These are the 25 worst gifts that employees have gotten

To avoid the pitfalls of these bad gifts, bosses need to remember their place as the person in charge of their employees’ livelihoods.

When the spirit of generosity infects your boss during the holiday season, the employees of the boss may pay the price. In a new survey from corporate gifting company Snappy, over 1,000 employees weighed in on the worst gifts their bosses have gotten them and revealed awkward gift exchanges that will leave you cringing and wondering: “Why???”

25 bad gifts from bosses

Terrible gifts come in many shapes and sizes, but every bad office gift has the same malfunction: the gifts cross boundaries from professional into the unwanted and grossly personal. Employees in the survey received intimate items involving urinals and adult entertainment.

Here are 25 of the worst ones that employees said they received from their supervisor:

  • Puka Shell necklace
  • Potato
  • Urinal with popcorn in it
  • Stale candy in a used mug
  • Plastic wall phone
  • Gas station wine
  • Foot lotion
  • Rubber duck
  • Lottery tickets
  • Squatty Potty
  • Shampoo
  • Fart in a glass
  • Jumper cables
  • Whoopee cushion
  • Bananas
  • Broom
  • Pink slip
  • Turkey/Ham
  • Pair of scissors
  • A copy of “Magic Mike”
  • Multivitamins
  • Bible
  • Bookmark
  • Socks

If you think you can escape getting a bad gift from the boss, think again. The probability of managers giving their employees gifts is high. More than half of employees in a recent staffing firm survey said that they planned to give out year-end gifts. To avoid the pitfalls of these bad gifts, bosses need to remember their place as the person in charge of their employees’ livelihoods.

You may be collegial, but you are not family. It is possible to be thoughtful and professional if you remember places your employees frequent. And it does not need to cost money. A thoughtful card noting appreciation and respect can go a long way.

Ultimately, bosses should recognize that a physical gift is an extra gesture, and is not needed. “People don’t expect extravagant gifts from their managers, even if the company itself goes a more luxe route,” Ask a Manager’s Alison Green advises. “And frankly, managers don’t need to give their staff gifts at all, although it’s a thoughtful gesture if you choose to.”

Monica Torres|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at mtorres@theladders.com.