We have a senior engineer who is about to retire from our Company after many years of service. The Company is planning a nice luncheon and has purchased an expensive gift for him. The employees in the Engineering Department want to do something for him from them, so they have collected some money to purchase a fairly expensive watch with GPS, etc.One of the Engineering Dept employees took it upon him self to also have a plaque made and engraved (from the Eng Dept) that he wants to present to the employee on behalf of the dept and also wants to be reimbursed from the dept employees for the money he has spent. The problem is, everyone thinks the plaque is ugly, cheap looking and very tacky. No one wants to be a part of the plaque, but no one wants to hurt the guy’s feeling that took it upon himself to have his brother make the plaque and seems to think it is a wonderful gift.How do we get the plaque out of the retirement presentations and avoid hurting the feelings of the person who had it made?
Dear Got Plaque:
What’s more important: keeping harmony with your co-worker who has taken on the task of presenting having a plaque engraved or causing hard feelings with him by saying it is ugly and that you all decided not to cough up money for it? Can’t you simply say that since your department already collected money for an expensive gift, the consensus is that the watch is all you want to give? Since it was and is his idea to create the plaque , he is the one who should present it personally.You and your co-workers are the only ones who can decide what is most important. If a few more dollars will keep harmony and you can stress that the plaque and its presentation is his idea alone, could you and your co-workers live with that? An answer to that question probably is the best you can do with your dilemma.To achieve working together in harmony may require doing more than you would like to do, but it might avoid working against what we call the WEGO spirit.