• October 31, 2014
November 01, 2014, 12:52:55 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with your Chronicle username and password
News: Talk about how to cope with chronic illness, disability, and other health issues in the academic workplace.
Pages: [1]
Author Topic: Christmas gift for secretary  (Read 3215 times)
Posts: 166

« on: December 19, 2012, 3:54:05 PM »

New administrator suffering through second Christmas with my secretary. Last year she hinted that previous bosses were "bad to work with, but at least they gave nice Christmas gifts." I hate shopping and I'm not observant enough to identify something she might like. Last year I bought a last minute $100 gift card to Belk's. Anyone got any better ideas?

Troll Proof
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 23,003

Be excellent to each other.

« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 3:57:47 PM »

A $100 gift card is a pretty good professional gift. Presentation counts for a lot as well--by which I don't mean a fancy card but a nice note, thanking her for her work throughout the year.

Trolling for sex is not what this forum is all about.
We proudly present the fora's Least
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 8,100

Just killing time

« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 3:59:54 PM »

I usually go to Costco. Around this time of year, they have a variety of gift packages (usually gourmet foodstuffs in attractive baskets). Pay what you like, but I find that between $15-30 is good for a token holiday gift for an admin assistant, coordinator, research assistant, etc.

If you've got a special relationship with this secretary, and she's gone over and above the call of duty to help out, then I suppose a $100 gift would not be inappropriate.

"I may be an evil scientist, but it doesn't take a degree purchased from the Internet with your ex-wife's money to know how special and important you are to me." -- Dr. Doofenschmirtz
Doing laundry.
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 17,469

« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2012, 6:15:38 PM »

Some people love gift cards (flexibility) others hate them (impersonal).

To hedge your bets, I might buy something nice but easily exchangeable with a gift receipt tactfully tucked in the package. Or you could do a combo gift basket with a giftcard in it.

Light up the corners of your neighborhood with disco balls matched with dancing green and violet beams.
Junior member
Posts: 71

« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 3:19:38 PM »

Gift card, for sure. I do Amazon.com gift certs and my staff really seems to like them. $100 is on the high end, but if your AA is really your main support person, it seems very appropriate. Personally, I would avoid gift baskets, etc., but that's just me.

Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 16,159

No T, no shade. Usually.

« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 8:30:43 PM »

Administrative assistants are often underpaid and struggling.   For that reason, gift cards to everyday shopping destinations are often the most welcome gifts.  Consider local grocery stores, and chains with stores nearby, like Costco or Target.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 8:31:51 PM by systeme_d_ » Logged

Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 3,131

« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2012, 9:32:17 PM »

I've found that gift baskets are usually high on presentation and low on quality.  I'm with a heartfelt note and a flexible gift card with maybe something small that  s/he likes.  Mine has dolphins all over her office, so I coupled the gift card ($50 from Target) with a dolphin ornament.  Another options:  when s/he makes heavy hints, ask "what's considered a good gift."  The hinting is tacky, but if s/he's good, pursue the hint.
Pages: [1]
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.9 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
  • 1255 Twenty-Third St., N.W.
  • Washington, D.C. 20037
subscribe today

Get the insight you need for success in academe.