Dear Aunty B,
It’s Melbourne Cup tomorrow, and I like a bet with my staff.
But several years ago I hired a religious woman (don’t know which one) who is against betting and who then introduced a friend to work in accounts who has similar beliefs. Last year they protested against the betting and said it made them feel uncomfortable.
Then yesterday they asked if instead of betting, we could collect the money and send it to a charity! Well, you can imagine how that’s going to go down with the blokes.
What do I do Aunty B?
Blokes? We like a bet too, Jack. Look, that’s why it’s called Cup day. Everyone puts some money in a cup and some mug wins the lot.
But you need to handle this strategically.
Explain that while you respect her traditions, this is a tradition at your office and people will be offended if it is dumped.
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Tell her the Cup is a bit like the collection plate, and that everyone at the office is a worthwhile recipient of people’s largess as they are all about to be hit with higher interest rates.
But do add that you respect her point of view, and to reward her you are making her Charitable Events Facilitator. Her first task is to organise a raffle and a hamper for the poor kids at Christmas.
Lastly mention that the deadlines for the big project she is working on have been pulled forward to Cup day 5pm. That should keep her happy, busy and out of the way.
Your Aunty B.