There's a weird practice in some companies to collect funds for birthday presents.
It is usually reasoned with "team building", "good fellowship" and stuff like that. It became almost obligatory, and you have to explain yourself every time why you don't wish to participate. Of course, it ruins my reputation since most of the team participate.
To me, it sounds weird, useless, and even harmful because of many reasons:
- If I sympathize someone and I want to make a present, I will do it by myself;
- New team members certainly do not sympathize anyone else since they simply did not have time to grow such sympathy;
- For people working for a long time, the entire thing looks like a useless rotations of your $20 when you invest it first and then get it back as a birthday present;
- For my own birthday, I want to get an useful something, while corporate presents are often useless;
In addition to birthdays, similar presents occur on "Men's Day" (a day of establishment of a National Army), when all female colleagues present something to male colleagues, and, correspondingly, "Women's Day".
Considering I'm not a top manager who establishes these rules, what are my best options?
UPDATE At the moment, my approach is that I'm following a fictional religion that prevents me to accept the birthday presents. It is weird as well, but no more than the problem. :)