The Department of Commerce, just in time for the Holiday season, sent out an advisory on the gift policy to all its employees. So, when Paul baked cookies and left them out for the folks at the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), he had a problem ...
Author: Paul R. Janish
Merry Christmas...Happy New Year....Happy Holidays....
As a result of the well intended and conceived NOAA/Dept. of Commerce e-mail on gift giving, you may need to be aware of the following restrictions regarding these cookies.
Since we must relate all "gifts" to a monetary equivalent and since the cookies herein are presented as "a gift" to all SPC employees, we must determine a cost per cookie. Since I am unsure the true value of my time or the exact amount of money spent on ingredients for each cookie, I am estimating a value of $5.05 per cookie.
Thus, if you are a "friend or relative of mine" you may consume up to three (3) cookies. More than three cookies would perhaps "raise a question." If you are unsure of your "friend/relative" status, best to check with me first.
If you have any business or dealing with me (like requesting data, needing scripts written, etc.) and are not a "friend or relative," I'm sorry, you are ineligible to receive cookies. If you have recently done business with me you probably don't want to eat any cookies...it's unclear what the statute of limitations is.
Also, if asked, you must be prepared to provide a written history or proof that gifts (of this same value) have been exchanged between us in the past. If you are a relative, you may be required to present ID. Also, any acceptance of cookies between any of my "friends or relatives" must require a "mutual exchange of cookies" or I may be forced to turn you in.
If there are any foreign persons (i.e. non-US citizens) visiting or temporarily working at the SPC they are NOT allowed to consume any cookies. I'm plum out of all CD 342 forms and wouldn't be able to report the return gift appropriately.
If you are a supervisor of me, you are not entitled to any cookies. Also, you must check with Peggy to see if your salary is higher or lower than mine. If it is higher, I'm sorry NO COOKIES FOR YOU! If it's lower, you are allowed to consume. There is some gray area here, better be safe and not eat more than one cookie as two cookies would exceed a $10 gift.
You must sign for all cookies taken from the tray. You should also provide your SSN in case I have to file a W2.
I'm not having a holiday party, but if I were, nobody would be invited. I'm not sure I can figure out whom I'm allowed to invite! There may be some conflict of interest between supervisors who attended the NSEA holiday party on Tuesday....those who may be implicated should check their status and get their stores in order.
Paul and Janelle