“What’s The Worst Company Gift You’ve Ever Received?” (30 Answers)

Published 6 months ago

When you as an employee receive a ‘thank you’ corporate gift of a mug or a tee-shirt or cap branded with the company logo, you might think it’s a bit of a crappy gift to receive. However, some organisations are on another level when it comes to crappy corporate gifts according to one Reddit thread. 

From heart-shaped ‘thank you’ stones to letters informing staff of an impending ski trip for the bosses’ family, these corporate gifts leave much to be desired. Indeed, some of these “gifts” are so ludicrous as to make one think that perhaps receiving no gift at all would have been a better alternative in the circumstances. 

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#1 My mom’s boss gave everyone a pen (a really cr*ppy, normal pen) with their names printed on normal white printer paper that was scotch taped down the side of the pen. This sounds made up even to me as I type it, but it’s still in our junk drawer.

Image source: Normal_Regular9359, Liviu C. / unsplash (not the actual photo)


Image source: Hobo_Knife, Dmitry Mashkin / unsplash (not the actual photo)

That year the company decided it wasn’t going to provide basic office supplies for the break room. Coffee, tea, eating utensils, napkins, nothing. That year for Christmas we all got a brown paper bags fashioned like lunches. Inside was a metal straw, cloth napkin, a child sized set of plastic cutlery that fit in a travel case, a copy paste printed piece of paper with food puns in relation to our job, and a single fun sized hundred grand candy bar. This Fortune 500 company had over a billion in raw profit that year. Oh, and the cutlery ended up getting recalled due to some terrible forever chemicals in them.

#3 Jelly of the Month membership instead of my Christmas bonus. I wanted to put a pool in the backyard but nope.

Image source: inkyblinkypinkysue

#4 Not me but a friend – all staff at the hospital received a kitchen scrubby for Christmas. Not even themed. Just random browns, greens, pinks, and yellows… seems like the boss bought dollar store multi-packs and opened them to give everyone one piece.

Image source: smeowth, Artem Makarov / unsplash (not the actual photo)


New owners this year. Old owner gave us 10% of our salary as a year end bonus. New guys gave us $100 amazon cards that were drained by the time we got them. Everyone was pissed but didn’t wanna say anything so I did. He asked everyone and they claimed to be delighted with their cards. Spineless bastards. Lmao.

Image source: dankasaurus710

#6 My last job the company broke all sorts of financial records and gave everyone a very expensive glass thing with a decal of the refinery. Not only did it suck but all employees ended having to pay 75 dollars in taxes on it. So the ‘job well done’ cost 75 bucks.

Image source: Logic_rocks

#7 A small, nickel-sized, heart-shaped rock sent in the mail. It was supposed to represent their appreciation for the extra work during Covid. All I could think of was Charlie Brown trick or treating, “I got a rock.”

Image source: Seven_bushes, Anna Urlapova / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#8 An email that only upper management would be getting the end of year bonus (sent to entire company by accident instead of just upper management). Then laid off 2 weeks into the new year.

Found out from a friend in the company a little while later that the board of directors held a vote. They keep their car allowances at the expense of a wave of layoffs, or lose their car allowances and 10-15 people get to keep their jobs. Pretty sure it was unanimous.

No matter how many times a company says you’re family, just remember that it’s the type of family that would gladly cut your throat to make sure the fat cats get to eat.

Image source: strike-when-ready

#9 I was gifted a ham for the holidays…..I’m Jewish.

Image source: FXSB13, Сергей Орловский / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#10 Teacher here. One year, as our Christmas bonus, we got a defective plastic keychain that read “I love teching!” Spelled exactly like that.

Image source: DecisionThot, Manikandan Annamalai / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Normally, I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.. but after the s**t we had been through, with zero support from admin, s**t pay, disrespect, etc. the keychain set us all off. It was adding insult to injury.

Like, not only is our “bonus” a keychain that didn’t even work (the hasp had no spring), but the spelling error meant that a) someone didn’t even check them when they arrived, and b) someone put them in every teacher mailbox without looking at them.

Admin sent out an email that basically said turn your keychains back in so they could send them back and get corrected ones. So, adding insult to injury.

I appreciated the sentiment, but all of us could’ve done without that.

#11 Not me but a coworker at last year’s raffle got a Nintendo DS cleaning kit. For a normal Nintendo DS, not even a 3DS. They aren’t being made anymore.

Image source: Adventurous_Yak_9234, Stas Knop / unsplash (nit the actual photo)

#12 Expired food.

Image source: AmberStoneGirl, Jez Timms / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#13 Not me, but one year the company my brother works for gave each employee a CD of the owner playing Christmas songs on the harmonica.

Image source: Slight-Attempt1444, Chris Yates / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#14 Noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones. I’m sure they were good and useful to some people, but I’m legally deaf.

Image source: TacticalGoatse, Tomasz Gawłowski / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#15 Company coffee mug with the company name mis-spelled. It was a large company.

Image source: Klotzster, Nathan Dumlao / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#16 A coin commemorating a billion dollars in sales.

Image source: Junkpunch44, Eduardo Soares / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#17 Starbucks gift card that had no money on it and they had no receipt for it.

Image source: SecretSocietyJ, Khadeeja Yasser / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#18 5-dollar Subway gift card. My boss made me come in on an off day to pick up because, “she did not want me missing the company bonus”. I really wonder if our managers need how much was on the cards? We talked about it for months.

Image source: Momnurseteach1014

#19 A letter from the CEO telling us how he is going to celebrate Christmas with his family up north to go skiing. That was all.

Image source: eatingaclitkat, Omar Lopez / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#20 We were told we were receiving our Christmas bonuses soon, and then we were all given a poinsettia. The poinsettia in itself wasn’t so bad, mine is actually still alive years later, but the fact that they had the audacity to call it a bonus was absurd.

Image source: needsexyboots, Aka / Wikipedia (not the actual photo)

#21 Nurses Week 2022 (height of Delta wave COVID). We were given rocks on a keychain. The rock was engraved with the word “Hope”. We might have gotten some chapstick too.

Image source: rad_rabbitt

#22 During the pandemic, my partner’s company sent employees each an envelope through the mail with a sticker in it for some appreciation week I laughed so hard at that. It literally was a sticker that said “happy appreciation week”.

Image source: universalrefuse, erica steeves / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#23 A pack of 10 tissues at the onset of COVID.

Image source: Cymorg0001, Kelly Sikkema / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#24 A long sleeve denim shirt with the company logo in the front above one of the front pockets..

In Florida. Plus we couldn’t wear denim at work so the only time we’d be able to wear the company shirt is on our own time (not happening) or when we’d have dress down day (again not happening).

When a coworker inquired where we could wear this since we can’t wear it to work they listed places (like a BBQ joint, the movies, etc.) and said we should be grateful since most places don’t give their employees gifts.

It was a call center. Could’ve given a blanket (since it was cold in the center), travel mug, anything except a shirt we can’t wear.

Image source: jennabellie

#25 Two free tickets to a cinema. The issue was that the closest cinema in that particular chain was about 800 miles away from me.

Image source: ATHYRIO, cottonbro studio / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#26 I worked at a hospital in the billing department. I got a travel thingy of hand sanitizer. Meanwhile, the IT department who shared our building got North Face puffy jackets. Jokes on them though, it was Christmas 2019 and I had hand sanitizer for COVID?

Image source: ArtificialStrawberry, Tai’s Captures / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#27 An ultra-religious self-help book so we could become less miserable, incompetent and immoral.

Image source: HappyListerFiend, Olia Gozha / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#28 I was re-gifted a gift basket given to my boss by a client and he forgot to remove the card that was addressed to him.

Image source: ihatetwizzlers, Freddie Collins / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#29 I used to work in a record shop in the UK and usually got a bottle of wine as a Christmas bonus. Then the company was bought by Virgin and our Christmas bonus was a copy of Richard Branson’s (Virgin’s CEO) autobiography.

Image source: TheEvilHypnotist, J. McKinney / unsplash (not the actual photo)


A compulsory invitation to the holiday party.

Technically, I wasn’t required to attend but it was a career-killer if you didn’t. I had to spend money on a dress just for the party since I didn’t have anything that was suitable, so not only did it cost *me* money, but I had to spend a precious evening pretending I liked my coworkers.

Image source: Particular-Natural12

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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company gifts, company thank you, corporate, corporate gifts, corporate thank you, gifts, work, worst gifts
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