General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Polite way to say "No, I will not publicallyhumiliate myself for your amusement"

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WolfWay:
I need a little help wording a polite refusal statement.

At work on Friday we're supposed to be doing a walk-a-thon. Our department heads have decided that in our particular department it will take too much time to do the walk-a-thon and instead we will be buying tickets (for a nominal amount) and this gets us a hot dog. I'm fine with that except that our department head also informed us that we will be picking teams and some team members will be volunteered to "play some games".

I know ahead of time that these games will be the kind of stupid difficult tasks that are designed to may the player look like a total fool for the general amusement of their coworkers. I know that some people find this funny and entertaining, but I definitely do not in any shape or form take any sort of pleasure of either embarassing myself for other's amusement or find it funny to laugh at those who do.

I have no problem standing up for myself and peer pressure and bullying simply will not work against me, but I need some help phrasing a refusal that doesn't come off as insulting or rude to my boss. What I want to say is "No thank you, I won't be participating in the games. I've given my money, but if the hot dog requires that I play these games then I will skip the food."

If she persists in trying to push me, I want to say "I'm sorry but I don't find the act of humiliating myself for other's amusement to be pleasent, nor do I find it amusing to watch, so I won't be participating".

Is there a better way to phrase this? I think I'm coming off as very abrupt and probably rather condescending.  :(

Amava:

--- Quote from: WolfWay on May 20, 2013, 06:43:56 AM ---If she persists in trying to push me, I want to say "I'm sorry but I don't find the act of humiliating myself for other's amusement to be pleasent, nor do I find it amusing to watch, so I won't be participating".

Is there a better way to phrase this? I think I'm coming off as very abrupt and probably rather condescending.  :(

--- End quote ---

Yes, and also a bit judgemental to those who /do/ want to participate and enjoy these games.
Just to clarify, I am not one of them. Not by a far, far stretch! I hate this sort of stuff.
Make it a *true* "me-message". For example: "No, I'm really not comfortable participating" or "No, I can't participate for personal reasons." Or even "I won't be available for that part". That clearly informs her  but without passing judgement about the nature of the games and the people who do participate.

Margo:
I agree with Amava - stay polite and non-judgmental (Also - is it possible for you to volunteer to cover the office while people are playing games / having 'fun'? If so, that might be an option which allows you to get out of participating without looking like you're not joining in.

(Having something urgent which *has* to be finished may work well, too "Guys, you go on. I have to finish this Urgent Task but I'll join you if I can. Have fun!"

AvidReader:
Perhaps stating it to her in terms that she can't say "no" to.  Try something on the order of, "Madame Dept. Head, all of us know that you respect each of us for our uniqueness and our ability to get our work done.  I hope you don't mind if I take a pass while I complete work on the ABC or XYZ project during that period."  If you focus on some sort of time-sensitive issue that really needs to be accomplished during the time of the party, it would be difficult for her to press you further because it is also in her interest that the task be completed.   

Venus193:
I endorse this approach.

At my last company when a party was being planned the CEO asked what we thought of karaoke.  Someone said "I will find a reason not to attend" and I said "I will request my vacation time for that period."  The matter was never raised again.

The fact that there were two of us saying this allowed for this level of bluntness.

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