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WHAT THE FUCK?! Is this normal now?

The staff at my workplace are throwing a retirement party/dinner for the (vulgarly highly paid) CEO of the company. The catch, they are charging $50 a ticket. AND, you have an "option" (we all know that means you have to, or you don't look like a "team player") to contribute $ to get him a gift. A $2,000 surfboard or some shit. Has anyone else ever had to pay to attend a retirement party? I really do not have the extra $50 to spend, plus the guy is a jerk and I really don't want to be there anyway. Will I look like an asshole if I don't go? It's a pretty small place and I'm the head of one of the departments, so if I'm not there it will be obvious. Of course all of the suck ups are excitedly planning (all the while, neglecting their REAL jobs here).. I'm just rolling my eyes at the ridiculousness of it all.

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