General Question

trudacia's avatar

Is it appropriate to give a gift to my apartment superintendent?

Asked by trudacia (2508points) August 5th, 2010

I live in an apartment building. My kitchen has been falling apart for a couple of years and I’ve complained many times but nothing was ever done. We recently got a new super. He saw the shape of my kitchen and offered to try and get management to renovate. It worked, now I’m getting a brand new kitchen…new cabinets, counter-tops, appliances etc.

My question, should I give him a gift? If so, do I give money? Also consider that I gave him a nice bonus last Christmas. Maybe a small gift or a gift-card? Or I can bake him a tray of eggplant parm in my new kitchen?

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20 Answers

theichibun's avatar

No, he’s doing his job. And frankly, he’s doing the job of someone who should have had it taken care of already. Don’t give people a present just for doing their job.

I know people are going to come after me and say that since you got new stuff he went beyond the job duties. But really, he didn’t. It’s a lot easier to put in new stuff than to fix stuff that’s been bad enough for you to complain about for years.

Austinlad's avatar

I don’t entirely disagree with @theichibun, but I don’t think you need to think that rigidly if you’re moved to give him something as a thank you (and you seem to be). Showing gratitude is always good and wise gesture. And remember, you will almost certainly need his help again. I don’t think you have to give him money, though—that sets a precedent—or spend much on a gift. Buy him a bottle of wine or a six-pack, something modest like that. And write a short note. I can tell you from experience small gifts and notes have always served me well as well as make others happy.

NaturallyMe's avatar

I agree with both up here. But if you feel you want to give a gift, how can that ever be wrong or inappropriate? With his help, a big problem for you has been sorted out. I’d also say don’t ever give money, because of the precedent thing, people are weird like that. Bake him some cookies or something with a little hand made card. :)

marinelife's avatar

Why not? I like the eggplant parm idea.

trudacia's avatar

Thanks for the advice. I agree with everyone but I do feel like some kind of gesture is required. It will make me feel better. I realize it’s his job but he did go above and beyond. I’m going with the eggplant parm and a thank you card.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Yes, a small gift now as thanks, but remember him well at Christmas. If you catch my drift.

Austinlad's avatar

Tying the gift to the kitchen is a terrific idea!!! While you’re at it, please make some eggplant parm for me, too. ;-)

john65pennington's avatar

This is almost like a police officer saving someones life and the family wanting to give him a thousand dollars for his heroic efforts. it can be done, through the chain of command, but its entirely not necessary. its their job.

Austinlad's avatar

So where is it written that you can’t do something nice for someone for doing their job, @john65pennington? When you do your job, don’t you like to be shown appreciation?

I manage a team of people who sometimes don’t do their jobs, which I’m not shy about pointing out. But when they do do their jobs (let alone when they go over and beyond), I let them I appreciate them by periodically taking them to lunch, recommending bonuses, or just walking into their offices and saying thanks. Hasn’t hurt yet.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

There are some companies that do not allow their employees to accept gifts and some that require any gifts (over a certain $ amount) be reported so that it can be included on the company’s income reports (at least in the U.S.)

My recommendation would be to let whoever he reports to know how pleased you are with the change in staff and what a great job he did. You can then ask if it would be okay to offer something as a thank-you.

Yes, he was only doing his job, but this situation seems more personal because you have been waiting so long for the kitchen to be fixed. (I also like your idea of eggplant Parmesan.)

john65pennington's avatar

Austinlad, a written letter of appreciation is all i need. the public can give a gift, but it has to be approved by the department.

GeorgeGee's avatar

I think it’s great that you want to show your appreciation. In this case I would NOT recommend cash, because it would seem like a payoff for getting apartment improvements. (If he’s healthy and not overweight…) I’d go with the eggplant parm or a tray of homemade cookies, or if you have an open house to show off your new kitchen, consider inviting him!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

He is just doing his job, but since you can’t throw a dead cat without hitting someone who isn’t doing their job, a little appreciation couldn’t hurt – but I’d go with the thank you note and eggplant parm, so as not to set precedent or give the impression of a bribe.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Food you have prepared yourself indicates a real level of appreciation. I’m always very moved when someone thanks me like that…

YARNLADY's avatar

I like the letter of commendation approach.

Pandora's avatar

True it is not necessary. I use to manage apartments and at times I got little gifts of cookies and the most remembered gift for me was a little book that had a bunch of funny pictures in it with little sayings. I wouldn’t suggest money only because it can be seen as an attempt to bribe me for favors in the future.
Often people would say they are so greatful and would offer to write a letter of appreciation and then not follow through.
The egg plant and the letter will go a long way to showing your real appreciation without making him feel you may want more favors beyond his control in the future.

JLeslie's avatar

I say a small gift, or bake a cake, something like that is just fine if you feel compelled.

GeorgeGee's avatar

I think a letter of commendation is a pretty awful idea, reading between the lines it says “Hey super, you should look for a better job!”

JLeslie's avatar

@GeorgeGee It does? I would never think that.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Find out if he likes eggplant before you do the parm. But if you want to give him a small gift for excellent service, go right ahead.

If nothing else, he will remember it the next time you have a problem that needs his attention.

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