older office staff who loved doing amazing wrapping would start if off and we would all bring in little gifts for each other, but there were really only 4 of us then. After that we had a great organiser on the team who arranged a secret Santa for several years. Without a Secret Santa I really need to find over £50 to get them all something which I haven't really got this month now. There is a real tradition of presents here, my manager always buys me one, and I buy her one too. Anyway, pleased to announce no one else has given me anything today so correct decision made.

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