Money Matters

How do I respectfully decline?

Hi gang. I know I rarely post on here. But I need some advice. 

Background: I have been out of work since Oct. 27th with an injury. I found out yesterday that I am out for at least another 2 weeks so my doc can send me to a specialist and get a procedure done. I ran out of PTO a while ago. My job will not grant me short term disability (though they think I would qualify for long term disability if i am out for 90 days...) We have been living off of our savings and DH's pay from his PT job. 

I just checked our work email. One of my co-workers, posted an email asking for monetary donations for me and DH for the holiday since I have been out so long and do not know exactly when I will return.  

They are also adopting a family in our unit where one of my co-workers has faced a much more serious injury and will be out longer than I am. She has children. They are adopting that family to give monetary gifts, gifts for the children, and miles so she can fly back and forth for care.

Even though DH and I will be tight on funds, we will make it through. I feel like I would much rather have all donations go to the other family. How do I respectfully decline? Esp. since I HOPE to be back to work before the holidays (aiming for Dec. 15, depending on treatment from the specialist) , I will feel weird working and knowing my coworkers are donating money to me.  

Or do I graciously accept and swallow my pride?

Thanks for listening.  

Re: How do I respectfully decline?

  • I would have a hard time accepting, too, because I would feel embarrassed.  But really, there is no reason to be embarrassed.  It is very kind of them.  I think you should just thank them several times and accept the help.
  • Thanks for the input Gypsy... I am embarrassed. But I the same time I feel like that family probably needs it more than me and DH. And I also feel like this co-worker should have talked to me about it first. I don't know. :-/
  • If you don't want the help, I think it would be fine to say "Thank you very much. I really appreciate and am thankful for the help but I would like to give all proceeds from this to coworker X"
  • I would graciously accept it and thank them, and then turn around and give part or all of the gift to the other family if you would feel better about that.
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  • image MrsZP2B:
    I would graciously accept it and thank them, and then turn around and give part or all of the gift to the other family if you would feel better about that.

    You know what?  I like this answer.  They are really trying to do something nice by you, and you do not want to make it too awkward on them.  Howabout you take the money, and if you feel you can swing it, donate it to a charity/church/other good cause? 

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  • I would respectfully decline the offer.  I would just show your thanks for them wanting to do this but express that you and hubby will be able to make it.  

    Personally, I would be a little upset if you gave the money that I donated to help YOU to somebody else. 

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  • image jaymers99:

    Personally, I would be a little upset if you gave the money that I donated to help YOU to somebody else. 

    Me too. Either respectfully decline (Thank you very much for thinking of me and my family this holiday season, but at this time, I do not feel it's necessary to collect donations for our situation.) or graciously accept the donations. Personally, I'd humble myself and accept the donations. I feel like you may come off wrong if you decline, even if said in the most respectful way.

    Your co-workers want to help you. If they didn't want to donate to you, they wouldn't. If they felt like the other family deserves more than you, they will give more to that family than to you.

  • image sprky79:

    image MrsZP2B:
    I would graciously accept it and thank them, and then turn around and give part or all of the gift to the other family if you would feel better about that.

    You know what?  I like this answer.  They are really trying to do something nice by you, and you do not want to make it too awkward on them.  Howabout you take the money, and if you feel you can swing it, donate it to a charity/church/other good cause? 



    Ehhhh, I don't like this.  I will be more willing to stretch my holiday giving budget if someone I know directly is in need.  If I made a personal stretch to help out a coworker and then found out they took that money and redirected it to a charity important to *them*, I would not be happy.

    To the OP - I would send a group email (exclude the other coworker in need) and say "great news!  The doctor thinks I could be back at work in as little as 2 weeks.  It means so much to me that you thought of DH and I during this tough time, but it looks like our holiday blessings are already covered.  I know we all continue to be concerned for Coworker, so I'd love to focus our department's giving on her and her family."
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  • Thank you for the input guys. I'm still battling with this.  Unfortunately I can't email everyone in my work place except for the other sick co-worker because there are easily more than 150 of us. 

    I am just a swirl of emotions.

    1. I'm thankful that this particular co-worker thought of me.  I mean I DID have a mini breakdown on the phone after I left the Drs. Office on Thursday about money and everything. But the truth of the matter looking at the budget (which i keep on an excel spread sheet) is that we will be ... okayyyy..... it will completely deplete our savings by the end of the month and I will have to start rebuilding right away when I return to work. But its not like our bills won't be paid. Its just going to be tight tight tight until my first paycheck back at work. 

    2. I still can't help but to feel guilty that I could be taking away from my other co-worker who's condition is more serious than mine. She has a few children who will want a Christmas. And I am sure she will be out longer than I will.

    3. And I feel like it will be awkward for me to be working a few days before Christmas and know that there is a donation box in our breakroom for me... does that make sense?

    4 I've been pretty private about my condition. The main reason is because I don't want any of it written about on my FB page. DH's husband has always been on him about how "unhealthy" I am. (I have a history of a bad knee and have had 5 surgeries on it since I met him... this condition is not my knee though).  And I know that MIL will find out and say all the stuff she normally says about me not being able to be a good wife because i'm injured, and i prbably injured myself b/c i am fat, and that how can i expect to ever be a good mom when i am fat and hurt all the time... blah blah blah.... ....... that being said only a handful of my coworkers have known whats going on. While the unit knows everythign that has been going on with the other coworker. I feel like its weird for them to donate without knowing the extent of my condition.

    Sorry I'm blabbering. You guys do offer great advice though and I appreciate it.  

     

  • First, if was extremely presumptuous of your co worker to ask for donation on your behalf.  She does NOT have insight in to your financial situation.  Though her heart was in the right place, she was wrong to do this.  Therefore you should not feel bad if she is made to feel awkward.  You'll just need to decline with great tack and thoughtfulness.

    Second, it really is NOT ok to regift something that was given to you under the pretense that you are accepting donations to help you through tough times.  Reminds me of when my friend registered for kitchen stuff for her second wedding which she promptly turned around and gave to her daughter because my friend had all the kitchen stuff she needed and more.  Point is, if you don't need the gift, don't accept it.

    Just write a short and sweet note declining the help, thanking them for thinking of you, recognizing their thoughtfulness in the spirit of the holiday season, and asking that any gifts be redirected towards other families in need. I wouldn't specify the other family even.  Who knows if they even asked for help?

     

  • I would graciously accept. And if you don't use the $, just donate it to the other family.
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  • I'd accept the money and use it right now for bills so that you don't have to touch your savings this month. The truth is, you're okay until the end of December, but what if (heaven forbid) your leave is extended again? You're obviously hoping for the best (and I would be too), but I wouldn't be so quick to turn down the gift. 

    In the future, when you're in a better place financially, pay it forward.  

     

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