No. of Recommendations: 2

You wrote, At my former employers there was a Secret Santa, but it was voluntary and most people didn't participate. A lot of employees originally came from a variety of foreign countries (Russia, India, Egypt, Japan are just some examples) so trying to get everyone on board with a Christian tradition wouldn't work. And for those who did participate, there was a strict dollar limit.

I've worked places (in Texas) where Indians or Koreans were in the majority. I work in the Seattle area now. I'm the only Caucasian male born in the states in our team. In fact I may be the only US citizen, though I know two or three probably hold green cards. The single largest group are Chinese, including my boss. (Actually she might be a naturalized citizen. She's married to a local and has kids by him.)

But I've also worked a couple of places back in Texas where management were mostly good-old-boy locals and they occasionally did stuff that probably made their largely H1B hires a bit uncomfortable. For instance, I had one skip-level manager actively campaign to get his reports to sign up to make payroll contributions to a certain Christian-based charity. Lots of my peers felt making the donations were a requirement of the job. Naturally I refused. I got a decent review that year, so I don't think that's why they failed to give me a pay raise... No matter. I took another position a few months later that gave me a 10% bump in pay.

- Joel
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