Should I get a holiday gift for my boss, or will that appear creepy?

Should I get a holiday gift for my boss, or will that appear creepy?

I just started a new job, and I’m wondering if I should purchase a holiday gift for my supervisor. Will this make me appear to be a schmuck?

Depends on the item purchased. A Rolex would make you appear worse than a con artist, but a fruitcake would be worse than no gift at all. Something baked would be ideal, unless your boss is allergic to nuts and need an EpiPen as a chaser. Such are the risks associated with office gift-giving. Rule of thumb: You are not required to exchange gifts at work, but if it is the custom, gift down to staff, not up to your boss — unless you have a special and tight relationship with your employer that has established otherwise. Buying a present for the boss as a group is the safest method to play Santa at work.

This year, we returned to the office, and the firm is currently hosting a holiday party. Not because of COVID, but since I dislike workplace Christmas parties, I do not wish to attend. Is it impolite to decline it?

You can genuinely claim dread of COVID, unless you’ve spent the past year in close quarters with coworkers in the lunchroom near the coffee machine.
Recent surveys indicate that 42% of employers are planning holiday parties this year, and ironically, the majority of employees would prefer not to attend, as it involves congregating around the buffet table and bar with coworkers and the boss, with whom most employees would prefer not to spend more time than necessary. In addition, free food, alcohol, and music were never a prescription for job progress; rather, they were career-limiting maneuvers. As in a casino, breaking even is winning, therefore the aim is to emerge with your career and reputation intact. My advice is to show your face, smile, be gracious, and thank your hosts and boss, then make a hasty exit before intoxication sets in (or the dancing.)


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