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Miss Conduct

Advice: Do I have to share the holiday treats I receive at work?

The office chowhounds usually get all the goodies, anyway.

A client sends me an assortment of gourmet goodies every holiday season. Do I (a) put it out in the conference room, so people who move fast eat them all, (b) give them to my assistant, or (c) take them home? And how best to reciprocate? Sending a gift seems too tit-for-tat. My inclination is to invite the client out for coffee after the holidays, my treat.

C.M. / Boston

If the gift is addressed to you, do what you like with it. If your office has a custom of sharing edible gifts, you’d best observe that tradition, of course. If you’d like to give the goodies to your assistant, thereby freeing yourself of the burden of shopping for him or her, you may. Otherwise, take them home.

Your inclination for a post-holiday coffee is an excellent one, as January and February are so dreary, socially.

Miss Conduct is Robin Abrahams, a writer with a PhD in psychology.

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