I've been thinking about people lately. Okay, maybe not just lately, but always and probably forever. We humans are fascinating creatures and just when I think I have someone figured out they go and do something completely out of the norm. They've gotta stop doing that-it throws me off and messes with my mind, which might be why they do what they do. I won't go into more detail about that, but I do want to share a few things I've observed recently.
1) Let's talk work for a minute. I attend staff meeting with my unit every other week and some units meet every week. My supervisor made a treat schedule so we take turns bringing something for the unit to eat while we discuss work for 20 minutes. Fine. Sometimes our meetings are at least 25 minutes long so having something to eat is very important. Here's something I've noticed with the treats- the person bringing treats wants to bring better treats than the person brought to the last meeting. The co-workers in my unit are pretty great in that we don't care if we have a treat and if we do remember to bring something it's donuts or a bag of chips or whatever else is 2/$5 at the Walmart down the road. One co-worker in a different unit brought McDonald's for everyone in her unit. The next week(they meet weekly) a co-worker gave everyone flowers 'just because' and brought a huge cake and drinks. Nice-yes. Necessary-no. Does the person give so much because they want to or because they feel obligated to do so?
2) This is also something concerning work. Every year we have a Holiday party and usually the employees pay for their own lunch or dinner at the party and the company pays for the entertainment. Well, people have been complaining so someone(I'd like to kick someone, whoever she or he is) decided each unit should be in charge of a party to raise money for the dinner and entertainment for this years celebration of the Holidays. Don't get me wrong, I love dunking my co-workers, eating chips and salsa, bidding on items at the silent auction, and playing bingo, but here's what I find most amusing. People are using the argument "Since we are having these parties, we won't have to pay for dinner at the Holiday Party." WHAT?! Who do you think is buying the tickets to dunk people, to eat the chips and salsa and play bingo? The answer is we are(and in the end you're paying quadruple what you paid for last years dinner), so we're still playing for the party, but keep telling yourself you don't have to pay for anything for the party this year if it makes you sleep easier.
3) One last thought to share, and of course it stems from a situation at work. Have you ever gotten an email at work that says "so and so is getting[insert activity here] and we're having a shower. Bring a gift and be ready to have some fun." Doesn't matter if you started yesterday, be at the shower or else. Then a co-worker goes around the office collecting money for the gift. Or my favorite is when the email states, "an envelope is at the front desk so stop by on your way home and leave some money with the receptionist." How many people give money even when they don't have money to buy groceries, or they give according to how much another person has given so as to not look like the cheapskate they are?
I know the situations about happen outside of the workplace, but work is the reference I have to use for my rantings. It's great to bring treats for a meeting, hang out with co-workers 'outside' our regular work schedules, and bring gifts for a shower; but I wonder about our motivation behind doing any of the above. Do we give because we feel pressured to do so or because someone else is giving?