Am I ungratefull or just irritated?


Hi folks,
I have a question that I would like an opinion on. Since I don’t want my bosses to figuer out who I am, I have created this secret identity.
I work for an education system who contracts us out to another educational system, so I have 2 bosses.
Yesterday we had our “holiday” party at work. Last year, one of our bosses retired and was replaced by a new boss. They shall be known as boss 1 and 2. Boss 1 used to provide the main dish of the holiday party and we would bring snacks, deserts, drinks, papergoods, ect. That was her gift to us to let us know we were appreciated. Last year, boss 2 did nothing and we had a regular meeting instead of a party. This year she decided we would do a pot-luck and she provided paper goods and drinks. The other boss position will now be known as boss A and B. Boss A had been with us for a long time and knew how crazy and difficult our job can be. Every year she would get little gifts for us out of her own pocket, things like nice hand soaps, mugs full of candy, that kind of thing. Well, she got re-assigned to another group, so this year we have boss B. Boss B was going around at the party yesterday offering a choice of one envelope of several kinds of store brand hot chocolate mix as her gift to us. Quite frankly, I felt a little insulted. I know, its the thought that counts. But it kind of felt like the thought was, “Oh the party is today! I should give them something. What do I have laying around the house that I won’t miss?”
The place we work for has parties for all the regular employees that we are not allowed to attend, because we are supposed to be at the location we are contracted to. The contractor has parties for their employees that we are not invited to because we are not considered employees. We provide a nessesary service that is mandated by federal law and it is cheaper for the contrator to use contract labor than to hire their own staff. I want a real party! And I would rather not have a gift than one that seemed to say, “You provide such a valuble service for us. To show our appreciation, the staff may share this box of store brand hot chocolate.”
Am I ungratefull or just irritated?


I’d say you are insulted. I’d suggest having your own party, and inviting them. Be pleasant and kind, give them thoughtful gifts, make sure everything is perfect i.e., rub their noses in how offensive their party is/was. Make sure they know the effort that went onto it. If they don’t come to your party, be sure to give them the thoughtful gift anyway.


are you part of a union?

have your entire union strike in demanding equality


I do contract work.

I never expect any gifts/parties as I am not a full-time, in-house employee. Generally, as a contractor, we are paid at a different rate than full-time employees.

I have been fortunate that the companies that I have done contract work for have given me gifts or invited me to their parties, but I do not expect either.

Do you provide a gift to them? I never heard mention of what you give to them.

In summary, life is not fair. It is better to give than receive. Take this opportunity to buy or create a thoughtful gift this year so that you may be remembered next year.


I agree with KT; you’re a contractor, it happens.

The issue is that the old bosses spoiled you to the point that you almost expected it. I do think that you should expect a nice company party, but it should be thrown by your contractor company, not the client. To the extent that one boss does something differently than before, that really isn’t much to get upset about. I, for one, probably wouldn’t cook for a potluck, but might volunteer my time organizing it.

In Summary:

**Last year’s meeting: **Justifiably irritated.

**Boss1 potluck: **Toss-up; I’d probably just let that one slide.

Boss B gift issue: Ungrateful.

Lastly, if you want a party that bad: a) become an employee or b) throw one! :slight_smile:


I guess I’m more of a Scrooge than Zilla. I don’t think a company-sponsored party is something you should expect. It’s a good idea for the company to sponsor one, just to boost morale, but it’s an extra, not a given. Otherwise, I mostly agree with him.


Thanks for the opinions. I can’t become an employee of the contractor, since my position is speciallized and contracting is how they choose to staff those positions. We do pitch in as a group and buy gift cards for both bosses every year. I guess I just need a thicker skin.