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AIBU?

To feel like I have just been bribed

37 replies

CharlieRight · 06/02/2024 14:38

A supplier has just sent me ten bottles of wine, each worth between $80 and $170. We buy millions of dollars from them per year so maybe it’s just a proportionate gesture of thanks, it’s kind of a cultural thing to send gifts at this time of year.

But it isn’t something that I have experienced before, it’s very extravagant and although I could buy it for myself I don’t think I have ever spent more than $20 on a bottle outside of a restaurant,

AIBU? It’s fine just enjoy the culture

NBU watch yourself you’re on a slippery slope

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

128 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
68%
You are NOT being unreasonable
32%
telestrations · 06/02/2024 14:43

It's a gift from a client, totally normal.

If employed they may have a gifts policy that says not to accept them as an individual but you can put them aside for staff birthdays etc. If not or you're buisssness enjoy it's a perk and hardly one that's going to sway where you spend a millions of dollars

itsgoingtobeabumpyride · 06/02/2024 14:45

We would have to report any gifts, we have an ethics procedure.
In my old role we would raffle any gifts at Christmas

buckeejit · 06/02/2024 14:53

Totally depends on your job, position, relationship etc

LetsgoLego · 06/02/2024 14:53

Depends on the job and company policy. Most places require you to declare these but by your use of dollars I assume you're not in the UK so may have a different process.

MrsTerryPratchett · 06/02/2024 14:53

buckeejit · 06/02/2024 14:53

Totally depends on your job, position, relationship etc

This. Isn't there a policy? If there isn't, there should be.

idontlikealdi · 06/02/2024 14:54

Depends where you are, what your policy says etc.

It used to be normal in England, not anymore.

NobilityScooter · 06/02/2024 14:55

Depends what your company gift policy is

FriendlyNeighbourhoodAccountant · 06/02/2024 14:55

Are you self employed or employed?
You may find your employer (if employed) won't let you keep the gifts. They'll need to be declared. We can't keep anything worth more than £30, anything more expensive is seen as more than a "thank you."

CharlieRight · 06/02/2024 14:55

@itsgoingtobeabumpyride
i previously worked for a large American corporation and they were very strict on gifts even raffles like that were banned. Maybe that’s conditioned me to feel guilty.

OP posts:
ReinNotReignItIn · 06/02/2024 14:56

I have seen threads like this before. Where people are uncomfortable with over-the-top gifts or gestures. I have never seen people actually hand the items back in the end though 😏

SquirrelsAssemble · 06/02/2024 15:00

Is it your business? If so, enjoy the bribe gesture.

If you work for a company, follow the gifts & hospitality policy.

The only gifts I ever received in work were a canvas tote bag & a infra red thermometer. I was allowed to keep them both - thrilling!

CharlieRight · 06/02/2024 15:02

I’m GM of a factory in China, part of a group owned by a local individual. No policy on this sort of thing but we do gifts like local tea and a branded mug plus a very nice meal for visitors.

OP posts:
LBOCS2 · 06/02/2024 15:04

ReinNotReignItIn · 06/02/2024 14:56

I have seen threads like this before. Where people are uncomfortable with over-the-top gifts or gestures. I have never seen people actually hand the items back in the end though 😏

I was sent a significant gift voucher from a contractor after they (legitimately won!) were given a big contract for works. I do sometimes receive things at Christmas from suppliers but this was disproportionate, so I spoke to our SLT and we donated them to our company's chosen charity for them to be raffled off. Seemed like a reasonable thing to do.

In my industry it's quite normal to get gifts of wine/champagne/hampers sent around Christmas and we do also have various work related jollies. We have a very transparent policy on it all though.

ICanSeeMyHouseFromHere · 06/02/2024 15:27

Totally normal around chinese new year for such suppliers to send gifts to valuable clients.

Sure, it's to make you think well of them, but there's no obligation there, just a gift and a hope that you'll continue to do business.

Atethehalloweenchocs · 06/02/2024 16:36

Does your organization not have policy on this? I think once it is more than a token - say £5 - it is questionable.

ChocolateCinderToffee · 06/02/2024 16:46

Share them with your colleagues.

Balloonhearts · 06/02/2024 16:56

Our company bans gifts like this but the fitting teams still do it. We just come in one morning to Christmas cards with large gift cards in them or bottles of drink on.our desks. We put a lot of work their way and work hard to make their days run smoothly and it's just their way of saying thanks. The bigger companies tend towards bigger gifts ime, whereas the one-man band contractors buy you drink or chocolate or something.

Pretty sure the other branches have the same thing. Don't see how it can be regarded as a bribe if you aren't giving them anything in exchange.

GingerIsBest · 06/02/2024 17:01

I received a similar hamper from a hedge fund client once. The irony is that it was all Fortum and Mason and every bottle I found myself thinking, "If I was spending £40 on a bottle of wine, I could get a LOT more for my money at Majestic!" Grin

As I understand it, gift giving in china is fairly standard. I would see if you can find someone local who can offer you some impartial advice on what is/is not appropriate. I do recall bankers on secondment in China often commented that navigating gift giving and other cultural situations could be tricky - one told the story of being the "big boss" and therefore invited to weddings etc, with the expectation of a suitably generous gift too.

GeneCity · 06/02/2024 17:12

CharlieRight · 06/02/2024 15:02

I’m GM of a factory in China, part of a group owned by a local individual. No policy on this sort of thing but we do gifts like local tea and a branded mug plus a very nice meal for visitors.

Er, the company needs a policy about this. It's to protect everyone.

TomeTome · 06/02/2024 17:17

There should be a policy it’s so common at Christmas/CNY in the far east. Most places you have to buy it from the company if it’s over a set amount, so not always great, but often corrected with bonus/extra months pay.

pootlin · 06/02/2024 17:19

I would have to declare that per our company rules.

Janetime · 06/02/2024 17:20

We would reject this, as it would be perceived as potential bribery for us. We would send it back , explain our policy to the client , and log it internally.

MCOut · 06/02/2024 17:22

I would have to declare that and decline the gift. We have an ethics policy and gifts can only be up to a certain amount.

MCOut · 06/02/2024 17:25

I might be completely wrong, but I thought they were getting quite strict with this sort of thing generally in the region. You might be worth asking your boss for some advice.

IncompleteSenten · 06/02/2024 17:27

If there's no formal policy then tell your employer about the gift and ask them what they would like you to do eg keep them, share them etc.

And take this opportunity to suggest to your employer that they create a policy to avoid this confusion in future.

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