Who sent this partridge in a pear tree?

A Snarkling gets out his Amex card as he inquires:

Do many of your clients give you gifts--a bottle of gin for example--when you sell their books? Do you get upset with clients who don't give you gifts?

Miss Snark has some treasured gifts from wonderful clients BUT she strongly discourages gifts when it is possible to do so without looking churlish.

The reasons are these:

1. Miss Snark is a devoted minimalist. That means she does not have knickknacks, cutesypoo items, paperweights, mugs, or decorative cross stitch in her office or her lair. Miss Snark barely has books. It's not a good idea to send any of these things because it wastes your money and although Miss Snark's neighbors stand in line for her trash, they are not your intended recipient.

2. Of the items Miss Snark does keep in abundance (here's where the gin enters in) she has specific taste and doesn't want to find out you can't tell good gin from bad. I assure you there is nothing worse than getting bad gin, unless it's bad cigars.

3. If there are things Miss Snark actually WANTS (the subscription to Italian Vogue, ice skates for when hell freezes over) she will buy them herself. Of course, if you want to give her a house in Bermuda...feel free.

4.. Business gifting is abominable. It's spawned an entire industry of professional gift buyers but they are the only people who really benefit. It creates terrible anxiety in the giver (oh my god, did I send enough? too much? does it look like I'm fawning? unappreciative?). It creates a burden on the recipient (dang, I sold her book, now she's sent me a mink coat, how am I going to tell her I'm letting my assistant handle her work cause I never want to talk to her again).

If Miss Snark sells your book, you send a hand written note that says thanks. You can send a Christmas card. You can even come to New York and buy her a drink. But save the gifts for your family and friends.


Caryn said...

Interesting. I'd always heard you should give your agent a gift when your book sells. Do most agents seem to feel the way you do, from what you can tell? I can see the problem with someone bestowing more clutter upon you. What about flowers?

Kelly said...

Miss Snark, you are a veritable oasis of holiday season sanity!

Southgrl said...

Miss Snark, you and I are cut from the same cloth (except I prefer a nice white wine--but don't bring me a gift of Chardonnay. Like you, I'd rather not have a gift if you can't bring me what I like.)
It makes me irritable that I can't figure out who you are. But then, I only know of about maybe 20 agents in NY by name, and I never can figure out whodunit in mysteries. So I know I shouldn't be irritable over your id.

Still, like a starving flea on a junkyard dog's back, I say please, please tell us again what your jobs were in the past, and how your office is set up (I think you said it was just you?) and if you're closer to 20 or 40? I love to play the guessing game.

Mean and Mannerly said...

How do you feel about flowers? Burden, murderous burden, or acceptable ritual gift object?

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Now Miss Snark are you say that you'd turn down a gift of a personally autographed and hand delivered by 'The Man', picture of Mr. Clooney?

Me thinks NOT! :-)