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To gift? Or not to gift?

You might have heard of the personal assistant Amy Ingram. You might not have. Either way, you can probably safely say you?ve never sent her flowers, chocolate or even whisky and you would be hard pressed to anyway — as she?s a robot.

Speaking to Business Insider UK, Dennis Mortensen, the CEO and founder of – the company behind Amy — shared some excellent anecdotes about how some of the people who have used Amy to organise their meetings, vet calls and plan their diaries have sent her gifts and even tried to flirt with her. Not that she would have much use for any of it being a very clever and intelligent piece of artificial intelligence.

But as hilarious as other people being fooled into buying a robot presents is, it does raise an interesting discussion on gifting your personal assistant. Should you or shouldn?t you? According to, cash is the most appropriate gift for a personal or executive assistant. They advise: “We tend to agree with Above the Law?s advice– cash is the way to go for holidays.”

Below is their advice for different scenarios and what?s the best thing to gift a PA or EA:

  • For birthdays, give flowers — this alerts the rest of the office that it?s the secretary?s birthday (and gee, doesn?t s/he have a great boss for getting her/him such swell flowers?)
  • For unfortunate events, give food baskets — for example, if your secretary breaks her leg or her grandmother dies, it would be rude not to send something to the hospital or to her home — and food is better than flowers because it recognises that your secretary is probably too overwhelmed to be cooking right now
  • For service above and beyond secretarial duties (anything from watering your plants while you honeymoon to covering for you while you interview elsewhere), give gift cards, plants, take him or her out to lunch, or give him or her a more personal gift
  • For year-end holidays, give cash — by itself.  You should give your secretary ?100 for each year you?ve served your company or firm (so, a sixth year would pay ?600, regardless of how long you?ve had your secretary — although we?ve heard some people cap that at ?500) — on the theory that this is additional compensation to them for the year, and no one appreciates getting their paycheck in the form of a really amazing pair of shoes or a gift card to a fancy restaurant.