WAY better Christmas present from my employers this year

I’ve had the same job for about six years.
The Christmas present we, the staff, have always gotten from the owners/management has consistently been a $20 gift card to one of the major grocery store chains.

If that doesn’t impress you, I’ll let you know that I have a measly little service industry job for crap pay and any given year I would not have been surprised if they didn’t give us any Christmas present at all. So, I was always happy to get my $20 gift card for the grocery store, and never counted on it so it just came as a nice extra.

This year, instead of the gift card, we got $25 in cash. I’ll probably spend $20 at the grocery store this week anyway, but getting cash is certainly more convenient …
…but the real surprise was that I also got an extra paid vacation day!

This is 8 hours added to my accrued paid time off. It’s not an extra paid day off that is designated to happen this week or any other designated time set by management. It’s 8 hours added to my allotted vacation pay that I can use anytime I want just like my regularly accrued vacation allowance.

I know a lot of you have better jobs than I do (and, though I weep at the dismal implications, I realize there are some of you to whom my job would actually look good) but for me this is actually a very nice surprise. A jump from a $20 gift card to a cash gift plus a vacation day is really a huge jump!

I haven’t talked to management yet. For all I know, once you hit the big “6 Years” mark :eek: this may be the standard Christmas gift. But I was really just expecting a grocery store gift card (and, as mentioned above, I don’t ever even really count on that!).

How nice for you, and what a great idea!

At my last job their Christmas bonus was always a frozen 18-20 lb. turkey. It was a furniture store, so they’d pre-order them and bring them to the office on one of their trucks. You had to take your turkey home that day.

I worked there six years, and I was living on a sailboat during that time. My fridge was the size of a small cooler; my oven was equally small. The first year I manhandled the thing onto the boat and left it to thaw in the cockpit. Then I hacked it up and cooked it in shifts, which took all day.

After that I found a co-worker whose church collected food for needy families, and I donated my turkey to them every year.

I would’ve loved a gift card or cash, and an extra vacation day would’ve been wonderful. Enjoy your extra day off!

That a nice thing! Well, two things!

I’m a nurse in a hospital. I think we have about 600 employees on any given day, but nurses just work 3 days a week. We have other, M-F, 9-5 staff, weekend staff, nights, etc.

I’ve been with my company for 17 years. For most of those years we got a $25.00 gift card for a grocery store. That quietly disappeared a few years ago and they have tried a few different things since then.

My company is wildly profitable, but also kind cheap. To be fair, though, our employees are often very petty and hard to please. I have so many coworkers who complain about everything and can never be made happy.

Free pizza from the boss on a busy day? Instead of thanking the boss, they complain that they don’t like pizza, or don’t like that kind of pizza, and wish the boss had given us sandwiches, etc. The cafeteria is open. If you don’t like the free lunch you can go buy your lunch (or eat your packed lunch) like you were going to do anyway.

I think if anyone gives me something, the proper response is ‘Thank you,’ and not ‘It’s not good enough’ or ‘I don’t like it.’

Anyway, we got a free meal in the cafeteria this year (and last year). The cafeteria only cooked this one meal that day. It was a steak and shrimp meal that they charged us for but then credited our accounts for the price of the meal. The meal was available for sale to the public, too, for $10.00, but we got it for $5.00 (for which we were reimbursed). Anyone who missed this meal still gets a $5 cafeteria credit for use a a later date.

Gah- the complaints. Some folks don’t like shrimp (or have an allergy). Some don’t like steak for a multitude of reasons. Some didn’t like the sides. Some didn’t like the price. Some don’t like to pay for their meals with their badges (which gives you a 30% discount on a normal day and takes the money from your paycheck, but got you a free meal this day). Some think their holiday gift from the company is $5 and are insulted.

I dunno. I don’t care. I enjoyed the meal. Whatever.

Three years ago, the company gave everyone either a ham or a turkey. They asked everyone to choose which one they wanted so they could order them. I requested a turkey, which I received and took home and cooked and enjoyed.

One problem with the ham/turkey give-away was that there was not enough room in the various fridges in the place to store them all, so the whole place was over-stuffed with hams and turkeys for a week or so (remember, most of us just work 3 days a week so can be off campus for quite some time).

Another problem was that it seems some folks took other folks ham or turkey, or a ham instead of a turkey, or a ham and a turkey, or whatever, in the messy confusion. It also seems some folks took more than one, so others lost theirs. Others gave theirs away or left theirs behind. It was just a messy mess.

Two years ago was a disaster. They put up a ‘gift tree.’ You would sign in, pull a card off the tree and open the card to see what you had won. Most of the prizes were a pecan or pumpkin pie, but some prizes were big- like an iPad or laptop, or something more moderate like a bath set. Many pie winners were upset that they didn’t get a better prize. Many pies were handed off to others or thrown away because the winner didn’t like the pie for whatever reason. I heard a lot of grousing about this; that it was cheap, unfair, etc.

Personally, I think the company should go back to the grocery store gift cards. There is too much emotion in food and prizes. Plus, I often regifted my card to a tech or a secretary, one of the lower paid folks in our totem pole who really make the place run well. They don’t get paid much and I am comfortable. Regifting my card often got helped them a lot and me some nice good will from my coworkers.

The accountant in me wonders if your $20 and $25 gifts have been properly included in your taxable wages…

But mostly I think the vacation time is a great increase in your bonus. Congrats!

That’s pretty sweet! I get a free article of clothing from our company store for Christmas. It’s decent, just sucks that we can’t get anything that doesn’t have the company’s logo on it.

At a former job the owners would give me a couple hundred dollars worth of various gift cards as a Christmas bonus - quite a nice gesture, I thought. Then, my 6th Christmas there, they gave me the gift cards one week and a “we’re closing down the front office and you don’t have a job” speech the next. It didn’t seem like it at the time, but over the long term losing that job turned out to be the best gift they could have given me.

That’s a very nice present Bienville. Conga-rats.

We get a $30 grocery store card. It’s a nice gesture and I use it to buy something more extravagant than I normally would.

This reminds me when my company started giving out $50 and $100 prepaid Visa cards as rewards to people who did good jobs, or worked extra hard or got praised by a customer or whatever. It took one pay cycle and people realized the amounts were listed as income on their pay stubs and threw a fit. The practice was promptly discontinued and no further incentives are given to hard working employees.

The places I’ve worked that gave our bonuses by check figured out the tax amount and tacked in on so the bonus amount was what they wanted us to have.

For instance, if they wanted to give us a $100 net bonus, the gross on the stub was $100 plus the applicable taxes.

I worked for a company where one of the two geezer brothers who had started it would stand at the time clock Christmas Eve and hand out, no shit, AN APPLE. Folks, you want to talk about self control…it took a bodacious buttload of it not to throw the fricking thing up against the wall. Sheesh.

Gifts of $25 and under can be tax-free.

OP- nice holiday surprise!

I used to work at a hospital that gave coupons for either a 10-pound turkey, or a “ham” - one of those plastic-wrapped, water-injected things. I worked with a woman whose whole family was vegetarian (although her husband did eat meat away from home; she had always banned it from the house) and she usually did this except for the year where the husband of one of our technicians had walked out on her, leaving her with 3 little kids. That year, she passed it on to this woman.

I once worked for a company that wanted people to submit money-saving ideas, and they were rated green, yellow, or red based on how much the company would save over the year. I came up with a red-level idea, the highest level, and what was my prize?

A light bulb painted red.


Nothing. We get nothing. Hurumph!

Which reminds me that one half of the big Grocery Chain duopoly here started as “Coles and Co”. The Co was the company was the staff, which he had, in that generous early-20th-century capitalism-is-best way, made into profit-share members.

They got their profit share as paid annual leave. Their standard working conditions (like Bob Cratchit) did not include any pay for any time they were not actually working.

I got $20 of store credit at the thrift store I work in. Since this is actually useful, I’m pleased, and even if it hadn’t been, I’m still capable of appreciating good intent.

Yes, but the de minimis rule does not include cash or cash equivalents. Gift cards are generally a cash equivalent. Here’s a great analysis in simple terms: http://www.pfrcorporategifts.com/topic.cfm?level1=tax_benefits_of_turkey_gift_certificates