General discussion


Do you accept Gratuities for

By zlitocook ·
A job well done? The company I work for has strict guidelines for this but has nothing for food related gratuities. When I was a self contractor I would get things like a Palm pilot to help me keep track of the companies needs. Or a cell phone with no restrictions so I could be contacted at any time.
But at the company I work for now, we can not receive monetary gifts or gifts worth over 25 dollars. So people show their appreciation by leaving things I like. I have received on my desk, Lipton Green tea, a basket of fresh fruit and two phone numbers!
So what is your weakness that your users know about? And do you accept them, what do you do if they are left on you desk while your away?
I have also been asked to come to dinner at the users home but I declined saying my wife would not like it. :)

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

You opened a can of worms

by mjd420nova In reply to Do you accept Gratuities ...

Yep, I've been offered just about anything you can think of. The most memorable was a 70 pound redwood burl after doing some work for a small sawmill. It was almost five feet in diameter, virtually worth nothing at the time, but with alot of trimming, sanding and polishing, it made the most beautiful coffee table you've ever seen. One time after doing an infra-red survey of the elecrical system at a MACK truck plant I was gifted with my own one foot high MACK bulldog hood ornament. I was not held to any company policy about gratuities as I was not in a position to influence any decisions or policies. Many baseball and football tickets were proferred along with tickets to amusement parks and Zoos. Having four children at the time, most were well appreaciated and helped to defray the cost of a family of six paying full admission. Aside from the usual phone numbers and raised eyebrows, I always refused the personal type of offerings. The biggest refusals were always given to the resturants and bars, as in most cases I was privy to what happened in their kitchens and behind the bar. I never took any free meals or drinks.

Collapse -

MACK bulldog hood ornament

by zlitocook In reply to You opened a can of worms

Cool I would love to get some thing like that! I most case?s the phone numbers stop after they find out that I am married with a child. I did take free meals as long as it was with a group or a division that I was working with, and only lunches.
I also would like the wood I do allot of building on the week ends, I just got a big hunk of hickory after the big storms we had a few weeks ago.
But the little thank you, like an apple or orange is still nice.

Collapse -

Some other Factors to think of

by m.daspit In reply to You opened a can of worms

First is the ethical question is the gratuity for services performed or for an expectiation that you will perform in some way that will beneefit them. Coming from the public sector the laws vary state to state but the general rule I use is "if it appears inappropriate then it is in the eye of any thrid party.

Second gratuities of monetary value are taxable income weather in cash or gifts. And beleive me the IRS has ways of cross referencing particularly when auditing the business that gave you tickets to the ball game the wrote it off some where. Beware

Collapse -

Generally don't accept

by DMambo In reply to Do you accept Gratuities ...

One time a lady brought her daughter's laptop in with a totally smoked hard drive. I told her to go out and buy a new drive, then I installed her OS, apps, etc. She tried to give me a $50 restaurant certificate, but I told her that I did most of what I did at work, so I didn't want to take anything for it. I told her she could consider it a fringe benefit. She told me she would mail the certificate to my wife if I wouldn't take it, but I told her that I'd just bring it back to her.

When I found the anonymous 12-pack of beer in the back seat of my car one afternoon, I decided to just take it and have a good weekend. (Even if it was Coors Light. I guess it's the thought that counts.)

Ohters usually just give me a hearty thanks or a card, and that's all I'd want.

Collapse -


by zlitocook In reply to Generally don't accept

Bad hang over there, at lease say in passing that you like a dark lager beer.

Collapse -

My top 10 beers

by DMambo In reply to Coors?

1) Free beer
2-10) assorted brands of (mostly) locally brewed dark beers and ales.

Collapse -

free is good

by jdclyde In reply to My top 10 beers

When it is real hot out on the golf course I will do a coors or two before switching over to Blue.

At home I have Red Stripe and Kilians.

Has been just sitting there, because I have been grabbing the scotch out of the freezer instead.

Collapse -

Since they have a policy it is easy, to be safe

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Do you accept Gratuities ...

ask your boss if they want a list of what you are offered. But either way the cheap stuff is a OK as per policy.

Anyway if they turn up on your desk and you don't know who from (don't be seen reading any cards) you have to assume that your loving significant other or a friendly co-worker left them for you - maybe even the boss did it as a bonus. Right, right.

I've worked in many situations where this happened, some had policies - some didn't.

Since there is a policy they clearly have no problem with anything under the $25 limit. Anything over that could, in theory, be accepted on behalf of the company (with a nice thank you letter on letterhead - copy to boss and other relevant managers) and dealt with as company property.

In one company I asked my boss if they wanted to know about anything under the limat, and they did - so I kept a note in my diary and sent them a list of what, from whom and when, each quarter.

I don't drink alcohol (especially scotch) and was often given bottles of good scotch (best was a bottle of Lochan Ora - could be mispelt - a scotch based liquor), these I usually accepted on behalf of the company (official letter of acceptance) and they went towards the staff Christmas party drinks.

One time I got two microwaves as part of a purchasing deal (yeah I was the purchasing officer at the time) from Memorex (major purchase of 300MB Disk packs in mid 1980s). I accepted on behalf of the comapny and placed in the staff lunch rooms of our two biggest offices, after bringing them on to the accounts as assets. Pissed off the company accoutnant who had spoken to someone about taking one home for himself.

Collapse -

A Purchasing Agent is DIFFERENT

by jdclyde In reply to Since they have a policy ...

because that can be seen as kickbacks for buying from one person over another based on the goodies you will get, rather than based on quality/price.

You HAVE reminded me of one thing. A few years back there was a class action suit against Toshiba for knowingly sending out laptops with a bad controller. The person whos job it SHOULD have been to get involved in the suit couldn't be bothered as it didn't do anything for her, so I signed up for our five laptops we had that qualified.

One day I got a letter addressed to me personally,(no mention of the company) and inside were five certificates, each for $250 towards future Toshiba purchases. Oh yeah, here was also a check written TO ME, for $1400, again, no mention of the company. Would have been very easy to have just pocketed them, but I didn't. The company has been good to me, I am good to them. The check got signed over to the company, and the coupons were used to buy a new laptop for the IT department. (was badly needed).

Collapse -

Yeah, you have to be VERY careful when purchasing.

by Deadly Ernest In reply to A Purchasing Agent is DIF ...

But that was only for a part of my career - that company had no policy on gratuities, until I wrote one.

I had the most offers whilst working in the Australian Government as an administrative person. Not in purchasing but as the person who added things to the unit's budget list and wrote up the justifications for the budget; or signed off the final payment after purchase by others. We had a clear policy and I followed it.

I had some people wonder why I was the only one, of twenty or thirty of the same gifts handed out, to write an official Thank You letter and turn it over to the dept. All the others were govt people under the same policy and I was the only one following the policy. One guy got into mega trouble when his boss got sent the recall notice on the defective portable CD player that had been 'gifted' the dept (the thing had a retail value of A$100), seems he had it at home and forgot to mention it.

You handled those certificates etc in exactly the same manner I would have, and have dealt with similar items. Official thanks and into the company assets, safest way to go. It also stops the other staff from getting upset with you about it.

Related Discussions

Related Forums