Post # 1
I work in a lab – there are 3 postdocs, 1 PhD student, 2 technicians, and 1 professor (my boss). I invited all of them (and their SOs) to the wedding, and everyone except one of the technicians attended. Given their salaries, all of the postdocs and the PhD student were really generous with their gifts.
Now, I know that my boss easily makes more than all of the postdocs combined. He might even make more than everyone in the lab combined. He also has a questionable relationship with the two technicians (which is pertinent, and not just some bizarre detail). (My husband admits that there’s a really weird/sketchy vibe among my coworkers.) But what they do in their personal time is their business. (And honestly, I find the drama somewhat entertaining.)
Anyway – my boss and the 2 technicians all went in together on a gift. And while I realize I should be thankful, their joint gift was less expensive than some of the gifts given to me by the (dirt poor) postdocs.
Given all of this, I’m kind of spiteful about the whole thank you card situation. My husband says that I should just write one card and hand it to my boss. But I sent everyone else in the lab their own card, since none of them bought a joint gift. It just makes me crabby, though, to have to thank all three of them for their “generous” gift. (I’m also a bit miffed (and amused) that my intoxicated boss spilled a glass of scotch on me before the cocktail hour was even over, but that’s another issue entirely…)
So, what would the hive do? Write one card and hand it to my boss? Write one card and mail it to my boss’s house, since the technicians are over there on a fairly regular basis (*ahem*)? Write three cards and send them to everyone separately? Spitefully refuse to thank any of them (which my inner Miss Manners won’t allow, but it’s fun to think about)?
Post # 3
Unfortunately, it would be best (etiquette-wise) to send three separate thank you’s. I think it’s completely unprofessional that two technicians and the boss are spending so much time together in a questionable way. If you’re working in a place with HR or another place with some sort of accountability, he could be let go or worse, the technicians could file a lawsuit against him or the company. (I’m not sure if you’re working for a university, private practice, or a company.)
Post # 4
I would just write three thank you notes. We really don’t know anyone’s financial situation, and a salary doesn’t tell the whole financial story. Some people may be $300,000 in credit card debt or have mortgages they can’t afford-which isn’t your fault but I think it should be taken into consideration.
Post # 5
I would write a nice thank you note to each of them. It was very nice of them to get you a gift and since they split it three ways, it was more than likely based on the lowest income, so they could all contribute the same. They didn’t have to give you a gift at all, so I would just be thankful that they gave you one.
Post # 6
I would send three separate thank you’s. You don’t know what anyones situation is but they might also just be cheap. Be thankful that they thought of you and move on, it’s not worth the energy to get upset. We’ve had some family give very little and we are feeding them! When it comes down to it, it won’t matter because we are going to have a great day with everyone.
Post # 7
@beekiss2: I agree that it’s unprofessional, but I don’t really envision any adverse consequences (and don’t think there should be). The three people involved have all known each other for years, and there’s no favoritism shown at all. My boss is exceptionally good at treating all of his employees equally, whether he’s in a cranky mood or a good one.
@flamingred: While I have not seen his bank statement, I do know that my boss purchased a textbook for a summer research student (who ended up being a total flake) that was more expensive than my wedding gift. I’d be about 99.9% confident stating that he’s not struggling financially. At all.
Post # 8
I’d write them 3 separate cards. Although I do feel your resentment on the gift front a little. Could they just be unused to giving gifts for a wedding and therefore didn’t know what the best course of action was?
Post # 9
I think it is common for co-workers to do a joint gift. Write a thank you card to all of them. The students that got you the more genourous gift might be closer to you. And if you boss is male maybe he doesnt know much about gift giving. I know my dad is clueless when it comes to etiquette but he means well.
Post # 10
- Wedding: March 2011 - The Viceroy
The fact is that no one is under any obligation to give you a gift, so everyone who gets you any kind of gift (large or small) should be given their own thank you card. Some people are generous gift givers, some aren’t, I wouldn’t hold it against anyone.
Post # 11
Sadly, some people are just more generous than others, regardless of what they make. Ask any pizza delivery person! Write each a similar note.
Post # 12
I would write one card for all three of them and have it displayed in the lab (or other common area). Or you could write one thank you card addressed to everyone in the lab, not give any separate thank you cards to the prof or techs, but to the post-docs and PhD student.
Also, the cost of the textbook he purchased for the summer student could have been absorbed by a grant or professional expense account. That’s how I purchase mine.
Post # 13
@periwinkle: Your delivery person comment cracked me up – well played!
Post # 14
Write each a very similar note, I’m sure that’ll get the point across. On a side note- I can’t believe your boss spilled a drink on you!!!!!
Post # 15
People that have plenty of money, usually do so for a reason… they can be far tighter with it than those who have less! Give three separate cards, no point lowering your own standards. Feck it.
Post # 16
Ever hear the expression, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth?” I never compared the monetary value of the gifts given to me at my wedding, I appreciated the fact that someone took the time to purchase something for me. I would write three very nice thank you notes, and move on from the fact what you expected from your boss, wasn’t what you got. They could have not come or given you a gift. Be grateful, not spiteful.