This time I have two questions. One. Should I throw a shower? Two. If so, what kind?
My manager and his wife are expecting their first baby, a little girl, in May. (I think May. Mom to be is 24 weeks now. So whatever that adds up to.) Manager is not particularly well-liked by many, but I honestly believe him to be well-meaning. Plus it's their first baby. Plus our department used to give ginormous showers for everyone, until the budget got cut a couple years ago. I mean huge. If i had to guess, in the neighborhood of $2000 - $3000 budget, not counting gifts. (Full meal catered by the on-site restaurant, complete with decorations, etc.)
Since I now have the reputation as a "party animal" and a fomentor (sp?) of random celebration ** I've already had a few people approach me and ask whether we're giving [Manager] a baby shower.
My answer? Hell yeah. Everybody needs a baby shower (or two or three) for a first baby. It's not about whether I'd socialize with my manager outside of work. It's about a first baby. And about our community. If we can't support each other in major life transitions, then what's the point?
But a couple things. One. This guy is not universally well-liked. And two. It might be awkward to have a baby shower for a manager (basically asking employees to buy gifts for their boss)
Not sure what to do. *shrug* I'm thinking go with a very simple shower -- maybe chocolate dipped strawberries, punch and cake, use the procurement card to buy a few gifts, and let anyone who wants to add gifts add them. (Plus I know a lady at work whose GIFT is making balloon things. I bet she'd be willing to make some archways or other stuff for us, for cheap. )
Any thoughts on whether this is a bad/good idea and on how to keep it simple but still tasteful?
** I seriously have to talk to my GF who has named me "Party Animal." Preparing and eating food does not a party animal make. "Party animal" involves dancing to Parliament Funkadelic or at least James Brown. I'm just sayin.
Oh yeah. I guess I should add that, because of contractual agreements with the restaurant people, we are not allowed to bring our own food to conference rooms. If it's a do it yourself shower, it has to be in our office area, which really doesn't have a lot of room for people to sit/stand around and watch the ritual opening of gifts. Maybe a group gift card?
I would check with legal/ethics/whatever to find out the exact regs for this sort if thing. We have extremely strict rules about the giving and receiving of gifts, particularly when managers are involved. Just make sure you're on solid footing.
As for the other aspects to mentioned...lemme ponder.
Ah. Just checking. I gave everyone in my section a small 4oz jar of jam las year at Christmas, including my boss, and it was a serious question of if that was allowed. The only thing that made it ok was for me to ask for the empty jar back, because then it was a nominal gift of food. Shrug. Very easy to run afoul if rules without intending to , IME.
Ooh. How about this? Come up with some crafty thing people can make that costs very little? Let the department pay for the stroller and crib (or Target gift card or whatever.) Just let the people who want to contribute a gift, give a little of their time to make something of sentimental value?
i have been to two showers within the same family. one was big and in a community center and the other was in a sister's townhouse. both were for girls and both were quite unstructured. buffet food. lots of time to chat. the highlights were the color themed decorations (practical... like a diaper cake and hanging burp cloths and folded receiving blankets, etc) and the fun was watching the gift opening. i think there were games at the big one (did not play) and there was a 100% vote to skip the games at the second.
one was uni-sex; the other was mixed. summation: practical decorations, lack of structure.
hmmm...I wonder how a guy, who is a boss, would actually feel about receiving a shower...I can't think of very many men who want to be showered, and I do see how throwing one puts a lot of people in an otherwise avoidable awkward position...I wouldn't throw it just on the concern that there might be an expectation on you ...I would personally do what I felt inclined to do on my own and not obligate/initiate a group endeavor...I would also say that if this is their first baby they are very likely to have already purchased the big stuff or that their close family will want that honor...that is just my initial reaction...if you want to honor the event, throw a celebration afterward, that is just a celebration of the birth (chocolate cigars, etc...)
I guess I should add that the last three (or is it four?) people in our department to have babies/showers were all guys. It actually worked out fairly well. Tell the guy in advance. Invite the expectant Mom.
Would his wife come too? if not, what about something a little more poking fun than a traditional shower. getting an emergency diaper changing kit (eg: gas mask or nose plugs, eye protection, rubber apron, rubber gloves etc) make him change a diaper on doll while random person squirts him with a water pistol. maybe make some of the other guys compete for best time, most stable diaper etc. few other things that a dad might need to deal with a new baby but not expensive gifts. just fun things, a cake and a card