$$$ For Births, Deaths, Weddings, Farewells of Co-workers

  1. I was wondering how you handle chipping in for co-workers' bridal showers, baby showers, deaths of a co-worker's loved one, farewell parties, Birthdays, etc. My question has arisen since I just today received a wedding invitation from someone I worked with more than 4 years ago. I like her, but I have no relationship with her. Of course I will decline the invitation, but it seems like someone's always pregnant or engaged or leaving the unit for another job or has experienced a death, and it can get VERY expensive. Because our Med/Surg floor is so busy, there's no time to celebrate Birthdays as we once did, so buying a cake and card every so often is no longer an issue for me, thankfully-- and also sadly-- that we have no time for something as simple as a Birthday celebration now and then.

    Do your units have "Sunshine Clubs" or committees where someone is in charge of collecting an amount from coworkers who want to be involved in giving for special occassions? I was once involved in giving toward a Sunshine Club at another hospital, but it ended up fading away for lack of interest.

    We also can't forget coworkers who sell raffle tickets and other items for their kids, or those involved in seeking pledges for charity events. Do you have a set limit for yourself or a policy to never give or, for me, it depends on the person and the situation, whether I will give or not.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   iliel
    I worked in a dental office with 12 people, it was asked of us to give 5$ for birthday, in July we have 5 people, you do the math, and when you're a student, that's a lot of money! I stopped, I would sign the card, but wouldn't give cash.
    we had 2 DDS's and everyone wanted to give them 20$ each!!! Ah, they are great guys, but they don't need my money. I once heard that the money they got from us, the donated to their church, well, that wasn't ok with me since I am not a member of their chruch, I stopped giving.
    I hate the feeling of being expected to give money.
    As far as school sales, I would want to know where the money is going, will it be used right away on the children that are selling, or is it going to be used in the future for something else. you just don't know what the schools going to do with the money.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Sunshine club where I work.
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The nurse manager will get the supplies but always takes someone with her for a second opinion. Everyone contributes 5 dollars per paycheck, it is put in the "Employee Fun" envelope and used for each event, then employees bring their own present if they want.

    The birthday cake and ice cream, i found out, is paid for by the hospital's employee gifting fund.
  6. by   healingtouchRN
    we had a "kitty" where I used to work, but what a hassle. I did co-ordinate a big party when my former manager left (he was beloved). I spent $100 of my own money, but I did it without grudge because he was a pleasure to work for. Have not done that before or since. I do send get well cards & sympathy cards. I also donated 3 weeks of leave for one of my employees that can't work right now & bought her some bath stuff while she was in-patient. It's so hard to get together on stuff....
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    I'm glad someone started this thread! This is one of my pet peeves! I work in a large ICU with over 100 employees, just in our unit. Plus the pharmacists and techs that work in the satellite pharmacy, the respiratory therapists with whom we work closely, the house staff, housekeepers, Social Workers, Physical Therapists, dieticians . . . . you catch my drift. Because I work in a University teaching hospital, it's a young, fairly mobile crowd. Someone is always getting married, having a baby or moving on. This month alone there are 7 babies, 2 weddings, a wedding recaption, an engagement party, 1 combination baby shower and going away party, and a bereavement. At first, I tried to keep up and contribute for every occaision, but I can't do that anymore. It doesn't stop the selp-appointed social directors from asking -- I just cannot do it!

    I finally decided that if I'm not invited to the wedding, I'm not going to the shower (or contributing a gift). As far as the babies -- unless I see the new parent socially outside of work, I don't contribute. Going away parties -- if it's someone I'm close to and will miss or keep in touch with, I participate. Otherwise, I just sign the card that goes around. I bring food to the potlucks. As for bereavements . . . I tackle that on an individual basis. When our manager's brother was killed on his way to her daughter's wedding, I contributed. When the new employee's mother-in-law died, I didn't. (I wasn't even sure who the new employee was until someone pointed out her picture on our bulletion board.) Her preceptors and the other new employees that were hired about the same time participated, and that's great. They knew her!
  8. by   purplemania
    This is also a pet peeve of mine, right along with Christmas Party. Although my co-workers are also my friends, what I really want to do is spend money on my family. I hate the feeling of obligation, which IMHO is exactly the opposite of what you are supposedly expressing. I just do not contribute, but will make a personal contact if indicated. When I was in bereavement for my Mom I preferred a genuine heartfelt hug or words of encouragement.
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Luckily we have the option of bowing out of the "contrubution".

    We had a "Congratulations on Highest Rated Service Satisfaction" party last night, which supplies were furnished by the customer service committee. It had pizza for food, then a make-your-own sundae bar.

    Needless to say we were so busy everyone's sundae turned into cholcolate soup before they could eat it, but it was a nice surprise. And the nurse manager was there (at 1 am) thanking us over and over for everything.

    As for what bothers me monetarily, the Tupperware party invites i get. That stuff's expensive!!! And if that don't beat all, it's about that time of year before the kids' fundraisers start back, and the Home Interior candle flyers get put in front of you. Fundraisers can make you go broke if you don't watch.

    Except for Girl Scout cookie season. There's always an exception to the Caramel Delight.
  10. by   flashpoint
    We do a meal for everyone who has a baby, death in the family, etc...the person in charge draws five names from a hat and those five people are asked to contribute something like a vegetable, main dish, etc. If they're unable to help, we just draw another name until we get enough people. We have four or five people who always refuse to help...they probably won't get a meal if something comes up for them. As far as birthdays...if you're stuck working your birthday, everyone usually chips in and gets a cake or something like that...
  11. by   Noney
    I agree with everyone.

    But let my add that it gets me when there is a collection going around to buy the higher ups "a christmas present" They don't need it. I would rather give to help a coworker who really needs it at Christmas.
  12. by   ptnurse
    A nursing unit is like a small town with lots of relationships of varing degrees. I usually contribute when I have a personal connection with the individual that is getting married, moving on etc. And I don't contribute when I didn't really know or have a relationship with the individual. I always reserve my right to skip a contribution. It can be very expensive.
  13. by   CseMgr1
    We have a Sunshine Club where I work, too. But, it got to be a hassle, when my funds started running short...and I had to make a choice between putting gas in my car, in order to get to work...or pay into this fund. I finally told them to take my name off
    the list. IF I have the money and IF it is someone who is celebrating a milestone that I WANT to make a contribution towards, then I will be more than happy to do it..and not because someone else says I "have" to.
  14. by   P_RN
    It's my experience Sunshine funds don't always work. It depends on who manages it and how fairly the money is spent. One girl gets an Aigner handbag and the other gets some walmart perfume?
    On second shift we had a panty club. On your birthday everybody in the club bought you a pair of panties. Not over I think it was $10 at the time. That way everyone got something and no one was forced to join.

    For babies and weddings, we had "showers" really just a day when whoever wanted to bring a gift could and the new mommy or bride could open them. No pressure at all there.

    People I no longer interact with get a nice card for weddings. The invitations I accept I only give what I can afford. Lately it's been casserole dishes.

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