On being hit up for money at work

I hate getting hit up for money at work.

I have only been at this job for about a month. My first week there I was hit up for money for United Way. If I want to wear jeans at work I have to pay $1.00 per day for that “privilege” and the money is for United Way. Screw that I say.

First, I am not paying just to be able to wear what I am most comfortable in. If a company is too stupid to realize that I would get more done if I was more comfortable then it is their loss. Second, why would I want to give money to my company so that they can donate it in their name and then get heralded as such a giver to the community for their generous contribution to United Way? Third, why don’t I get to choose who the money goes to? Even better, let’s knock out the middleman and let me just bring you in a receipt of where I gave money to my charity of choice.

And then when you don’t give your money away you have your co-workers and such treating you like crap because they think you are just a stingy wanker about it all. Or they do something to try to make you feel like crap like letting everyone that contributed have a pizza party …. or they get to wear jeans. The point is that it becomes obvious who did and who did not give, and then you get the people that did give doing that whole “holier than thou” routine to the people that did not give.

Anyways, last week I was hit up for money at work. On Wednesday I arrived at work to see a present on my desk and all of my co-workers. My boss had given everyone $25 restaurant gift cards for Christmas. That afternoon one of my co-workers goes around telling everyone that money is being taken up and on Friday they are going to buy a gift card for the boss for Christmas. Clearly, there was no intention here of buying the boss anything at all until the boss gave them something. Guess they didn’t want it to be in bad taste if they did not turn around and give her something. And I won’t even go into how annoyed I was that they just assumed that I celebrated Christmas.

So, as you know from my mentioning how I make free iced tea at work with the hot tea station and the ice machine, then you probably know that I was not too interested in giving money for the boss. First, I am so totally focused on debt reduction it is almost crazy. Second, I am not really all that fond of the boss. Remember, she held me hostage last week for mucho hours of work. Third, if I wanted to give the boss a present then I would go out and get something myself. And I wasn’t going to give just because reciprocal gifting has become expected the societal norm.

I give when I want to and I don’t wait for a holiday as an excuse to give. When I see something that makes me think of someone else – that is when I give. I feel like it has more meaning than just “oh, it’s Christmas, here is your annual gift from me.”

On Friday, the gift money collection calvary started making their rounds in my department around 10 am. They get to my desk and tell me that they are taking up money for the gift card for the boss — here is the best part — and she actually said to me, “everyone has been giving $15 to $20, so how much do you want me to put you down for?” I almost choked on my gum. See, I try to put a $20 cap on gifts for people that I actually love and care about. So, I decided to secure my place as the office leper.

“I’ll have to pass this time,” is what I told her.

Well, you would have thought that I had spit in her face.  And the rest of the afternoon involved everyone playing their part in the “holier than thou” production that was going on in my department.