General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Politely Refusing Work Baby Shower

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AreaWoman:
I'm trying to obscure my identity a bit here, so please bear with me on some of the vagueness in my question.

I'm pregnant with my first, and our office manager approached me asking about timing of a baby shower.  I'm very uncomfortable with this, because I'm in a semi-supervisory position and don't want staff or others buying me gifts.  However, I know that the staff really appreciates parties generally and would like to have a celebration before I go out on leave.  If I say no to a shower, then it would disappoint/potentially upset some of them, which I don't want to do either.  I know that the most commonly-proposed solution is a meet the baby party, but that won't work here for various reasons. 

Could anyone help me with either phrasing a polite refusal or coming up with an alternative so that folks can have a party if they want?

Moray:

--- Quote from: AreaWoman on January 17, 2013, 05:09:54 PM ---I'm trying to obscure my identity a bit here, so please bear with me on some of the vagueness in my question.

I'm pregnant with my first, and our office manager approached me asking about timing of a baby shower.  I'm very uncomfortable with this, because I'm in a semi-supervisory position and don't want staff or others buying me gifts.  However, I know that the staff really appreciates parties generally and would like to have a celebration before I go out on leave.  If I say no to a shower, then it would disappoint/potentially upset some of them, which I don't want to do either.  I know that the most commonly-proposed solution is a meet the baby party, but that won't work here for various reasons. 

Could anyone help me with either phrasing a polite refusal or coming up with an alternative so that folks can have a party if they want?

--- End quote ---

Tell your office manager exactly what you just told us; that you're touched by the idea, that you're uncomfortable with the idea of a shower for reasons cited, but that you'd really like a chance to get together and see everyone before you go on leave.

At my office, we don't do showers, but we do throw a mini going away party where we have cake and punch. We each chip in maybe a dollar or two to buy a reasonable gift, like a gift certificate for a mani/pedi.

Redneck Gravy:
I think phrasing it as a going on leave party is a good way to put that you don't want/expect gifts.   

Put a buzz in the ear of your office manager so she can spread the word that gifts are not expected.  Then just be sensitive to those that want to give you a gift, some people just love to give.   

I am one of those that once worked at an office where someone had their hand out for some dang gift/cake/party everytime I turned around - I hated it and eventually got rid of that scheme.     

camlan:
When one of my co-workers was having her second baby, the social committee in the office wanted to throw her a shower. But the office had already thrown her a shower for the first baby.

The compromise, because people really wanted a party, was a party on her last day of work before maternity leave, with cupcakes and fruit punch. Very informal, just an email notice in the morning that there would be a party at 3 pm. That way no one had time to get a baby gift. (Those that wanted to give baby gifts could have easily done so anytime in the preceding months.)

BeagleMommy:
Talk to your supervisor and tell him/her exactly what you've written in your post.  You will not be able to keep from disappointing everyone.  There are people who just don't understand that not everyone wants a celebration.

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