Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: Runningstar on March 13, 2014, 10:32:48 AM

Title: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Runningstar on March 13, 2014, 10:32:48 AM
Ok, I must admit that I am puzzled and need advice.  I work in a small store and one of the 5 employees is graduating in May and has planned a huge party with over 250 guests.  Everyone else at work is invited with their families, except for me.  I don't have a problem with that, especially since I'm a part timer and don't work that often with the graduate.  Boss and a co-worker (not the graduate) explained to me that I wouldn't be invited as they knew that I don't usually like to go to these types of parties ( ???) and that they advised graduating co-worker(GCW) of that when she asked them if she should invite me.  Ok, not entirely what I'd have chosen, but maybe for the best then.
Yesterday the party was being discussed in front of me, and I'm not entirely comfortable with it - but say nothing and do my work.  We had a lot of customers coming and going so it wasn't like I didn't have plenty to do!  But then I was told that they felt so badly about discussing the party in front of me, and repeated that GCW had really wanted to invite me but had been told not to.   Then it was added that of course I'd be getting her a gift.  I just picked up my jaw off the floor and said nothing and kept working. 
Has anyone ever had something like this happen to them?  Would you actually buy a gift for a party that you weren't invited to?  I'm pretty much feeling like a total jerk, and one that might just go get a gift card for a party that I wasn't invited to :(
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: lowspark on March 13, 2014, 10:38:19 AM
No. I wouldn't buy a gift. But I probably would have replied to their assumptions.

Them: We told Grad not to invite you because we know that I don't usually like to go to these types of parties.
Me: Really? What makes you think that?

Them: Grad really wanted to invite you but we told her not to.
Me: That wasn't very nice, was it?

I put "me" in the above examples because that's probably how *I* would reply. But honestly, they've been pretty rude and I wouldn't mind letting them know that and that my feelings were also hurt.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: JenJay on March 13, 2014, 10:41:59 AM
Nope. And I would tell my coworkers "I'm not going to send a gift to a party I wasn't invited to. That would be really awkward. And while we're on the subject, please don't attempt to speak for me if this comes up again. I would have preferred Coworker either invite me or not, and I could have decided for myself whether to accept or decline. By intervening you made it really uncomfortable for both of us."
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: LemonZen on March 13, 2014, 10:43:24 AM
Wow, that's awkward, and rude of your coworkers to assume you didn't want to be invited. No I would not be getting a gift if I were you. Maybe a card, if I was friends with her at all. Honestly I wouldn't be getting her a gift even if I was invited to the party. A graduation of a random coworker isn't high on my gift-giving priorities list.

(And if they "feel so badly" about discussing the party in front of you, well you'd think maybe they could just... I don't know... stop? ::) )
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 13, 2014, 10:43:43 AM
What the heck is WRONG with these people?

They told the recent grad not to invite you? And they're telling you to give a gift?
Who died and made them the boss? And their etiquette is tremendously challenged.
And their judgment. And their human decency.


Avoid talking with them at all about this.
Avoid the gift thing--be Teflon.


I do like JenJay, "please don't speak for me."
And that's a good point about saying, "If I give her a gift, that makes it really awkward for Recent Grad."
And if you can slide away, say, "Well, I know that you're aware I wasn't invited to the party, because you -told- her not to invite me. But I took that to mean she and I aren't close. And since we aren't close, I won't be pitching in on the group present."

If they think you should give one on your own, say Teflon things like, "I've got it under control."

Give the recent grad a card and your best wishes, warmly--remember that she wanted to invite you. And the only reason she didn't is that these pushy people who think they know everything--and are the Etiquette Boss of everyone--told her not to.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: buvezdevin on March 13, 2014, 10:45:07 AM
Nope. And I would tell my coworkers "I'm not going to send a gift to a party I wasn't invited to. That would be really awkward. And while we're on the subject, please don't attempt to speak for me if this comes up again. I would have preferred Coworker either invite me or not, and I could have decided for myself whether to accept or decline. By intervening you made it really uncomfortable for both of us."

This.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: SamiHami on March 13, 2014, 10:47:59 AM
So let me understand this. You were not invited to a party because your cow-irkers told her to not invite you. Now they are telling you to send a gift. And you feel like a jerk?

Yeah, what JenJay said.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: lowspark on March 13, 2014, 10:50:19 AM
Give the recent grad a card and your best wishes, warmly--remember that she wanted to invite you. And the only reason she didn't is that these pushy people who think they know everything--and are the Etiquette Boss of everyone--told her not to.

I was thinking about the Grad's motivations and I'm not sure I agree with this Toots.

According to the OP,
Quote
they advised graduating co-worker(GCW) of that when she asked them if she should invite me

Why did the Grad ask anyone if she should invite the OP? She's inviting everyone else in the office. Did she ask someone advice about inviting them? It seems pretty obvious that she should have gone ahead and invited OP and just let her decline if need be. Does someone really need to be told that it's best to not single out one person in the office? And then the result of this ended up being that she got the wrong advice and followed it. Bad all around on Grad's part.

I think the first mistake was made by the Grad in asking anyone's advice about this.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 13, 2014, 11:10:54 AM
She may have said, "Who should I invite?" She may have worried that inviting someone she doesn't know well would be a burden to that person. There may be other people on the list even less well-connected, and she consulted the Bad Etiquette Bosses about the whole list.

I was going off this (which i know is not that accurate):
Quote
repeated that GCW had really wanted to invite me but had been told not to. 

But OK, change that to "she was probably willing to invite you" and "she's not the one talking about this party in front of you." (Unless maybe she is? It sounded like it was coworkers, and not the grad but that might not be true.)

Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Runningstar on March 13, 2014, 11:20:11 AM
She may have said, "Who should I invite?" She may have worried that inviting someone she doesn't know well would be a burden to that person. There may be other people on the list even less well-connected, and she consulted the Bad Etiquette Bosses about the whole list.

I was going off this (which i know is not that accurate):
Quote
repeated that GCW had really wanted to invite me but had been told not to. 

But OK, change that to "she was probably willing to invite you" and "she's not the one talking about this party in front of you." (Unless maybe she is? It sounded like it was coworkers, and not the grad but that might not be true.)
Toots it was both the grad and CW's discussing it, but only the CW's that repeated the GCW wanted to invite me.  I am puzzled over the whole thing - and feeling low.  I'm an adult, invite, don't invite, but really even in first grade I knew to behave better than this. 
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: YummyMummy66 on March 13, 2014, 11:40:14 AM
First of all, this has to do with your co-workers and not the grad in question.

They spoke up for you when they should not have done so.  Whether or not you usually do not go to these types of outings is none of their business.

I would politely inform them that you do not intend to provide a gift for a party you were not invited to and to please not speak for you again.  It is up to the invitee to invite me or not and it is up to me to decline or accept said invitation.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 13, 2014, 11:45:23 AM
And it is up to you whether you give a gift.

Maybe you should just start saying, "This is really awkward" every time this happens. With a meaningful look at them. And then go do some sort of straightening of the shelves somewhere else.

"Oh, are you talking about that party I'm not invited to again? Can't you save it for the break room?"

Well, maybe not the strike-out part, because you do have to work with these people again.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 13, 2014, 11:46:36 AM
I have a question here.  When the "of course you will give a gift" thing came up, did they mean that it was just in their opinion that you would? Or that they had told GCW that of course you would? (Or even, was it GCW that assumed first that you would be giving a gift?)

The reason I ask is that, of course you are not obligated to give a gift for a party you aren't invited to.  But that's in the abstract and pertains to the other co-workers.  But if GCW is thinking that you'll give a gift, and maybe somehow is thinking they did you a favor (sparing you having to go to one of those terrible awful stress inducing parties that you supposedly hate), then that makes the situation more complicated.

You are still not obligated to give a gift, but the way you say things and who you say them to might be affected.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: English1 on March 13, 2014, 01:00:09 PM
No one gets a pass from me.

Grad - why ask others if she should invite you? Even being told you don't like parties, it was still rude to exclude only you from the invitations. People can decline an invitation if they don't want to go.

Co worker and boss. Interfering busybodies who had no right to speak for you, and also set up the hurtful situation of your not being invited.

I haven't a clue what you should do about it. If you think these are basically nice people who messed up, you should probably say something to clear the air and so that you don't continue to feel hurt/build resentment.

Initially I thought about saying something to co-worker/boss, but really that's just continuing the whispers and indirect communications. But it's hard to think of what to say to Grad that doesn't sound like a last minute plea for an invitation (which I don't think you want to do).

Maybe it's time to just grab one of them, say that the whole thing has hurt your feelings and ask them to think about how they'd feel if they were the only person left out of an event, and leave the ball in their court.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: gramma dishes on March 13, 2014, 01:10:24 PM
I'd be really REALLY honest if it comes up again.

I think I'd just say: 

"You know.  It really hurts my feelings to know that I am the only one not invited to this party.  I have no idea why (you) told her not to invite me.  I can't even begin to imagine why you did that! 

Please if this situation ever comes up again, let ME decide whether or not to accept or decline rather than speaking for me."
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 13, 2014, 01:17:03 PM
I'd be really REALLY honest if it comes up again.

I think I'd just say: 

"You know.  It really hurts my feelings to know that I am the only one not invited to this party.  I have no idea why (you) told her not to invite me.  I can't even begin to imagine why you did that! 

Please if this situation ever comes up again, let ME decide whether or not to accept or decline rather than speaking for me."

"Or at the very least, shut up about it afterward. She asked you in confidence, and if you thought that was the best advice, nobody should be going around announcing it afterward!"

I've been in situations in which asking advice from someone else about whether to invite someone was a useful tool. But they didn't then go telling people I'd asked them!!

but no, I wouldn't try to "fix" these people; not directly. I wouldn't want to get that invested in them.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: ClaireC79 on March 13, 2014, 01:22:33 PM
Don't give a gift

No if they ask again you can say 'well I would have, but I was told not to'
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 13, 2014, 01:26:24 PM
no, no, -they- told her to give a gift. Because, you know, only THEY get to tell people what the Etiquette Rules are.

"Well, I would have, but I wasn't invited to the party. They're connected, remember? If people don't like you well enough to invite you to their parties, you don't make them uncomfortable by giving them a gift."
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Runningstar on March 13, 2014, 01:29:35 PM
I have a question here.  When the "of course you will give a gift" thing came up, did they mean that it was just in their opinion that you would? Or that they had told GCW that of course you would? (Or even, was it GCW that assumed first that you would be giving a gift?)

The reason I ask is that, of course you are not obligated to give a gift for a party you aren't invited to.  But that's in the abstract and pertains to the other co-workers.  But if GCW is thinking that you'll give a gift, and maybe somehow is thinking they did you a favor (sparing you having to go to one of those terrible awful stress inducing parties that you supposedly hate), then that makes the situation more complicated.

You are still not obligated to give a gift, but the way you say things and who you say them to might be affected.
When GCW asked them if I should be invited, they told her that I'd definitely give her a gift, but that I wouldn't want to go to the party.  GCW said that it wasn't for the gift, but that she wanted me to be there.   (I have really decided that there would be no reason to ask coworkers about it if she did want to invite me - but there would be if she did not want to but felt badly to exclude just one).   So, after the discussion yesterday, GCW told them when I was out of the room that she felt uncomfortable discussing the party in front of me.  And then, after GCW left for the day I was told that they were worried that GCW felt bad.
There is more to it though, since we make pastries and such, guess who will be catering most of the graduation party?  Yep, we will.  Some others are donating their time to the baking of rolls, cakes, etc. for the party.  I'm hoping that I'm not scheduled for that, but if I am, that will be another issue for me to face.  I think that I will stop being quiet about it, and at least say how it is making me uncomfortable.  I really haven't said two words about it yet.  I was too shocked, and for some reason embarrassed.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 13, 2014, 01:44:35 PM
When GCW asked them if I should be invited, they told her that I'd definitely give her a gift, but that I wouldn't want to go to the party.  GCW said that it wasn't for the gift, but that she wanted me to be there.   (I have really decided that there would be no reason to ask coworkers about it if she did want to invite me - but there would be if she did not want to but felt badly to exclude just one).   So, after the discussion yesterday, GCW told them when I was out of the room that she felt uncomfortable discussing the party in front of me.  And then, after GCW left for the day I was told that they were worried that GCW felt bad.
There is more to it though, since we make pastries and such, guess who will be catering most of the graduation party?  Yep, we will.  Some others are donating their time to the baking of rolls, cakes, etc. for the party.  I'm hoping that I'm not scheduled for that, but if I am, that will be another issue for me to face.  I think that I will stop being quiet about it, and at least say how it is making me uncomfortable.  I really haven't said two words about it yet.  I was too shocked, and for some reason embarrassed.

Wow, that was quite presumptuous of them to tell her you'd be giving a gift! And that you wouldn't want to attend the party. I'd be pretty p'od if someone told someone else that on my behalf.  And the fact GCW said she wanted YOU there, and was uncomfortable talking about the party when you were around sounds like she has more class than all of them put together!

So you're thinking they may voluntell you to help bake for the party, on your own time? Yeah, no. That's a perfect time for "sorry, I have plans" or "I'm sorry, that' won't be possible"

And if its going to be done during your normal, PAID working time, is there any way you could request that day off? So it won't be an issue?
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: wolfie on March 13, 2014, 01:45:47 PM
I have a question here.  When the "of course you will give a gift" thing came up, did they mean that it was just in their opinion that you would? Or that they had told GCW that of course you would? (Or even, was it GCW that assumed first that you would be giving a gift?)

The reason I ask is that, of course you are not obligated to give a gift for a party you aren't invited to.  But that's in the abstract and pertains to the other co-workers.  But if GCW is thinking that you'll give a gift, and maybe somehow is thinking they did you a favor (sparing you having to go to one of those terrible awful stress inducing parties that you supposedly hate), then that makes the situation more complicated.

You are still not obligated to give a gift, but the way you say things and who you say them to might be affected.
When GCW asked them if I should be invited, they told her that I'd definitely give her a gift, but that I wouldn't want to go to the party.  GCW said that it wasn't for the gift, but that she wanted me to be there.   (I have really decided that there would be no reason to ask coworkers about it if she did want to invite me - but there would be if she did not want to but felt badly to exclude just one).   So, after the discussion yesterday, GCW told them when I was out of the room that she felt uncomfortable discussing the party in front of me.  And then, after GCW left for the day I was told that they were worried that GCW felt bad.
There is more to it though, since we make pastries and such, guess who will be catering most of the graduation party?  Yep, we will.  Some others are donating their time to the baking of rolls, cakes, etc. for the party.  I'm hoping that I'm not scheduled for that, but if I am, that will be another issue for me to face.  I think that I will stop being quiet about it, and at least say how it is making me uncomfortable.  I really haven't said two words about it yet.  I was too shocked, and for some reason embarrassed.

Can they really schedule you for a day and not pay you for that? I would definitely protest that!
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: lowspark on March 13, 2014, 01:46:27 PM
Quote
And then, after GCW left for the day I was told that they were worried that GCW felt bad.

They told you that they were worried that she felt bad?
That really takes the cake!

I would have spoken up in the first place (as I said upthread) but I really, really think you need to say something now.

I'm pretty blunt but I would just say right out that my feelings are hurt, I feel I've been deliberately made to feel like I'm not a valued member of the team. I just think that these people need to be made aware of how they are making you feel.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 13, 2014, 02:04:07 PM

When GCW asked them if I should be invited, they told her that I'd definitely give her a gift, but that I wouldn't want to go to the party.  GCW said that it wasn't for the gift, but that she wanted me to be there.   (I have really decided that there would be no reason to ask coworkers about it if she did want to invite me - but there would be if she did not want to but felt badly to exclude just one).   So, after the discussion yesterday, GCW told them when I was out of the room that she felt uncomfortable discussing the party in front of me. And then, after GCW left for the day I was told that they were worried that GCW felt bad.
There is more to it though, since we make pastries and such, guess who will be catering most of the graduation party?  Yep, we will.  Some others are donating their time to the baking of rolls, cakes, etc. for the party.  I'm hoping that I'm not scheduled for that, but if I am, that will be another issue for me to face.  I think that I will stop being quiet about it, and at least say how it is making me uncomfortable.  I really haven't said two words about it yet.  I was too shocked, and for some reason embarrassed.

You know, I'm not feeling bad things about GCW. You and she don't work together often, so she didn't feel moved to invite you, but was worried she'd offend you if she didn't.
  Her error was that she consulted these cretins!

If they weren't cretins, they'd have told her, "I don't think she'll really mind, and we'll all be discreet." And then they'd be DISCREET! for god's sake!! (sorry--little frustration moment)

So, she decided not to invite you, which you aren't all that insulted about (am I right?) And she sure didn't ask them to tell you why you weren't invited--they did that little piece of nastiness and exclusion all on their own. (and why? bcs they were feeling guilty, that's why, so they decided to confess to you so you'd hae to absolve them by not getting mad, so now they can say, "she wasn't upset.")

When these rude, rude people start talking about the party in front of you, she waited for an opportunity to tell you, "stop talking about it, I don't want to be rude to Runningstar," they feel guilty again, so what do they do? They tell you about it, so they can again feel better because they confessed, but they can also make it be YOUR FAULT.

If they say the tiniest thing again, you can say, "You know, you guys are being really unfair and rude to GCW and to me. You have made both of us very uncomfortable.
    "If you were going to advise GCW to leave me off the invitation list, you should have kept mum about it TO ME. It's really, really rude to GCW for you to come to me and announce that! She asked you in confidence, and you blabbed. And to come to me to say, 'we told her not to invite you'? That's just hurtful. Even in first grade, I didn't do that to people.
   "And now GCW has told you that -she- is uncomfortable talking about the party in front of me, and what do you do? You come and TELL ME. Instead of just keeping mum. That's really hurtful to me, and it's really unfair to her. Be discreet for your friends! Zip it up!"

And go get some more flour from the back.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on March 13, 2014, 02:08:59 PM
I think you could just line up the EHell phrases and use them one after another:

They want you to do a day of unpaid work for a party to which you aren't invited? 'I'm sorry, that won't be possible.'

They say you'll be giving a gift? 'Why would I want to do that?'

They told her you wouldn't want to go to her party? 'What an interesting assumption,' and 'how kind of you to take an interest'.

They're talking about the party? Bean dip, very pointedly, about some completely irrelevant subject.

They don't stop talking about the party? Dead silence, particularly if they address you on the subject.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 13, 2014, 02:11:53 PM
oh, the short version of my rant?

"Telling me this stuff about the party is really hurtful to me and -very- unfair to GWC. Please just stop talking about it. Period."

Cut-and-paste, maybe?
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Margo on March 13, 2014, 02:18:27 PM
You could also possibly speak to your Boss about it, not to ask them to intervene in any way about the party, but to say "apparently co-workers told GCW that (i) she should exclude me, having invited all t he other workers, and (ii) that I would give her a gift.

While I find that hurtful on a personal level, I am raising it with you because I am  concerned that they took it upon themselves to speak for me, without consulting me and I am concerned that they may do the same in other situations - including potentially giving inaccurate or misleading information to customers, or causing problems for me or other workers."

because although this was initially about a social event, it has happened at work and does impact on your working relationships.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 13, 2014, 02:25:33 PM
You could also possibly speak to your Boss about it, not to ask them to intervene in any way about the party, but to say "apparently co-workers told GCW that (i) she should exclude me, having invited all t he other workers, and (ii) that I would give her a gift.

While I find that hurtful on a personal level, I am raising it with you because I am  concerned that they took it upon themselves to speak for me, without consulting me and I am concerned that they may do the same in other situations - including potentially giving inaccurate or misleading information to customers, or causing problems for me or other workers."

because although this was initially about a social event, it has happened at work and does impact on your working relationships.

I'd be a little hesitant to do this, beacuse while I see your point, a boss might not, and think Runningstar is coming to her with seemingly "petty" personal issues with CWs. Not that I think they're petty, but the boss might. if it DID happen in a professional situation, then I'd definitely go to the boss, but I wouldn't do a premptive strike. Just my two cents.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Phoebe on March 13, 2014, 02:48:29 PM
You could also possibly speak to your Boss about it, not to ask them to intervene in any way about the party, but to say "apparently co-workers told GCW that (i) she should exclude me, having invited all t he other workers, and (ii) that I would give her a gift.

While I find that hurtful on a personal level, I am raising it with you because I am  concerned that they took it upon themselves to speak for me, without consulting me and I am concerned that they may do the same in other situations - including potentially giving inaccurate or misleading information to customers, or causing problems for me or other workers."

because although this was initially about a social event, it has happened at work and does impact on your working relationships.

I'd be a little hesitant to do this, beacuse while I see your point, a boss might not, and think Runningstar is coming to her with seemingly "petty" personal issues with CWs. Not that I think they're petty, but the boss might. if it DID happen in a professional situation, then I'd definitely go to the boss, but I wouldn't do a premptive strike. Just my two cents.

Per the OP, the boss is one of those who told GCW not to invite the OP.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: JenJay on March 13, 2014, 03:18:21 PM
One thing I'd start practicing now, just in case, is how I'd respond if boss asked me to donate time to work on GCW's catering, and what I'd say if GCW invited me. I think "I'm afraid I've already made other plans for that time." would work for both. Don't get caught off guard and end up saying yes because you didn't know what else to say.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on March 13, 2014, 04:56:26 PM
Quote
And then, after GCW left for the day I was told that they were worried that GCW felt bad.

They told you that they were worried that she felt bad?
That really takes the cake!

LOL... I see what you did there! Nice choice of words! :)
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: SeptGurl on March 13, 2014, 05:32:31 PM
My mind is blown. What a faux pas train wreck. I agree with TootsNYC's lengthier rant. I was thinking exactly the same thing: They're trying to absolve their guilty consciences, and they're doing it horribly. They need to stop talking about this party already. And they owe the OP a serious apology.

I love the way Free Range Hippie Chick lined out the standard eHell phrases. "I'm sorry, that won't be possible," is the perfect response for the inevitable expectation of working the party or the last-minute invitation from GCW. "Why would I want to do that?" is perfect for the gift expectation. OP, tuck those in your back pocket and use them as needed.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: YummyMummy66 on March 13, 2014, 06:44:38 PM
After reading your update, my first question to you is; if you would have been invited, would you have gone to the party?

If so, then I think you need to talk to the grad directly at this point.  "Grad, do you mind if we chat?  I think there has been a misunderstanding.   I would love to come to your grad party if you will still have me.  I don't know why said co-workers are saying that I would have not wanted to attend.  Is the invite still open?".   

I am not good at wording, so I am sure someone can word it better.  But, it seems that someone needs to stop all the go between the grad and your co-workers on a situation that everyone has you involved in, but not really involving you, kwim?

If you do not want to go, then I would tell co-workers, if the subject is brought up again, that they should not speak for you and that you have no intentions of providing a gift for an event that you were not invited to, and unless I am getting paid, I will not be making said pastries for said event.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: sammycat on March 13, 2014, 07:19:20 PM
Wow. I'm really sorry you've been put in this situation, OP. All these people have behaved atrociously towards you.

The coworkers are totally rude and 100% wrong for telling the graduate that you wouldn't want to go. I'm sorry to say, but it sounds as though they don't want you to come and used graduate to further their own agenda.

The graduate is completely spineless for not being able to decide her own guest list and listening to these other people. When I'm deciding a guest list for my parties I do it on my own, not by taking a poll amongst the other guests.

Even if you wouldn't have gone if invited, the only person who should be given a say in that decision is you. Hosts should never preempt the RSVP by jumping to an immediate 'no' and not even inviting someone who they otherwise would've invited.

As for the directive that you give the girl a present???  What planet are these people living on?! She wouldn't be getting a present, card, or even well wishes from me. And what kind of person would actually accept a present under these circumstances? A very self absorbed one I imagine. She sounds rather immature. Is she graduating from kindergarten?

Unless you'd run over her cat, or worse, I can't imagine inviting four out of five of my coworkers to an event and not the fifth. And then to talk about it in front of you? Beyond rude and tacky. Cruel actually.

Please don't get sucked in to 'donating' your time for making the baked goods for this shindig.

I'd be looking for another job as who knows what else they'd be cooking up behind my back.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: doodlemor on March 13, 2014, 07:37:03 PM
After reading your update, my first question to you is; if you would have been invited, would you have gone to the party?

If so, then I think you need to talk to the grad directly at this point.  "Grad, do you mind if we chat?  I think there has been a misunderstanding.   I would love to come to your grad party if you will still have me.  I don't know why said co-workers are saying that I would have not wanted to attend.  Is the invite still open?".   

I am not good at wording, so I am sure someone can word it better. But, it seems that someone needs to stop all the go between the grad and your co-workers on a situation that everyone has you involved in, but not really involving you, kwim?

If you do not want to go, then I would tell co-workers, if the subject is brought up again, that they should not speak for you and that you have no intentions of providing a gift for an event that you were not invited to, and unless I am getting paid, I will not be making said pastries for said event.

I definitely agree that this jr high silliness of relaying messages back and forth to you needs to stop.  For your sake, I hope that these people aren't as mean and clueless as they sound.  I do think that you will feel better if you clear the air by speaking with GCW about this. 

At this point I think that I'd start out by saying something like, "I've been having some extraordinary conversations with CW's concerning you and your graduation party."  Then perhaps I'd give a disclaimer that I didn't know exactly what had been said between GCW and other CW's, but I would relate what had been said to me.  The next part of the conversation would be harder.  I think that I would end by saying that since you and I aren't closely associated at work, it wasn't the biggest deal not to be invited to the party.  ***However,*** all of the ruckus and conversation  about the situation with the CW's has been extremely hurtful. 

Find out directly what GCW has to say, once you lay out your cards on table.

PS  Watch your back.  I hate to say this, but I wonder if one of your CW's is some sort of a mean girl who has engineered this whole situation for her personal amusement.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 13, 2014, 07:53:59 PM

Find out directly what GCW has to say, once you lay out your cards on table.

PS  Watch your back.  I hate to say this, but I wonder if one of your CW's is some sort of a mean girl who has engineered this whole situation for her personal amusement.

These are good points, and part of why I wanted clarification on where the "you will bring a present" thing came from and if it was told to GCW if it didn't originate with her.

On one hand, it might very well be that GCW is caught up in this culture and playing an active part, not really wanting you at the party but still wanting a gift.  In that case, I think that the hard line advocated by some of the previous posters is absolutely the way to go.

But on the other hand, it could be that GCW has no idea what's going on, that all this is going on around her with her as much of a prop for amusement as the OP.  Somehow they convinced her that OP doesn't like parties, to the extent that extending an invitation to her would upset her...but that also, OP has positive feelings and still wants to give her a gift. (And why shouldn't OP have positive feelings? She's never had any clashes or disagreements with GCW.)

I'm imagining myself in GCW's position if the second scenario is the case.  The most inexperienced person there, being suckered into thinking certain things about a co-worker, acting in genuine good faith by not inviting co-worker to a party, being told that she still really wanted to give me a gift, and then....it all blows up in my face because co-worker is obviously really mad and doesn't give me a gift after all.  Not because the gift itself is important...but because I've obviously offended her in some way even though I was acting in good faith.

Now, OP is still not obligated to give a gift or do anything for the party.  Especially not do anything for the party.  But I think that OP should ask herself:  If she had been invited to the party, would she have gone?  If she had gone, would she have brought a gift?

I think that if everything had not been so weird, and she was either invited to the party and would have given a gift or would have given a gift if there had been no party and others were just giving her gifts, I think I would go ahead and give the gift, maybe a token gift or just a card if the OP didn't really know her all that well, in private at some other point.  This way, GCW isn't penalized for the actions of the other co-workers if they have truly suckered her in and are setting her, and/or OP, up for a fall.

But if OP does talk to GCW beforehand as suggested, which I think is also a good idea, OP can get a read on which of the two scenarios is most likely and act accordingly.  I'm just asking that OP be open to both potential scenarios, and if GCW is another innocent party, try to find a way to honor her without helping the obnoxious co-workers, who would be the ones at fault if that were the case.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 13, 2014, 08:01:50 PM
And what kind of person would actually accept a present under these circumstances? A very self absorbed one I imagine. She sounds rather immature. Is she graduating from kindergarten?

There's nothing to indicate that the graduate is like this at all.

The OP wrote in her followup:
Quote
GCW said that it wasn't for the gift, but that she wanted me to be there.   (I have really decided that there would be no reason to ask coworkers about it if she did want to invite me - but there would be if she did not want to but felt badly to exclude just one).

And remember, the GCW has some good instincts:
Quote
GCW told them when I was out of the room that she felt uncomfortable discussing the party in front of me.

In fact, it's possible she thought of not inviting the OP because she felt that, esp. if there was some pressure to give a gift, it might be presuming too much since the GCW doesn't work with her that often.

And true, she might have just thought, "why would I bother, I don't know her that well, and it will keep the guest list small." That's actually fine--absolutely fine Etiquette-wise, and even fine Character-wise. The GCW is *not* the one who has announced all this stuff to the OP.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: anonymousmac on March 13, 2014, 08:16:03 PM
I hate to suggest this, but is there some weird kind of bullying going on here?

The grad may be innocent, but whoever's making up things about the OP not liking parties, and then being sure to tell her all about the party and how she's being left out, sounds like someone who maybe likes drama, or likes putting people down, or at the very least can't be trusted to have everyone's best interests at heart here.

OP, are there any other signs that these co-workers might have something against you, or be competing with you in some way, or just like to put you down?

If I were you, I would either speak directly to the grad to clear things up, or just avoid the situation entirely.  But from now on I would be very careful around the co-workers who started all this, and I don't think I'd ever really trust them.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 13, 2014, 08:30:00 PM
I hate to suggest this, but is there some weird kind of bullying going on here?

The grad may be innocent, but whoever's making up things about the OP not liking parties, and then being sure to tell her all about the party and how she's being left out, sounds like someone who maybe likes drama, or likes putting people down, or at the very least can't be trusted to have everyone's best interests at heart here.

OP, are there any other signs that these co-workers might have something against you, or be competing with you in some way, or just like to put you down?

If I were you, I would either speak directly to the grad to clear things up, or just avoid the situation entirely.  But from now on I would be very careful around the co-workers who started all this, and I don't think I'd ever really trust them.

I was wondering along those same lines.  I can just exactly imagine myself in the position of GCW, as I said above.  I do tend to be somewhat naive, I will admit, but I would be falling all over myself with guilt and have no idea how to fix it, if it turned out that I'd been tricked into doing a thing that actually offended a co-worker so deeply, when I really was acting in good faith and didn't mean for that to happen at all.

It would be a shame if GCW got thrown under the proverbial bus, if she really played only an unwitting role in the whole thing-especially if what the whole thing is, is a desire to bully OP.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 13, 2014, 08:31:41 PM
I can see the graduate's motivation for consulting with other co-workers. Runningstar said she seldom works with GCW. I can easily see a conversation that goes like:

GCW to imbecile CWs: I'm planning my party and wanted to invite everyone from work, but I hardly know Runnigstar since we seldom work together. Do you think she'd find it odd to be invited?
imbecile CWs: Oh, no. She doesn't like these types of things. I wouldn't worry about inviting her. She doesn't socialize with the rest of us.
GCW: Oh, ok. Thanks for the heads up.

And then the imbeciles realize they made a boo boo about talking about the party in front of you and made their GCW uncomfortable. So to prove to GCW that they were right and you really wouldn't have wanted to attend they are going to guilt you into giving a gift.

By any chance, is there a reason why imbecile CW's would be courting the favor of GCW? Does she come from a well off family or seem to have a high level of popularity? Are they trying to keep their "special friend" to themselves, thus making them fell more special?
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: greencat on March 13, 2014, 08:34:28 PM
While I wouldn't go fishing for an invitation to the party itself, I would speak with the graduating coworker and tell her "Hey, I know you don't know me that well because we don't work together much, but our coworkers have been telling you things about me that aren't very accurate.  If you don't hear me say it myself, assume that whatever they're saying is sheer speculation."
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 13, 2014, 08:35:28 PM

By any chance, is there a reason why imbecile CW's would be courting the favor of GCW? Does she come from a well off family or seem to have a high level of popularity? Are they trying to keep their "special friend" to themselves, thus making them fell more special?

That might be part of it, or t might not have anything to do with GCW, really.  It might just be about finding a way to harass or bully OP.  And GCW is just a convenient tool to use for the purpose.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: sammycat on March 13, 2014, 08:39:46 PM
I can see the graduate's motivation for consulting with other co-workers. Runningstar said she seldom works with GCW. I can easily see a conversation that goes like:

GCW to imbecile CWs: I'm planning my party and wanted to invite everyone from work, but I hardly know Runnigstar since we seldom work together. Do you think she'd find it odd to be invited?
imbecile CWs: Oh, no. She doesn't like these types of things. I wouldn't worry about inviting her. She doesn't socialize with the rest of us.
GCW: Oh, ok. Thanks for the heads up.

I can see this happening BUT I would still err on the side of caution and invite her anyway.  With 250+ guests it's not as though one more is going to make much difference.

To invite all my other coworkers but not one, despite having a limited working relationship, just seems mean. And honestly, I'd probably be side eying someone who told me to deliberately exclude one person.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Luci on March 13, 2014, 08:44:17 PM
I will never, ever give a gift to someone because I have to!  Ask my family - they will clue you in.

If questioned, the answer is "It's taken care of". I really don't know how the "Of course, you will give a gift" has anything to do with OP's response to the other coworkers. I would never approach the co-workers who told grad to not send the invitation if it ever comes up - if it is mentioned, just a smile and OK - as in I acknowledge you -  it is fine.

I am very sorry that you weren't invited to the graduation party if it means something to you or if the other co-workers said you don't need one but still need to send a gift. It's no one's  business but yours and the graduate. If questioned by rude, intrusive coworkers, the response is, "I'm thinking a gift card," and then later "It's taken care of (as in ignored)" - all with a gentle, knowing smile.

Out of 250 people invited, no one will know if you send anything or not, including the graduate. It has been my experience that if a card is sent without a gift, it may be remembered. If ignored, no one will notice.

(Story: We are all rather close and kind of gossipy. A child passed away at 18 - our daughter's niece - from natural causes - genetic problems. The whole town turned out, including us. We couldn't support the donation recommendations, so did nothing. No card. Just there. We have never heard anything about our doing nothing, and the family still accepts most of our invitations to parties. I still think that if we had sent an empty card, they would have noticed and been hurt.)
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: gramma dishes on March 13, 2014, 09:01:42 PM
Runningstar ~~  Would you have any opportunity at all to talk privately with the GCW?

Because I agree with those above. 

She needs to know how you feel without having "interpreters" involved.  Just tell her! 

It may or may not be too late for the two of you to ever feel completely comfortable again with each other, but it at least will clue her in to what the other coworkers did just in case she really doesn't know and that knowledge might be very helpful to her in the future.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: esposita on March 13, 2014, 09:52:47 PM
I can see the graduate's motivation for consulting with other co-workers. Runningstar said she seldom works with GCW. I can easily see a conversation that goes like:

GCW to imbecile CWs: I'm planning my party and wanted to invite everyone from work, but I hardly know Runnigstar since we seldom work together. Do you think she'd find it odd to be invited?
imbecile CWs: Oh, no. She doesn't like these types of things. I wouldn't worry about inviting her. She doesn't socialize with the rest of us.
GCW: Oh, ok. Thanks for the heads up.

I can see this happening BUT I would still err on the side of caution and invite her anyway.  With 250+ guests it's not as though one more is going to make much difference.

To invite all my other coworkers but not one, despite having a limited working relationship, just seems mean. And honestly, I'd probably be side eying someone who told me to deliberately exclude one person.

See, I would err on the side of caution and /not/ invite someone I didn't know very well. Especially for something like a graduation, where in my circles a gift is expected. I'd be thinking "This person doesn't even /know/ me, why would they care about me graduating? They'd probably just think that I want more cash!" No matter how nice you are, I'd feel like a heel inviting you, for no apparent reason, to a gifting event. I'd not invite you (and I could see myself checking with people that I thought knew you better) and make plans on inviting you to my next non-gift function.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: sammycat on March 13, 2014, 11:34:38 PM
I can see the graduate's motivation for consulting with other co-workers. Runningstar said she seldom works with GCW. I can easily see a conversation that goes like:

GCW to imbecile CWs: I'm planning my party and wanted to invite everyone from work, but I hardly know Runnigstar since we seldom work together. Do you think she'd find it odd to be invited?
imbecile CWs: Oh, no. She doesn't like these types of things. I wouldn't worry about inviting her. She doesn't socialize with the rest of us.
GCW: Oh, ok. Thanks for the heads up.

I can see this happening BUT I would still err on the side of caution and invite her anyway.  With 250+ guests it's not as though one more is going to make much difference.

To invite all my other coworkers but not one, despite having a limited working relationship, just seems mean. And honestly, I'd probably be side eying someone who told me to deliberately exclude one person.

See, I would err on the side of caution and /not/ invite someone I didn't know very well. Especially for something like a graduation, where in my circles a gift is expected. I'd be thinking "This person doesn't even /know/ me, why would they care about me graduating? They'd probably just think that I want more cash!" No matter how nice you are, I'd feel like a heel inviting you, for no apparent reason, to a gifting event. I'd not invite you (and I could see myself checking with people that I thought knew you better) and make plans on inviting you to my next non-gift function.

We may have to agree to disagree on this. :)

I'd rather receive an invitation to something and think "huh? why did s/he invite me to this?" than discover that I was the only person out of an entire group not invited (barring toxicity between 2 people). 

I can't say I've ever received an invitation and immediately jumped to the gift grab train of thought. The present (if required) is usually low down on the ladder after things such as availability, overall desire to attend etc.

In this particular situation I'd either think "that's nice of coworker to invite me to her event. Maybe she wants us to become better acquainted" or, if I thought it was strange, I'd just think "weird", and then RSVP no gracefully. 

As it stands now, graduate doesn't come out looking too good at excluding one person, even if she is being used as a pawn by the other coworkers.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Runningstar on March 14, 2014, 04:45:24 AM
After reading your update, my first question to you is; if you would have been invited, would you have gone to the party?

If so, then I think you need to talk to the grad directly at this point.  "Grad, do you mind if we chat?  I think there has been a misunderstanding.   I would love to come to your grad party if you will still have me.  I don't know why said co-workers are saying that I would have not wanted to attend.  Is the invite still open?".   

I am not good at wording, so I am sure someone can word it better.  But, it seems that someone needs to stop all the go between the grad and your co-workers on a situation that everyone has you involved in, but not really involving you, kwim?

If you do not want to go, then I would tell co-workers, if the subject is brought up again, that they should not speak for you and that you have no intentions of providing a gift for an event that you were not invited to, and unless I am getting paid, I will not be making said pastries for said event.

If I had been invited I probably would have gone if I was able to, and if I wasn't I'd have sent a gift.   Now?  No way would I go, even if an invitation would be given, as I'd see it as a pity/duty invite.  These co-workers and boss have been very nice for the last 5 years, but I admit that I'm hurt over this.   
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Runningstar on March 14, 2014, 05:25:47 AM
Thank you all for your replies!  I am actually feeling better about this as I'm prepared to use my e-hell responses now.  It was just the shock of this and I didn't have a chance to process it privately.  It occurred to me that 250 guests might be the maximum that wherever this event is being held can hold and that it was not a personal issue so much as a numbers thing.  Which would have been fine with me - if that or some reason along that line would have been given. 
The way it has been handled has made it extremely awkward.  If nothing had been said about it, I'd have most likely not been upset as I really would have understood that GCW and I are not close.  Work today will be very busy anyways as we have a huge order, so there won't be time for chats. 
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: weeblewobble on March 14, 2014, 07:07:39 AM
Oh, how nice that they're worried that the aftereffects of their rudeness and presumption are now making GCW uncomfortable. It strikes me as mind-bogglign that they are showing absolutely no concern for your feelings. I hate to use the B word, but this sounds like bullying.

I would just ignore all future references to the party.  And if coworkers ask you if you are getting GCW a gift, just give them a dumbfounded look and ask, "Why would I give a gift for a party I'm not invited to?"  And then continue to play dumb. And I don't think I would accept a last minute invite, either. Have other plans.  This whole thing has been handled in stunningly bad way by both your meddling coworkers and GCW, who should have just asked you directly if you were interested in attending instead of relying on her gossipy coworkers.  She may be graduating, but she needs to grow up a little.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: hopeful4 on March 14, 2014, 07:45:29 AM
I don't know about your graduating coworker but if it were me, I would be very uncomfortable receiving a gift from someone I don't know well and was thinking about inviting but was talked out of doing so.   That would be awkward.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: bopper on March 14, 2014, 09:04:04 AM
In this position, you have to accept are not invited. THe OP is cool with that.

Also, like everyone has said, of course you do not need to give a gift. If you are not close enough to be invited, you are not close enough to give a gift.

You don't need to say anything except "Have a good time!" and "Congratulations!". Don't say anything about gifts.

If anyone mentions your lack of giving a gift afterward, you say "Seriously? If a person is not close enough to the guest of honor to be invited to their party, why would they be expecting a gift?  I totally get that we are not that close and she has space constraints. No problems. But don't come back to me and ask where the gift is."
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 14, 2014, 10:11:24 AM
I don't know about your graduating coworker but if it were me, I would be very uncomfortable receiving a gift from someone I don't know well and was thinking about inviting but was talked out of doing so.   That would be awkward.

And I think this GCW would also be uncomfortable with it. She's already uncomfortable with the "talking about the party in front of her" idea. And tried even to be discreet about -that-, since saying, "hey guys, let's not talk bout the party in front of Runningstar, bcs she's not invited," would be rubbing salt in the wound. And she's reported (by the cretins, so take that with a grain of salt--not the same salt, though, LOL!) to have said, "It's not about the gift," when pondering whether to invite Runningstar.

So if the gift comes up, absolutely, you can say, "It would be so awkward for GCW, since she didn't invite me to the party. If I give her a gift, it's going to make her feel really bad."

Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Trogdor on March 14, 2014, 02:06:04 PM
This may be a bit cynical, but given that the company OP works for is catering this event, is it possible that rudeboss and CW engineered things so that the OP would be free to work the event? If everyone else is going, who is going to deliver/set up/attend to/clean up the pastries?
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: JeanFromBNA on March 14, 2014, 04:08:31 PM
I think you could just line up the EHell phrases and use them one after another:

They want you to do a day of unpaid work for a party to which you aren't invited? 'I'm sorry, that won't be possible.'

They say you'll be giving a gift? 'Why would I want to do that?'

They told her you wouldn't want to go to her party? 'What an interesting assumption,' and 'how kind of you to take an interest'.

They're talking about the party? Bean dip, very pointedly, about some completely irrelevant subject.

They don't stop talking about the party? Dead silence, particularly if they address you on the subject.

This is pretty much exactly what I was thinking.  And that I was glad that I didn't need to worry about socializing with these dolts.

You've been there for five years (which makes what they did even worse - I was thinking that you were a recent hire, which could partly explain what they said because they didn't know you).  Maybe it's time to move on?
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Cherry91 on March 14, 2014, 06:16:23 PM
This may be a bit cynical, but given that the company OP works for is catering this event, is it possible that rudeboss and CW engineered things so that the OP would be free to work the event? If everyone else is going, who is going to deliver/set up/attend to/clean up the pastries?

You know, now you've said it... it fits.

I know it's not always easy if you're not that extroverted, but I'd be making it pretty clear I had no intentions of getting a gift, but then that's because nothing makes me dig my heels in harder than attempts to railroad.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: LifeOnPluto on March 15, 2014, 02:18:30 AM
For me, the worst part of this, is how the boss and co-workers talked about the party in front of the OP. Then afterwards, they basically told the OP "Ha ha, whoopsies, weren't we all just so rude, talking about the party in front of you, when you aren't invited?"

OP, I would have looked them in the eye and said "Actually yes. You WERE rude for doing that."

Going forward, this is what I'd do:

1. Speak to your boss/co-workers when the graduate is not around. Tell them "Just for the record, I would have been glad to have attended GCW's party. I have no idea why you think that I don't like parties. That is simply untrue. If this ever happens again, please do not presume to speak on my behalf. Tell the person to just invite me, and let me make up my own mind."

2. If you haven't done so already, congratulate GCW, and make it clear that you wish her well. You don't have to bring up the party (unless she does), but let her know that you have no ill-will toward her.

3. Be on your guard at work. Frankly, if something like this happened to me, I'd never be able to look at these co-workers the same way ever again, no matter how "nice" they'd been over the last 5 years. I'd be wary of them in future. I certainly wouldn't be as warm and friendly towards them.

I also wondered this:

This may be a bit cynical, but given that the company OP works for is catering this event, is it possible that rudeboss and CW engineered things so that the OP would be free to work the event? If everyone else is going, who is going to deliver/set up/attend to/clean up the pastries?

OP, you should do what you feel comfortable with, but I can tell you there's no way in heck that I'd be helping to cater this party. I can easily imagine your boss and co-workers trying to guilt you into helping ("Come on, Runningstar, don't you want to do something nice for GCW? You really aren't being much of a team player by refusing!") but I'd stand firm, and tell them you have "other plans" that day.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Otterpop on March 15, 2014, 09:46:58 AM
Your co-workers sound so grade-school.  Five years working there?!   That's long enough to be worthy of inclusion, especially since OP is the only person from the entire company to be excluded.  It sounds like someone has a personal beef or the group made a big faux-pas and are digging the hole deeper (as people usually do).

As a younger employee, I would have let this event pass and silently be hurt.  I'd be professional and distant to everyone after this and start looking for other employment.  As a 40 something now, I'm more inclined to speak my mind.  No sense feeling the hurt and shame when it so clearly belongs to your coworkers.

I would have a private talk with GCW and tell her that it would have been nice to have been invited.  Coworkers should not have spoken for you and it's painful to be the only one excluded, but what's done is done.  Wish her well and go on professionally from there.  No gift, no card, no explanation necessary.

So sorry you have to deal with this Runningstar.  The event and the feelings will pass.  Hopefully your co-workers will deal better with you in the future, or, you will have more quality co-workers in the future.  Either way, YOU have done NOTHING wrong here.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 15, 2014, 10:04:13 AM
I'd rather receive an invitation to something and think "huh? why did s/he invite me to this?" than discover that I was the only person out of an entire group not invited (barring toxicity between 2 people). 

I can't say I've ever received an invitation and immediately jumped to the gift grab train of thought. The present (if required) is usually low down on the ladder after things such as availability, overall desire to attend etc.

In this particular situation I'd either think "that's nice of coworker to invite me to her event. Maybe she wants us to become better acquainted" or, if I thought it was strange, I'd just think "weird", and then RSVP no gracefully. 

As it stands now, graduate doesn't come out looking too good at excluding one person, even if she is being used as a pawn by the other coworkers.

I agree with this.  Especially in the case where literally everyone is invited.  Some would be  close enough to want to give an expensive gift, perhaps, while some would not feel close, but the feelings would range widely.  If someone

I did not know very well but had no negative feelings toward invited me to something like this, I would probably use it as a chance to try to get to know them better by giving a card and maybe a token gift (I'm talking something small enough to fit in a card, probably, like along the lines of a bookmark). 

But that would be under normal circumstances, and the circumstances of the OP are, to put it charitably, weird.

And, believe it or not, given the other posts I have been making here, I really, really do agree with this last sentence.  If only some co-workers were invited, that would be one thing, and easily explained by her knowing some better than others, an attempt to keep the guest list manageable, or any number of other reasons as suggested by other posters.

But this? This looks awful.  She really doesn't come out looking good at all.

And for exactly that reason, I would suggest that the OP try to see what's going on.  If GCW is just naive and has somehow been manipulated into this, it's not very kind to her to tar her with the same brush as the other co-workers.  It isn't required, but I think it would be kind to somehow address her privately with at least a card, and help her to understand how badly what she did could be taken.   And that there aren't any hard feelings.

On the other hand, it's entirely possible that GCW is just a "mean girl" by nature and she found some other mean girls and was in her element and they all had great fun messing with the OP.  I don't get that sense, but of course it is possible.  But that would be something OP could find out for herself with a private talk.  Even if there isn't time for one before the actual party. 

And I agree also with all of the other advice about "watch your back".  Something weird went down here.  It needs to be paid attention to.  It isn't necessary to freak out and jump to any conclusions.  But I think attention needs to be paid.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Raintree on March 15, 2014, 07:36:00 PM
I think it's pretty bad that the BOSS advised GCW to exclude one person. What kind of work environment is she trying to manage here? Boss should have stayed out of it. Coworkers should have stayed out of it. GCW should have decided her own guest list. If she was special friends with 1 out of 5 coworkers, fine. If she was friends with 4 out of 25 coworkers, fine. But inviting 4 out of 5, including (I think) the boss, that's pretty bad.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 15, 2014, 07:51:46 PM
I think it's pretty bad that the BOSS advised GCW to exclude one person. What kind of work environment is she trying to manage here? Boss should have stayed out of it. Coworkers should have stayed out of it. GCW should have decided her own guest list. If she was special friends with 1 out of 5 coworkers, fine. If she was friends with 4 out of 25 coworkers, fine. But inviting 4 out of 5, including (I think) the boss, that's pretty bad.

Very good point.  I wasn't remembering that the boss was involved in this.

The involvement of the boss would go a long way to explain the actions of GCW, actually.  Maybe she would have thought it was "off" and not gone along with it if it had only been co-workers, but the word of the boss carries more weight.

ETA: And also, it gives more weight to what others have said above-OP, watch your back!
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: AngelicGamer on March 15, 2014, 08:13:00 PM
Adding to the watch your back bandwagon but adding something - start looking for a new job.  If they're starting with something like a party, then it might go into actual work with the OP being blamed.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Lula on March 17, 2014, 02:31:54 PM

Holy cannoli.   :o

If you're worried about being perceived as fishing for an invitation, perhaps you could wait until after the graduation has already taken place to have The Confrontation with your coworkers?  They may have botched this one beyond repair, but at least you can lay down some "new rules" going forward--nobody gets to RSVP for you (to an invitation you never receive, no less!), and nobody gets to discuss a party from which you have been excluded in your presence.

Edit: Whoops, forgot to delete quotes.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: CreteGirl on March 17, 2014, 02:54:44 PM
I'm in agreement that another coworker may have wanted the OP to be excluded for some reason.  Who could possibly think it is ok to invite the entire company, but exclude one person? 

Something smells really bad here.

 
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Valentines Mommy on March 17, 2014, 03:01:52 PM
Please put in a request for time off during the party if you can. I can see the powers that be scheduling you to work the party. Heck, other posters mentioned it up thread.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Jones on March 17, 2014, 03:05:49 PM
Has the grad said anything to you OP, or is it possible one of your coworkers stole or accidentally destroyed the invite and got the others to cover with the story that you weren't invited (but should give a gift, so the grad will never know)?
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: YummyMummy66 on March 17, 2014, 05:23:42 PM
Is it just me or does it seem we have gotten way off base on this scenario?

At this point, from all of the OP's posts, I do not get anything malicious behind her boss and co-workers, just plain cluelessness.  They are under the assumption that the op does not like going to events like this. 

The op admits that she does not see graduate all that often, so I can see graduate asking co-workers, especially if a young graduate, (is this high school or college?), if she should invite op or not.

Boss and co-workers sound clueless.  No, she probably would not attend, but I am sure she would give a gift.   Not that it matters, but what is the dynamic of these co-workers?  Male or female?

OP, I still think you should approach grad yourself.  You are not fishing for an invite.  It was stated to you that graduate did ask if they should invite you.  It sounds like graduate was going to invite you and I don't think you were meant to be excluded.  Tell graduate there seems to be some miscommuncation.

Maybe don't even approach gradaute, but next time she is around or your co-workers start talking about graduation party, this is where you need to step in and state your mind, calmly.  Your opening was when graduate said that they should not be talking about this in front of you.  "You know, I would have gladly attended said party if I had been invited. As it so happens, I now have plans that day.  (because at this time, no matter what, I don't think I would be attending).  Co-workers, it is not up to you to make decisions for me.  Next time, please let me decide for myself on what invitations I will or will not accept".

I am saying this because it sounds as if you are hurt by being the only one not invited and from what I am gathering from your posts, it was not the graduates attempt to do this. 
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: esposita on March 17, 2014, 08:35:12 PM
Is it just me or does it seem we have gotten way off base on this scenario?

At this point, from all of the OP's posts, I do not get anything malicious behind her boss and co-workers, just plain cluelessness.  They are under the assumption that the op does not like going to events like this. 

The op admits that she does not see graduate all that often, so I can see graduate asking co-workers, especially if a young graduate, (is this high school or college?), if she should invite op or not.

Boss and co-workers sound clueless.  No, she probably would not attend, but I am sure she would give a gift.   Not that it matters, but what is the dynamic of these co-workers?  Male or female?

OP, I still think you should approach grad yourself.  You are not fishing for an invite.  It was stated to you that graduate did ask if they should invite you.  It sounds like graduate was going to invite you and I don't think you were meant to be excluded.  Tell graduate there seems to be some miscommuncation.

Maybe don't even approach gradaute, but next time she is around or your co-workers start talking about graduation party, this is where you need to step in and state your mind, calmly.  Your opening was when graduate said that they should not be talking about this in front of you.  "You know, I would have gladly attended said party if I had been invited. As it so happens, I now have plans that day.  (because at this time, no matter what, I don't think I would be attending).  Co-workers, it is not up to you to make decisions for me.  Next time, please let me decide for myself on what invitations I will or will not accept".

I am saying this because it sounds as if you are hurt by being the only one not invited and from what I am gathering from your posts, it was not the graduates attempt to do this.

POD I very much agree, especially so with the bolded things.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Runningstar on March 18, 2014, 04:33:19 AM
Has the grad said anything to you OP, or is it possible one of your coworkers stole or accidentally destroyed the invite and got the others to cover with the story that you weren't invited (but should give a gift, so the grad will never know)?

No, she was mailing out the invitations the next day or so, and although I wasn't there I'm guessing that she was collecting addresses.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Runningstar on March 18, 2014, 04:50:51 AM
Is it just me or does it seem we have gotten way off base on this scenario?

At this point, from all of the OP's posts, I do not get anything malicious behind her boss and co-workers, just plain cluelessness.  They are under the assumption that the op does not like going to events like this. 

The op admits that she does not see graduate all that often, so I can see graduate asking co-workers, especially if a young graduate, (is this high school or college?), if she should invite op or not.

Boss and co-workers sound clueless.  No, she probably would not attend, but I am sure she would give a gift.   Not that it matters, but what is the dynamic of these co-workers?  Male or female?

OP, I still think you should approach grad yourself.  You are not fishing for an invite.  It was stated to you that graduate did ask if they should invite you.  It sounds like graduate was going to invite you and I don't think you were meant to be excluded.  Tell graduate there seems to be some miscommuncation.

Maybe don't even approach gradaute, but next time she is around or your co-workers start talking about graduation party, this is where you need to step in and state your mind, calmly.  Your opening was when graduate said that they should not be talking about this in front of you.  "You know, I would have gladly attended said party if I had been invited. As it so happens, I now have plans that day.  (because at this time, no matter what, I don't think I would be attending).  Co-workers, it is not up to you to make decisions for me.  Next time, please let me decide for myself on what invitations I will or will not accept".

I am saying this because it sounds as if you are hurt by being the only one not invited and from what I am gathering from your posts, it was not the graduates attempt to do this.

This is a college graduation, but a bit older than the early/mid twenties (grad is late twenties).  You are right, I am a little hurt.  I didn't speak up because I thought that they might be trying to save my feelings - as in - GCW doesn't have room to invite you and since you are not close we said that you wouldn't care.  And I was caught off guard - and didn't know what to say as it all came so quickly and at a busy time!  I'm not sure what to do, but won't work w/GCW until next week.  I think that clueless is most likely what they are being, as they are very nice to work with usually. 
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Runningstar on March 18, 2014, 05:42:51 AM
I'm in agreement that another coworker may have wanted the OP to be excluded for some reason.  Who could possibly think it is ok to invite the entire company, but exclude one person? 

Something smells really bad here.
This sums up why I have not said much of anything to coworkers/GCW.  I wondered if there was some offensive thing about me that made it a problem to invite me.  Maybe it is best to wait until after the party to ask/discuss it & really that is my preference - as there would be no way that I'd go now anyways.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TurtleDove on March 18, 2014, 06:13:43 AM
I agree that this is at worst cluelessness and at best an honest (though apparently misguided) attempt to cater to the OP, who the graduate was told would not want to come to the party.  Ever attribute to malice that which can be attributed to cluelessness. Especially since these coworkers are otherwise good to work with I would take a very gentle and nonaccusatory approach. So e of the posts seem to catastrophize this into some vast evil conspiracy against the OP - I don't see that at all. But if there were some vast conspiracy I would take a look inward, if I were the OP, to determine why "no one likes me." Because it would be strange for a group of adults to gang up on someone for no reason.

Again, I don't think the OP is disliked or being ganged up on at all here.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 18, 2014, 12:03:07 PM
I agree that this is at worst cluelessness and at best an honest (though apparently misguided) attempt to cater to the OP, who the graduate was told would not want to come to the party.  Ever attribute to malice that which can be attributed to cluelessness. Especially since these coworkers are otherwise good to work with I would take a very gentle and nonaccusatory approach. So e of the posts seem to catastrophize this into some vast evil conspiracy against the OP - I don't see that at all. But if there were some vast conspiracy I would take a look inward, if I were the OP, to determine why "no one likes me." Because it would be strange for a group of adults to gang up on someone for no reason.

Again, I don't think the OP is disliked or being ganged up on at all here.

Fiction needs to make sense. Reality is under no such obligation.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TurtleDove on March 18, 2014, 12:17:25 PM
I agree that this is at worst cluelessness and at best an honest (though apparently misguided) attempt to cater to the OP, who the graduate was told would not want to come to the party.  Ever attribute to malice that which can be attributed to cluelessness. Especially since these coworkers are otherwise good to work with I would take a very gentle and nonaccusatory approach. So e of the posts seem to catastrophize this into some vast evil conspiracy against the OP - I don't see that at all. But if there were some vast conspiracy I would take a look inward, if I were the OP, to determine why "no one likes me." Because it would be strange for a group of adults to gang up on someone for no reason.

Again, I don't think the OP is disliked or being ganged up on at all here.

Fiction needs to make sense. Reality is under no such obligation.

Well, sure, but most adults I know don't have the time to devote to randomly selecting one person to gang up on for no reason.  And if the OP's workplace consists of people who would do this, I wouldn't want to work there.

Again, I don't think the OP is actually being ganged up on - I think this is a misunderstanding.  But if a person does feel they are being ganged up on, I think it makes sense to examine why that might be.  If there is a "reason," perhaps I can improve myself.  If it is simply that I am amazing but that I am working with toxic people, then it is up to me to find different employment.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 18, 2014, 01:34:04 PM
Has the grad said anything to you OP, or is it possible one of your coworkers stole or accidentally destroyed the invite and got the others to cover with the story that you weren't invited (but should give a gift, so the grad will never know)?

No, she was mailing out the invitations the next day or so, and although I wasn't there I'm guessing that she was collecting addresses.

She may not even have asked -if- she should invite you; she may have said, "does anyone have Runningstar's address?" and they said, "Oh, you don't need to invite her, she won't come," and she thought, "OK, wouldn't want to make her feel she needs to send a gift, then."
    Heck, they may have been convincing enough that she felt vaguely hurt, as if -you had- actually rejected her invitation.


But I wouldn't assume that someone hates you, and I'm not sure I'd bring that up anyway.
  I'm figuring they're just Bossy Boots, who like to be in charge of everything.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: CreteGirl on March 18, 2014, 03:42:32 PM
I'm in agreement that another coworker may have wanted the OP to be excluded for some reason.  Who could possibly think it is ok to invite the entire company, but exclude one person? 

Something smells really bad here.
This sums up why I have not said much of anything to coworkers/GCW.  I wondered if there was some offensive thing about me that made it a problem to invite me.  Maybe it is best to wait until after the party to ask/discuss it & really that is my preference - as there would be no way that I'd go now anyways.

I HIGHLY doubt there is something offensive about you.  You seem like a very thoughtful person.  I was thinking more along the lines of someone is jealous of or threatened by you. 

I don't disagree with some of the posters above who suggest it could merely have been coworkers being clueless.  But I have seen situations were someone has been excluded from a group activity because one person in the group disliked or was jealous of them.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 18, 2014, 03:51:19 PM
I'm in agreement that another coworker may have wanted the OP to be excluded for some reason.  Who could possibly think it is ok to invite the entire company, but exclude one person? 

Something smells really bad here.
This sums up why I have not said much of anything to coworkers/GCW.  I wondered if there was some offensive thing about me that made it a problem to invite me.  Maybe it is best to wait until after the party to ask/discuss it & really that is my preference - as there would be no way that I'd go now anyways.

I HIGHLY doubt there is something offensive about you.  You seem like a very thoughtful person.  I was thinking more along the lines of someone is jealous of or threatened by you. 

I don't disagree with some of the posters above who suggest it could merely have been coworkers being clueless.  But I have seen situations were someone has been excluded from a group activity because one person in the group disliked or was jealous of them.

I highly doubt there is anything offensive either.  Especially given how thoughtful the OP seems.  I think some people don't like quiet, thoughtful people who just want to do their job, though, and they just like to stir up trouble for someone like that.

It could be clueless co-workers, but it just seems so weird to me that every other co-worker is invited to this, really big, party.  The usual reasons really don't cover it for me.  And I'm really struggling to think about in what context it was appropriate to have a conversation and decide that OP, and only OP, should be excluded.  That's kind of going out of the way to maybe not attack, but at least snub, OP.

People can be much more immature and childish than we think, sometimes.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: monkey_brain on March 18, 2014, 04:18:24 PM
I have a question - in your original post, you said "Boss and a co-worker (not the graduate) explained to me that I wouldn't be invited."

When you say later "I was told that they felt so badly about discussing the party in front of me, and repeated that GCW had really wanted to invite me but had been told not to," are "they" the Boss and same co-worker, or are other co-workers also talking to you about the situation?

In other words, how many co-workers are telling you what GCW is supposedly saying?
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 18, 2014, 04:59:44 PM
I have a question - in your original post, you said "Boss and a co-worker (not the graduate) explained to me that I wouldn't be invited."

When you say later "I was told that they felt so badly about discussing the party in front of me, and repeated that GCW had really wanted to invite me but had been told not to," are "they" the Boss and same co-worker, or are other co-workers also talking to you about the situation?

In other words, how many co-workers are telling you what GCW is supposedly saying?

Are you suggesting that maybe it really is GCW at the center of this?  Maybe she didn't invite OP for some stupid reason and the boss and co-workers are trying to cover for her?

Hmmm.  I hadn't thought of that angle.  I still think my original interpretation is more likely, but I could see how you might be right also.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 18, 2014, 06:03:36 PM
I thought she was implying that only a -couple- of coworkers were at the center of this.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 18, 2014, 06:08:29 PM
I thought she was implying that only a -couple- of coworkers were at the center of this.

That could be the case also...though even "a couple" are too many, I think.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Runningstar on March 18, 2014, 06:13:55 PM
I have a question - in your original post, you said "Boss and a co-worker (not the graduate) explained to me that I wouldn't be invited."

When you say later "I was told that they felt so badly about discussing the party in front of me, and repeated that GCW had really wanted to invite me but had been told not to," are "they" the Boss and same co-worker, or are other co-workers also talking to you about the situation?

In other words, how many co-workers are telling you what GCW is supposedly saying?
Everybody is involved, Boss and other co-workers explained that I wasn't invited,  GCW felt uncomfortable discussing the party in front of me, and then there is me.  It is a small workforce of 5.
  GCW hasn't said a word about it to me, nor I to her (I'm not sure what I could say without it sounding like a plea for an invite).  I'm choosing to believe that the first thought of why I wasn't invited (she could only invite a certain number) is what happened, but that they all realize that it is hurtful to exclude me, and are now hoping that I'll confirm that I hate parties - which I'm not going to do.  I really think that they either truly believe this, or at least are hoping that it is true or I'll say that it is to spare GCW's feelings.  I hate to admit this, but if this was 30 years ago I'd have let them all off the "hook" and would have just agreed with them so that nobody else felt uncomfortable - yikes!! 
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 18, 2014, 06:34:23 PM

  GCW hasn't said a word about it to me, nor I to her (I'm not sure what I could say without it sounding like a plea for an invite).

If anything, you could say, "They've sort of put you in a tough spot, haven't they? Congrats on graduating, though."

Quote
I'm choosing to believe that the first thought of why I wasn't invited (she could only invite a certain number) is what happened, but that they all realize that it is hurtful to exclude me, and are now hoping that I'll confirm that I hate parties - which I'm not going to do.  I really think that they either truly believe this, or at least are hoping that it is true or I'll say that it is to spare GCW's feelings.  I hate to admit this, but if this was 30 years ago I'd have let them all off the "hook" and would have just agreed with them so that nobody else felt uncomfortable - yikes!!

If you find yourself thinking you have to say something, make statements of fact: "Yes, it's an awkward situation." Then press your lips together, or say, "excuse me, I'm going to..." and go to the far corner of the bakery.

Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Runningstar on March 18, 2014, 06:46:16 PM

  GCW hasn't said a word about it to me, nor I to her (I'm not sure what I could say without it sounding like a plea for an invite).

If anything, you could say, "They've sort of put you in a tough spot, haven't they? Congrats on graduating, though."

Quote
I'm choosing to believe that the first thought of why I wasn't invited (she could only invite a certain number) is what happened, but that they all realize that it is hurtful to exclude me, and are now hoping that I'll confirm that I hate parties - which I'm not going to do.  I really think that they either truly believe this, or at least are hoping that it is true or I'll say that it is to spare GCW's feelings.  I hate to admit this, but if this was 30 years ago I'd have let them all off the "hook" and would have just agreed with them so that nobody else felt uncomfortable - yikes!!

If you find yourself thinking you have to say something, make statements of fact: "Yes, it's an awkward situation." Then press your lips together, or say, "excuse me, I'm going to..." and go to the far corner of the bakery.
Thanks Toots, I can see myself saying that.  I feel prepared to just agree that it is awkward.  Maybe for my lunch I'll take in some bean dip also??  :)
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: TootsNYC on March 18, 2014, 07:57:45 PM
Nah, you know what?

Let THEM bring the bean dip.

you just say stuff like, "Yes, it's awkward, isn't it."

and then zip it up  ;), and let THEM figure out how to change the subject.

Say it very neutrally, conversationally, but just leave the awkwardness lying out there, for them to stew over.
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: Otterpop on March 18, 2014, 08:40:57 PM
Nah, you know what?

Let THEM bring the bean dip.

you just say stuff like, "Yes, it's awkward, isn't it."

and then zip it up  ;), and let THEM figure out how to change the subject.

Say it very neutrally, conversationally, but just leave the awkwardness lying out there, for them to stew over.

Awesome advice TootsNYC ;)!
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: LifeOnPluto on March 18, 2014, 09:30:45 PM
I have a question - in your original post, you said "Boss and a co-worker (not the graduate) explained to me that I wouldn't be invited."

When you say later "I was told that they felt so badly about discussing the party in front of me, and repeated that GCW had really wanted to invite me but had been told not to," are "they" the Boss and same co-worker, or are other co-workers also talking to you about the situation?

In other words, how many co-workers are telling you what GCW is supposedly saying?
Everybody is involved, Boss and other co-workers explained that I wasn't invited,  GCW felt uncomfortable discussing the party in front of me, and then there is me.  It is a small workforce of 5.
  GCW hasn't said a word about it to me, nor I to her (I'm not sure what I could say without it sounding like a plea for an invite).  I'm choosing to believe that the first thought of why I wasn't invited (she could only invite a certain number) is what happened, but that they all realize that it is hurtful to exclude me, and are now hoping that I'll confirm that I hate parties - which I'm not going to do.  I really think that they either truly believe this, or at least are hoping that it is true or I'll say that it is to spare GCW's feelings.  I hate to admit this, but if this was 30 years ago I'd have let them all off the "hook" and would have just agreed with them so that nobody else felt uncomfortable - yikes!!

With a party of 250 people, you'd think GCW could fit one more in, but I digress.

If your boss and co-workers are truly trying to "protect you" from GCW's exclusionary behaviour, they're going about it in an extremely ham-fisted way. I mean, why chat about this party in front of you, if they want to "protect" you so badly?

I still think you should come out and tell them that you DO like parties, and you WOULD have attended this one if invited. Tell them that they must not presume to answer on your behalf again.

I also agree with Toots that you shouldn't pretend it's ok (and not awkward) if they raise the issue. 
Title: Re: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....
Post by: sammycat on March 18, 2014, 09:36:45 PM
With a party of 250 people, you'd think GCW could fit one more in, but I digress.

If your boss and co-workers are truly trying to "protect you" from GCW's exclusionary behaviour, they're going about it in an extremely ham-fisted way. I mean, why chat about this party in front of you, if they want to "protect" you so badly?

I still think you should come out and tell them that you DO like parties, and you WOULD have attended this one if invited. Tell them that they must not presume to answer on your behalf again.

I also agree with Toots that you shouldn't pretend it's ok (and not awkward) if they raise the issue.

I agree.