I have whiled away many a happy hour reading the blog of the Random Reviewers, second only to Bob’s Top Five in my list of favorite ways to waste time reading about people I don’t actually know. Bob’s Top Five is sadly now defunct. But Bob&Co. are still randomly reviewing everything from Socio-Political Art Objects I Observed on Exhibit While Riding My Bike To Work Today, to Review of My Hair (both definitely on my Top 5 List of Random Reviews). Oh my God, I just re-read them both, it’s like a black hole from which I can’t escape.
Anyway, I thought I’d try my hand at a random review, because I am not good at coming up with blog ideas on my own and they’ll never read this and discover I’ve snarked their idea.
So here, in honor of Bob, Elden, and dug, may they live and post forever, is my review:
Review of Corporate Gifts I’ve Received
This is the time of year in the corporate world (and perhaps the rest of the world as well) that businesses send their administrative assistants to websites like Overstock dot com where they buy cheap crap in bulk to send out to their customers, "in appreciation for all you do." As a member of management who unaccountably has a lot of clout in making decisions about our vendors, temp agencies, and benefits providers, I have been on the receiving end of several of these gifts. Whenever I get one, I look at it and immediately have to decide whether I want to hide it in my briefcase and smuggle it home to enjoy myself, or haul out the dull butter knife and plastic plates (all the tools our office kitchen has to offer) and share it with 61 other people. These are what I’ve gotten so far, and how they rate (on a 5 star scale).
Coffee Set from the Temp Agency
My digital camera is not working, curses, so I will have to describe: 4 small glasses with colored bands around them that say Listen, Laugh, Learn, Lead; 2 bags of coffee beans; recipes for holiday coffee treats.
At first glance, this was a very exciting gift, because
- it wasn’t candy or salted nuts
- it came in a throwaway styrofoam package instead of a Christmas tin. I am overrun with Christmas tins.
- it included 2 bags of coffee, which my husband drinks like his life depends on it
Upon further exploration, this gift proved to be less exciting than first thought:
- this was clearly a coffee themed gift – but the drinking receptacles included in the package are glass. They aren’t even the double thick glass of espresso cups, so if one were to put coffee in them, one would either burn one’s hands or have to hold the cup keeping one’s fingers aligned with the thin colored bands, which I’ve tried and found difficult and uncomfortable. Why, why are they included?
- the coffee beans were whole. I am an HR Manager, not Paris Hilton, and we do not have no stinking coffee grinders round here.
- the colored bands are: baby poo green, rust, storm blue, and brown. Ugly, in other words.
- the phrases are laughably cliched and hackneyed. Listen? To the sound of gunshots in the Playstation line? Laugh? Do they mean the wild unrestrained cackling of a woman on the edge in a parking lot, about to smash into the SUV that took her spot?
- it has the logo of the temp agency stamped on each of the cups, so it can’t be re-gifted.
Rate: ** which it only gets because it saved me 10 bucks on coffee (though we spent about $7 in gas driving to my sister’s house to grind it)
Harry and David Fruit Assortment, given by our benefits provider
This was a sturdy cardboard box with 2 apples, 4 pears, cheese, salted nuts, and meat.
- Although it had nuts, it was not candy, which means it gets 4 stars for being unique
- I love pears, apples, cheese, and meat
- It is very easy to share
- It was very easy to share, so I had to share it. We set it down and the Israelis ate it all up in about 3 minutes, leaving only a few brown apple slices, and I barely got any.
- It had cheese, it had meat, but it did not have crackers, the essential companions to cheese and meat. This is not a huge con, because I got someone else to bring in the crackers at her own expense, haha.
- I always feel slightly weirded out by getting cheese and meat in the mail. Don’t these things have to be refrigerated? What man-made chemical ingredient is in them to make them safe for consumption after weeks at room temperature? Is it the same thing that makes them sort of slimy?
Rate *** I would have given it 4 stars if I could have had it all to myself.
Candy box tower from a Fiber Supplier
This was 5 colored boxes, stacked from largest to smallest, each with a treat inside.
- The boxes are cute and can be used for future Christmas gifts – no wrapping required
- every box had either nuts or candy in it
- it was difficult to share equitably – the top box, for example, had only 2 pieces of candy in it, while the bottom box had a whole bag of piroulines. Which office gets the bigger box? Does anybody really want any more candy, and in that case is it a better career move to give my boss the big box with more stuff, or the small box with less?
- I left my empty box on my tabletop (I took a medium sized one), and people keep refilling it with NUTS AND CANDY.
Rate: It gets no stars for being such a pain in the rear to distribute.
In conclusion, if you really want to endear yourself to your customers, don’t send them any gifts at all. If you feel you must, send them money. Bribe schmibe.