WWYD: The Gift from Management

In this installment of “WWYD,” receiving gifts from management:

I started this new job 3 months ago and to congratulate me for passing probation and doing well, my boss gave me expensive tickets to a sporting event that I have no interest in. Our company purchases these tickets to give out as gifts to our customers, and each manager is given a certain number of tickets, the value of which is deducted from their salaries.

I thanked my manager profusely and accepted the tickets, but now I’m stuck with tickets for a sporting event in a month’s time that I can’t use. In this situation, can you give the tickets to a friend or family member who will really enjoy them, and just catch the game highlights in case of any, “So! How was the game?” questions come up? Or is it better to own up and say that while you really appreciate the gesture, you’d rather have the tickets to someone else? I don’t want to be rude or offend my manager (who can be on the sensitive side) by rejecting the gift! — M.

You know what sounds stressful to me? Watching the highlights of a sports game I have no interest in, and then going to work prepared to pretend like I was at the game when, in actuality, I gave the tickets to a friend who I knew would enjoy them a lot more than I would.

Since the value of the tickets is deducted from the manager’s salary, I’d say, “Oh that’s so generous of you, but I’m not much of a [sport] person, and I’d much rather see them go to someone who would appreciate them.”

If you really think the manager would be offended for turning down the offer, I’d graciously accept the tickets and then would either give them to a friend or family member who’s a fan of the sport (they’re your tickets now, and you’re totally allowed to do that), or I’d even go to the game with that friend or family member and would try to have a good time (I’m not much of a sports person either, but I’ve always had fun going to baseball and basketball games with friends because a big part of it is drinking beer, eating greasy food, and having great conversations).

Honesty, in general, is usually the best policy. If the manager follows up later about the tickets and I had decided to give the tickets away, I’d say, “One of my friends is a huge [sport] fan, so I decided to give it to her because I knew she’d appreciate it much more than I would. She had the best time, and I’m so happy I was able to give her those tickets.” Any manager who would have a problem with that—well, prepare yourself to deal with some more office politics coming your way.

 

Email me your WWYD experiences to me with “WWYD” in the subject line. See previous installments.

 

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