Author Topic: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event  (Read 5048 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

circlekiller

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 47
S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« on: December 12, 2013, 08:11:31 AM »
Several posters in the original thread stated they thought it was rude to bring a friend as opposed to a significant other to a work event.  That surprised me because, as a single person, I have done that.  Especially for evening events so I wouldn't be driving alone.  When an invite is issued for a work function and everyone else has a significant other, is it really frowned upon to bring a friend instead?

MindsEye

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1104
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 08:29:20 AM »
At my work?  Yes. 

+1 is for a spouse, the person you are engaged to marry, or a long-term partner only.  In fact, the only reason reason that the invites say "+1" instead of "employee + husband/wife" is because there are several long term same sex couples among the employees (who are legally unable to marry).

A work event, even a work party, is a business event, and not a social event... so it would be very inappropriate to treat it as you would a social event (e.g. by bringing a random friend along with you). 

Of course, this depends heavily on the business.  The above applies to my place of business... other businesses may have more lax rules... YMMV.  It all comes down to the overall work culture.

peaches

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 765
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2013, 08:43:39 AM »
At the place where I worked the longest, the annual Christmas party was for employee +1. That meant anyone you wanted to bring.

The company had no idea if people were dating or living together or just friends. And they didn't care. The idea was for everyone to have a good time.



*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2013, 08:48:11 AM »
Our Christmas party is next week..it is a catered event being held on site (which we didn't want but oh well).  The sign up sheet specified that you could only bring your spouse or partner and any kids had to be your own.  They have, in the past people bring friends, other relatives, nieces, nephews.  This is for immediate family/long time partners.

KarenK

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2025
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2013, 09:06:07 AM »
Our Christmas party is next week..it is a catered event being held on site (which we didn't want but oh well).  The sign up sheet specified that you could only bring your spouse or partner and any kids had to be your own.  They have, in the past people bring friends, other relatives, nieces, nephews.  This is for immediate family/long time partners.

It's kind of sad that they actually had to spell this out, but I understand why.

Clareish

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 245
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2013, 09:16:01 AM »
Our Christmas party is next week..it is a catered event being held on site (which we didn't want but oh well).  The sign up sheet specified that you could only bring your spouse or partner and any kids had to be your own.  They have, in the past people bring friends, other relatives, nieces, nephews.  This is for immediate family/long time partners.

It's kind of sad that they actually had to spell this out, but I understand why.

But, this is exactly what this OP is asking about. In my view, an employee with an immediate family (married with kids) is highly privileged in this rationale over someone who is single. So, due to the fact that the OP does not have a significant other, or any kids (my assumption based on the fact that none were mentioned), they get to go alone to an event whereas someone who has married and procreated could be bringing their own version of a soccer team.

I don't know that it is really "sad" to be spelled out, but rather sad that a single person might simply forgo their work festivities, and that people are fine with that when it clearly is not an issue of numbers.

m2kbug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1408
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2013, 09:37:12 AM »
I don't think there are any strict rules about it.  I would think unless they specified, +1 could be anyone of your choosing. 

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3851
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2013, 09:51:29 AM »
It totally depends on how things are done at your particular workplace. There is no hard and fast rule that every single employer follows. Some places are strict about whom they want to include, some are much more casual.

I don't know for sure (as I've never had a reason to ask) but based on who I've seen come to some of our parties, I think at my company, it's accepted to bring a friend. The idea is that they are willing to pay for you and a +1 so if you can't bring a spouse (for whatever reason) they still are ok with hosting you and another person.

So the answer is: Ask. Ask whoever organizes the party, or your boss or HR or... or whoever it is appropriate to ask.

MariaE

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4536
  • So many books, so little time
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2013, 09:54:02 AM »
At my work, "+1" means just that - "+1". However, it is expected that the +1 you bring is somebody who'd fit the atmosphere of the party. So bringing a friend is completely okay - bringing a parent or a child would not be.
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2013, 09:55:39 AM »
I think it's completely up to the company to decide. If they say spouses/long term partners only, then you can't bring a friend. If a single person can't come on their own, then they can't come and while that's sad, this is a bonus given by employers, not a requirement to attend. And as I said on another thread, if a guest can't or won't conform to the parameters of the party set by the host, the best thing to do is not attend.

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5515
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2013, 10:15:31 AM »
Though I have a long term partner, we often worked in different cities. All my work holiday parties that had a plus one were for any plus one which was nice. Sometimes I took someone. Sometimes I didn't. Sometimes it was employee only (that one was kindly find during work hours).

I really prefer it and, in general, it feels nice for the company to say "bring along any one person who is important to you, whoever that is."

It is also to my mind different from a wedding as the employee party is supposed to be almost entirely for the benefit of the employees as a perk for them.

siamesecat2965

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8659
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2013, 10:17:58 AM »
My last two jobs were the only ones that had any real type of holiday celebration. Last job was with a law firm, and the bash was very nice, upscale, at a nice place, and was for employees only. As a single person, I actually preferred this. They were, however, very generous about including all temps, and new hires, even those who had not yet started. Which was nice.

My current company has done a number of types of holiday parties; when I started, it was after hours, in the evening, and you could bring a guest. I don't really know what the parameters were, as I had no one to bring, but we are a small, more laid-back place than my last job, so I do know while most brought their SO, many brought an adult child, or parent, but I do believe at least some of the staff knew the guest. I personally wouldn't be comfortable bringing a friend to a company holiday gathering, mainly beacuse they wouldn't know anyone, and would be bored.

Later years, it was later in the day, cocktails etc. and employee only. So you went right from work to the party. Again, having no one to bring, I actually prefer this.

My one boss, however, who is Queen SS, once had a bit of a hissy fit. You see, she wanted to attend one of the "bring a guest" parties, but as a single mom, well, there was no one to watch her 13 year old daughter. So she asked if she coud lbring her as her guest, and was quite put out to be told, sorry, that won't be possible. One of the things about being a parent, is perhaps missing out on something if you don't have anyone to watch your kids or some such thing. 

She was not happy, but we were all like, um, who DOES that? Child would have been bored out of her mind, and, as alcohol was served, if she somehow got some, the company would have been liable.  but this particular boss doesn't think ANY rules apply to her. ever. She then flounced around making PA comments about how it was horrible daughter couldn't attend, and so she couldn't as well. Quite honestly, she wasn't missed all that much.  >:D

AnnaJ

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 608
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2013, 10:45:00 AM »
I have generally worked at places that let employees determine who they would bring to functions, and do not see that as an 'abuse' of the company.  If a business is that worried about who will attend, then just limit the gathering to employees, which is truthfully how it should probably be done anyway if you want to keep work/home boundaries in place.

English1

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 264
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2013, 11:25:47 AM »
I think it really depends on the culture in the workplace. It doesn't hurt to ask rather than assume, but the answer should be accepted.

I own a small business and this comes up sometimes. We do a Christmas meal to say thank you to our team, but financially it is a struggle for us at a time of year when our cashflow is awful. But we think it's important.

The first couple of years when we were very small (only 2 -4 employees) we allowed people to bring their spouse/partner. One single woman turned up with her sister. It did grate on us because that wasn't our intention - we didn't want to split couples up for the night, and we also feel that spouses/partners support our staff/are indirectly involved in our business (if someone works late it effects the household) so deserved a thank you as well, but sisters don't count for that. We weren't happy about someone just grabbing a free dinner with no real justification.

I think that's the employers thinking behind the +1 being a significant other, not just a random other. The significant other has a one step removed connection to the employer. Any one else doesn't.

Also finances - Christmas bashes are a big financial drain on most firms and most firms simply don't do them any more in the UK. The firm might agree to double its costs by inviting partners, but not be happy doubling its cost because of other people who don't have the 'support of the employee' role mentioned above. It's a thank you to both people. It's not right to think that because an employer will absorb the cost of one VIP guest per employee, they might as well just pay for any old guest.

As we grew to have more employees we had to cut numbers, so now it is just staff and no guests. We do have one lady who tries to push that though. Two years ago her son came and did some work experience for a few months with us so she thought that he should be invited. No. Last year: Her husband is a bit funny and doesn't like her going out without him, so can he come if she pays for his dinner? Sorry you have a controlling husband, but no. She has declined her invitation this year.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 11:30:18 AM by English1 »

Mikayla

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4049
Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2013, 11:32:27 AM »
I agree with those saying it varies among workplaces, and probably among regions and countries.  I've worked in places where you couldn't bring anybody - just to keep it simple.  Oddly, this wasn't a problem for most of us.

I've also worked places where you are allowed to bring an SO or partner.

With the OPs question, the places I've worked it *would* be considered odd to bring a friend.  I'm not saying it's wrong or anything, but people generally consider this to be something where you go with an SO or as a single.