Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A sad farewell to Colleague

If, in this time of economic upheaval, the worst should happen and a friend, colleague or countryman pushes or is pushed to get out of there job the whole workplace enters a period of uncertainty. Often this can be due to people questioning whether there own job is safe, questioning who will steal the office chair first and finally who has to take responsibility for the leathery plant that seems to be the only greenery for a few kilometres.

But the other thought that start to plague people and makes people watch each other like hawks is when the required envelope goes around for the “farewell present” that work has decided that it can’t afford. And while the office personal assistant hovers over you watching your hands move inside you’re almost empty wallet you have to put the right note in without seeming like a stingy bastard or put too much to seem overly generous. It’s a fine balancing act between nasty and generous that will invariably land you in trouble unless it matches in with the workplace requirement. The rules of the desk jungle that no-one speaks about but everyone is meant to know. So to all you new workers who are looking in there coffee coins I’ll put down a few notes that will hopefully help you.

On first inspection of the envelope never ask ‘how much is expected’ as that will raise the ire of said personal assistant who will then send it round in an express email to all the other assistants and slow your important stationary order for a couple of month. This kind of question is never said out loud even though it’s valid and only muttered occasionally under a cone of silence. This kind of question is considered an ‘attitude’ that is only seen as being a benefit in an accountant or politician.
A good way to go about this is to mention that you still have to draw money out for the day, though you may still get a scowl, and you can then watch how much others put into the pot.

But I wouldn’t be making my money from this blog without recommending a figure or at least a few figures that should roughly give you an idea how much is right to hand over for some poor unknown worker from the other end of the building who has decided to start his own Origami business. The magical starting figure is $10 and that’s just for your run of the mill, ‘good morning, how are you’ colleague that you chatted to once about beekeeping. If you happen to have a liaison with them at one point or another it might be a good idea to add an extra $10, especially if you have included a deep and meaningful conversation at the Christmas party about your one true love. If this happens to be a close partner of an illicit nature then bump it up to $40 to $50 and if you are already married to them leave it at $50 but add a shopping list to the note especially if they get to leave earlier on that day.
If you are the owner or manager of your section it’s best to match the highest person and if you put in too much, you will be hated for showing off how much more you earn or derided. It can’t be helped as if you didn’t you’d be loathed for putting in too little, so it is best to grin, make a bad joke, insult someone then shut your door loudly.

Now, the recession is apparently about to hit our economy like a cyclone, so I’m going to have to shore up my illegible farewell note script, keep my collection of $10 notes handy and not talk to anyone wanting more than a quick hello about beekeeping.


Hand-E-Food said...

But who can afford farewell presents in these hard economic times?

Mr Fine said...

I agree(if that really was a rhetorical question) so I'm going to talk to the photocopier only from now on. That will be last out the door.