former boss sent large gift baskets to some of us, but not others

A reader writes:

Just a quick note to get an objective opinion. My horrible manager left for a new job in July this year. (Yay!) However, he stays in touch with upper management, in their personal lives — which is fine, BUT… he has just had large Christmas gift baskets delivered to two of his former direct reports, leaving the other three of us to watch the baskets being delivered. They were delivered to their desks, in the workplace. Is this weird? I mean, we knew he was a jerk when we worked for him, but this seems very strange to me.

Is is kosher to send gifts to the workplace, to previous employees, when one has not been working in a location for the previous six months? It’s not like we want his ridiculous gift baskets, but this just seems, I don’t know, a step above socially inept. Is this just a weird thing we can laugh about or what?

Yeah, that’s obnoxious. If he had, say, sent cards to two people who he’d had especially good relationships with — like a mentor type thing — I could see that. It’s discreet and not over-the-top. But large gift baskets, where it’s going to be obvious that he sent them to two of his former team and not the other three? It’s graceless, at a minimum.

But yes, laughing at it is your best bet. Celebrate the fact that he’s out of your lives, and enjoy this for the amusing weirdness that it is.

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