A friend of mine recently mentioned that when she travels, she makes a point of bringing back a treat for her office as a way of thanking her co-workers for picking up the slack while she was away. The treat could be anything from a box of Turkish Delight from Istanbul to pecan pralines from down south. Most of her co-workers return the favor, bringing back something sweet for everyone to enjoy.
And then there’s that one guy who not only never brings anything back, but is first to help himself to the goodies that others have brought in. At one point someone asked if he’d brought back a treat from his trip to New Orleans and he said, “Why should I?” Apparently, he’s not terribly interested in fostering goodwill.
This man also neglects to chip in for teabags and coffee, but is happy to help himself. When he’s caught out, he’ll roll his eyes and ask how much one teabag could possibly cost. Of course, that’s not the point. It’s not fair for others to cover his expenses when he’s enjoying the goods. It’s hardly an HR violation, but this sort of behavior certainly won’t win him any friends.
Let this guy be a lesson. Chipping in and/or spending a few bucks on a box of chocolates for the office can really boost morale and goodwill. Taking advantage of others’ generosity makes people not want to work with you. Consider how much time you spend working, and ask yourself this: What kind of co-worker do you want to be?