DEAR MISS MANNERS: How is one supposed to respond when the company Christmas gift to its employees is a donation to a charity in "our" name?
This seems like a cheap shot to make the company look conscientious and generous in "our" name. Plus I was angry that they would donate to a charity of their choice in my name. How can I state my distaste for this act without losing my job?
GENTLE READER: Miss Manners is afraid that there is no point in stating your distaste for this distasteful maneuver. Charities don't give refunds. What you want to do is to prevent its becoming a company tradition.
You and your co-workers should write a letter of thanks (oh, go ahead, it won't kill you) stating that you are glad the company recognizes its employees' interest in philanthropy, and -- for that very reason -- asking to be in on any meetings choosing beneficiaries. Or you could suggest a matching donation program, by which the company adds to any Christmas donations the employees choose to make.
Miss Manners warns you to be prepared to be told that this would make the process too cumbersome. And the answer you should prepare is, "In that case, we would prefer to go back to the traditional system, by which we each take our Christmas bonus from the company and decide how best to use it."
DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the length of time a person can take to send a thank you for a birthday gift, Christmas gift, or any gift for that matter?
GENTLE READER: Before the first enthusiasm for the present subsides, or just after the first disappointment does. However, Miss Manners sets the time limit at 20 minutes.