A Karen Named Linda Didn't Contribute to the Office Gift. The Office Got Revenge.

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Coworker Who Doesn't Contribute Gets Left OutSolStock - Getty Images

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  • Collecting for things like get-well gifts around the office is a common practice.

  • One coworker chose not to contribute to a fundraising effort, but still forced themselves into the planning portion.

  • But, as a Reddit poster tells it, they got their comeuppance by way of some petty vengeance.

Let's be honest: Office politics can be tough to navigate. Suggesting that the workplace is as much a social hierarchy to be navigated as it is a place of business is hardly anything new. That idea has been fodder for comedy, drama, even musicals.

But while years spent working from home may have wiped away some of our memories of office etiquette, and while courts are being asked to weigh in on whether or not we have to be "fun" in the office at all, some social norms of office life remain true. For example, if you don't contribute to the gift fund, you don't get to contribute to the conversation.

Apparently, "Linda" forgot that. In a post to the subreddit r/pettyrevenge, user u/worldworn talked about an incident where a coworker seemingly wanted all of the credit, without making a contribution.

"One of the managers at work was going through some pretty horrific medical issues," worldworn wrote. "He was well liked, so a collection was pretty inevitable." As it turns out, worldworn was put in charge of organizing collecting donations, and chose to time the gifting to coincide with the afflicted manager's birthday the following month. Most in the office contributed right away, and worldworn kept track of who did, so that they could sign the card once the gift was purchased.

But there was one lone holdout:

"One of my coworkers "linda" made a bit of a show of saying that she would contribute later when she had the cash available. It was a little odd. Plenty of people don't carry cash, and she didn't need to make a deal out of it. These types of things are never huge amounts of money, and she certainly had plenty of it. But if she didn't want to contribute, I wasn't going to force her."

Of course, that in and of itself wouldn't be so bad. Sometimes folks just can't, or won't, contribute to something. No harm, no foul. But "Linda" couldn't just leave it at "leave me out of it."

young boy dressed in a suit working at a large desk he is wearing a monster dinosaur mask

A few weeks before our poster needed to purchase the gift, they reached out to their coworkers to take a vote on what to buy, and said that anyone who contributed got a vote. Enter "Linda":

"Of all people, Linda starts telling the room what to buy, (despite not putting any money in still and making some pretty unsuitable suggestions) I reluctantly agree to put it on the list of choices and send it out to everyone who has donated."

Worse yet, after worldworn bought the gift, and the card, she passed it around the office, only to discover that "Linda" had the audacity, not only to sign it, but to write a massive message "that takes up loads of space."

Now, worldworn could have chosen a number of different responses to this overstepping from "Linda." But like a dad in his 50s being asked to choose a favorite Traveling Wilbury, worldworn chose "Petty."

"So I did something very petty, I went and bought a new card, I got everyone apart from Linda to re-sign and took it round to everyone else. Without her knowing. We ended up presenting the gift in a big meeting on his first full day back. He opened the card in front of everyone, I wish I could have seen her face when she realized it wasn't the one she signed. I'm told she was planning to raise an official complaint but was told not to be an idiot."

Honestly, "Linda" goofed up here. It's not hard to be left alone in the workplace. Just come in every day with a dour, tired look on your face, exude a generally "not rude, but definitely not friendly" vibe, silently sip your C4 energy drink while listening to some Steely Dan, and pretty soon the only time anybody will talk to you is to say, "Hey, do you want to write about this r/pettyrevenge post about an office get-well gift?"

Works like a charm, "Linda."

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