Q: I’m a sales manager, and last year I sent presents to major clients. I was shocked when one of them returned his, along with a note saying he couldn’t accept it. Isn’t that rude?
A: Not necessarily. Many companies prohibit employees from accepting all but the most modest gifts, while other forbid the receipt of any present. Even if there’s no such policy, some people are uncomfortable accepting business gifts, because they feel an attempt is being made to influence or even bribe. It was rude of your client only if he failed to be gracious in his note to you.