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

Gryphons girls graduate as coach moves on

Bulkley Valley SD54 van der Mark on his time as coach and education administrator.

Bulkley Valley members of The North Matter rally in Houston

Pro-pipeline and resource development group driving convoy Saturday, eyes expansion across the North

Open letter from Coast Mountains School District 82 Board of Education

Board commitment to ongoing collaboration to close outcome gaps with First Nations students.

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

RCMP seek Smithers gas station robbery suspect

Smithers RCMP are asking the public for any information on a robbery suspect.

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Smithers spring cleaning

Ryder, 6, and Kalia, 5, Vandergaag help clean up Smithers.

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Most Read