Gift Giving

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Gift Giving

Poll ended at Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:01 pm

Gift Card
14
61%
Packaged Gift
5
22%
Some Packaged, some card
4
17%
 
Total votes: 23

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UVA2B

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby UVA2B » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:14 pm

I think we can all agree that this thread is the gift that keeps on giving.

Now if we could just incorporate Cheez-it coughing by the assistants, we'd have gold.

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BlendedUnicorn

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:20 pm

NYC2012 wrote:Not to be a dick, and I am all about gift giving - but it is hard to imagine giving my secretary $100 when I started ~one month ago and she hasn't even done a single thing for me yet. I doubt she ever will, I do everything myself?


Not to be a dick but (proceeds to be a dick)

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BlendedUnicorn

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:28 pm

thread was getting confusing so I cleaned up all the use of anon to hide stinginess.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby PorscheFanatic » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:15 pm

Also, especially for stubs like me, a card with a short hand written note will go a long way. This is not in lieu of the cash/giftcard, but just say thank you for something, or just generically for all that they do if the person hasn't specifically helped you.

All in, I spent $150. Gave my secretary a nice card, $100 visa gift card, and 2 bottles of pretty good wine. She has helped me with a fair amount already in the past 3 months.

Also, I think something that goes unnoticed is that since we share secretaries, most of our secretaries work for someone much more important than us. My secretary has worked with one of our more influential partners for 15+ years, and so she gets to plan all of our office/client events because she enjoys doing that stuff. I honestly believe that being in her good graces gets me invited to occasional firm events that I otherwise would not get to go to as a junior associate. It's not super important to me at the moment (though they're occasionally pretty fun and I get to spend more time with the people I work with in a social setting), but I imagine in 3-7 years if I'm still here I'll really appreciate her help getting more exposure with the clients we work for.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby SomewhatLearnedHand » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:21 pm

Should definitely go with a gift so they can exclude. Just think of the tax advantages

edited because I suck at tax and brutalized the joke

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cfcm

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby cfcm » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:36 pm

Cannot tell you how happy I am that this turned into a tipping thread.

NYC2012

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby NYC2012 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:45 am

BlendedUnicorn wrote:
NYC2012 wrote:Not to be a dick, and I am all about gift giving - but it is hard to imagine giving my secretary $100 when I started ~one month ago and she hasn't even done a single thing for me yet. I doubt she ever will, I do everything myself?


Not to be a dick but (proceeds to be a dick)


Lol, I agree!

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby MaxMcMann » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
sublime wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
NYC2012 wrote:Not to be a dick, and I am all about gift giving - but it is hard to imagine giving my secretary $100 when I started ~one month ago and she hasn't even done a single thing for me yet. I doubt she ever will, I do everything myself?


Learn to use your secretary. And while I generally get the stub year issue, you net over 8k a month. You can spare $100 for your secretary.


Yea, possibly making your assistant hate you over $100 bucks seems incredibly short sighted.

At my firm, we do give gifts to paras, staff attorneys, janitorial ppl, and others.


Honest question: what reasonable, well-adjusted person would bear ill-will after not getting a Christmas gift from someone they've known ~2 months?

PorscheFanatic wrote:We make close to $9,000 after taxes with virtually no skillset/value add. Buy your secretary a damn gift, be nice/friendly with them, and get karma on your side. Their work can be miserable at times, just like ours, but for significantly less money. Show them the appreciation even if you barely have a relationship with them, because you'll need it someday.


First, we do not make $9K/month after taxes. Second, it's entirely possible to be nice/friendly without doling out cash for entirely self-serving reasons. Third, it's a job for both them and us and everyone is compensated for the work they do. The gift-schtick around here is so lame. Partners like cheaping out on support staff and create this culture of "gift ur secretary or else ur cheap lololol." Thanks for buying into the GC-schtick.


I worked as a paralegal at 3 firms before school. Luckily I was never staffed under someone who is as cheap as you, but I guarantee you I would put your work last priority out of spite if you not only stiffed me on a holiday tip but had a toxic Scrooge-like attitude about it.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby raulg » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:23 am

.
Last edited by raulg on Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Danger Zone

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Danger Zone » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:30 pm

My practice group did a pool for our paralegals. Try to figure it out from another associate in your group. Everywhere is different.
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:36 pm

Danger Zone wrote:My practice group did a pool for our paralegals. Try to figure it out from another associate in your group. Everywhere is different.

That's what we're doing. I believe the paralegals will be happy and appreciated.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:33 pm

BaiAilian2013 wrote:Godammit, every damn year this thread just makes me lose hope.

Here's an idea, learn to use your damn assistant because it'll make you a better lawyer. Stop by and exchange words once in a while because it'll make you a better person.

And this is not a "tip" (!!!), it is not part of their compensation package, it is a HOLIDAY GIFT for a person who is in your life. And yes, it is sort of expected, which is not all that weird because so are a lot of holiday gifts! And no, cash (or gift card) is not a "weird" gift, it's the best call for a lot of people outside your friends and immediate family, just like when you give your nephew $25 because who the hell knows what 11 year old boys want nowadays. Why is this so hard?!


I'm anon above who thinks giving cash is weird (though note, I am not cheap and will likely spend more than the avg. person on a gift of some kind).

You give your 11 year-old-nephew cash because it's socially acceptable and normal to give younger generations money, especially when they're that young. But I ask you, would you give your 85-year-old grandmother cash for her birthday? Of course not, even though I bet you don't know what 85-year-olds want either.

My admin is a 60-year-old woman. I'm half her age. She works at a desk and makes decent money. Giving her $100 in cash feels weird. It just does. I think I'm right to feel weird. I may give her cash anyway because that appears to be the culture, but that doesn't negate my point.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:56 pm

Traditions about money are subjective. My mom was horrified the first time she encountered the money pouch at a wedding (or whatever it's called - you know, where the bride walks around wearing a little bag and the guests shove money into it at the reception) and considers it totally gauche. To people who grow up with this at all the weddings they go to it's just normal. Your weird isn't everyone else's weird and apparently isn't biglaw weird.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby nerd1 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:07 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
BaiAilian2013 wrote:Godammit, every damn year this thread just makes me lose hope.

Here's an idea, learn to use your damn assistant because it'll make you a better lawyer. Stop by and exchange words once in a while because it'll make you a better person.

And this is not a "tip" (!!!), it is not part of their compensation package, it is a HOLIDAY GIFT for a person who is in your life. And yes, it is sort of expected, which is not all that weird because so are a lot of holiday gifts! And no, cash (or gift card) is not a "weird" gift, it's the best call for a lot of people outside your friends and immediate family, just like when you give your nephew $25 because who the hell knows what 11 year old boys want nowadays. Why is this so hard?!


It's really not, but our profession is filled with robotic sociopaths who don't understand basic societal norms


It's actually the opposite. This profession is filled with robots who blindly follow "basic societal norms" and are obsessed with fitting in.

There is nothing wrong with critically questioning fundamental societal norms. After all, so many of the things that we blindly do are irrational or inefficient if one thinks deep about them. I believe that no matter what we do for a living, we should keep thinking independently.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:10 pm

Let us know how things go operating under perfect rationality and efficiency in your social interactions.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Danger Zone » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:11 pm

nerd1 wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:
BaiAilian2013 wrote:Godammit, every damn year this thread just makes me lose hope.

Here's an idea, learn to use your damn assistant because it'll make you a better lawyer. Stop by and exchange words once in a while because it'll make you a better person.

And this is not a "tip" (!!!), it is not part of their compensation package, it is a HOLIDAY GIFT for a person who is in your life. And yes, it is sort of expected, which is not all that weird because so are a lot of holiday gifts! And no, cash (or gift card) is not a "weird" gift, it's the best call for a lot of people outside your friends and immediate family, just like when you give your nephew $25 because who the hell knows what 11 year old boys want nowadays. Why is this so hard?!


It's really not, but our profession is filled with robotic sociopaths who don't understand basic societal norms


It's actually the opposite. This profession is filled with robots who blindly follow "basic societal norms" and are obsessed with fitting in.

There is nothing wrong with critically questioning fundamental societal norms. After all, so many of the things that we blindly do are irrational or inefficient if one thinks deep about them. I believe that no matter what we do for a living, we should keep thinking independently.

LOL

Fucking over the little guy = independent and critical thinking!

Nony can you out this joker?

Eta: revised so that the quote is no longer anonymous, thanks mods!
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:
BaiAilian2013 wrote:Godammit, every damn year this thread just makes me lose hope.

Here's an idea, learn to use your damn assistant because it'll make you a better lawyer. Stop by and exchange words once in a while because it'll make you a better person.

And this is not a "tip" (!!!), it is not part of their compensation package, it is a HOLIDAY GIFT for a person who is in your life. And yes, it is sort of expected, which is not all that weird because so are a lot of holiday gifts! And no, cash (or gift card) is not a "weird" gift, it's the best call for a lot of people outside your friends and immediate family, just like when you give your nephew $25 because who the hell knows what 11 year old boys want nowadays. Why is this so hard?!


It's really not, but our profession is filled with robotic sociopaths who don't understand basic societal norms


It's actually the opposite. This profession is filled with robots who blindly follow "basic societal norms" and are obsessed with fitting in.

There is nothing wrong with critically questioning fundamental societal norms. After all, so many of the things that we blindly do are irrational or inefficient if one thinks deep about them. I believe that no matter what we do for a living, we should keep thinking independently.


Trying to decide whether I take a screenshot and post to /r/iamverysmart

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby nerd1 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:51 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
nerd1 wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:
BaiAilian2013 wrote:Godammit, every damn year this thread just makes me lose hope.

Here's an idea, learn to use your damn assistant because it'll make you a better lawyer. Stop by and exchange words once in a while because it'll make you a better person.

And this is not a "tip" (!!!), it is not part of their compensation package, it is a HOLIDAY GIFT for a person who is in your life. And yes, it is sort of expected, which is not all that weird because so are a lot of holiday gifts! And no, cash (or gift card) is not a "weird" gift, it's the best call for a lot of people outside your friends and immediate family, just like when you give your nephew $25 because who the hell knows what 11 year old boys want nowadays. Why is this so hard?!


It's really not, but our profession is filled with robotic sociopaths who don't understand basic societal norms


It's actually the opposite. This profession is filled with robots who blindly follow "basic societal norms" and are obsessed with fitting in.

There is nothing wrong with critically questioning fundamental societal norms. After all, so many of the things that we blindly do are irrational or inefficient if one thinks deep about them. I believe that no matter what we do for a living, we should keep thinking independently.

LOL

Fucking over the little guy = independent and critical thinking!

Nony can you out this joker?

Eta: revised so that the quote is no longer anonymous, thanks mods!


Engaging in a discussion about why the stub years who never had contact with their assistants and most of whom are far from being in the upper class have to pay $100 (not even $50 lol. I myself do not fall into this category that I described and I did make a gift to assistants) = "fucking over the little guy"?

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Danger Zone » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:58 pm

Much critical thinking

So engaging

Wow

Image
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby PorscheFanatic » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:05 pm

nerd1 wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:
BaiAilian2013 wrote:Godammit, every damn year this thread just makes me lose hope.

Here's an idea, learn to use your damn assistant because it'll make you a better lawyer. Stop by and exchange words once in a while because it'll make you a better person.

And this is not a "tip" (!!!), it is not part of their compensation package, it is a HOLIDAY GIFT for a person who is in your life. And yes, it is sort of expected, which is not all that weird because so are a lot of holiday gifts! And no, cash (or gift card) is not a "weird" gift, it's the best call for a lot of people outside your friends and immediate family, just like when you give your nephew $25 because who the hell knows what 11 year old boys want nowadays. Why is this so hard?!


It's really not, but our profession is filled with robotic sociopaths who don't understand basic societal norms


It's actually the opposite. This profession is filled with robots who blindly follow "basic societal norms" and are obsessed with fitting in.

There is nothing wrong with critically questioning fundamental societal norms. After all, so many of the things that we blindly do are irrational or inefficient if one thinks deep about them. I believe that no matter what we do for a living, we should keep thinking independently.


You're exactly the sociopathic nerd being referred to...I imagine social encounters often don't turn out well for you, considering you only make rational decisions.

Also, your point is just very interesting, because you want us to stop tipping secretaries, but you also somehow believe you're not upper class or poor or something, yet you work in Biglaw? Top 1%, sure, maybe not. But upper class (maybe just upper middle), especially by age group, certainly. Net worth doesn't necessarily affect your class level, because someone living in a $500,000 apartment that moved in yesterday has the same quality of life as their next door neighbor that's been living there for 50 years, though the neighbor will likely have a much higher net worth since neighbor has presumably paid off his mortgage balance and has equity. I'm sure society would not look at these 2 people and say one is upper class and one is destitute simply because of the person's negative net worth.

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BaiAilian2013

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BaiAilian2013 wrote:Godammit, every damn year this thread just makes me lose hope.

Here's an idea, learn to use your damn assistant because it'll make you a better lawyer. Stop by and exchange words once in a while because it'll make you a better person.

And this is not a "tip" (!!!), it is not part of their compensation package, it is a HOLIDAY GIFT for a person who is in your life. And yes, it is sort of expected, which is not all that weird because so are a lot of holiday gifts! And no, cash (or gift card) is not a "weird" gift, it's the best call for a lot of people outside your friends and immediate family, just like when you give your nephew $25 because who the hell knows what 11 year old boys want nowadays. Why is this so hard?!


I'm anon above who thinks giving cash is weird (though note, I am not cheap and will likely spend more than the avg. person on a gift of some kind).

You give your 11 year-old-nephew cash because it's socially acceptable and normal to give younger generations money, especially when they're that young. But I ask you, would you give your 85-year-old grandmother cash for her birthday? Of course not, even though I bet you don't know what 85-year-olds want either.

My admin is a 60-year-old woman. I'm half her age. She works at a desk and makes decent money. Giving her $100 in cash feels weird. It just does. I think I'm right to feel weird. I may give her cash anyway because that appears to be the culture, but that doesn't negate my point.

I dunno man, I think you should have a pretty good idea of what to get your own grandmother. The perfume she's worn for 50 years, a hamper of her favorite foods, sugar-free if she's diabetic, jewelry or a handbag that fits her style, more idiosyncratic stuff depending on the specific grandma... lots to choose from, none of which is really appropriate for your secretary. Even food is tricky.

The other thing that makes it different is that your grandmother isn't just older than you - she's your family elder, whereas with your assistant, you're her boss. That can be an awkward dynamic for a lot of young junior associates, but that's the relationship, and that's the backdrop against which we have to choose a gift. You're within your rights to feel weird, but to say that you're right to feel weird is going a bit far.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:32 am

BaiAilian2013 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BaiAilian2013 wrote:Godammit, every damn year this thread just makes me lose hope.

Here's an idea, learn to use your damn assistant because it'll make you a better lawyer. Stop by and exchange words once in a while because it'll make you a better person.

And this is not a "tip" (!!!), it is not part of their compensation package, it is a HOLIDAY GIFT for a person who is in your life. And yes, it is sort of expected, which is not all that weird because so are a lot of holiday gifts! And no, cash (or gift card) is not a "weird" gift, it's the best call for a lot of people outside your friends and immediate family, just like when you give your nephew $25 because who the hell knows what 11 year old boys want nowadays. Why is this so hard?!


I'm anon above who thinks giving cash is weird (though note, I am not cheap and will likely spend more than the avg. person on a gift of some kind).

You give your 11 year-old-nephew cash because it's socially acceptable and normal to give younger generations money, especially when they're that young. But I ask you, would you give your 85-year-old grandmother cash for her birthday? Of course not, even though I bet you don't know what 85-year-olds want either.

My admin is a 60-year-old woman. I'm half her age. She works at a desk and makes decent money. Giving her $100 in cash feels weird. It just does. I think I'm right to feel weird. I may give her cash anyway because that appears to be the culture, but that doesn't negate my point.

I dunno man, I think you should have a pretty good idea of what to get your own grandmother. The perfume she's worn for 50 years, a hamper of her favorite foods, sugar-free if she's diabetic, jewelry or a handbag that fits her style, more idiosyncratic stuff depending on the specific grandma... lots to choose from, none of which is really appropriate for your secretary. Even food is tricky.

The other thing that makes it different is that your grandmother isn't just older than you - she's your family elder, whereas with your assistant, you're her boss. That can be an awkward dynamic for a lot of young junior associates, but that's the relationship, and that's the backdrop against which we have to choose a gift. You're within your rights to feel weird, but to say that you're right to feel weird is going a bit far.


I'm a junior associate. Senior associates are my boss. Why don't/shouldn't they give me $100 holiday bonus in cash? I promise you I'm a lot more valuable to the seniors I work for than their admins are. If your answer is "I make a lot so I don't need it" then my response is money is relative. I certainly don't make a lot compared to senior associates. If your answer is "I already get a bonus," my response is two-fold: a) You already mentioned that the holiday bonus is not part of a compensation package, it's just to show your appreciation for someone who makes your life easier, and so to that end, the same can be said for senior associates towards juniors; and b) I'm fairly confident that admins already get a holiday bonus from my firm, and even if they don't, paras certainly do, and we give them a cash holiday bonus the same way we give admins.

And you're wrong. I have no idea what to get my grandmother (and I am actually close with her) and I'm guessing I'm in the majority. Certainly no strong reason why I'd be more likely to know what my grandmother would want than my nephew. It would depend on your respective relationships with each.

Of course your admin would PREFER cash. Everyone who has ever received a non-cash gift would prefer cash. Even if it's a gift you really like, you could have just bought it yourself if you had gotten cash. And if it's a gift you hate, well then it's a no brainer that cash would have been better. The only person who doesn't prefer cash is someone who thinks it was weird or insulting that they were given cash, and that is kind of the point.

But preferences be damned. I'd prefer to be 3 inches taller, but we can't always get what we want. Just because they'd like it better and/or it's the most convenient doesn't make it appropriate or socially acceptable. If it did, then giving cash would be acceptable as a gift in all situations, always. And it isn't.

So I will give my admin some very nice, non-cash gift. And if she doesn't like it, well, good thing she wasn't counting on it as part of her comp package.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby TooMuchTuna » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:25 am

"But preferences be damned." Lol. Why give someone a gift they actually want?

Anon, do you understand how giving gifts works?

I'd say the fact that almost everyone gives cash to their admins makes it both socially acceptable and appropriate.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:
BaiAilian2013 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BaiAilian2013 wrote:Godammit, every damn year this thread just makes me lose hope.

Here's an idea, learn to use your damn assistant because it'll make you a better lawyer. Stop by and exchange words once in a while because it'll make you a better person.

And this is not a "tip" (!!!), it is not part of their compensation package, it is a HOLIDAY GIFT for a person who is in your life. And yes, it is sort of expected, which is not all that weird because so are a lot of holiday gifts! And no, cash (or gift card) is not a "weird" gift, it's the best call for a lot of people outside your friends and immediate family, just like when you give your nephew $25 because who the hell knows what 11 year old boys want nowadays. Why is this so hard?!


I'm anon above who thinks giving cash is weird (though note, I am not cheap and will likely spend more than the avg. person on a gift of some kind).

You give your 11 year-old-nephew cash because it's socially acceptable and normal to give younger generations money, especially when they're that young. But I ask you, would you give your 85-year-old grandmother cash for her birthday? Of course not, even though I bet you don't know what 85-year-olds want either.

My admin is a 60-year-old woman. I'm half her age. She works at a desk and makes decent money. Giving her $100 in cash feels weird. It just does. I think I'm right to feel weird. I may give her cash anyway because that appears to be the culture, but that doesn't negate my point.

I dunno man, I think you should have a pretty good idea of what to get your own grandmother. The perfume she's worn for 50 years, a hamper of her favorite foods, sugar-free if she's diabetic, jewelry or a handbag that fits her style, more idiosyncratic stuff depending on the specific grandma... lots to choose from, none of which is really appropriate for your secretary. Even food is tricky.

The other thing that makes it different is that your grandmother isn't just older than you - she's your family elder, whereas with your assistant, you're her boss. That can be an awkward dynamic for a lot of young junior associates, but that's the relationship, and that's the backdrop against which we have to choose a gift. You're within your rights to feel weird, but to say that you're right to feel weird is going a bit far.


I'm a junior associate. Senior associates are my boss. Why don't/shouldn't they give me $100 holiday bonus in cash? I promise you I'm a lot more valuable to the seniors I work for than their admins are. If your answer is "I make a lot so I don't need it" then my response is money is relative. I certainly don't make a lot compared to senior associates. If your answer is "I already get a bonus," my response is two-fold: a) You already mentioned that the holiday bonus is not part of a compensation package, it's just to show your appreciation for someone who makes your life easier, and so to that end, the same can be said for senior associates towards juniors; and b) I'm fairly confident that admins already get a holiday bonus from my firm, and even if they don't, paras certainly do, and we give them a cash holiday bonus the same way we give admins.

And you're wrong. I have no idea what to get my grandmother (and I am actually close with her) and I'm guessing I'm in the majority. Certainly no strong reason why I'd be more likely to know what my grandmother would want than my nephew. It would depend on your respective relationships with each.

Of course your admin would PREFER cash. Everyone who has ever received a non-cash gift would prefer cash. Even if it's a gift you really like, you could have just bought it yourself if you had gotten cash. And if it's a gift you hate, well then it's a no brainer that cash would have been better. The only person who doesn't prefer cash is someone who thinks it was weird or insulting that they were given cash, and that is kind of the point.

But preferences be damned. I'd prefer to be 3 inches taller, but we can't always get what we want. Just because they'd like it better and/or it's the most convenient doesn't make it appropriate or socially acceptable. If it did, then giving cash would be acceptable as a gift in all situations, always. And it isn't.

So I will give my admin some very nice, non-cash gift. And if she doesn't like it, well, good thing she wasn't counting on it as part of her comp package.

These are weirdly strong feelings about a harmless social nicety.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:21 am

However weird you feel about giving your secretary cash, you will feel way more weird when everyone else gives cash (and a card) and you’ve just gotten yours a ????



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