Sunday, April 03, 2011

Work Place Donations

Having worked at the same place for three decades plus, (yes, serious character failing), many times I have donated to fellow workers retirements, to prop them up when they are seriously ill and I know they are not flush with funds, towards flowers for their funerals. It is just something you do.

But, dear readers, it seems to be getting out of hand and work and maybe I will be judged as being mean. That I am is beside the point.

A cleaner finished up at work. He was a contract cleaner who was paid a pittance by an outside firm and had worked at my workplace for a couple of years. I did not judge him as a workmate and he was a lousy cleaner. I refused to donate.

Another workmate's mother died in Mauritius. Again I refused to donate.

Last week a workmate was driving his mother to a hospital appointment. They crashed, not my workmate's fault. His 82 year old mother died in the crash. His sister was also in the car. She is still in hospital. It is awful as his mother lived with him and he was a real mummy's boy, even though he must be forty. I feel so bad for him. So far as I know, it received a two line mention in an online newspaper. A collection is being taken up for his mother's funeral. Why? My workmate is not poor. It would be like asking you blogmates to pay for my funeral. You already know I am not poor, I have a partner, I have family and I have friends. I may not have cash, but I have assets. My workmate might not have a partner, but he has the rest.

I would happily pay a contribution towards flowers for my workmate's mother's funeral but no one has asked me for that.

Do you think I should give begrudgingly? R can be very generous at times with people, yet when they might slight him, he remembers that he was generous to them. Problem.

When I give, I do it with good grace, or I don't do it all. I expect nothing in return.


  1. Honestly this shouldn't even be a question to ask.

    You give if you want to. You don't give if you don't want to.

    No one is twisting your arm.

    And I am not being cynical/pragmatic. Just honest.

  2. I don't think you should give a donation. I wouldn't.
    I agree that donations have got out of hand. Several years ago we were being asked to donate for all kinds of things, especially people leaving the workplace. A collection was going around for a person who'd been there much less time than me, I think just under a year and I'd been ther 5 years, I didn't know her at all because we worked different shifts, and I said no. Similar collection for a baby gift. I didn't know the girl, again said no. I don't feel at all bad about saying no.

  3. The ole cliche applies. "It's the thought that counts."

    Dipping herd-like into one's pocket in these situations is a devaluation.

  4. You're absolutely entitled to say 'no'. I would!

  5. Of course if it was your funeral we would all chip in but only for the piss-up later.

    I've never heard of asking for donations for a funeral from workmates.
    Strange world we live in.

  6. MC, I can't help feeling guilty if I don't give and I like to say I don't care what other people think of me, I do.

    Exactly what I am talking about River.

    LS, I think I should only give to who I feel right about giving to.

    Ideally Kath, yes. But when you work with some people for a very long time it is a bit harder.

    Jah Teh, I'll pay for the booze. Raise your glasses, Alas poor Highriser, we knew him well.

  7. And it is not just in the workplace.
    We are constatly asked to donate to different causes and I think it is important to stop and ask if it is appropriate or is it the knee jerk feel good reaction of someone (often the organiser) Sometimes giving handouts can actually make things worse, probably not in the workplace but in the bigger world.

    Oh and when people leave for a new job why are we rewarding them for leaving us? Unless we didn't like them and are glad to seem them go. Perhaps you should receive a gift for loyal service.

  8. Hi BDG. I agree with you about donations. I am very selective with donations. I certainly don't believe in donating money to save taxpayers via governments from properly looking after its people, certainly in Western countries anyway. Donations should be for the extras or for the non essential.

    I don't believe in giving to those who are changing jobs. Perhaps with some self interest, yes to people who are retiring.

  9. yup, I pick and choose. I'm not wealthy myself so if I was to donate to everything then I would have no dosh left for myself.

  10. Why does the "giving" have to be so public...why not a money tin that over a week people can drop money in or not anon... I wouldn't have dreamed of asking even relatives for help with my Mum's funeral or Dons' - If I had been really stuck, and unable to pay, no doubt I would have had to ask close rellos for help - but only if a or a plate of sangers for afters but maybe I am a traditionalist

  11. There is a fund that the money should come out of MC. For regular events such as a funeral it should be as set amount.