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Dec 19, 2011 01:58 PM

Etiquette regarding Food-Gift-Receiving...

I have a question regarding something I think is presumptuous and rude.

My office occasionally receives food gifts from Vendors during the holidays. Usually cookies and the like. An employee whose job is health/diet related wants to send some sort of memo to all vendors requesting only fruit & veggie related gifts as opposed to the cookies.

I think this is presumptuous & rude to assume that you will get a corporate gift, even if one was received last year. I also think it's rude to dictate what that gift would be, regardless of how well-intentioned.


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  1. My thoughts are identical to your thoughts. You don't tell people what to gift you (unless they ask), and you also don't tell people what to gift your co-workers (unless they ask, and your co-workers also ask). The only exception I can think of - and this is only if everyone at the office is on board - is to request charitable donations in lieu of gifts. Because at least that doesn't make you sound like a controlling, ungrateful asshole.

    1. I can't imagine telling anyone what will and will not be considered an acceptable gift, either personally or professionally. Is this person in a management role where she has the authority to alienate the vendors? "We demand fruit or we'll never buy from you again!!!"

      People can sometimes be blinded to the big picture by their own agenda.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Terrie H.

        No they are not mgmt. but in any case IMO anyone doesn't have a place dictating what gifts to be's just not don't like the cookies - then don't eat them!

      2. I think it is presumptuous and rude as well. I can't imagine anyone doing such a thing. One rule of business is never to do anything that will annoy your vendors. I can tell you..if I got such a letter..there would be no "gift" forthcoming from my company. Someone should tell this employee that your office consists of adults..and they are certainly free to partake in whatever food gifts are received.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SimplyMarie

          I agree - why potentially PO a vendor who gifts food? Or anything? I don't think one should dictate what gifts one receives....accept gracefully, then eat or donate....

        2. "employee" needs a little woodshed talk from "boss".

          1 Reply
          1. re: Veggo

            I'm hoping the Boss doesn't agree....

          2. The vendors have most likely ordered and have delivery set up for their annual gifts, if they haven't already been delivered.

            If the food will remain unopened and uneaten, then take it to a local organization or neighboring office, which will appreciate it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Cathy

              No, it doesn't remain unopened or uneaten - they are trying to prevent such. And while they have good intentions, IMO it's once a year so don't worry about it. Not a large office - 30 people or so. I see their point, but IMO you don't tell a gifter what to gift.

              1. re: jenscats5

                30 is a lot of people; it isn't like each person will get 3 dozen cookies in one gift.

                This person is not management and it isn't his/her place to initiate a memo to vendors.If there were some sort of need to send a memo, it should have been done a month ago, by management. Sorry you have a control freak co-worker who should be more interested in his/her job and not this once a year gift thing from vendors.