Office Politics 101: A gift that warns

A salesperson who calls on our company has recently begun sending small gifts to my home.

Q: A salesperson who calls on our company has recently begun sending small gifts to my home. He has never mentioned the gifts when visiting my office, but I feel I should say something. Do you have any suggestions?

A: You need to ask yourself, “Why is he giving me these gifts?”

The answer may be more complex than you realize. Gifts given to people in a business relationship generally have a different intention than those given to friends.

If you recall the last time you received a gift from a relative or close friend, you valued it is a symbol of love or affection. The motive was obvious and nothing was expected in return.

On the other hand, the salesperson is giving you these gifts with a more practical purpose in mind. You have rewarded him with business — which has probably enhanced his commissions — and so now he is tangibly demonstrating his appreciation.

In addition, the gifts are implicitly communicating that continued business will mean more gifts. The connection between the two should not be overlooked.

More troubling, however, is the fact the gifts have been sent furtively to your home. They are, in effect, being given to you secretly in order than no one in your office should know.

You say he has not mentioned the gifts when visiting you; this is not surprising because the gifts have been given to you personally.

You may not like the word, but I would suggest you are accepting “bribes.”

And, while the gifts are not particularly valuable — at least in contrast to the money offered to some disgraced politicians — it is really the principle you should consider.

It is entirely possible the gifts will incrementally increase in value, so you may suddenly realize they total something quite significant.

Your only option I believe is to return all the gifts and request he immediately desist sending you any further gifts.

You don’t have to embarrass him or make him feel uncomfortable.

The idea of sending you gifts make even have originated with his supervisor, so it is not necessary for you to reprimand him.

Once the slate is clean, you may continue to have a productive professional relationship, which should not affect the continued opportunities for you to purchase needed products and services from him and his company.

Submit your confidential questions relating to work and office life to simon@officepolitics101.com

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

As avalanche danger grows, BC heli-skiers exercise caution

Company relies on guides’ decades of experience

Heli-skiing operation “very concerned” by new caribou protection regs

Habitat protection is important, but ‘at what cost?’, asks Nakusp tourism operator.

Local artist brings his work to Art Gallery of Golden

A new art exhibit is coming to the Art Gallery of Golden and this one has a gentle PG advisory.

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Most Read