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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Say "Thanks" for Lost Gift

Dear Sue:

I recently had a baby boy. One of my senior colleagues sent a gift to my house that I never received. I learned about it when he inquired if I had received it since he hadnít heard from me.

Upon investigation I learned the gift was addressed to the wrong apartment number in my building, but the person who received it never passed the gift on to me.

Now I am wondering if I should still send a thank you note to my colleague for sending me the gift and if so, what I should say. Please advise me as I am really embarrassed about the whole situation.

- Embarrassed

Sue Says:

The situation you described is unfortunate, but you are not at fault. Now that you found out a gift was sent to you, even though you didnít receive it, it might make you feel less embarrassed if you acknowledge it. Write a note to your colleague to let him know there was a mix up in the delivery and that you didnít receive the gift, but that you appreciate his thoughtfulness and generosity.

If you havenít already, check with the shipping company to see if there is any recourse. In addition, if you think someone else has the gift intended for you, speak with that person, explain the mix up, and maybe you can get the gift back. Good luck.

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

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