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  1. #1
    Senior Member Misty_Mountain_Rose's Avatar
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    Default Sensitive work problem that needs some advise...

    Help! My instincts on what to do may lead me very astray here so I'm going to try to get some feedback here before I do anything.

    Problem:

    I keep in contact with 3 employees who used to work at our company. A kind of 'tradition' at our company is to go out for lunch on Fridays as a group. Each of the 3 ex-employee friends keeps telling me to let them know when/where we'll be one week and they'll meet us, so I decided to get them all together with us on the same day.

    I found a date that all 3 of them could agree on, and then sent out the notice to the people who do the lunch routine each week so they would know to join us if they wanted for a kind of 'reunion' lunch.

    A couple of these ex-employees specifically asked if the upper management people had been told about the lunch, because there are some hard feelings between the ex employees and them... and the ex employees prefer not to have lunch with them. Since they don't do the weekly lunch thing anyway, I didn't think it would be a problem.

    Somehow one of the main people that the ex employees don't like found out and assumed it was the office manager who set up this luncheon and told her to make sure she invites X other employee... and seemed as if he were excited to go.

    She forwarded the request along to me, and it seems that the boss told X other employee, who I barely knew, about it and she fully expects an invite.


    QUESTION:

    HOW do I go to my boss and tell him:

    1 - That he isn't invited or half the group won't attend
    2 - That I don't want to invite this other person whom I was barely aquainted with?


    Do I just let them all come??? All I wanted was to have lunch with my friends and it has turned into a three ring circus!

    Embrace the possibilities.

  2. #2
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I'd probably just go "You're not invited. And you're not invited either."

    If that's too harsh. Call it off altogether then replan with the people you want to go with.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  3. #3
    Junior Member Bean's Avatar
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    I'd send the request back to the office manager that 'forwarded' it to you. You weren't asked to invite anyone, she was. Let her tell the party crashers that she isn't planning this event, as it is a 'private' event and not a 'company' event.

  4. #4
    The Architect Alwar's Avatar
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    Office politics are so lame and petty, tell them to grow the hell up and quit being drama queens.
    Last edited by Alwar; 06-24-2009 at 03:46 PM. Reason: Grammar

  5. #5
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Gotta love it when non-drama-intensive people try to do something nice socially and get stuck presiding over such drama... ugh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    ... Call it off altogether then replan with the people you want to go with.
    That's one viable option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bean
    I'd send the request back to the office manager that 'forwarded' it to you. You weren't asked to invite anyone, she was. Let her tell the party crashers that she isn't planning this event, as it is a 'private' event and not a 'company' event.
    Yes, you could let her handle the mess that she created.

    Others:
    1. Tell the ex-employees what happened, give them the option to come to this one, and otherwise let them reschedule for a new date.
    2. Explain about the private event, invite the bosses to come the next week.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alwar View Post
    Office politics are so lame and petty, tell them to grow the hell up and quite being drama queens.
    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Others:
    1. Tell the ex-employees what happened, give them the option to come to this one, and otherwise let them reschedule for a new date.
    2. Explain about the private event, invite the bosses to come the next week.
    Yes, either of these options would sound good to me. I mean, if these people really can't get along with each other (understandable, because ex-employees usually have a reason to leave a company). Just tell one of the groups involved it would be better not to attend. I would personally go for the group who will offers the least resistance when they are told they can't come.

  7. #7
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I agree with the above posts. Tell that other employee to handle her own mess.

    There's a part of office bullcaca that I just don't get, and I stay away from it. Whatever game they play, I'm quick to let them know I'm not to be a part of it. I do my job, and they do theirs, and there won't be any problems outside of that. It seems you're the same way.

    If this girl finds out that she can throw bullcaca in your lap, she's probably going to continue to. Assert your right to non-dramaness
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Nighthawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Tell the ex-employees what happened, give them the option to come to this one, and otherwise let them reschedule for a new date.
    I'd go with this one, since the hijacking by the boss has already become a fait accompli. It's not fair, but there isn't much you can do beyond causing a bunch of bad blood at work over something that isn't your fault.

  9. #9
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misty_Mountain_Rose View Post
    Help! My instincts on what to do may lead me very astray here so I'm going to try to get some feedback here before I do anything.

    Problem:

    I keep in contact with 3 employees who used to work at our company. A kind of 'tradition' at our company is to go out for lunch on Fridays as a group. Each of the 3 ex-employee friends keeps telling me to let them know when/where we'll be one week and they'll meet us, so I decided to get them all together with us on the same day.

    I found a date that all 3 of them could agree on, and then sent out the notice to the people who do the lunch routine each week so they would know to join us if they wanted for a kind of 'reunion' lunch.

    A couple of these ex-employees specifically asked if the upper management people had been told about the lunch, because there are some hard feelings between the ex employees and them... and the ex employees prefer not to have lunch with them. Since they don't do the weekly lunch thing anyway, I didn't think it would be a problem.

    Somehow one of the main people that the ex employees don't like found out and assumed it was the office manager who set up this luncheon and told her to make sure she invites X other employee... and seemed as if he were excited to go.

    She forwarded the request along to me, and it seems that the boss told X other employee, who I barely knew, about it and she fully expects an invite.


    QUESTION:

    HOW do I go to my boss and tell him:

    1 - That he isn't invited or half the group won't attend
    2 - That I don't want to invite this other person whom I was barely aquainted with?


    Do I just let them all come??? All I wanted was to have lunch with my friends and it has turned into a three ring circus!

    This is not an unusual situation at all. I wouldn't even call it office politics or drama, it's just people being people. If you ever get close to a human...

    The information leak: I've learned that it's best to schedule outings like this outside of the work week, meaning after work or on the weekend. Navigating lunches with coworkers and the sub-relationships can sometimes be like running between rain drops. Some coworkers don't understand that it's nothing personal, you really want to eat lunch at your desk or that you have other people who you want to have lunch with. My first move has been to intentionally never establish a pattern with any one person or any group. The expectation is gone and it's more a pleasant surprise when you do. Or select certain days that you have lunch with coworkers, or put it on your finances ("I try to minimize how often I eat lunch out so I can blow my money on cheap wine and hookers this weekend") or your workload (Man, I've got so much to do...maybe you can come by later and make sure I haven't gnawed off my arm"). It's really in how you say it, if you make it funny and something people can relate to, my experience is that most people back off.

    Now to solve the problem at hand, I'd actually go back to your ex-coworkers with this one. Tell them exactly what happened and ask them to pull out and reschedule. Uninviting the disliked coworker(s) or letting more people in on "the secret" may create more strained relationships. If people really want to get together and to minimize the risk of the unwanted coworkers coming just do something quietly on the weekend. People will find the time if they really want to do. Or you could meet individually with your ex-coworkers.

    Also use personal email addresses to schedule this and not job emails because it gives the get together a casual, unofficial air. I also find that BCC and Reply All can be useful if used smartly because people can see who's invited and decide if they want to come or not and track the progress of the emails so there's less centralized organization, more laissez-faire and therefore not one person to blame.
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  10. #10
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    I agree with proteanmix. This is the sort of thing that you'd expect to happen when you send on an email about a regular lunch routine. (I assume it's company email too, which makes it even more likely that everyone will find out.) I'd reschedule with your friends at a time that feels less like an extension of the work environment, and privately invite a few people that you want to join your 3 friends.

    OPTIONAL: Pretend that the original lunch really was set up by someone in upper management, and then see if the company will pay for the whole lunch. Like when the bill comes around you can say stuff to the manager like, "Did you set this lunch up or was it (name of other manager)", or "is the company picking up the tab for this lunch?" Again this part is optional, but as an ENTP I'm always looking for ways that unfortunate scenarios can be turned around into situations for my own personal amusement.
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