Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: GSNW on May 21, 2013, 10:33:22 AM

Title: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: GSNW on May 21, 2013, 10:33:22 AM
I've had this sort of awkward situation arise at work and I need a polite phrase to help quash it.

There's a group of women that I refer to in my head as the Mean Girls Club (MGC).  They very much act like some of the clique-y middle school girls we're meant to be teaching.  By that, I mean that they make a point of doing things as a group and making sure everyone else knows about it.  I figure this is their way of saying "we are part of this group, you are not, neener neener."  They even have a name for their group.  I wish I were kidding.

This year, one of them (Sally) had a baby.  I was (shockingly) invited to the baby shower.  TBH, it felt like a gift grab.  Sally works in the same department as my DH but we really share no connection beyond that.  I RSVP'd no to the shower.  A few weeks later, I was approached by another member of the MGC and she said, "You know, I wish you had come to Sally's shower.  We would like to start inviting you out with us and the shower was a good time to see how you interact with the group."  Uh, what?  I felt like I had missed the royal summons or something.  I told her why I said no (DH and I actually had a sports tournament that weekend so I could not have gone even if I wanted to). 

So now I have been getting some invitations and more pressure from these people.  I don't want to hang out with them!  Individually I can deal, but I'm not 13 and so not interested in this sort of pack mentality dynamic.  I don't want to be a part of their little club so I can feel superior by excluding people, and I really think their actions at work are unprofessional and in some cases downright ridiculous.  As pushy as they are, I feel like it's mounting to the point that I'll eventually be asked outright why I'm snubbing their invitations. 

Summer can't come fast enough.
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: Redsoil on May 21, 2013, 10:38:07 AM
Each and every time:  "Oh, thanks for the invitation, but Dh and I are pretty heavily scheduled outside of work, so I won't be able to attend.  Hope you all have a good time!"  They'll take a hint, i'd imagine.  If pushed (and you're comfortable doing so) mention some of the activities you're involved in, enthusiastically.
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: veronaz on May 21, 2013, 10:43:49 AM
I don't think you should tell them about your/DH's activities.  It's none of their business.

I'd keep saying "No, thanks.  Have a good time".  That's all.

Past time for them to realize that being part of their silly clique is not at the top of everyone's list of priorities.  Shocking, but true.
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: Margo on May 21, 2013, 10:56:05 AM
I don't think you should tell them about your/DH's ativities.  It's none of their business.

I'd keep saying "No, thanks.  Have a good time".  That's all.

Past time for them to realize that being part of their silly clique is not at the top of everyone's list of priorities.  Shocking, but true.

I agree.

The only exception I'd make is if this group includes your Boss / line manager, and if you think that not participating might cause that person to see you as not being a team player, in which case it might be politic to accept one or two invitations (maybe lunch, if they go out for lunch on working days) or something like that.

If they do push you, and ask outright if you're snubbing them, then at that point, something like "Oh no, but I / DH and I  already have a pretty busy social life, I don't really have time to add any new activities at present!" With a big, cheery smile.
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: veronaz on May 21, 2013, 11:14:13 AM
The problem with mentioning social activities is you’ll be asked “Oh?  Like what?”  Then later you’ll be asked “How was the (activity)?”  I’m firm in my position that whatever you’re doing outside work is not their business.  Of course, you'd rather sit home and stare at a wall than socialize with them, but you don't need to actually say that.  ;)  "No thanks, have a good time" is fine, imo. 

Anyway you slice it, they’re not going to like being rejected, but that is their problem.  Don’t make it yours.
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 21, 2013, 11:34:41 AM
If any ever has the audacity to suggest you attend something because they want to see how you'd "fit" with their group, you are free to say "Thanks, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't."
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: GSNW on May 21, 2013, 11:35:50 AM

The only exception I'd make is if this group includes your Boss / line manager, and if you think that not participating might cause that person to see you as not being a team player, in which case it might be politic to accept one or two invitations (maybe lunch, if they go out for lunch on working days) or something like that.


Thankfully none of the above are true.  One of them IS a counselor, so every three years I have to deal with her nonsense (IMO she isn't particularly good at her job).  This means that since I'm not "in," I don't get special treatment (like problem children having a sudden inexplicable schedule change, for example).  But that's okay.
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: MamaMootz on May 21, 2013, 02:43:22 PM
EvilMootz would accept an invitation and do everything I possibly could to show them I didn't fit in with their group dynamic, so therefore I would not be deserving of future invites.

Hey, it would stop them from badgering you with invites, both now and in the future. >:D
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: *inviteseller on May 21, 2013, 07:16:17 PM
Unless it is directly related to your job, there is no need to socialize with the mean girls.  Just smile and say "thanks, but no" to these wonderful interviews to see if you fit in (really???  who says stuff like that and expects people to jump up for that chance!)
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: veronaz on May 21, 2013, 07:45:36 PM
Quote
(really???  who says stuff like that and expects people to jump up for that chance!)

As if it's "rush week" for sororities.   ::)
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: guihong on May 21, 2013, 08:41:24 PM
You could quote Groucho Marx, who would not join any club that invited him to be a member ;).  I also had a thought of the "Pioneer Women" episode of I Love Lucy in which Lucy and Ethel are vetted by a snooty club.

Seriously, though, I'd just be "busy" and not audition for their club.
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: TootsNYC on May 22, 2013, 12:17:15 PM
If any ever has the audacity to suggest you attend something because they want to see how you'd "fit" with their group, you are free to say "Thanks, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't."

Yeah, right!?
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: FauxFoodist on May 24, 2013, 01:51:15 PM
I've had this sort of awkward situation arise at work and I need a polite phrase to help quash it.

There's a group of women that I refer to in my head as the Mean Girls Club (MGC).  They very much act like some of the clique-y middle school girls we're meant to be teaching.  By that, I mean that they make a point of doing things as a group and making sure everyone else knows about it.  I figure this is their way of saying "we are part of this group, you are not, neener neener."  They even have a name for their group.  I wish I were kidding.

This year, one of them (Sally) had a baby.  I was (shockingly) invited to the baby shower.  TBH, it felt like a gift grab.  Sally works in the same department as my DH but we really share no connection beyond that.  I RSVP'd no to the shower.  A few weeks later, I was approached by another member of the MGC and she said, "You know, I wish you had come to Sally's shower.  We would like to start inviting you out with us and the shower was a good time to see how you interact with the group."  Uh, what?  I felt like I had missed the royal summons or something.  I told her why I said no (DH and I actually had a sports tournament that weekend so I could not have gone even if I wanted to). 

So now I have been getting some invitations and more pressure from these people.  I don't want to hang out with them!  Individually I can deal, but I'm not 13 and so not interested in this sort of pack mentality dynamic.  I don't want to be a part of their little club so I can feel superior by excluding people, and I really think their actions at work are unprofessional and in some cases downright ridiculous.  As pushy as they are, I feel like it's mounting to the point that I'll eventually be asked outright why I'm snubbing their invitations. 

Summer can't come fast enough.

I can't see how an appropriate first invitation to someone to hang out with a group is one that "requires" a gift (I know gifts are not mandatory, but it is an expectation so I see it as a requirement for such events).  I would see it as "we want to see if we like you and, if nothing else, someone will get a present out of it."
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: bonyk on May 25, 2013, 05:27:15 AM
Do you teach at my school??  I posted this thread a few days ago about the MGC where I teach:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=128130.0


Just keep having other plans.  They'll give up.
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: BB-VA on May 25, 2013, 06:05:30 AM
How much will they shred you behind your back if you say no?  That is what mean girls do, in my experience.  Will this rebound on you professionally?
 
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: veronaz on May 25, 2013, 08:13:44 AM
How much will they shred you behind your back if you say no?  That is what mean girls do, in my experience.  Will this rebound on you professionally?

They'll do that regardless.  That is what these juvenile mean girls do, so I don't think that should be a factor.

OP, don't let them intimidate you and don't feel you owe them an explanationn.  "No, thanks." is enough of an answer.  Whatever else you say will will be picked apart and run with.
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: GSNW on May 28, 2013, 09:47:54 AM
To answer a question, none of them are in a supervisory position - thank goodness.  We only have three admin at my school and they are all very good at maintaining their professionalism - I don't feel they have obvious favorites or "buddies." 

One of them IS a counselor (we have one for each grade level) and this is annoying - mostly because I don't feel like she is good at her job, so I have to deal with her ineptitude once every three years.  She is also known to do favors for others in the club - like having problem students undergo a sudden, unexplained schedule change, for example.  I figure making a fuss about stuff like that would just make things worse, and there are some "problem" students that I've really gotten to like :)

ETA:  Bonyk - I read your thread and couldn't even think of how I would manage to remain polite during said slideshow.  For that to happen is bad enough, for admin to be at the head of it is horrible.  I hope your district does a Teaching and Learning Conditions survey (or something like it) - that is horrible.  Any halfway decent administrator knows that creating divides like that on campus will negatively impact the students in the end.
Title: Re: Invitation Rejected.
Post by: whiskeytangofoxtrot on May 28, 2013, 01:00:54 PM
Quote
(really???  who says stuff like that and expects people to jump up for that chance!)

As if it's "rush week" for sororities.   ::)

Exactly my thought! :D