I hate doing office Secret Santa. How do I get out of it?

Each week, Dr. Kirstin Ferguson tackles questions about the workplace, career, and leadership in her advice column”Do you have time?This week, it feels like the Grinch, dealing with extra workload and rolling his eyes in the office.

Every year my co-workers organize a Secret Santa and every year I hate being forced to attend. I find it difficult to buy gifts for family and friends, and don’t want to be forced to spend the $40 limit on co-workers. I definitely don’t want the return gift I get, it always seems to be some plastic crap from the local thrift store. There’s so much peer pressure to smile through it all that I feel like I can’t say no. What do you suggest?

So, here’s the thing. You’re basically spending money (and putting a smile on your face when you do) to keep a valued member of a positive workplace culture. If you’re the only one on your team who says you’re not going, you’ll end up spending over $40. The path of least resistance is to move on, knowing full well that this only happens once a year, and you can forget about it again until next December.

I don't want to play Secret Santa at my office party.

I don’t want to play Secret Santa at my office party.Credit:Dion Gain

Or maybe you can come up with an idea that you think can replace it? If Secret Santa isn’t for you, are there other ways you can celebrate the end of the year with your team without involving cash? Maybe volunteer at a local charity? You may find that others on your team don’t like Secret Santa either, so you’ll be glad you had the courage to suggest something new. At the very least, if the $40 limit is too high, it’s recommended to lower the limit to something more affordable (I think you’ll find that your co-workers will like it too).

If none of that works for you, maybe it’s not Secret Santa that bothers you as much as how you feel about working with a team?


I am currently a supervisor with two direct reports. As part of an internal reorganization, my supervisor is adding another direct report to my team and transferring half of their role’s workload to me. Basically, I get an extra report to oversee, and more complex work for no change in pay. Am I justified in refusing to do additional work or supervise additional roles?

Anytime there is an internal reorganization there is a change and when it all comes to an end, it doesn’t go as planned. If your supervisor asks you to drastically adjust your workload, I think it’s worth sitting down with them and asking them what parts of your current workload should give way to this extra work. Refusing to do extra work is not the way to go. Instead, go to meetings with genuine curiosity and look for ways to make this work. Also have a clear plan of what you think is doable and list the tasks you anticipate needing to be reassigned.

Ultimately, if you can prove that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the work you were doing before the reorganization and the extra work you’re getting now after the reorganization, it makes perfect sense to seek a solution.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *