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Gifts to teachers and mailmen

submitted on April 20, 2010 by midget in "Member's Lounge"
The thread about the teachers made me think about this.

I see many parents give gifts to their kids teachers at Christmas time and people even give gifts to the mailman.

Who here does this and why? Do you feel like you're supposed to or cause you genuinely believe the teacher/mailman deserves it?

Those that are teachers, do you feel entitled to a gift?

I know some of you are teachers/have spouses that are teachers so this may make an interesting conversation.
        

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  • 59728
    midget
    professor
    5 3 2
    10 6 2
    Posted by midget on April 20, 2010
    [reply] 7 0
    Personally, I don't gift give to these two as a rule of thumb. To me, this goes along the lines of tipping.

    I believe that teaching and delivering the mail is their job and they are getting paid for it. In many cases it is the persons chosen career and their reward is personal along with a paycheck.
    I don't feel the need to "reward" mailmen or teachers for doing their job.
    Hell, some of them aren't even good at the job. But that goes with any career. There are bad apples everywhere.

    I've only gifted 3 mail persons in my life and that was on one single Christmas at the post office where i had a personal relationship with them since I was there almost everyday and besides taking my mail we bullshitted with each other and I became good friends with one of them.

    In turn, I've also only gifted 3 teachers in my sons school career. to me, these teachers went way beyond just teaching the students. 2 of the 3 I gifted took teaching to another level imo. They took time of their own once a week after school without pay to play football with the kids for about 3 hours, they made learning fun, played with the kids during school time and took a personal interest in their students. A couple times we had after school BBQ's and other fun things to go along with cracking the books. Not only did they take an interest in their students but the parents were also made to feel included in their kids education as well as the fun stuff.

    When a teacher or a mailman goes beyond the call of duty than I feel they deserve something other than a paycheck but to gift just because their doing their job is not for me.
  • 59735
    tammy987
    professor
    5 1 1
    Posted by tammy987 on April 20, 2010
    [reply] 10 0
    I think if your child is especially fond of a teacher (usually because that teacher is spending extra time for one reason or another) then it's okay to give that teacher a gift. It usually makes both the teacher and child feel good. No harm there, only good. I don't usually give gifts to the mailman, but I do for the mailman at work. He brings the mail in every day (rain or snow) and he doesn't have to. He drives a truck and could just leave it in the box. I believe in rewarding for going above and beyond the call of duty. Big Grin
  • 59736
    mooncow728
    professor
    1 1
    12 6 1
    Posted by mooncow728 on April 20, 2010
    [reply] 8 0
    I believe in giving a gift to my garbage men because there job sucks. My dad was one for a while when I was a kid and boy he hated it. I try to be as nice to them as possible because it is a dirty disgusting job that I'm sure no one wants to do but it's necessary.

    As far as my mailman goes though he gets nothing normally. He mostly of the time damages my mail when putting it my box because he feels the need to shove everything in very rough and that makes me mad. Also if I get a package he just leaves it out in plain sight. He doesn't even do a courtesy knock (my door is a foot from my box) when it's raining. So in my opinion he doesn't deserve anything.

    With teachers though I'm not sure. My kids aren't old enough to be in school yet so I can only base my opinion on my past. With that being said then yes I do believe teachers should receive a gift, even if they aren't so great. A lot of my teachers were forced to buy supplies for our classes because the school had no money. So I think parents should maybe buy materials for the class as a gift. It's something that doesn't have to come out of the teacher's pocket later so they can use their money for what they really need. I did have a few teachers that were HORRIBLE but at the end of the day, I would be too if I were put in half the situations they are put into daily.
  • 59739
    midget
    professor
    5 3 2
    10 6 2
    Posted by midget on April 20, 2010
    [reply] 6 0
    Now I didn't even think about the garbagemen. That's another good one mooncow. And now that you mention it, I did give a gift to one of my garbagemen years back.

    Not because he has a dirty job. He gets paid for that and they get paid fairly well. I also have a brother in law that's a trash man.

    The trash man I gifted went beyond his job description. years back I was moving and had lots to throw way. The trash man came 3 separate times because I asked him to to haul away my trash and even helped me move some of the larger items from my yard to the front to be hauled away.

    I believe that anyone that goes beyond their job description and adds a personal touch to what they do deserves something extra.
    But if you're just doing you job than you've already been rewarded with a paycheck.
      59748
    • mooncow728
      professor
      1 1
      12 6 1
      Posted by mooncow728 on April 20, 2010
      [reply] 5 0
      That's great that your garbage men get paid more. The ones at most companies here only get just over minimum wage per hour. The guy driving makes more since he is required to have a CDL, but most of the time the drivers stay in the truck while the route man has to do all the work. Occasionally when they are short on people the driver will get out but that's not typical. I can't even imagine making that little for such a dirty job.
  • 59743
    equipurple
    professor
    2
    11 8 1
    Posted by equipurple on April 20, 2010
    [reply] 7 0
    I look at the token aspect of gift giving to teachers and letter carriers and UPS drivers and the like. Yes it is on the lines of tipping, but with a holiday spirit how-do-you-do mixed in. This year, we went with the bottled soup mix theme, from the download recipe book http://www.buxr.com/deal/mason.....arch/mason
    Cost under $25 for 12 gifts to give away.
    stock image:
      59749
    • mooncow728
      professor
      1 1
      12 6 1
      Posted by mooncow728 on April 20, 2010
      [reply] 5 0
      That's a good idea. I've done dry cookie mixes also. You just mix all the dry ingredients in a jar and attach a note telling the person what to add and the cooking instructions.
  • 59746
    YanBz
    admin
    Posted by YanBz on April 20, 2010
    [reply] 7 0
    My wife is a teacher. Her school has adopted a very good practice: for big holidays (like Christmas) they collect a list of stores that each teacher shops at and distribute to parents. Parents then can order gift cards via school at discount. Before this was put in place, we would get a ton of stuff we didn't need. Now my wife carries around a small stack of gift cards and indulges herself once in a while as she feels like doing so. Smile
  • 59759
    midget
    professor
    5 3 2
    10 6 2
    Posted by midget on April 20, 2010
    [reply] 4 0
    Her school has adopted a very good practice: for big holidays (like Christmas) they collect a list of stores that each teacher shops at and distribute to parents.


    Doesn't this give the ring of expectation and maybe even the hint of obligation to the parent?

    I think it's great that the parents that want to buy the teacher a gift can purchase GC's at a discount. This helps the gift giver and I'm sure it helps the school as well as the gift recipient. So all benefit....
    But, passing out a list to the parents around Xmas time kind of sends a message to the parents that a gift may be expected of them, imo. Especially when it's kind of sanctioned by the school in the way of the list being provided.
      59761
    • mooncow728
      professor
      1 1
      12 6 1
      Posted by mooncow728 on April 20, 2010
      [reply] 4 0
      I was thinking the same thing when I read that but I thought it was just me. I would be angry and feel obligated. Not only do I have the holidays to deal with but my oldest was born 12-21 and my younger one was 2-11 so I have to do birthdays too. Feeling obligated if I'm already broke would almost be enough to set me off. Evil Artistic
    • 59762
    • YanBz
      admin
      Posted by YanBz on April 20, 2010
      [reply] 5 0
      You are not obliged to give. It is just that if you choose to you can buy gift cards and know that the store you pick is the teacher's favorite. Of course some continue to give chocolates, candles, or whatever. It is just one more option.
    • 59763
    • midget
      professor
      5 3 2
      10 6 2
      Posted by midget on April 20, 2010
      [reply] 3 0
      I understand what you're saying Yan. No one is really actually obligated to give a gift. It's not a requirement nor a law but when lists are passed out listing a teachers favorite store or their favorite item, than the "feeling" of obligation is there and most people act on that feeling.

      Know what I mean?
  • 59823
    HouTex
    admin
    Posted by HouTex on April 21, 2010
    [reply] 3 0
    I am very surprised at the tone of this topic as posted, whether the recipient is "deserving" or the giver feels "obligated." Equipurple's suggestion surely shows how a person can be thoughtful to others and not spend a lot of money. Doesn't the holiday season bring out for you the joy of wanting to give? We have always used a holiday (any holiday) as an excuse to thank people who have enriched our lives, and we genuinely enjoy sharing with others. Children spend their entire day with their teachers, and the teachers have a very big impact on their lives. Teaching kids the joy of sharing and giving is important to us, because we feel they will carry that spirit of generosity throughout their lives. We give because we want to, there is never any feeling of "obligation" without the desire to do it.

    I recently was a monitor for a student competition, where a little 8-year-old boy I had never met before drew a picture for me before he left. It was totally unexpected. He proudly presented it to me, and I was thrilled to have it!
  • 59841
    equipurple
    professor
    2
    11 8 1
    Posted by equipurple on April 21, 2010
    [reply] 4 0
    I was thinking, btw, Yan, that holiday shopping off season might be a good blog topic. Summer time is filled with lots of shopping opportunities that can save more money--and much more stress--than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Certainly the timely things and latest releases aren't available, but last year's winter clothes and accessories are on last leg clearance...

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