I Advise You To Keep It Simple, Secret Santa!

BlutoDear Modern Philosopher,

Can you believe that Christmas is almost here?  Just one more mini work week to survive, and then we get to celebrate the greatest Holiday of all.

I started a new job a few months ago, and I’m still struggling to fit in with my coworkers.  They are an eclectic bunch (to put it nicely), but I have to spend forty hours a week with them, so I’d like to be accepted as one of the group.  You know how workplace drama can be, and I don’t want to be the outsider who becomes the subject of gossip and has all the crap work thrown her way.

We’re doing a Secret Santa on Christmas Eve.  I was lucky enough to select the queen bee of the office hive as my gift recipient, and I figure that if I can ace her present, I’ll be welcomed into the herd with open arms.

The spending limit of $15 really narrows the field of gifts I can buy, but I thought I could get creative.  What if I were to get people to volunteer their services for this?  I was thinking of doing a whole 12 Days of Christmas scenario where I could get local actors or students to portray Lords A Leaping, Maids A Milking, Ladies Dancing, etc.

I totally think I’m on the right track here, so what are your Deep Thoughts on this?

Thanks for your help.  Merry Christmas!

Secretly Santa Claus

SantaDear Secretly Santa,

I totally understand what you mean by office drama.  At times, I feel like I work on the set of a soap opera that should have been canceled decades ago.

I also get why you want to fit in because I have seen weak coworkers shunned by the herd, and then banished to a solitary life in dark, lonely cubicles, but I think you’re taking the wrong approach with your Secret Santa aspirations.

If you deliver an amazing Christmas gift for the office queen bee, you will be shining the spotlight on yourself.  You will immediately be labeled as an Overachiever, and the scarlet “O” that will be figuratively sewn onto your clothing will weigh you down like the worst imaginable office albatross.

Overachievers set off alarms.  You’ll be seen as a threat not only to the queen bee’s power, but also to the office’s everyday work flow.  If people think you’ve got a great work ethic, you will become Public Enemy #1, and they will shut you down before the boss starts asking why everyone else can’t work as hard as you do.

I advise you to keep it simple, Secret Santa.

Buy a gift that doesn’t single you out from the herd.  Maybe get something that’s a little off and elicits some snickers.  Believe me, you’d much rather have them see you as a non-threat, than as someone looking to lead the flock.

That advice is my Christmas gift to you.  Trust me on this one, okay?

Merry Christmas!


About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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11 Responses to I Advise You To Keep It Simple, Secret Santa!

  1. treyzguy says:

    Very cool way to work thru the intricacies of the “hive” mentality…
    If you have ever studied political strategy and intrigue, then you’ll ace it.
    When in doubt about a gift, always give ’em a Rubiks Cube.
    Works every time.

  2. I say chocolate is where it’s at. It’s quiet but hits the spot. What female doesn’t like chocolates?

  3. markbialczak says:

    Good advice, Austin. I would add one line: To avoid office drama, never hire the local drama club to act out the 12 Days of Christmas as a Secret Santa gift …

  4. Louise says:

    Get Jacke Wilson Novuella for her. Its on his site or on amazon for $1.99.. Its all about politics and the back stabbing for the office. Or get her a back catalogue of Sex and the City seasons. She just might fit all their personalities. OR the sopranos.

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