Open Thread

by epi on December 19, 2013

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This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nonnie Mowse December 19, 2013 at 10:13 am

Hi Folks. My husband asked me a question this morning and I couldn’t settle on a proper solution, so I’m coming to the wisdom of the hosts and readers here. And there are two parts.

For the last few years, one of his co-workers has given him a holiday thank you in the form of very generous gift certificates/cards. However, this year has been an unpleasant year of work for my husband and he is beginning to look into employment elsewhere. It has nothing to do with his coworker, but my husband feels strongly about the whole corporate situation enough that he doesn’t feel right accepting the gift, should there be one this year. He asked me what was a proper and considerate way to decline the gift without offending or hurting the feelings of his coworker.

The other part is, if accepting the gift is what is necessary, one of them is usually to a restaurant that only operates at dinner hour. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME (24 years) and going to restaurants, movies, theatre etc. in the evenings is not possible for me. We have in the past given them to neighbors who help us, but we’re uncomfortable because if the coworker asks my husband if we enjoyed the restaurant, he doesn’t know what to say. (He doesn’t discuss my illness at work due to its controversial nature.) Coworker hasn’t asked, I think that might be proper and they don’t always see each other at work, but we’re both still uncomfortable without a thoughtful response at the ready. I know I would feel badly if I was repeatedly giving someone a gift they didn’t like or couldn’t use. My health situation does complicate the response.

Thank you in advance for your help.
Nonnie

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Nonnie Mowse December 19, 2013 at 10:17 am

My thread posted before I could add, I would feel badly if I found out I was repeatedly giving someone a gift they couldn’t use, but I also wouldn’t feel badly if they gave it to someone who helped them. I/we don’t want to assume that’s always the case.
Thanks again.

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Alicia December 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Declining a gift from a coworker due to an issue with the company seems like blaiming the coworker for the company issues. It will cause insult and is insulting the coworker. Accept if given write thank you note. If asked simply say the truth that he thinks that the gift certificate is nice of coworker and focus on the rest of the gift.

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Nonnie Mowse December 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Thank you Alicia, your response about declining was what I thought too, but I always want to make sure I’m aware of other updated trains of thought.

Is it necessary to write a thank you note though, if the gift is a thank you in the first place? Coworker is giving thanks for my husband’s support on projects. And my husband usually thanks him when he’s being given the gift in person.

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