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- - By reebs (chicken whisperer) Date 2017-12-07 11:03 AM
I have a question...
Parent - - By moonglow9 Date 2017-12-07 11:04 AM
I have no idea if I will have an answer.... but...
Parent - By reebs (chicken whisperer) Date 2017-12-07 11:09 AM
Parent - By ironjen Date 2017-12-07 1:33 PM
Parent - - By reebs (chicken whisperer) Date 2017-12-07 11:09 AM
Help a Jew out...

What should I do about holiday gifts for the following people at work (I have no cultural capitol on this).
- direct report who is exempt. Pretty good friend, has been reporting to me for 2 years.
- direct report who is classified. Has been reporting to me since October.  I don't know her that well, mostly in small talk ways.
- two other staff in the office who are classified.  Don't report to me.  One I know doesn't have much money. Both are part of the work "community".
- direct report who is exempt. Has been reporting to me since April.  Works in an office across campus, so not part of my daily life, but I still supervise her.
- "direct report" who is faculty. I put "direct report" in quotes because faculty don't really report to anyone. :roll: I supervise the unit that she's the faculty in.  Have been since April.  Like the one above, works across campus.
- VP's admin who is exempt.  This position was a departmental secretary, but when the old one left, the new person was brought in only as the VP's executive assistant and all the departmental duties have been farmed out or aren't getting done. She's been in the job since October. And although she doesn't report to me, she's part of the community. AND you never want to piss off the VP's secretary!

For those of you who don't know these employment levels, "classified" means they are represented by a collective bargaining unit.  They are the lower paid people at the institution, and are generally in the "service" positions-- secretaries, custodial, etc. Exempt is my classification, non unionized and in administrative positions. Generally higher paid than classified.  Faculty are in a class of their own. :laugh:

I often make candy this time of year, but was wondering if I should do something more, and if so, who for?
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2017-12-07 11:20 AM
As forewarned, I have no tested answer here as my experience with gifting (either giving or receiving) is close to zero. Without launching into a tirade concerning my admittedly idiosyncratic and clearly minority views on the holiday/birthday gifting that most other people seem to enjoy, my thoughts:

--Homemade candy seems fine for all of these people. Most welcome consumables, but do check regarding allergies (dairy, nuts, gluten, eggs, there are a host of landmines in baking/candy-making).
--I would hesitate to give anything more, and would not give a different/additional for one or a few people because these are largely your direct reports. Inciting comparison (the risk that people cannot/will not keep quiet about gifts is real) would not help the relationship with you or with each other - and by extension the team/department with whom you work.
Parent - By gophergirl [us] Date 2017-12-07 11:23 AM
I tend to do coffee (of coffee GC), wine if they drink, and add in some cookies or chocolates. This year we decided instead of buying gifts for the staff (nurses, MAs, front desk) we will each take a day and bring bagels/coffee, lunch, treats, etc. DH gets a target GC from head of department.
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-12-07 11:44 AM
I think making candy, or bringing in a fruit basket for the office, is a good idea. For the office across campus I would suggest a separate plate of candy or basket of fruit for their office. Sending an email with a photo saying "this is in our office if you want to come across and help yourself" is asking them to go a long way for a snack.

Remember, whatever you do now, people will expect in future years. I would avoid giving things like gift cards unless you give the same to everyone and are prepared to keep up the tradition until you retire. People have very long memories and are quick to revert to being six years old and in the "my brother got more than me!" mindset.
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2017-12-07 11:51 AM
I would avoid giving things like gift cards unless you give the same to everyone and are prepared to keep up the tradition until you retire. People have very long memories and are quick to revert to being six years old and in the "my brother got more than me!" mindset.

Agree with this.
Parent - By kelly_v Date 2017-12-08 9:34 AM
that is so true on setting a precedent. I'm thinking about that as I do amounts for daycare
Parent - - By SRoo Date 2017-12-07 11:56 AM
Agree on the low key food ideas.  Fruit basket for the office, a pile of candy, a mound of bagels.  If you start giving thoughtful gifts to specific individuals, you are setting the bar too high for next year.  Bring in some stuff, send around an email inviting them to help themselves, and be done with it.  In my department we take up a collection for the custodial staff and the admin assistant and give a gift card.
Parent - - By moonglow9 Date 2017-12-07 12:06 PM
Yes, the idea of a collective gift for the office makes sense, something that can be shared in a break room or common area.

This year my department is also using some of the funds we pool through the year for things like condolence cards/tokens, wedding acknowledgements, etc. for admin and custodial gift cards.
Parent - By reebs (chicken whisperer) Date 2017-12-07 2:03 PM
It looks like the other two administrators with my same title and I are going to all chip in and bring breakfast for the team next week.
Parent - - By NotSoFast [us] Date 2017-12-07 11:57 AM
Starbucks gift cards. They either use or regift.

One year I got $5 Bagel cards for the entire staff and also the custodian. I think the lady almost cried when I gave it to her. No one remembers those folks.
Parent - By reebs (chicken whisperer) Date 2017-12-07 12:50 PM
Our custodial comes at night, I wouldn't know them if they ran into me on campus.
Parent - By skigirl Date 2017-12-07 9:06 PM
FWIW I have eight staff reporting to me and I do not give them anything individually.  Our research centre does a Christmas lunch (I wish we wouldn't call it a "Christmas" lunch as the underlying assumption that everyone is Christian bugs me, but I've lost that battle) for all the staff and that's that.
Parent - - By ironjen Date 2017-12-07 1:29 PM
Hey reebs (or anyone who has an opinion) I have a question. It's about Trumps announcement that he (aka the US) observes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As a person (you) who has both lived in Israel and is Jewish, does this bother you on any level? Or do you see implications that I am missing? When I first heard about it, my thought was who the hell cares what DT thinks because he has no control over what is or is not the capital of a country. But then I started thinking further (read an article) about it and am confused. Not an usual thing for me when it involved foreign issues or even government issues.
Parent - - By reebs (chicken whisperer) Date 2017-12-07 2:08 PM
This is a sticky one.

Israel has considered her capital to be Jerusalem since her founding, although this became politically declared in 1980.

The US passed a resolution in 1995 (i think) recognizing that as well.

As a human, I believe that a country has the right to declare her own capital.

As a Jew, Jerusalem is an amazing and holy place and will always be the center of the religion, no matter what happens politically.

All that being said, I do not support Trump moving the embassy to Jerusalem at this time.  I do not believe he is doing it for altruistic or pro-Israel reasons. I think he is doing it as a shot across the bow for the arab/muslim world. (yes, I know Arab and Muslim are not synonyms). He is doing it to provoke the Arabs into fighting against Israel. This will also create great risk to the US embassies in Muslim countries. All of this is for him to increase his racist, anti Arab and anti Muslim rhetoric. This is not about recognizing Jerusalem for the Jews it is about poking the hornets' nest that hangs over Jerusalem.

Does that make sense?
Parent - - By ironjen Date 2017-12-07 3:59 PM
Yes perfect sense. I know that DT is the president but honestly, when it first came out what he did, I truly thought who cares because I forgot that he represents our country :meh: In reading the articles I looked at, they said we would no longer be involved with any sort of peace process for the area as a result of his actions. And some other stuff, that makes more sense with your explanation. Thank you.
Parent - - By reebs (chicken whisperer) Date 2017-12-07 4:08 PM
It is a huge set back to the peace process. I'm not sure we will ever get "peace" there, but we did have a reasonable cease fire.  This will undo that.  With who knows what horrible repercussions.
Parent - By ironjen Date 2017-12-08 6:36 AM
Parent - By kelly_v Date 2017-12-08 9:35 AM
interesting, thanks
- - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-12-07 11:40 AM
I have a rant.

We are moving into new offices and it will be all open space. That's not the object of my wrath (different rant!).

A flyer just came out talking about the new setup and there is a paragraph on "workspace etiquettes":
What are workplace etiquettes?  Workplace etiquettes are the guiding principles to keep our workplace running smoothly.  Our new office isn’t just about a new space; it’s also about new ways of working.  Your Change Champions are working on creating a framework to help us work together in an open plan environment.  Etiquettes may include noise and distractions, cleanliness, space reservations, office presence, confidentiality and wellness.

Since when has the word "etiquette" been a noun that can be pluralized? What's wrong with "manners"?
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2017-12-07 11:52 AM
I've not heard 'etiquette' in the plural. It seems to be a collective noun as far as I've heard the usage.... and in the context of flyer at your office, 'manners' would seem to do just as well if someone finds the plural collective to be odd.
Parent - - By NotSoFast [us] Date 2017-12-07 12:05 PM
Oh for the love of Jesus and Mary someone drank the kool-aid.

Be patient. In about 2 years when everyone realizes what a dumb-shit idea this was it will go back to less bad but better cubicles.

Open space SUCKS. You can't hear a thing on the phone due to everyone else on the phone. If a client of yours notices have them send a complaint to your manager via email. If enough clients complain they may change faster.

It actually keeps people from talking. People get so annoyed they put on noise canceling headphones and split the moment they have a free minute to not interact with anyone if they can help it.

Wait until the inevitable...I like Tuna on my salad. Co worker next to me hates Tuna. Who wins?
I like to wear purfume and it is not too much or cheap. Co worker complains all scents give them a headache. Who wins?
I need to talk on the phone 8 hours a day. Co worker needs to concentrate and headphones give them headaches. Who wins?
I like to put my feet up when I sit. Helps my back. Co Worker thinks that is gross. Who Wins?
Parent - By ironjen Date 2017-12-07 1:31 PM
:laugh: to the first sentence.
:cry: to the rest of it.
Parent - By runnertype [us] Date 2017-12-07 4:46 PM
Yup. It's a millennial thing, apparently. One of my sisters works for a company in Brooklyn (blue apron-like) which is all open space. I could not get a damn thing done there and would resort to working from home 24/7.
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-12-07 9:02 PM
They. Have. Signed. A. Fifteen. Year. Lease.
Parent - By Gunna [is] Date 2017-12-08 3:56 AM
Parent - By tritri Date 2017-12-08 8:12 AM
Parent - By NotSoFast [us] Date 2017-12-08 9:54 AM
Its an evil plot to get all you old expensive people to retire early so they can hire young cheaper people willing to throw themselves on the alter of corporate because the fuck off fairy hasn't visited them yet.
Parent - By Mickey [us] Date 2017-12-07 4:21 PM

open offices are AWFUL!

as are "bullpen" cubicles (shared cubicles)

We're getting rearranged & I'm currently peeved because our ginormous cubicles will be reduced to 10' x 10' :blush:, we'll still only have half-height walls, which is only good for short folks like me.

I think your flyer needs to get a bright red pen correction, because it did not include any comments on "grammar police etiquettes"
Parent - By BoredTemp [us] Date 2017-12-07 8:09 PM
"Change Champions"   :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
Parent - - By skigirl Date 2017-12-07 9:07 PM
Open space as in, a cube farm?  Or a big open space with no dividers between desks at all?
Parent - By kelly_v Date 2017-12-08 9:37 AM
guessing it is the latter.  The opposite of a cube farm (unless they are doing very low cubical walls perhaps)
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-12-08 12:35 PM
We are already a cube farm. Now we are going to a big open space, dividers about 12 inches high between worksurfaces approximately 2' x 3', basically long tables with dividers to indicate each person's workspace to avoid spilling into someone else's area.

Also this is beachtoweling. No assigned desks. Come in, pick your spot to work that day. If you come in late you might be in between Hal E. Tosis and Phartie Blossom, or stuck by Whiney Butt or Polly Ticque Pontificator or Coughingup Lung, and if you come in early any of these lovely colleagues might pick a spot next to yours. If you want to use the phone, it's built into your computer, so you have to pick up your laptop and lug it to the "phone booth" quiet room to have your conversation. When you come out the place you were occupying might have been taken. Too bad, it's not your spot, you left it. Find somewhere else. No, you're not allowed to set up shop in the quiet room. Those have to be vacated within a certain time frame.

Your personal possessions, whether things you bring in on a daily basis or things you want to keep at the office (like a change of shoes, jacket, coffee cup, book, calendar), must be stored in a locker every night. Nobody is supposed to be staking out a desk as "mine".

Why yes, some of the "Choice Space" flyers have had "Not My" added to the heading. Dunno how THAT happened...
Parent - - By swandive [us] Date 2017-12-08 12:47 PM
Precisely who thinks this is a good idea?
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-12-08 12:57 PM Edited 2017-12-08 1:00 PM
The powers that be who see substantial savings by occupying a lot less space. Some of the Gen Y group who wish they worked at Google. Those who work from home 9 of every 10 workdays.

Most of us think it is a terrible idea. And I don't think the dreams of "working together, cooperating, sharing ideas" will last long. People are territorial. Didn't they notice in college that the seat you picked the first day was where you sat all semester?

The only saving grace is that working from home may be looked upon with more favour for more people. I WFH every so often without a problem, but many managers aren't as comfortable with the idea as mine is. Also I proved several years ago when DH was in hospice care that I could WFH and be productive. Not everyone can say the same.
Parent - By skigirl Date 2017-12-08 1:04 PM
Satan.  :cry:
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2017-12-08 1:05 PM
Parent - By ironjen Date 2017-12-08 1:41 PM
Parent - - By Nomad Date 2017-12-08 1:57 PM
I've done this on occasions - not planned but when we start a project and don't have the camp/office yet. Working out of a rented house/hotel/someone else's office. We frequently talk about doing it permanently on projects where folks work a rotational schedule like 21 days on/10 days off so you actually need 2 spots for 3 people, and we do it for rooms ("hoteling") but it just doesn't work for desk space given the amount of paper everyone has

As you note, people are territorial so the rules will be followed for a short while then it'll become obvious that the early birds always sit in the same places and over time that will become known as 'their desks' and they'll start to leave stuff on the desk overnight, because after all they're first in the next morning and before you know it everyone will have an unofficial assigned spot.

When I arrived in Angola I was really impressed with how fast my team rushed out of breakfast & into the office...until I realised that while there was a desk & chair for each person, several of each had uneven legs, so if you were the last couple of people to arrive...:laugh:
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-12-08 4:51 PM
:laugh: on the people scurrying into the office.

We have a similar situation with one conference room. It has enough chairs for everyone but one chair is broken and does not raise up at all, it is permanently stuck in the "behind brushing the floor" level.
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