The "I wasn't invited and I'm OK with that" thread reminded me of a story.
Years ago, I had a boss who pretty much didn't like me. It never affected how she seemed to feel about my work, or interfere with communication about work.
But it became clear she didn't like me. Any of the slightly social stuff at work, she cut me out of. For example, I'd be in the workroom of one of the subdepartments on our team, and we'd be talking socially. She'd come in, and she'd speak to everyone else in the room but never directly to me. She'd *look* at everyone else in the room, but never at me.
Ditto if I stopped by her office to drop something off--several people would be in there chatting, and they'd speak to me but she wouldn't. And she wouldn't look at me or answer any comment I made.
I don't know if anyone else ever noticed it. Nobody ever commented on it. At first it bothered me, and then it just got mostly amusing. And as I said, it never interfered with work or our work relationship. I always felt I could go ask her anything I need to about work. And I felt that if someone had asked me if I was good at my job, or if I was nice, she'd have said yes. She just didn't, herself, like me.
At Christmas time at the department party, someone said something about the socks she'd given to several people (none of whom reported to her; they were all in a subdepartment) as a Christmas present; and I'd walked into my coworker's office (who also reported directly to her) just as she was opening a really *nice* Christmas present from our boss. But I hadn't received anything. And on the last day before break, she brought by a tiny Christmas candle and said, "Merry Christmas." It felt like *such* an afterthought, and like a total regift (though I don't know, actually). So, it was really clear.
In the middle of this period, I was chatting with someone from one of those subdepartments, and she mentioned something about MyBoss's new kitchen.
"Oh, did she get her kitchen redone?" I asked. "Did you stop by to see it?" (They lived in the same borough of NYC, and same neighborhood.)
"We all did, remember?" my colleague said. "She had us all over a couple of months ago."
"Oh," I said. "I wasn't there, I didn't see it."
Why not? she asks.
I said. "I wasn't invited."
Surely I had been! she said.
"No," I said.
"Oh!" she said. "I'm sorry."
No one had ever mentioned it in the office at all, which seemed exceptionally discreet of everyone, given how things were at work. I'm really, really surprised someone didn't say, "see you tonight!" or "how late are you staying/how are you getting home?"
I tried not to say that I hadn't even been invited, but it ened up being the fastest way to end the awkward conversation. And I bit my tongue so I wouldn't say, "She doesn't like me personally, she'd never invite me to her HOME."
It made me really careful about talking about social/work things.