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Ethical Approach To Gift Policies Explored

Patricia Harned | December 5, 2006

You hear the shout from Jim next door in the Purchasing Department: “Woo hoo! Look at what our vendors at Acme Corp. just sent me!” He waves the gift over the cubicle wall. “It’s one of those remote-control dinosaurs that’s sold out everywhere. Boy, my son is going to love this!”

Not wanting to completely deflate his balloon, you ask gently: “Don’t we have a policy or something that says we can’t accept gifts from clients or vendors?”

“Yeah,” he says, “but there’s a $25 limit and I know for sure this thing sells for $24.99. I went to every Wal-Mart in town yesterday trying to find one with no luck and now Acme made me a hero. I love those guys!”

Something doesn’t seem right to you, but what he says is true, and policy is policy. Still, you have a feeling you are all going to be using a lot of Acme office machines in the next year …

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