When I was an office manager, if one of my coworkers liked a certain kind of disposable pen I’d buy them a whole box of those pens, then tell them to keep it quiet. I told my supervisor that the goal was to make everyone feel like they were being given special treatment. It cost the company very little, because we had to buy pens anyway, and later on when something wasn’t going their way, their pen would be a reminder that my supervisor and I were on their side. It didn’t prevent all drama, but it kept a certain amount of it off of our backs.
I know that wasn’t directly related, or particularly interesting, but it did allow me to get out of writing about accepting people’s gratitude, which does genuinely make me uncomfortable.
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