questionsare you offended if someone can not accept a gift?


you might think it's nice to offer a gift, but you are really asking them to lose their job over it. my company had a strict no rule. i had people insist. i kept saying no. they kept saying yes, even after i explained i could lose my job. i finally found that if i said "pick a charity. any charity you want. make a donation in my honor." usually made the offerer less upset, and me less likely to lose a job over a 5dollar tip.


In a work situation, totally understandable to refuse a gift.

I'd actually say it is in general too, though it hasn't ever occurred to me the the gifter might be offended. I'm exceptionally helpful by nature, I get a great sense of joy and satisfaction in knowing I've helped someone. I don't need gifts as thank yous. Plenty of people have offered, and I've politely refused.

I suppose if someone were to give me a gift without asking, I might accept it if I didn't have any obligation not to. It's a very kind gesture on their part, although I could easily feel how some people might feel that it detracts from the altruism of the original kind gesture.

As for me being the gifter, I dont know. If they have a job at risk, I'd completely understand. But then again, if they dont want to be repaid, they dont want to be repaid. For many people, myself included, the thanks/ desire to repay is more than enough.


I'm offended by the person refusing the gift, I'm offended by the company that imposed the policy in the first place. If somebody goes out of their way to help me, it's nice to be able to do something for them in return to show that their generosity is appreciated. With the "no gift/tip" policy in place, it makes it hard to do that.

On the other hand, I can understand why companies impose the policy in the first place. Unfortunately, there are people out there that will take bribes in exchange for providing favorable services while neglecting those who don't give out gifts.

Either way, someone somewhere is going to be offended. You can't please everyone all of the time, right?



That being said, I've had people offer me money -not much, just a dollar or two- in exchange for helping them, and I normally refuse. My reasons are purely selfish, however: helping people makes me feel better about myself and gives me a sense of purpose, and accepting a gift/tip negates that feeling. Making somebody's life just a little bit easier, making their burden just a little bit lighter, is one of the best feelings in the world.


Well...I don't think I'd take a support Obama t-shirt as a gift...even if it was from a group of mean-intentioned firefighters. That would be like offering the Pope contraceptives as a Christmas Gift. Poor form.


Ok...When my son was in drug court I was so pleased with his progress I wanted to give the people involved in helping redirect his path a gift, so I bought gift certificates from a local BBQ and gave it to the judge, parol officer, rehab counselor, etc. They all gave the certificates back to my son and said they were not allowed to accept them and that I should not attempt to thank them again. I was a hurt not becasue they returned them but 1} that I didn't know the protocol and felt foolish and 2} that there was no way I could express my gratitude without it coming across as a bribe. Even when he graduated from the program I was unable to do anything except say thank you and what they did meant so much to me, it just didn't seem like enough.


When I worked at certain places, we were told not to accept tips/gifts/etc. I have had people offended that I wouldn't allow them to sneak money to me, but really that strikes me as odd. I believe in integrity (doing the right thing, even when you know nobody is watching), and when someone follows a rule or policy, even if nobody else will know, then that impresses me. I won't try to force it on someone, because they are people of character.

Personally, I also hate receiving gifts since it puts me in an awkward position. I most likely don't want it, and would prefer people just keep it and go away after I am done with my job. I also don't give gifts, unless I find something that strikes my fancy for the other person.
Of course, then we have to consider time and place. Was this a meeting of two friends, or co-workers? Or was this a reward for someone doing what they are already paid to do? I might be offended if my best friend told me No, but that is about it.


I cannot imagine being personally offended because someone's company policy means I can't give them a thank-you gift. Every company or government agency in which I've seen such a policy has a special reason to avoid any possible appearance of quid pro quo or favoritism, and the last thing I'd want is to have my gratitude for assistance backfire and become a problem for someone.

Instead, I ask for the names of their supervisors and their department heads and send glowing letters of appreciation for above-and-beyond service, especial kindness during a difficult period for me, or whatever seems appropriate for the particular instance. Letters of this sort usually get placed into personnel records, where they can make a positive contribution to the employee's employment options.

I'm also very quick to send send simple, non-schmaltzy thank-you cards with personal notes of gratitude to people who've been especially helpful. Recognition of extra effort all too often goes unsaid.


@cindihoward: I had a similar situation with a family member; the judge withheld adjudication of guilt, meaning that upon completion of his sentence there would be no criminal record. This was so unusual for that judge that his court staff turned in surprise when he pronounced sentence. I sent him annual letters of gratitude, stressing how well my FM was doing in putting his life back together; I wanted him to know that his trust in my FM had been well placed. After the third letter (when the FM had completed all his legal requirements) the judge wrote me back. He said he had received my latest letter the same day he'd submitted his notice of retirement from the bench (and now felt it was appropriate for him to reply), that he'd enjoyed reading about the FM's progress, and that it was very unusual to receive ongoing affirmation that his judgment of the FM's potential had been accurate. He thanked me for giving him such a wonderful retirement gift. I treasure that letter.


I'll echo @magic cave on the "praise not gift" idea. I was working at a local school setting up computer labs, then I spent some months running one of the labs so that teachers could rotate classes in for special instruction. Some showed up unprepared, some delivered (or just sent) the class to the lab with virtually no preparation or instruction. One small sub-department of just 4 teachers were stellar: always checking ahead, always with an accurate class roster and lesson plan. I thought the best way to say a big Thank You was to send a note (via e-mail, this WAS a computer lab, after all) to the department head and the Principal giving a special "thank you" to the 4 teachers by name, with a little story of why they made my life easier. The teachers were thrilled. One of them told me that no one, not a parent, faculty member or staff had ever done that for her. A note to management trumps any gift.


@cindihoward: THIS is where finely crafted letters of appreciation can come in handy. A letter written to the individual's superior or manager, or even to the head of a company, extolling the outstanding service of the employee is a professional way of expressing your appreciation. Letters of appreciation should be kept in an employee's personnel record and can come in handy when the employee is coming due for a raise or promotion.

I've recently experienced some absolutely outstanding customer service by the pharmacy staff at my local Publix pharmacy. I am planning on not only speaking with the store manager about the staff, but also writing a letter of appreciation.


I'm a government employee and we are not allowed to accept gifts as individuals. I do earn people's gratitude from time to time, and fortunately they generally understand the rules. If they want to give me something physical, they can give me a cake or a box of cookies or something like that to be shared with the whole Department. That's acceptable. Or they can send my boss a glowing letter for my Personnel file, which doesn't do much for me professionally (government employee) but does make me feel great. But even just telling me "thanks so much for all your help" makes my day and costs nothing. I try to remember to do the same thing when someone has helped me.