sigh, whiny vent about showers and gift giving

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Posted 10/4/2012 by debgscraps in NSBR Board
 

debgscraps
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/4/2012 2:54:07 PM
So... a co-worker for nearly 7 years is hosting a baby shower for her son's baby mama. All of the ladies in our office, incuding me, were invited.

I get along fine with this co-worker we speak to each other several times a day. My vent is that in the 7 years we've worked togther I have invited her to two weddings, a graduation and two baby showers. She has never attended or acknowledged the events in any way.

I'm sure I was invited just because everyone else in the office was invited. My first instinct was to ignore the invite and not send a gift. Then my guilt kept eating away at me, so I bought a small gift and will give it to her before the shower.

I'm resentful that I have to be the bigger person here. Sometimes I feel like stomping my foot and saying "its just not fair". Sometimes it sucks having to be a responsible adult.


Does this happen to anyone else?

batya
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Posted: 10/4/2012 3:09:49 PM
Well, no. But then I don't send gifts out of obligation. If it's for someone I don't know and/or don't care for and know I was just invited b/c I had to be, I don't bother. Not every invitation needs to be reciprocated with a gift.

I'm sorry your felt cornered into giving a gift, though.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




Creativegirl
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Posted: 10/4/2012 3:17:08 PM

Well, no. But then I don't send gifts out of obligation. If it's for someone I don't know and/or don't care for and know I was just invited b/c I had to be, I don't bother. Not every invitation needs to be reciprocated with a gift.


Same here. I DO look back and feel guilty sometimes, so I understand the feeling. But it seems like 9 out of 10 of these things I receive invitations for are for people I only see once a year, have never visited with one-on-one and I don't even know their phone number. I have to draw a line somewhere.


Anna




zombie*grrl
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Posted: 10/4/2012 3:42:16 PM
Being a "responsible adult" doesn't have to include giving shower gifts to someone you've never met for a shower you didn't attend. I would have politely declined the invite and I wouldn't have sent a gift.

2boysandwill
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Posted: 10/4/2012 3:52:58 PM
If I ever felt I was invited to anything out of courtesy, I simply wouldn't go. When I invite someone to celebrate something with me it's because I truly want that person there. I'd expect the same in return. I don't EVER invite anyone out of obligation. It's not fair to anyone.

Having said that, I also wouldn't send a gift out of guilt or to make a statement that I'm the bigger person. That concept makes no sense to me.

Be the bigger person by thanking her for the invite, but not attending for whatever reason you come up with. Honesty and realness is the best policy here. Don't waste your time with people you don't care about.

It's dumb reasons like this that there are sooooo soooo many fake people in the world. No one wants to be honest anymore.

matleavepea
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Posted: 10/4/2012 4:32:54 PM
i feel the same way about people asking for donations for whatever run/ride/walk, they are fundraising for. i always try to donate, even if it's just $10-$20.

my DH did sears run for children's cancer. i carefully drafted an email (ie. didn't send just a general link), saying i hate to ask and never had before but this is my oldest friend's son who was diagnosed with kidney cancer at 3 years old and was going thru chemo.

only ONE person of the 16 i sent it to donated. it was my neighbour (who i don't know well) and she immediately donated $50. no else even *responded*. not my bff, not my dad.

i also thought it was odd is that several friends i had sent the email to had sourced this friend out on FB. you cared enough to be "friends" with her on FB (and you haven't seen her since my wedding in 1999) but you don't care enough to donate a couple of bucks!?!

so ya, i get it.

gar
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Posted: 10/4/2012 4:37:29 PM
What zombie'grll said. That's not my definition of being a responsible adult or being the bigger person.



Today, I will be colouring outside the lines.


divinghkns
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Posted: 10/4/2012 4:43:33 PM
The same sort of thing just happened to me, kind of. I feel the same way - I know I should just not care but it sort of upset me.

I used to work for the same company I work for now but in a different branch 300 miles away. Every year, a woman from the "home" office, I'll call her Nelly, would send out a giant email pleading for money to support her in a fundraising walk for cancer.

Even though I had never met her before, I had emailed with her once or twice about work related issues, and I felt Nelly was doing a good thing & cancer research is a good cause, so I'd donate $20.

Then I moved to the home office and now I work three cubicles away from her. And every year I still give her my $20. On top of that she has talked the leader of our home office into selling snacks and jeans days to help with her fundraising. So I inevitably end up spending a few more dollars on those things. It's been 5 years now I've given her over $100 for her cause.

This year, I walked in a fundraising walk for the first time ever. It was for Alzheimer's in honor of my gramma and in memory of my great-grandma. I decided to send the email to close friends and family, and several of the co-workers who I have donated to in the past, Nelly included. DId she donate? No. Did she acknowledge me in any way? No.

I know that is very childish of me. I know that the money I chose to give was my own decision and I also know it went to great cause. I didn't donate to get something out of it. I also know that everyone has different budgets/income and different beliefs in how to spend that, which charities to support, etc. Perhaps she doesn't have the money at this time, or has an issue with the organization I was supporting. But it still kind of annoyed me.

As far as the gift - I probably wouldn't have given if I wasn't going to the shower. Especially because I didn't know the momma to be. I guess it would depend on the situation. There have been times where I've given gifts (either baby or bridal) when I didn't have to, but did so because I really loved the recipient or I knew the recipient really needed the help & would appreciate it. But in your case, I wouldn't have felt bad about politely declining and leaving it at that. But to each his own.

Really Red
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Posted: 10/4/2012 5:55:31 PM
I know why you got the gift. And we shouldn't do things tit for tat. But I'd honestly not give anything unless you knew the son or mother of the baby.

And I wouldn't feel (too) bad about it!


Andrea

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SonjaW
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Posted: 10/4/2012 6:52:58 PM
Take the gift back. Inviting people to a shower who don't even know the guest of honor is rude. No need to reward rudness with a gift. Just give you regrets and leave it at that.

Mariah2
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Posted: 10/5/2012 2:17:11 AM
You could have ignored the invite or just given a card. For some reason SHE is not bothered being thought of as a person who ignores these things and you are not.

Really why do you feel "guilt"? You are her coworker and not her friend. She has made that clear by her actions. You don't know the son or the pregnant woman.


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Mariah2
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Posted: 10/5/2012 2:22:56 AM
I should say that every year up until last year I bought all of my siblings a birthday card and gift and only one of them has ever remembered my bday with a card. But I couldn't give up on buying them something. Not until last year. Yes it's hard. I wanted to think of myself as being the person who always remembers. Then for some reason I stopped caring.

This year I made my one sister a card and a GC. Turns out she was leaving her boyfriend of 10 years to move in with another guy that week and she never told me. Or the boyfriend either. She just moved and it was the same week. So I wasted that time and effort and money but most of all I wasted the thought.

Next weekend is my birthday. I will be lucky to get a FB happy birthday and I mean that literally. At least this year I don't feel disappointed and resentful. Bc I stopped giving them presents -- obviously it's not important to them.


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recap.pea
AncestralPea

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Posted: 10/5/2012 4:07:28 AM

Does this happen to anyone else?

Yes, when invited to a shower, I do the responsible thing and give a gift, even if the other person is like the co-worker you mentioned. I know how you feel.


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GrinningCat
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Posted: 10/5/2012 5:58:23 AM

Well, no. But then I don't send gifts out of obligation. If it's for someone I don't know and/or don't care for and know I was just invited b/c I had to be, I don't bother. Not every invitation needs to be reciprocated with a gift.
Agreed. If I don't know the person being honoured and I don't know the person inviting me, then why would I think it's anything other than a gift grab. I'm just not interesting in fostering friendships in the office with people who only see me as a source for gifts or other goods, and I think it's out of line for her to have invited anyone from the office that she is not friends with outside the office.

Peabay
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Posted: 10/5/2012 6:19:07 AM

I decided to send the email to close friends and family, and several of the co-workers who I have donated to in the past, Nelly included. DId she donate? No. Did she acknowledge me in any way? No


I'd never give her another dime.



can_i_pea_2?
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Posted: 10/5/2012 7:06:34 AM

Being a "responsible adult" doesn't have to include giving shower gifts to someone you've never met for a shower you didn't attend. I would have politely declined the invite and I wouldn't have sent a gift.


Exactly, that! Several years ago, a co-worker sent out a mass email inviting everyone to her daughter's baby shower. Said co-worker had only been working here for a few months and no one had met the daughter. That took cajones. No way was I going to feel "guilty" on that one.






blondiek237
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Posted: 10/5/2012 7:11:05 AM
Have you ever met the son, or the mother of the child?? If the answer is no then I would not be going to the shower or buying a gift and I would not feel guilty. Why am I being invited to such an event when I do not even know the people?

scrapaholicmt
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Posted: 10/5/2012 7:16:00 AM
I've never resented taking the high road but I also don't gift out of guilt. I would have sent a card. Period. Honestly, she invited you because she invited the whole office. If she hadn't your feelings might have been hurt. A no win situation.


Jennie
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jenp1024
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Posted: 10/5/2012 7:21:10 AM

I'm resentful that I have to be the bigger person here.


You aren't being the bigger person here. You are giving the gift to avoid feeling guilty. Being the bigger person would be buying a gift and not feeling any resentment about it.

If you don't want to go to the shower or give a gift, then just don't.

batya
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Posted: 10/5/2012 10:50:52 AM
Why are people associating giving gifts to avoid feeling guilt and then actually feeling resentful with being "responsible?"

I don't give gifts that I feel resentful about. That's not the spirit in which I give gifts.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




Kerry in CT
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Posted: 10/5/2012 11:28:40 AM
I just don't get inviting co-workers to events like that unless you are truly friends with them.


Kerry in CT

Annabella
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Posted: 10/5/2012 12:37:25 PM
divinghkns - I would never donate to her again. When I donated to my friend's run he sent out an email to everyone that donated thanking them.




2boysandwill
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Posted: 10/5/2012 12:53:55 PM

Why are people associating giving gifts to avoid feeling guilt and then actually feeling resentful with being "responsible?"


because it rocks the boat when you don't we see this happen all the time, both at work and within families...

and THEN we'll see a different post about how the inviter was impolite because they didn't invite (the one person they don't get along with in the office) out of coutesy

ketsmom
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Posted: 10/5/2012 1:02:03 PM
Well personally I dont go to showers and get gifts for people I dont know. No one in my office would think to invite co workers to something like that. You already bought the gift, right, so just let it go. Next time if you dont want to go or give a gift, dont. Simple.

hollymolly
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Posted: 10/5/2012 5:46:12 PM
Honestly, in this situation, giving a gift when you know you were only invited out of courtesy seems passive aggressive. As in, "I'll show you I'm better than you because I'm giving you a gift even though you didn't give me one."

Just let it go. If I was inviting the entire office, but there was one person I didn't know very well, I'd feel like I should invite them too so they don't feel left out. But I'd be happy if they just said, sorry, can't make it. I'd feel worse if they didn't come but got me a gift anyway, like I was just being gift-grabby, when my intention was only to not hurt the other person's feelings by not inviting.

It's just a ridiculous spiral, really.

ETA: Why are invitations seen as requiring that a gift be given? I invite people because I want to see them, not because I want a gift. I would like to send invitations and announcements without the recipient feeling obligated to send a gift in return.


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