My subdepartment deals with relatively few vendors in the course of the year. Which means, we get relatively few holiday treats.
That’s for the best, I’m sure. As Mark pointed out, there are often too many temptations available at this time of year. Anyway, if I really wanted vendor-provided treats, I could walk down to the executive end of the building, by the Assistants, and help myself to all manner of treats.
Or, at least the treats no one else wants. Which is usually what’s left by the time I break down and go over. Which is probably why I’m able to resist at all. (Imagining all the hands that have already picked through the treats… and shuddering.)
I think the holidays bring out a weirdness about this stuff. My subteam is small, my boss is not particularly known for a sweet tooth, but DANG if she didn’t get a box of Godiva chocolates and took them home unshared.
(I’m laughing as I say that. It was entirely her right keep them, of course. They’re her vendor, anyway, not ours. I’m actually relieved she didn’t break open the Godiva. I would never have been able to resist those… I didn’t even WANT to resist them…)
But all of this reminds me of the other places I’ve worked. Do most offices or at least most teams have some sort of agreed upon or subtle cultural divvy approach for vendor holiday goodies?
At the first company I worked at, it was a small company, and everything was for everybody. Share and share alike. It was like a perk. The law firm would send us a 10x scale business card made of really good chocolate every year. Most of us never even dealt with the law firm, but we looked forward to that gift at the holidays anyway!
At my last company – bigger company, similar-sized team – we had a small cluster of vendors; most of them in common, a few specific to one role (one person) or another. With a few exceptions, our manager (as the Boss) would usually get the goodies coming to his attention, and then he’d set them in our team’s common area for sharing. Again, most of our vendors were OUR vendors, collectively. If it was HIS vendor, he’d still set it out for sharing. So if it was MY vendor, and they sent something to me, I followed his lead and shared. So did everyone else. ALMOST everyone else.
We had one woman who invariably claimed HER vendor’s goodies for herself alone.
Which on one hand is totally fine. If you deal with them, and no one else does, it was meant for you.
It’s fine. But realize that people notice that you do that, when no one else does. And people notice if you take that tack with YOUR vendors and then ALSO help yourself to the goodies from THEIR vendors that you DON’T use. And (true story) they especially notice if you’re kind of b*tchy about it if you don’t get a good selection or even first dibs from someone else’s vendor’s goodies.
Like, really? Did we all miss the memo that said everything is for and about you?
I look back on it, and I realize that Christmas can bring out the kid in all of us…
And that’s not always a good thing.
So tell me (heck, that’s what Comments are for)… How does your office treat vendor goodies? Do the holidays bring out the best, or the worst, in you and your colleagues?