Feeling awkward about showers at work

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Can you just get a $10-15 gift or giftcard? I would go and bring a small gift. If it’s a thing the office always does I don’t see it as a big deal. 

Post # 3
6666 posts
Bee Keeper

According to etiquette, work showers are the exception to the rule that anyone invited to a shower should also be invited to the wedding. The justification is that it is the colleagues themselves who are throwing the party with the understanding that they can’t always be included. Of course colleagues who are also social friends may be invited to the wedding. 

Give what you are comfortable giving. 

Post # 4
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

We don’t have this problem with showers, but we have this with birthdays. I’m a part of a small business with around 20 employees, for each and everyones birthday we all donate $10 each and get a cake, icecream, drinks, maybe some finger foods and sometimes a gift if there’s money left.

Even when I don’t personally know the person that well, I always donate because it’s always done for me. If someone can’t donate [due to financial situations], a few of us will throw in a few extra dollars each.

I wouldn’t dream of not giving to the cause, simply to keep the piece in the office.

Post # 5
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Hahaha I saw your title and thought, “What kind of job requires people to shower at work?”

When we have showers at work, I usually go in with a few other people who are sort of in my department for the gift.  The librarian and assistant librarian handle it, but I chip in, regardless of how well I know the person.  I’d find a few people to do that with.

Post # 7
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I totally wrote piece instead of peace. Lol! Too late to change it now.

Post # 9
42082 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

It’s an invitation, not a command performance. You have the option to decline. Just make sure you also make it known that you do not want them to host a shower for you.

Post # 10
3084 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

codysgirl16:  I’ve gone to work showers before and I just think that it’s nice. I don’t thinks a big deal and would probably get something small off of the registry. Especially since it’s a small office b

Post # 12
716 posts
Busy bee

Wow, I’m surprised to hear that there is an expectation of a gift at a work shower.  There aren’t a lot of women in my field, but any work showers that I can remember that I have been to, didn’t include gifts.  The shower itself, with the few treats that people, brought was the gift.  The showers also lasted maybe 1 hour tops.  If you really have to give a gift, I don’t think you’re obligated to give more than a card and maybe a trinket or small gift card.

Post # 13
6431 posts
Bee Keeper

I generally chip in what all the other coworkers seem to be chipping in because we all work with one another rather closely (even though we’re not besties) and I don’t want to be seen as the cheapskate or stand out in a negative way.

Post # 14
3342 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

codysgirl16: I am sorry that your manager or boss doesn’t grow a pair and tamp down these gift grab events. Weddings, babies, house warmings, birthdays–all these events are inappropriate for solicitation of contributtions. And for retirement parties I expect the company to pay for cake and punch, no coworkers. That includes Secret Santa exchanges. If people want to do that chit, take it outside of this workplace.

I don’t allow them in my department and I don’t support passing around a hat for any reason.

Food events are fine with potlucks, but that is entirely at the descretion of each employee, no one is required to bring food. The occasional food events can be a team building thing so they are ok. 

Anyway,  OP, please hold you head up and be proud that you are not allowing others to conscript your own money.  It’s yours, not theirs–they don’t get to decide what you spend it on.

If you truly do not wish to contribute a card and a small dish, be pleasant when you say “I’m sorry that I won’t be able to attend” and then, don’t. Smile, be friendly–but don’t go.

Let me also venture to say that there is likely a fair number of women in your workplace. Only females design this elaborate stuff. Cublicles full of male engineers don’t throw wedding showers.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  .
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