Company Gifts Employees A Picture With The CEO For Appreciation Day, Proving How Out Of Touch They Are

When employees are underpaid and underappreciated, a gift like this feels like a slap in the face.

unhappy employee and boss in black and white, trophy between them Zamrznuti tonovi, insta_photos / Shutterstock

It's often difficult not to feel like a cog in the machine at work and feels nearly impossible to find a job where employees actually feel valued and appreciated. This is exasperated when bosses prove time and time again how little they care about their employees.

One woman, Mila, shared a perfect example of this experience on TikTok, where she is known as @milaxhehe.

Mila shared the underwhelming gifts her company promoted for their Employee Appreciation Day.

For Employee Appreciation Day, rather than a bonus or an extra day off, Mila was gifted a "sweet treat" and something that definitely wasn't on her wish list — a photo with the company's CEO. 


"They're showing their appreciation for us by allowing us to get our photo taken with the CEO," she said. "Feeling really appreciated right now," she added sarcastically.  



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This is unfortunately apparently not an uncommon experience. The comments on Mila's TikTok are filled with people commiserating and sharing the equally insane "gifts" that they received from their employers.

"Our CEO once handed out mousepads with pictures of all his houses as Christmas presents," one user commented. "100 percent not joking."

"I got a 9-piece jigsaw puzzle of the company’s logo once," another wrote.

"My old employer gave us the day off … UNPAID," a third user commented.

The current WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes provide a large-scale example of entitled and out-of-touch CEOs.

Disney CEO Bob Iger — who has a $27 million-per-year contract — recently said of those striking, "There’s a level of expectation that they have that is just not realistic." This came just one day after it was announced that he would remain the CEO of Walt Disney Co. through 2026.


A few days later, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher said what everyone else was thinking: "There he is sitting in his designer clothes, just got off his private jet at the billionaires’ camp, telling us we’re unrealistic. How do you deal with someone like that who’s so tone-deaf? Are you an ignoramus?"

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CEOs today are clearly out of touch with those who work under them — in part, because they spend so little time with them.

In fact, according to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, "CEOs spend, on average, just 6 percent of their time with frontline teams, only 3 percent with customers, and 72 percent in meetings," highlighting just how far removed they are from their employees. When you consider just how little they spend outside of their fancy offices and executive suites, it's not surprising how little they are able to empathize with and relate to those who work for them.


But do they really expect employees to feel appreciated for receiving such undesirable and worthless gifts? Or, more likely, do they not care at all?

Employees today are often underpaid and underappreciated, and a throw-away gift does nothing to remedy that.

To make matters worse, a record number of Americans are currently struggling to pay rent, buy groceries and simply live their lives. Moreover, the class and wage gaps in America only seem to be growing. 

It's honestly insulting that any CEO shows their appreciation — or lack thereof — in such a self-absorbed and tone-deaf way. 


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Audrey Jaber is a Boston-based writer and Assistant Editor for YourTango.