Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Money talks, but when my co-workers get a hold of it all it ever says is "goodbye!"

My coworkers are robbing me naked. I can't go to work one day without somebody hitting me up for money.

The worst are the people who treat their co-workers as a captive audience. You know the kind, the ones who are always hustling raffle tickets, cookies, candy bars, coupon books, wrapping paper, crappy jewelry, makeup and so forth and so on to infinity. And I think it's really unfair when a person in a position of authority over you asks you for money. What can you really say to someone who has the power to promote and/or fire you? I usually end up saying something like this:

“I'd like to advance my career, so of course I'll buy the Girl Scout cookies you are selling for your granddaughter!”

Or “You're about to give me my annual performance review, so of course I will buy an expensive raffle ticket to support your pet cause!”

Birthdays are also a huge drain on my wallet. Someone says, “It's Coworker's birthday tomorrow so we need to pitch in and take her out to lunch, buy her a card, buy her a cake and buy her a gift card for that one place we think she probably likes.”

Can't we just do one of those? Maybe just lunch, or maybe just a nice card. Must we do all four? I know I hate shelling out money for birthdays, so I tried to lighten the financial load on my co-workers. I told them they did not have to get me anything for my birthday, but that did not go over well.

“So you're trying to weasel out of birthdays now, is that it?” they accused. “You think by saying that now you don't have to buy us stuff on our birthdays? Think again, sucker, 'cause on our birthdays we still demand cake, card, lunch and gift certificate. We'll just take the money we were going to spend on your birthday and put it towards ours.”
And last but not least is The Moral Committee. They meant “Morale,” but state employees can't spell, so now it's the “Moral” Committee, which sounds like some kind of religious group. They raise funds by asking us to “donate” food, turning around and putting it up for sale and then asking us to buy it back from them. This is to improve morale. The profits then go towards an office party, which I never wanted in the first place. I see my co-workers enough as it is. I do not want to see them at an extra, after-hours party.

I come to work to make money, but I'm just barely breaking even.

Is anyone else getting swindled by their co-workers? Pressured by their superiors to buy things? Leave a comment, if you please.


  1. At my last job, the culture was really fantastic. Only thing was you felt obligated to keep putting money into envelopes and signing cards for employees you hardly knew.

    Anyway, I must have signed so many cards with, "Kez *surname*" in case they didn't know who I was the surname was important. I found so many ways to write generic messages. Felt so wrong!! I felt like an idiot but I didn't want to hurt any feelings or be seen to be stingey!

  2. Ah I was lucky. I just worked with 4 other people and so the birthday shindigs were not too frequent. We didn't go all out, just a cake and a card. However, Friday was my last day at said job and they did go all out. Cards, dinner, wine, presents, books and a goodbye bonus!

  3. This is where the perks of passing out scotch samples and door hangers for 16+/hr come into play. I have no real set of coworkers that I see regularly enough to justify spending ANY money on, much less a small fortune.

    Do what you need to do for your superiors, but your coworkers, being familiar with the concept of working to support themselves, should btfo.


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