Win a great gift by telling me your worst gift

Last year the wonderful folks at Shabby Apple gave a dress to one of my readers.  This year they have offered to do the same thing!  Yeah!  A beautiful dress to one of my readers.  Men, again, I’m sorry, but feel free to enter for your wife, mother, or woman over in the finance department that you have your eye on.  (Just kidding about that last one, it’s kind of creepy.)

Here are the rules:

  1. You must leave a comment with the worst Christmas/Holiday/Birthday gift your boss has ever given you.
  2. I will pick the winner by using a random number generator so as to be fair.
  3. Shabby Apple will ship internationally!  So, my global friends, feel free to enter.
  4. There are two excluded people–me and last year’s winner (Azure).
  5. If you win, you can pick any dress on the site, although you may be able to talk them into a bathing suit, which I think look awesome and I’m seriously considering buying my next one from them.
  6. Contest ends at 6:00 a.m. East Coast time on December 7.
  7. I may well use your answers in an article be published somewhere.

So what’s your worst gift from your boss?

Mine is actually a pretty good gift, just not to me.  One year my boss gave me a lovely bottle of expensive wine.  That’s generally a good gift except for two things. 1.  I’m a Mormon who doesn’t drink and 2. I was pregnant.  So, yeah!  Wine for the pregnant Mormon!  But, as I said it was a lovely gift and he was a super great guy, just a bit clueless.  I thanked him profusely and gave the wine away.

But, I suspect that some of your bosses may not be so nice.

Related Posts

139 thoughts on “Win a great gift by telling me your worst gift

  1. One year I was given a bright orange and pink tropical-patterned purse. It didn’t match my beard AT ALL. My next thought was “Oh! This is a joke, right?”

    It wasn’t.

    My wife ended up liking it, so it worked out, but man…

  2. At a white elephant exchange at the office one year I received a matched set of baby blue, satin pillow cases. A safe gift, to be sure, but pillow cases? Really?!

  3. I got children’s socks with colourful kittens printed all over them – I’m nearly 30 and childless. My boss’s way of thinking remains a deep mystery to me today. I only hope she didn’t recognise them if she ever visited the local charity second-hand shop.

  4. I worked at an office where a woman had recently left, and on her last day, at the presentation of the card and gift, she received perfume. Later on, I said to my co-worker that I was allergic to perfume and hoped that, should my last day come, I wouldn’t receive the same. Fast forward to my last day in the office, when I was receiving my card and leaving present from my boss, who had obviously spoken to my co-worker: “I heard you liked perfume, I hope you like it!” The message got lost in transmission, I think.

  5. At my first job out of college, I worked as a legal secretary for a couple of partners at a small law firm. I’d been there over a year and had become accustomed to jokes at my expense, borderline verbal abuse from both the lawyers and dissatisfied clients, being expected to work long hours with no overtime pay and being pestered in the elevator on my way back from getting the mail as to how much money had come in that day (really a winner of a first job!). One day, a partner came in with coffee from the cafe downstairs and said, ‘you know, when I was in law school, I couldn’t afford good coffee and fresh pastries’ [Hath hell frozen over? Has he bought me coffee?] At which point he says, ‘all I could afford were day old muffins’ and tosses a stale muffin at me, leaving a nice grease stain on my blouse when I failed to catch it. That was my only gift in the 15 months before I quit, a stale muffin.

  6. my birthday on last October(3nd weeks) .our salary usually given on 25 each month..but (why) on this October ,ours out on 30 ..can’t treat my colega and partner *sigh

  7. Garage sale mugs, complete with tea stains. She loved a bargin. I don’t think I got the worst that year – someone got sheets and another got towels. All second hand.

  8. I wasn’t around for this gift, but my previous employer gave the staff an $8 card for a local grocery store. It was inapplicable to booze or smokes.

  9. Not sure I have ever gotten a bad gift. Or any gifts. In my profession, it just is not done.

  10. Not the gift as such but the method of delivery lacked thought.

    My employers gave a bottle of champagne to everyone in December 1999. However, they didn’t want to hand them out at work so as not to appear to be condoning use of alcohol on the premises, so instead they had them delivered. By courier, to home addresses, mid-morning on a week day.
    Unsurprisingly, a lot of these deliveries were missed. Faced with either allowing people to start late so they could go by the courier’s office to pick up their bottles, or having their gifts returned as undelivered, the company eventually recalled the champagne and dished it out in the office.

      1. The same employer, after I left, sent out save-the-date postcards to a summer party which apparently looked like advertising leaflets and were thus binned or put in the recycling by 80% of staff members. Whatever happened to sending an email ‘The summer party will take place on the Xth of X. Further details to follow’.

  11. I’ve been fortunate so far, receiving only great gifts from my bosses over the years. However, last year at a gift exchange I received a head of lettuce. Yes, a head of lettuce. Not the edible kind–the kind that’s supposed to hold money and jewelry in your refrigerator drawer so burglars can’t find it. Having no money to speak of and owning only plastic costume jewelry, I donated the head of lettuce to Goodwill. Oh, the irony.

    1. I meant to point out in the original comment that it was a white elephant exchange with my fellow employees. I may have donated a set of elephant bookends to that cause.

  12. Most of my bosses have not given me gifts, for better or worse.

    So probably the worst gift I’ve gotten from a boss is a lovely beaded bookmark. It was a terrible gift because the beads made it far too thick to actually use in a book without damaging the binding. And I’m not really sure what to do with a bookmark that can’t be used to mark a book. This was a for a research/library job, by the way, so the gift was from someone who interacts with books a LOT.

  13. Someone in my dept had quit in Oct. We all went to lunch. I got sick of my (well paid) boss expecting me to help pay for the departing employee’s lunch so at the end of the meal I was firm and insisted I only had enough money for my meal and no more. Then at Christmas when I gave notice, he sent me an email to remind me I still owed him money for the Oct meal. I ignored him and sent the email and an explanation to Scott Adams who used it in Dilbert. So it was a worst and best all at once.

  14. This is how great it’s going at my husbands current job right now. Instead of the raise they verbally promised him, he received a turkey for Thanksgiving, along with a notice that spouses are NOT invited to this years Christmas party, which will be held at 2:00 pm on a Thursday. What?

    1. budget cuts. fewer mouths to feed and presumably less alcohol consumed (if any) at that hour.
      I don’t care to ‘party’ with all my coworkers, it would be nice if I had a friend along.

  15. Gold gladiator sandals that laced up my legs.

    Worse: second hand from the giver, who somehow realized that we wore the same (sl*tty?!?) sandal size.

    I still shake my head, but am willing to share my shame to get a Shabby Apple dress. I have the one pictured in the Cider color. C’mon random number generator!.

  16. I don’t know if this counts, but I find it ironic when you go to an interview and they give you a bag full of pens, mugs, and such that are covered in the company’s logo. On one hand, it’s a kind thought and at least you get something for your travel expenses, but at the same time, who wants a constant reminder that they weren’t picked for the job?

  17. I received a credit card sized address book with the company logo on it. They put it in the envelope with our paycheck. The office trash cans were full of them by the end of the day.

  18. I worked in a doctor’s office up until 2 weeks before my daughter was born. The Christmas holidays were approaching and I was 8 months pregnant. My boss, the doctor, walked in the door one day and handed me an emergency car birth kit. Merry Christmas! Thankfully, I didn’t need to use the kit. 🙂

    Sure, it was a practical thing to have, but as a gift? It stunk.

  19. I worked at a preschool for three years. One year the lead teacher and myself received a basket full of Olay products. All facials. Wipes, cream, wash, soap, etc. I guess when you’re working 730-6 taking care of other people’s children, your face starts to show a little wear!

  20. I haven’t gotten a particularly bad gift — yet — so I’m going to answer for my mom instead. She was an elementary school teacher for 35 years, and the amount of mugs she had (from parents, administrators, and student teachers) filled an entire closet of our house. We couldn’t give them away as fast as we got them! (In the same cupboard, we also had a wide variety of beauty products, scented candles, soaps, and ceramics — also all gifts. I think the only things she actually kept were the chocolates!)

    1. I’m a class mom this year and I spent half an hour this morning trying to convince another class mom that what the teacher wants is a nice gift certificate to a store she actually shops in. “But, I should just get her something for her house! Something nice!” she kept saying.

      I tried to point out that the teacher doesn’t want something for her house and how can you pick out something for someone’s house when you’ve never been inside it?

      I fear this teacher is getting some bath sets or something.

    2. Same here Julie. Well over 30 years later, every now and again, we still find a stash as we clean out closets, drawers.
      Mugs, soaps, lotions. And sometimes my mom will remember who gave it to her!

  21. I was working in a satellite office of the company (three provinces away from every other office).The head honcho talked up how much better this year’s gift was going to be than the funds for a Christmas party. We got $5 gift certificates for Tim Hortons. (Canadian equivalent of Dunkin’ Donuts).

  22. I haven’t gotten any Christmas gifts from bosses. In my highschool job I remember getting an extra $50 which was really nice, but since then I haven’t gotten anything!

  23. A $5 gift card to a restaurant — the value of which was then taxed and taken from my paycheck. Merry xmas. 😛

  24. When I worked in a doctor’s office, the doctors bought all the office workers really nice gift baskets with a variety of sausages and smoked meats–I’m a vegetarian, so it wasn’t a great gift for me. I gave it to my dad, who still talks about the beef jerky to this day. So much like your bottle of wine–nice gift, wrong recipient.

  25. For Christmas I got from a cheap mug filled with candy. As I took a few days off I left a gift on the desk, hoping that after his return I will have something sweet to eat during cofee break. Upon my return I had found out that the cup is empty – someone ate up all the candy! My manager had admitted that he done that, becouse anyone who takes the day off does not deserve to sweets!

  26. The first year at my current company they called everyone down by team and gave them grocery store gift cards for $7.58. *And* they made you sign for them.

    1. Because giving you a gift certificate for $7.59 would have just been overly generous, I’m sure.

      1. I’m not saying it wasn’t appreciated. 🙂

        Send me your address privately and I’ll put them in the mail so your gift for that person is done this year. The toy has been out of the box exactly once.

    1. Or one of those really “deep” novels that you read in a book group that everyone pretends they like, even though it’s incredibly stupid.

  27. One of my last employers gave away quite lovely gift bags with chocolates, gift certs, a crate of oranges, etc. to all their employees and took great pride in giving the whole staff AWESOME holiday gift bags (with good reason).

    Pity, that I got an apology with mine – they had forgotten me so the card and gift certs were made out to someone else!

    Icing on the cake? My crate of oranges were rotten. FAIL!

  28. When I turned 21, my boss gave me a pack of wine colors and a gift certificate to Victoria’s Secret. Seriously. I was too young to realize how wildly inappropriate this was, but old enough to know that I felt creeped out by it.

      1. Wine coolers are at least funny and wine is a traditional gift but holy creepy, batman, on the Victoria’s Secret thing.


  29. I received a donation in my name to an organization I was strongly morally opposed to. Awkward.

  30. A blow up donkey. With a hole in it’s bum. Or if I may be clear: A sex donkey toy!

    Need picture?

    1. Nope! No picture necessary. Not at all.

      An explanation of what in the heck he was thinking, though.

      Never mind, this is a G rated blog.

  31. I’m usually THATGUY for the annual office white elephant gift. I try to find the most miserable gift I can, realizing that the conversation that ensues around my terrible gift is usually better than almost all the other gifts (“Wow. A $10 gift card from Starbucks. Next present.”). 2009: Rotary Telephone, new-in-box. 2010: a Shake Weight. Hilarity & laughter typically ensue. My work is done.

  32. I also once got a gift card to Victoria’s secret from a group. While my boss was female, there were males in the group -so it was weird.

    Another one was a $25 work gift exchange for which I got two pairs of socks. socks… for $25…. and they were an off brand so i am sure they didn’t cost that much!

  33. A garden hose.

    Don’t know what the idea behind it was. I didn’t even own a home then, I was renting. He wasn’t a bad boss otherwise so we weren’t getting figuratively hosed.

  34. I don’t remember what the occasion was, but one of my bosses gave me a rock as a present. She was really into nature, had found it while on a walk by a river, and really appreciated its smoothness. It wasn’t an exciting present by any means, but it was kind of sweet in that she wanted to share with me something she appreciated. Mind you, I could never get away with giving someone a rock as a present, but she’s a free spirit.

  35. I always got pretty good gifts from bosses like movie tickets and giftcards, but my friend has had worse luck. The worst/oddest gift that he’s been given was a pair of plain white socks stuffed with candy. A coworker his once received toenail clippers from their boss. A hint, perhaps?

  36. The office christmas gift to everyone last year was a $5 off coupon to one of the most expensive restaurants in town. With all the negative feelings it caused, they would have been better off not giving us a gift at all.

  37. A six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. I didn’t realize they still sold that crap. I gave it away to an eager co-worker.

  38. This happened at my husband’s company, but he doesn’t wear dresses and it affected me directly. Last year at Christmas week each employee received an envelope containing $100 cash. Presuming this was a holiday bonus, we spent it on groceries, some things for our two kids, a dinner out, etc. Like a lot of grownups, our paychecks are deposited electronically and we have many bills drafted out the same way, such as our utilities, car insurance, etc. A week later, on payday, we discovered in the worst possible way that the $100 was not a gift but was simply deducted from his salary and presented as cash. Because his week’s pay was $100 less, suddenly all the drafts of our bills began coming out of an account that was $100 smaller than it was supposed to be, until finally, a check bounced and the bank charged us $36. My teeth are clenching just thinking about it. Their holiday “gift” cost me 36 bucks, and endless goodwill as well. The company employs a fair number of people from South America who are nervous about their visa status and are too afraid to speak up, so this went unpunished, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure it’s tax fraud – the company paid payroll tax, etc. on $100 less per employee.

    I do not get to have new dresses very often, and I would relish a new frock. I am relatively young and attractive but at a size 16 I imagine I might not fit the Shabby Apple profile, so here’s what I suggest: should my sad story be selected, I will happily give the dress to one of the women at the company – they’re smaller than me, and have new dresses even less often than I do.

      1. One of the designers at shabby apple is a bigger girl, and she insists she designs all her dresses to fit real women too…I’d look before I gave it away! (Of course, I’m pretty sure I’m going to win it…so it is probably irrelevant). But in the spirit of bad boss gifts everywhere: goodluck.

    1. Give yourself a holiday gift by reporting your husband’s employer to the IRS. If the IRS finds malfeasance, they will give you a reward. The IRS will not tell the employer who reported the incident.

  39. No gifts at my office, so none recently. At my previous employer the best gift I got was a Tiffany key ring with my initials on it. My husband, who works in construction has heard that the company he is currently with gave “buy one get one free” “gift” cards to a restaurant only open for lunch – and these guys don’t get a long enough lunch break to use it!

  40. The boss at my last job was very religious and so one year, she handed out little books that seemed to have come from her church bookshop. I got fairly lucky with something Christmas-related (useless but non-offensive). Two of my co-workers got titles along the lines of: “Answers to all the big questions in life” and “Why other religions are wrong”, handed over with a smile and a “I think this book really fits you”. And no, we were not in any way affiliated to a religious organization nor was any of my co-workers particularly religious.

  41. The company I used to work for gave everyone a holiday gift of a t-shirt with the company’s old logo that were clearly left over after the company rebranded. Even better? All the t-shirts were size XS, so they fit maybe 5% of the employees!

  42. Last year my boss gave us (our entire group) a jar of slime. Yes… like the slime that you would give to a 5 year old.

  43. I had a BOSS of mine once give me this ceramic jar that said “ashes of bad employees” – um, we were BOTH in HR at the time and BOTH had direct reports. When I didn’t have it on my desk she asked me why…honestly? Really? I had to explain that one? Jeesh.

  44. Wait, do people normally get gifts from their bosses? Does someone owe me a bunch of gifts, ahem, current boss?! The worst gift I got, well, the only gift I ever got from a boss was bath salts from the dead sea. Not really a bad gift but a little strange from a male boss–although I think his wife picked it out.

  45. One year after the holidays, I was standing at my desk when my boss went by. I showed him the scratch pad my sister had given me (had that sketchy cat form the New Yorker cartoons on it). I said “look at this great scratch pad my sister gave me for Christmas!” He stopped, looked, took it and said “thank you” and went on into his office. From time to time he would send me notes written on it.

    1. I’m currently trying to muffle my laughter at the office – this is the funniest story of them all!

  46. My boss typically paid little attention to me, so I was surprised when he returned from travelling just before the holidays with a gift for me. He had never given a gift to me before and has never since. Not sure why he thought I would like it ??? It was a ceramic rocking horse. Really? Pastel colored and made in China. Go figure.

    1. So when you redeemed the coupon, did your boss get his or her pay docked 50%? Oh! Sorry! Not THAT turkey!

  47. Hi there – when I read your blog feed on my phone and then click on the link to read the full article, it takes me to the generic CBS mobile site, and not to your article. This may be unavoidable since I’m accessing it on my phone, but just letting you know in case someone at CBS, bNet or wherever can fix it. Thanks!

    1. I have the same problem, since the blog went from bnet to CBS. I actually had to download their app and search for you in order to find your posts, and for some reason that doesn’t seem to get all of them. not your problem, just frustrating because I tend to do a lot of my blog reading on my phone on lunch, waiting for an appt, and other occasions when I’m not in front of a computer. 🙁

        1. That link shoots me to the index page too, when I use my phone – but hopefully they will fix it on their end!

  48. Once I got a sweater. Which in itself was quite nice. But I was asked to put it on at the time, I wasn’t quite in shape and it didn’t fit. Oh well, I felt like a chubby and gave it away to a slimmer friend.

  49. I have always received nice gifts from my bosses. However, my husband got a pretty bad gift from the owner of the company (it was a small company) during their annual secret santa gift exchange. He received a t-shirt made to look like a tuxedo. And what made it worse was that the boss said he thought my husband would like it because he is weird.

  50. One company I used to work for gave every employee a box of oranges for Christmas. On the day of the oranges, they would announce letters of the alphabet over the loudspeaker, at which time you could go to your car and drive up to the loading dock to get your oranges. Nothing against oranges, but the rigidity of the process and the fact that they thought they were being oh-so-generous made it somewhat of a joke among employees.

  51. For my b-day, my coworkers got me a cake. I specifically told one of my coworkers beforehand that my fav is cheese cake, any type except the ones with the fruit and glaze on top. Guess what I got? A cheese cake with fruit and glaze on top. When I asked my coworker why she got that one, she said didn’t you say that this is the one you like. Uggghh.

  52. The worst gift that I ever received at work for the holidays was a Tasmanian Devil doll…


  53. One year I was hugely pregnant in December with just days to go and my boss gave me a keychain in the shape of a pregnant woman. It was clear and inside her belly a little baby bobbed around in liquid. I think it was meant to be funny, but mostly it was disturbing. It made a great white-elephant gift the next year, though!

  54. A fleece pullover that is 5x too big for me because I was one of the last people to select a size.

  55. Worst gift I can ever remember receiving was a pack of sanitary napkins. The wrapping was nice, mind you, with ribbons and all. And even with a card that says “Something useful, from “. And when we all opened it there in the office afterwards, imagine our shock when we found all the women in the department received the same gift. Our boss (a guy) was known to be a chauvinist, but until that day, we did not know how bad it was. He came over after seeing us opening the presents and even smirked, “I hope I got your preferred brands correctly.” Needless to say, we resigned one after the other in quick succession in less than two weeks.

    1. Holy cow! I’ve been laughing at all these gifts, but that one takes the cake. That is a bad, bad, bad gift.


  56. A note saying that due to budget cuts, the company wasn’t going to be able to give out the customary $25 gift card to employees this year.

    Now, this wouldn’t have been too bad, except that it was given inside a gift card envelope, at the end of the Christmas party, and with no warning and all the ceremony that the gift cards were usually given.

    1. Yeah, I got that last year too, from the parent company out in Oregon/California.

      Funny – those budget cuts didn’t stop them from having a massage therapist visit once a week, or stop their parties, or anything else that us Midwestern folks didn’t get to enjoy.

  57. Worst gift from my boss: he gave us our 25 dollar cash bonus partly in dollar coins. He thought they were cool!?

  58. One year, I received a small Pixie paper cup (bathroom-sized) containing soil and a tiny plant shoot of some kind, which seemed to have sprouted just days before.

    At least it was no indication of me or my performance; the entire office got one…

  59. Can I vote for DragonLady? However bad my gift was, I really think hers is the hands-down winner, in large part because that took effort and a good deal of malice aforethought. It’s worse than just plain bad taste, poor judgment or lack of empathy – that was truly, truly mean.

  60. We celebrated office birthdays by month. We had a list in the shared kitchen which had each month, the person’s name(s), and the type of cake/ treat they would like or food allergies, etc. I was the only October birthday. Next to my name was “happy for any treats, however, allergic to nuts and carrots.” My boss at the time, the Director of HR, brought me a Carrot cake. Then proceeded to berate me for not eating it, with all the trouble he had gone through to purchase it. I worked for him through 2 birthdays and each year I was presented with Carrot cake even though our thoughtful assistant pointed out to him that I was allergic after the first one. She offered to get the cake the 2nd year, he still insisted and still berated me for not eating it again.

  61. Honestly, my bosses have been really great about gifts. Usually I have received a gift card to a restaurant or a multi-media store such as Barnes and Noble.

  62. WOW…..I’ve never received a bad gift from a boss, generally I prefer to not receive anything, but I am SO enjoying these posts! Hilarious!!

    1. I know! These posts are super-duper hilarious. I’m sooooo happy I asked this question.

  63. For the past two years, my boss has gone to see her family in California. Each time, she has ordered me a gift and sent me an email telling me to keep an eye out for it. Each year, it has mysteriously been back-ordered and never comes in.

    I don’t know if she’s actually getting a gift or just saying she’s getting me a gift, but I’d rather she not mention anything than to continue to tell me it got back-ordered. Last year, she just kept on telling me how great it was and how much I would like it and then, nothing…

  64. One year, one of our directors walked around the office to each secretary’s desk and pulled out of her jacket pocket what looked like used holiday candles (not even wrapped in plastic, and a little dirty…probably from pocket lint). The candles were either shaped like nutcrackers or angels…she more or less “threw” them on our desks. Guess she put a lot of thought into these while she was at the Dollar Store!

  65. Not really a ‘bad gift’ as much as a lack of one.

    Straight out of high school, I was employed as a newsroom assistant for my local newspaper. It actually encompassed nearly everything except finance – reporting, photography, layout, etc.

    Christmas season rolls around and the first indicator that this would not be a very merry place to work is when the entire company – yes, the ENTIRE company, some 150 people – goes on an extended holiday business lunch at a fancy woodfire trattoria 2 towns over – and leave ME to play receptionist while they’re gone.


    I’ve never done receptionist duties, much less understood how to write up classified ads or work a multi-line phone! That was pretty depressing.

    But the icing on the cake was during the Christmas party at work. Everyone was gathered around, eating and drinking and relaxing, and the publisher (president, essentially) goes on about appreciating everyone’s hard work, yada yada, and goes on to say that everyone with a minimum of 1 year of service would be getting gift cards.

    I’d only been there half a year.

    There were a lot of other awful things that happened and after my depression creeped in and I started looking for another job after nearly 2 years of that kind of stuff, I was fired.

    But hey – at least I learned a lot!

  66. My husband got a $200 pen with his name on it when he passed the CPA exam. Honestly, who cares about a pen? Give him a gift certificate or $200 cash.

  67. I actually want to share a really GREAT gift I received from my manager early in my career. She knew I worked hard and was encouraging me to find some balance before I was way off track. She gave me a book entitled, “Dictionary of Imaginary Places,” which was chock full of locales from fiction, with the hint I spend some time reading the classics it was based on… Still have the book 20 years later!!

    BTW, this same manager left her emergency contact information for vacation in a sealed envelope, to be opened only if needed. She opened it for us when she returned – it said 911. We need more managers like her!

  68. Hmmm. I haven’t really gotten bad gifts. In fact, there really hasn’t been much holiday gift-giving at my work places,with the exception of a secret santa voluntary exchange where I last worked. So, I will speak on behalf of my stepfather, who once got — yep! A bottle of wine. And, no, he’s non Mormon. He’s Muslim! Same issue, he doesn’t drink, but it made a nice re-gift.

  69. A box of scrap paper. It was so random, I didn’t even know what to say. My wife ended up using it for scrapbooking, but it was still a strange office gift.

  70. a small boot-shaped candy holder full of the most awful striped hard candy. I’ve had it out on my desk at Christmas for three years now, and I swear nobody has ever taken so much as a single piece of it! I assume they must be mints, but each candy is about 2 inches long and almost assuredly too big to fit in your mouth.

  71. One year I got a bottle of hand sanitizer and a pack of kleenix. Both were the tiny travel sized ones.

  72. Ok, this isn’t a Christmas present and I don’t expect to be entered into the contest, but I had to share this. For my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, she received (from a completely clueless friend of mine) the complete sheet music to “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Ok, she was a piano player and loved show tunes, but really.. Jesus Christ Superstar as a gift for one of the most important of Jewish ceremonies?

  73. I was an intern at a company for three years and worked through the holidays the first two years without getting a gift even when everyone else did. I didn’t think much of it but the last year, I took two weeks off at Christmas and came back to find a nice box of chocolate truffles at my desk. When I opened it, I found that the entire bottom layer of candies had been eaten. Whoever ate them even bothered to wrap them back up afterwards.

  74. White elephant exchange. Elephant-themed gifts. Clear winner? A fruit bowl. How was it elephant-themed? It was made of dried, pressed elephant dung. Somehow, no one wanted to store their fruit in it…

  75. At a holiday lunch my old manager was complaining about his bored wife and how she was constantly taking up hobbies, her most recent one being making these stupid little wreathes made out of dried flowers. Of course, his secret santa gift to me was a cute little wreath made out of lavender (which I still have – it was very well made).

  76. The weirdest I ever received was an automatic shower cleaner (the ones you hang on your shower head and push a button and it sprays the shower down). Seemed strange at the time, but now that I read some of these I don’t feel so bad!

  77. I know this isn’t a really “bad” gift, (especially not in comparison to some of the truly awful gifts others have shared) but I thought it was worth sharing this. One Christmas, I and another female coworker received teddy bears from our boss. We were both in our early 30’s. They were cute and he’d ordered them from someplace nice, but they were not exactly appropriate for professional women. I gave mine away later as a baby gift.

  78. I worked for a Dr who cleaned our his wine cellar of old cheap dusty wines on the office one year. I’ve never seen so many particulates in one bottle. And no, we did not drink it.

  79. I was given an earring holder for “all the great earrings I wear all the time”. I’ve never had my ears pierced or worn anything resembling earrings. I was the only one given this and I don’t know who she was thinking about when it was purchased.

  80. Mine isn’t too bad. Last year we got really nice computer bags embroidered with the company’s logo–but our computers are all too big for the bags.

  81. One year I got a glass globe filled with sand and a beach scene complete with plastic palm tree, anorak chair, lap top and lots of our parent companies logo thrown in. It was sent to everyone in the HR department from our HR group in Florida. Apparently they were cleaning out there closet and came across a box full of these.

  82. We got a coffee mug with the company logo on it and inside was 10 lottery tickets? BTW we keep these cups in-house as marketing tools to give out to potential clients. I made myself a cup of coffee and spilled a little on the carpet, it made me feel better.

  83. I was working at a city public library and was given a book mark that stated, “Stolen from the Public Library.” It had a picture of a book with the words “wanted” above the book and “reward” under it.

  84. When I was a student worker at an office at my University I got a box of paperclips- no kidding. At first I thought it was a joke but then my boss actually asked me if I liked it. I smiled and said “Of course! Who doesn’t need more paperclips?” Remember though, I worked in an office. There were so many paperclips in the office that my boss’s boss (aka the “Big Boss”) threatened to fire anyone who ever ordered another box of them. He was serious.

  85. I know I’m too late for the contest but had to share. One year my sister worked at a major theme park and was required to work on Christmas Day. In acknowledgement of this, her boss gave all of the hourly employees a “gift”: A gift certificate for one of the in-park vendor stands for a medium soda OR a banana. (Yes, those were the two choices.) When she cashed hers in for a banana, she was told that the gift certificate did not cover sales tax and had to pay that out of pocket.

  86. My coworker and I each received a Christmas gift of Elizabeth Taylor colognes and a card signed by the boss, “Love, Tim”. By the way, Tim was the HR Manager.

  87. In college, I worked a part-time call center job for the holidays. They had this “incentive” where when you sold a certain product, you’d receive $5 in cash. The $5 was then deducted from your next paycheck. A bonus of your own money… Gee, thanks.

  88. By far the worst Gift from my boss was a hair dye kit, “Just For Men” I am a woman, 55…to help take out “ALL” that GRAY HAIR he gave me all year! I am the Lucky One….

  89. I saw a link from swedish (business&economy) about the boss from hell and super bad christmas presents.
    I am the winner. My employer is one of the tycoons of sweden. Billionaire. My first christmas present was a book about the prisoner camps held in sweden during the 2nd world war. The prisoners were all russian deserters or captives. I had raised questions on my workload and horizon of services to my boss. I was shamelessly exploited in many ways. I remarked that I needed to check in at one of the Nazi regims concentration camps or bathe with poisonous snakes to find vacation and piece of mind. Others received millons in bonuses and all I got was the friggin book. A clear mockery of my social class and that I should know my place. I really believe my late boss was Scrooge aka. The boss from hell. What do you think?

  90. ummm… getting a pink slip indicating that my LAST DAY OF WORK is December 23rd would be THE WORST ‘present’ I’ve gotten from a boss yet… LOL. Guess there’s no bonus for me…

    I love you Evil HR Lady!

    this thread is awesome, I’m reposting on our Twitter feed @jpatrickjobs

Comments are closed.

Are you looking for a new HR job? Or are you trying to hire a new HR person? Either way, hop on over to Evil HR Jobs, and you'll find what you're looking for.