Author Topic: Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?  (Read 2539 times)

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Em-and-Em

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Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?
« on: February 06, 2013, 10:42:28 AM »
I do some work with a local agency that's administered by our municipality.  The head of this agency retired recently, and I got an invitation to the retirement party.  The party was held at a local bar, and the invitation stated that it would cost $10 to attend.

Then today, I got another invitation from this agency - it seems that two other employees are retiring.  Their joint party is being held at a local hotel, and once again you need to pony up $10 to come.

I get that the agency can't fund these parties themselves, because that would be dipping into public coffers.  But it seems like an etiquette breach to invite someone to a party and then charge them for attending.  These parties could easily be held at the agency, with everyone bringing a dish to pass, and they would be perfectly lovely without requiring people to have cash on hand.

Has anyone else seen this happen for work-related parties?  What do you think - is this an acceptable practice or a sorry trend?

Wulfie

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Re: Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 10:46:47 AM »
They actually may not be able to hold it at their agency any more. I know the agency I used to work for can't have parties on site anymore. One of the auditors decided that using the facilities was equal to the agency partially funding the party.   We had to start holding them at nearby parks and other locations because of that.

WillyNilly

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Re: Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 10:50:12 AM »
For many people, giving $10 much easier then bringing a dish to be shared, and more pleasant. it might have been voted on (I know any job I've ever worked or volunteered at "pay $10' would have won out over "bring a dish" if it was a vote).

baritone108

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Re: Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 11:59:02 AM »
Has anyone else seen this happen for work-related parties?  What do you think - is this an acceptable practice or a sorry trend?

I work for a federal agency and have for 34 yrs.  There has always been a charge to attend retirement parties when held off-site, and often when held on-site.  The parties are being organized by co-workers, not the agency.  The money is used towards retirement gifts and to cover the cost of the food.  Often, there will also be what is called a cake-and-coffee in which everyone at our part of the agency (a couple of thousand people) is invited to come and say goodbye to the retiree.  Cake, coffee and puch is served and there is no charge to attend.  This is usually paid for through donations from the immediate coworkers & supervisor of the retiree.  Lots of people attend the cake and coffee (not thousands, though).  If a separate party is also being held then fewer people attend, usually only those close to the retiree.

Betelnut

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Re: Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 12:11:18 PM »
I've only paid if the party was held off-site and was catered.
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bopper

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Re: Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 03:32:24 PM »
If the fellow employees are organizing the lunch/dinner, then it is only natural that people pay for themselves.

Yvaine

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Re: Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 03:38:06 PM »
This sounds like something where the whole workplace just kind of "knows" that's the way their parties are (probably for legal/ethical reasons as mentioned above), but it becomes a culture clash when they invite someone who doesn't work there.

blarg314

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Re: Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 07:58:50 PM »

I'd vote for totally normal for a government agency.

Quite often, government funded agencies don't have any money to fund parties like this, and the managers/supervisors can't afford to take everyone out (and likely can't write it off the way a private business owner could). They may also be barred from holding events during work, or not allowed to serve alcohol on the premises.

As far as potluck vs going out, $10 is pretty cheap for a pay your own way event. I'd prefer that to having to lug a potluck dish to work on the bus, jamming it into the fridge with everyone else's potluck contribution, finding some way to heat it up after work, and then having to stay after the party to wash dishes and clean up the tea room for the next day.  And if I buy my contribution rather than making it, I'll likely be out more than $10.


peaches

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Re: Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 08:05:13 PM »
It wouldn't bother me, given the circumstances described.

I don't see this as a trend in the business world. I've been to many retirement parties, and worked at places that gave them, and in every instance I've been aware of, the companies picked up the tab.

If an employer is prohibited from spending money on this type of party, I think it's appropriate for the party to be funded by those attending.

Twik

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Re: Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 11:50:29 PM »
For many people, giving $10 much easier then bringing a dish to be shared, and more pleasant. it might have been voted on (I know any job I've ever worked or volunteered at "pay $10' would have won out over "bring a dish" if it was a vote).

Heck yes. You're getting off cheaper as well, I suspect.
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oceanus

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Re: Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2013, 12:15:16 AM »
When I worked for a non-profit that received some federal and state funding, they were very careful about not using money from their budget (which was partially taxpayer money) for parties.  Even having a “party” on their premises, especially during work hours, was a no-no and liquor was out of the question.  So chipping in and having the party elsewhere wasn’t unusual.