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Old 06-04-2014, 10:42 AM   #61
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Wow, a lot of anger towards employers here.
As an employer, I have noted all these comments and will put them to use when one of my long time employees retires next year.
I'm glad you're thinking about this- what I take away from this discussion is that it's not the amount an employer spends, but the thought that goes into it. (Really- it's the thought that counts! ) A $50 gift card may be more appreciated than a $100 lead crystal paperweight with the company logo on it, but it really depends on the employee.

Thanks to the OP- this led me to start a discussion on the moribund LinkedIn Group of one of my previous employers (a giant insurance company) about what company paraphernalia people had. There was a tremendous variety, and when someone asked about market value I found over 700 items in an e-Bay search. They used to give you a pin after 10 years and a version from the old days when it was 14K was on sale for $390.

And now I'm a "Top Influencer" for the group! That and 99 cents will get me a cup of coffee (the Senior special) at McD's.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:06 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
I'm glad you're thinking about this- what I take away from this discussion is that it's not the amount an employer spends, but the thought that goes into it. (Really- it's the thought that counts! ) A $50 gift card may be more appreciated than a $100 lead crystal paperweight with the company logo on it, but it really depends on the employee.
Wasn't a retirement gift; allegedly, a motivational thing, but in the late 90s we employees received a "cell foam", i.e. an early Nokia-lookalike cell phone made of, what else, foam rubber. I retrieved it from my mail slot, and dropped it into the trash can on my way out...

And yes, I received more than one acrylic tschotske emblazoned with the company logo...
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:28 AM   #63
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I had a client one time that had an "employee of the month" program. Every month they chose someone and gave them a "cornucopia of gifts" which included mostly coupons for something, restaurant meals, or a store. When attending the monthly presentation I thought how insulting it was to the employees, they were honored for helping the company and then given some crappy coupons. If it had been me, I would have rather had some real recognition and appreciation without cheapening it with a crummy gift. Then a raise in salary would have been nice!

In my small business for a while I had a full time employee and one part time bookkeeper. The guy who worked for me full time used to jokingly refer to himself when he called me as the "peon worker". He was anything but. He made that part of my business successful and I really appreciated it. I gave him praise yes, but also bonuses. One time his bonus was equal to a third of his pay. He worked hard in every way because he know when we did well, he would do well. He worked equally hard when times were bad and there were no bonuses to be paid, because he knew when things picked up he would be rewarded. One time after doing something well he joked "where is my Thanksgiving Turkey". He was surprised when I showed up with one. I think people just want real recognition, honesty and integrity, not trinkets.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:39 PM   #64
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Wow, a lot of anger towards employers here.
As an employer, I have noted all these comments and will put them to use when one of my long time employees retires next year.
I don't think it is anger nearly as much as realizing that employers just don't care. The "good enough" bar for the company gets set pretty low for handling a departing employee.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:04 PM   #65
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What I don't understand is that all the people in charge of giving these gifts know well enough that they are lame-o and would not want to be given them. So how do these things happen?

Some of you must have been in charge of the gift giving. So what gives?
At my small company (I was the owner), we didn't really have anyone retire before I sold it because we tended to hire younger people (tech knowledge). However, we had one sales rep I inherited when we bought another company. By that time, we wasn't an employee anymore but an independent rep. He was in his 80's and still hit the bricks. He was a hoot to be around and always attended sales meetings, which were held a considerable distance from his home. He finally retired. I personally picked a very expensive gold clock, had his name engraved on it, and sent it to him (no one else at the company knew I did it, and I'm sure he expected nothing). He sent a very effusive note. When he died a few years later, I heard from his daughter how meaningful that clock was to him.

That being said, I understand many of the reactions in this thread.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:09 PM   #66
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I'm not angry, but megaconglomocorp showed me long before I was laid-off/retired that I was insignificant and not worthy.
+1

Not anger, just disappointment.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:55 PM   #67
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The old T-shirt I got, two sizes to large, with an old obsolete school motto on it, screamed "I don't care about you!"
Clearly a case of no gift would have been better that that. You'll always remember how that made you feel, but if they had done nothing you'd probably have forgotten about it by now.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:07 PM   #68
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My husband wanted nothing. They called and asked me what he wanted, because they were going to get something. I gave them a list of things he had mentioned wanting and they asked me to not tell him that I gave them a list. I'll be darned if he didn't get all of them and he was surprised and happy. He got one of those traveling sprinklers with new hoses, one of those compression sprayers to wash the car or spray dirt off the house (we get dust storms), a small electric generator, a new drill, a gift certificate to a landscaping store and a restaurant gift card to his favorite place. I thought that was incredibly nice of them.
Plus he has a 66% pension with health insurance for me and him for life. If he should go before me, I still receive the pension.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:46 PM   #69
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After I had already retired and left the building, MegaCorp mailed a brochure with my retirement trinket selections.

MegaCorp A had bought MegaCorp B. After that there was a massive "right sizing" and they paid me to leave. I had worked for MegaCorp B for almost 40 years. I was allowed to choose which logo would would be on my trinkets. I selected MegaCorp B

I selected a MegaCorp B gold lapel pin with 8 tiny diamonds. One diamond for each 5 years of service. I also selected a 14 K gold MegaCorp B ring.

I wear the lapel pin and the ring when I attend retired co-worker funerals, which happens all too often.
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