HR Strange But True!
December 06, 2011

The end of the year is a great time to boost employee morale. Bosses often recap the team’s successes, discuss exciting projects for the New Year, and some decide to show their appreciation with gifts. However, this personal approach can quickly become awkward if the gifts are anything like these.

As part of Inc.’s 2011 holiday gift guide series, they highlighted a few of the worst gifts bosses ever gave. Here are a few from the list:

Reciprocation Gone Awry—After employees took their boss out to lunch, he decided to reciprocate the holiday cheer, writing checks to the employees. However, the office manager quickly had to tell the employees they couldn’t cash the checks because they would bounce.

Team Spirit—This one’s a personal favorite. One employee said his boss gave him the same gift 2 years in a row … a high-five.

Check Please—How would you feel if your boss took you and a few co-workers to an expensive restaurant and encouraged you all to order the most expensive items on the menu? Many of us would assume that the boss was picking up the check. Not for this employee. At the end of the meal, the boss asked for separate checks. Ouch!

Maybe You’ll Like It—Who doesn’t like a Harry and David gift assortment? Well, employees may feel a little cheated if the package has the boss’s address on it. Tis’ the season for re-gifts.

Religious Mix-Up—Most companies have to be careful when it comes to celebrating the holiday season. Typically, it’s best to avoid religious symbols altogether, advice this boss didn’t take. An employee at a fitness company opened the strangest gift of her life, a coffee mug that sang Dreidel, Dreidel—courtesy of her boss. Apart from clearly being religious, she’s also not Jewish. The gaffe didn’t stop there: She said that the cup wouldn’t stop playing the song, so eventually she had to take the batteries out.


What's the weirdest thing your boss (or ex-boss) has done during the holidays? Tell us your story.

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