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They’d Have To Throw Them Away When They Died Anyway

, , , , , | Working | January 27, 2021

It’s the annual Christmas raffle at work. I’ve missed the last three, as I always book the week of the draw off. The prizes are always naff things bought by the HR manager, things that she seems to like — flowery soap, sayings on signs, cheap perfume, etc. So, I tell whoever will be there to make them redraw the ticket if I win. For some reason, this really annoys the HR manager!

Unfortunately, I have had to use up my holiday early this year and end up working. I am getting on with my work while they perform the spectacle of the prize draw; I almost don’t hear my name. I go up to claim my prize, and it’s a bunch of flowers. Great.

As a single man who doesn’t even own a vase, I pretend to graciously accept the prize. Then, I try to give it away to anyone who will listen when it is all over. I get no takers, so on my way to the car, I ditch them in the dumpster. 

I arrive the next morning to an email from the Human Resources manager; she wants to see me. I dutifully visit her office.

HR Manager: “What is this?”

She has the flowers on her desk.

Me: “Looks like a bunch of flowers.”

HR Manager: “No, these are the flowers you won in the raffle — the flowers you threw in the bin.”

Me: “Oh, yeah, that’s where I’ve seen them before.”

HR Manager: “You are very lucky I don’t write you up for this.”

Me: “For what? Putting my rubbish in the bin when I was off the clock?”

HR Manager: “Rubbish? Just go.”

I can see from my desk that she goes right up to the director. She gestures at me, but he seems less than interested and motions to the door. He does, however, come see me later.

Director: “[HR Manager] was… upset with your actions yesterday.”

Me: “To be frank, do you want a flowery soap, a bunch of cheap flowers, or a reed diffuser?”

He stares at me for a while with a deadpan expression.

Director: “Well, I’m sure the others don’t feel that way.”

Me: “I’m not trying to be rude, but the staff talk, and most of what is won ends up in the bin. The raffle is a great idea, but no one wants it because no one wants to win.”

Director: “Okay, well, thanks for that.”

I didn’t hear much more of that. The next year, the HR manager made a big fuss of not having time to do the raffle, perhaps expecting some big reaction. But she did it anyway; we at least got a few better prizes in the mix.

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