Getting Gifts For A Boss – Why You Should And Why You Shouldn’t

One thing I did for the first time ever this year was give my bosses at work Christmas presents. I mean, I’ve gotten previous bosses “cop-out” gifts like chocolate and wine, but this is the first time I got them some “real”, more personal gifts. To not beat around the bush, I got one of them a signed NHL hockey puck, and the other a signed diecast F1 BMW car (the former is a big hockey fan, and the latter a big car fan). As I was wrapping them, my roommate jokingly called me a kiss-ass, which I just laughed and shook off, but it made me wonder– is it appropriate to give gifts of this type to your boss? I think it all depends.

In my case, it made sense and didn’t seem too out of the blue. I’m generally pretty quiet and keep to myself, but when I have something to talk about, I don’t hesitate. I’ve had several conversations with my bosses about what some people might consider uncomfortable (salary, workplace issues, etc.), so they know I’m quite forward when I need to be. I’d say I have a very good relationship with them. The company I work for is relatively small, so it wasn’t like I was giving a gift to an owner of a multinational company whom I’ve never met. I also wasn’t trying to suck up or anything like that. It was more of a, “Hey guys, thanks for allowing me to be a part of this company. I love my job, I love what I do, and I have a lot of respect for you. I know you’re into hockey and you’re into cars. Here’s a little something to say thank you and Merry Christmas.” Not presumptuous, not pretentious, not invasive. The gifts were more personal than a bottle of wine, but not so extravagant that it seemed bribey or kiss-ass-ish. In the end, it was well-received. They loved it. I’m sure just some Christmas cards would have done, but I believe that taking it just a small step further to show respect and appreciation can go along way. Not that there should be any ulterior motives or expectations.

I thought I’d write a bit about that as a couple of my friends asked me if they should get gifts for their bosses, and if so, what type of gifts. And it really just depends. Do you communicate with your boss on a regular basis? Do you plan on staying at the company long? Do you even like your boss and/or your job? Do you communicate on a personal level with them, or is it strictly professional?  A gift may not even be necessary. If in doubt, a card with a bottle of wine or box of chocolates is usually a safe bet.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Are You? Who Am I? What Is This Blog For?


Hello world. My name is Phil Tieu, and this is my 8th attempt at starting a blog over the past 8 years. This time however, I’ve forced myself to pay for a domain (using my own name… no turning back now), so maybe I’ll actually stick to it.

The issue I had with my previous attempts of writing a blog was that… Well, I simply had nothing to write about that anyone would really want to read. Now that I’ve learned some things, seen some things, and done some things, I feel like I can bring enough value to the table that makes this blog worth writing.

The next step should be introducing myself, I guess. That’s probably a good idea. I’m a building engineer. That’s my stable (as stable as it can be) source of income. That’s how I make sure I have a roof over my head and food on the table. Benefits are cool too. It isn’t the most glamorous job, but I work for an awesome company and don’t think I could ever quit. As secondary sources of income, I’m a part of some other projects: I co-own a doggy daycare, I consult for businesses, I ghostwrite, I manage a music artist, I’m a session singer, and apparently I’m now writing this blog. I’m often labeled as a workaholic, but I don’t like that name. The -aholic part makes it sound like it’s a bad thing. Work just happens to be a hobby for me. I would easily choose working on any of my projects over playing sports or getting hammered. It’s not really a money thing, either. It’s more about being a part of something you enjoy, something you believe in, and building something that has the potential to become a part of people’s lives.

No, it’s really not a money thing. Studies show that when you make over a certain amount in annual income, your level of happiness does not increase in direct proportion to any more money made beyond that amount. And that amount? 75k a year. Well, maybe around 85k now. Inflation and stuff. But still. A lot lower than one would think. Link to the article. I couldn’t agree more.

I devour books, love animals, and drink unsafe volumes of coffee. I skateboard. I suck. It’s all good. I sold a patent to a sports nutrition company. I wrote a book a few years ago that got picked up and dropped more times than a dumbbell. I was a part of many different music projects ranging from singing in a pop boyband to singing in an alternative metal band. I backed out of a record deal, and I’ve also been fired as a student by one of my vocal coaches for straying too much from by-the-book techniques.

So what am I trying to accomplish with this blog? 

In the recent past, I noticed more and more friends and friends of friends reaching out to me and asking for advice on various topics. Not so long after that, more people would reach out and ask me similar questions. So I figured, why not start a blog that provides information to anyone else out there looking for answers? By no means do I consider myself an expert, but what I can claim is that I do have experience in certain areas. The non-fiction addiction I have probably doesn’t hurt either.

So to answer the question, my goals for this blog are to provide information and entertainment, to connect with people, and to have a place to barf out random thoughts.

Hope you enjoy it.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments