mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Thanks for the years of service... have some crap...

So it was five years ago at the end of next month that mad anthony quit his part-time data entry job, loaded a sleeping bag and and some clothes into the back of his PT Cruiser and drove from his parent's house in NJ and headed to a 1-bedroom apartment in Northeast Baltimore to start work at his current job.

And in thanks for the five years of service at said job, madanthony's employers have sent him a catalog of useless crap, of which he gets to pick one item. The items include watches by companies I've never heard of, some clocks that look like the kind my mom used to get for free for renewing her subscription to Reader's Digest, and some crystal vases. I'm actually leaning towards the 20-piece flatware set, because I tend to run out teaspoons, thanks to my steady diet of ice cream and cereal.

Now, I've posted pretty much every Christmas about the deadweight loss of Christmas giving - economically, people would be better off keeping their money, instead of buying something that someone doesn't really want.

It's even worse when it's a company doing it, because they have no idea what their employees want. The point is that they are recognizing their employee more than anything. Still, I'm guessing the employer pays far more than the value of the gift to the employee, since they are paying a company not only for the crappy gift, but also for the service of mailing them a fancy catalog, letting them order their "prize", and delivering it.

It would probably be cheaper, and more appreciated, if said employer instead gave, say an Amex gift card. Most people would rather have cash than a cheap no-name multitool or another picture frame (and if they really wanted those things, they would have bought them). At least with cash, I could buy something useful, like a case of hot pockets or half a tank of gas.

Now, I suppose I should be greatful - lots of employers don't do anything for an employee's 5th anniversary. But if they are going to spend the money, it would be nice if it was on something people actually wanted.


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