General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Paying to attend retirement parties - is this a trend?

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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?

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.

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).


--- Quote from: Em-and-Em on February 06, 2013, 09:42:28 AM ---Has anyone else seen this happen for work-related parties?  What do you think - is this an acceptable practice or a sorry trend?

--- End quote ---

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.

I've only paid if the party was held off-site and was catered.


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