Co-workers - Thanks so very much for making me feel excluded

Every year for Xmas, the office department that I work for has a dinner party. The department is small (8 people this year), so we usually go out to eat at a restaurant rather than have a big party. This year the dinner was arranged by a person whom I don’t get along with well. We can work well enough, we just don’t like each other personally - no particular reason, we’re just very different people (she’s a suburban soccer mom, I’m a gay ex-hipster).

This person did give me an official invitation to the dinner, which of course everyone was talking about, so it’s not like I wouldn’t have found out about it. But while at dinner, I discovered for the first time that she had also arranged a department ‘secret santa’ gift exchange. Apparently one day when I wasn’t around, she put names in a hat and had everyone pick another person in the dept. to give a gift to. She apparently didn’t put MY name in the hat, since no one said presented me with a gift. I guess that’s for the best, since (not having been told about this gift-exchange) I didn’t have anything for anybody else.

I felt a bit like a chump sitting there twiddling my thumbs while everybody else exchanged their little knickknacks & such. And while my coworkers swear that they’d just assumed I’d known about the SS, and that my coworker just ‘forgot’ to mention it, I can’t help wondering how even though they’d talked freely about the dinner for the past two weeks, no one ever mentioned the SS in all that time - at least while I was in the room.

And hell, even if they did deliberately exclude me, the very least they could have done was not exchange their presents RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, in a public venue which I couldn’t simply get up and walk away while they do it.

Fuckers. I hope they all have miserable X-mases.

I understand your feelings.

But you probably missed getting Thomas Kinkade’s Calendar for 2007.

I make it a point to never participate in any Secret Santa/White Elephant/gift exchange things at work of any kind. I have one real life friend at work, and I will give her the gift I got her outside of work.

Yeah, that stuffed polar bear with the “Beary Christmas” t-shirt is going to look pretty cool on your co-worker’s shelf.

If the SS exchange was thought up on the spur of the moment, then it could well have been a case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. This would require that said coworker was your basic dimwit, however. If not, then she is instead a grade-A assmunch.

The opening of the presents in front of you was extremely rude.

Seconded.

And Secret Santas or any other work-related gift exchanges are the work of the devil. If I like someone enough that I want to give them something, I will. Otherwise, I actively DON’T want to give them something.

There’s only one reasonable solution: for the next year, don’t flush the toilet after you use it.

Think of it as your own little Secret Santa game.

There really is no excuse. She could have spur of the moment sent out an email asking who wanted to play and then pull names two days later.

My workplace’s gift exchange is a bit nasty. Everyone brings a wrapped present (max value $20) and all the names are put in a bowl. The first person whose name is drawn selects a present, shows it to everyone and sits down. Every subsequent person whose name is drawn has the option of unwrapping a new present or stealing an already opened present, sending its former owner back to the gift table.

I stole someone else’s poker chips but tragically the last person drawn stole them from me, so I got the last unwrapped present - a $20 gift certificate to a sporting goods store.

Ah, good times… plus I sang a duet of Le Divin Enfant with a hand puppet.

Dirty Santa. My old workplace had a rule that a gift could be swiped a maximum of three times. There was also this hideous wooden tiki god that had been a part of it for over ten years. Whoever got it had to display it in their cube for the until the next gift exchange and then wrap it for the next year for the next victim.

Bryan, that’s sometimes called a Yankee Swap. The person who goes first usually gets screwed.

I actually like our office SS. You have to opt in to participate. I have fun because I usually make the presents I give. This year everyone was hoping I’d get them. The person I got got an original painting that I (roughly) valued at $150. Some people were pissed because they wanted to buy it from me. I usually get crap back. This year it was a lousy tie. Actually, it’s kind of a nice one. I’m wearing it now.

I’m a little miffed that I didn’t get Heather for the 4th year in a row this year. When Heather is grateful to me, that’s a Good Thing. :wink:

Is it still around? Can I play?

My company puts on a big after-work bash every year, including casino games, live music and dancing, and hosted wine bars. But this year my immediate team decided to have their party 46 miles away in the next county.

I think I’ll pass up the chance to drive 46 miles home from Orange to West L.A. at 6PM during the last mad dash of the holiday shopping season, thank you very much.

"I can’t help wondering how even though they’d talked freely about the dinner for the past two weeks, no one ever mentioned the SS in all that time - at least while I was in the room.

And hell, even if they did deliberately exclude me, the very least they could have done was not exchange their presents RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, in a public venue which I couldn’t simply get up and walk away while they do it.

Fuckers. I hope they all have miserable X-mases."

Here’s a vote for you blowing this way out of proportion.

You’re getting upset over nothing. You received an invitation. You apparently didn’t enquire as to the nature of the get-together, whether there was an agenda to the dinner, etc. You obviously don’t like this woman, so you felt perfectly fine excluding yourself from her party planning… why is it now her problem that your self-imposed exclusion bit you in the ass?

As far as your name not being in the hat, well, that fits in with the fact that you weren’t there when the names were being drawn: as mentioned before, many Secret Santa games are voluntary, and the names in the hat were likely only those people who willingly put their own names in the hat.

And I hate to point out the obvious, but exactly when do you expect them to exchange the gifts if not in a situation where you’re likely to be watching? Want them to wait until you have another sick day? Have a big meetup in the bathrooms? Would you prefer they sponsor a Christmas party specifically inviting everyone in the office… except you?

You missed the game because you took a day. It wasn’t exclusionary. They had the game, as scheduled, because a Christmas party is when you do things like Secret Santa. Again, it had nothing to do with you. The one followed the other, and the other happened because you weren’t at the office.

Perhaps the real moral of this story is that it is best never to go anywhere from Thanksgiving to the first week or so of January without some random gift wrapped piece of crap ready in your car for just such an occasion. And, depending on your own sense of the spirit of the season, you can decide how literal to be about the piece of crap part. It’s the gift wrapping that seems to matter.

Thus prepared, you could have dropped your own item into the Secret Santa thing and utterly screwed up the whole thing with your over-the-top willingness to be a team player.

Just sayin’.

Tabby

“Thus prepared, you could have dropped your own item into the Secret Santa thing and utterly screwed up the whole thing with your over-the-top willingness to be a team player.”

:smiley:

Revenge is a dish best served cold, 'tis true.

It sounds to me like you got dissed. There should have been 8 names in that hat. When the drawing was held, there were 7 people in your department who all knew that you weren’t present and that only 7 names had been drawn. As a gay ex-hipster myself, I don’t know what I would have done in your situation. I would want to excuse myself from the festivities with a polite lie and meet you for a drink, but probably I would sit there and steam with indignation and resentment. If I chose to stay, it would not be prudent of me to have a cocktail. Not prudent at all.

Well, except for the fact that it was the co-worker who put the names of everyone else into the hat, and the other workers thought for sure the OP’s name was also in the hat. That, to me says she deliberately excluded the OP to spite them.

I have no earthly clue why the OP would deliberately be excluded from the Secret Santa thing, but between this and the “fucking Christmas cookies” thread, geez, what a weird sort of passive-aggressive coworker bullshit it is that tends to surround this holiday. I have to thank the stars I work in an office where most of the crew is not only not American, but not even Christian. Whatever holiday someone at this facility may co-opt to stick it to officemates they don’t care for, at least it generally isn’t Christmas.

Good Gawwwd, this brings back memories. I was working in the Office From Hell[sup]TM[/sup] for about 9 months a few years back and had a very similar situation being excluded from an invitation to a lunch.

When I finally quit, they (Evil Minion Secretaries #1 and #2) decided I hadn’t been there long enough for the traditional Parting Gift[sup]TM[/sup]. My sweet little revenge was to get everyone there a thougtful little gift that meant something to each of them, beautifully wrapped, and distributed during my going-away lunch. At least my boss felt like a fucktard.