Author Topic: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event  (Read 5462 times)

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EllenS

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2013, 11:42:40 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.

See, this makes it sound like the employee's only reason to go to the party is to get free food and drinks - which is exactly WHY they put up limits.
If the employees have this attitude toward the company, they don't belong at the party at all, IMO.
At every workplace event I have been to, the real purpose is to create team bonding and personal connections amongst the firm as a whole, especially with people who might not normally interact a lot in the course of the work day.
Bringing your kids does not actually enhance that, indeed it tends to interfere.  If it was just about making sure everybody benefits the same materially, they could just forgo the party and hand out bonus checks.

SamiHami

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2013, 11:46:06 AM »
My understanding has always been that if the party takes place during working hours (a luncheon, perhaps) then the employees only are invited unless otherwise stated. If the party takes place on the employees' personal time then they absolutely should be allowed to bring their plus 1 of choice (with obvious exceptions for children if it is an adult only party) even if that plus 1 is a friend or family member that is not a spouse (brother, cousin, etc.).

Essentially saying it must be only be a romantic interest that one brings along is far too intrusive into the personal lives of employees and is not an appropriate area for speculation by an employer. It would also be offensive, and possibly discriminatory, to tell an employee that their bad luck in the dating world translates to them having to come the party alone. Plus lot of people who are single or have a spouse away (deployed perhaps?) are uncomfortable going to parties by themselves. There's no reason at all that they shouldn't bring a friend.

What it comes down to is that the employer is perfectly within their rights to try to control the numbers attending their event but they have no business dictating what the employees relationship to their plus one must be.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

SamiHami

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2013, 11:49:43 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.

See, this makes it sound like the employee's only reason to go to the party is to get free food and drinks - which is exactly WHY they put up limits.
If the employees have this attitude toward the company, they don't belong at the party at all, IMO.
At every workplace event I have been to, the real purpose is to create team bonding and personal connections amongst the firm as a whole, especially with people who might not normally interact a lot in the course of the work day.
Bringing your kids does not actually enhance that, indeed it tends to interfere.  If it was just about making sure everybody benefits the same materially, they could just forgo the party and hand out bonus checks.

Not at any employer I have ever worked for. Company parties that take place on an employee's personal time are meant to be a reward/gift/thank you to the employees by providing an opportunity to socialize and have a pleasurable time with their coworkers. If it is intended as a networking or team building event, they need to pay the employees for their time because it is no longer a party and is simply work.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

EllenS

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2013, 11:53:50 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.

See, this makes it sound like the employee's only reason to go to the party is to get free food and drinks - which is exactly WHY they put up limits.
If the employees have this attitude toward the company, they don't belong at the party at all, IMO.
At every workplace event I have been to, the real purpose is to create team bonding and personal connections amongst the firm as a whole, especially with people who might not normally interact a lot in the course of the work day.
Bringing your kids does not actually enhance that, indeed it tends to interfere.  If it was just about making sure everybody benefits the same materially, they could just forgo the party and hand out bonus checks.

Not at any employer I have ever worked for. Company parties that take place on an employee's personal time are meant to be a reward/gift/thank you to the employees by providing an opportunity to socialize and have a pleasurable time with their coworkers. If it is intended as a networking or team building event, they need to pay the employees for their time because it is no longer a party and is simply work.

I get what you are saying, and that's a very good point.  However, I think the attitude that "they left with more $$$ worth of calories than I can get" is not a productive or helpful attitude toward your employer.

jaxsue

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 01:09:14 PM »
I would find it a bit odd for someone to bring a guest who isn't a SO. In one former company my then-DH worked for, you were allowed and expected to bring SO's only. It may have gotten out of hand (or costs went up?), because after a few years they scrubbed the big party and had a smaller party for employees only.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2013, 01:26:36 PM »
I have been working for a LOT of years, and I have NEVER had any kind of an SO to bring to a party.  Either I don't go to the party, or I go stag.(I hate those parties anyway)   I think my biggest fear would be that everyone would think that the friend was my lover (not that there's anything wrong with that!), and that's not the impression I wanted to give to my work friends.

citadelle

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2013, 01:29:20 PM »
Not at any employer I have ever worked for. Company parties that take place on an employee's personal time are meant to be a reward/gift/thank you to the employees by providing an opportunity to socialize and have a pleasurable time with their coworkers. If it is intended as a networking or team building event, they need to pay the employees for their time because it is no longer a party and is simply work.

This is my experience, too.

However, parties can vary. My experiences tend to be of the picnic variety, where there are kids' games provided and sometimes entertainment, and usually cookout type food served buffet style.

jaxsue

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2013, 01:36:32 PM »
I have been working for a LOT of years, and I have NEVER had any kind of an SO to bring to a party.  Either I don't go to the party, or I go stag.(I hate those parties anyway)   I think my biggest fear would be that everyone would think that the friend was my lover (not that there's anything wrong with that!), and that's not the impression I wanted to give to my work friends.

I was married, but now that I'm single 90% of my socializing is done solo. It isn't always fun, but I'm not about to stay home for every social event! It's doable.

Allyson

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2013, 01:59:02 PM »
It's not about "I want to get as much out of this as I can" as when everyone else has someone they're bringing, and you don't, that doesn't feel so good.

With those who say no to bringing friend or relative, is the rule 'you must be romantically involved' or 'long term partners only'? The first one doesn't make much sense to me; if I can bring someone I've been dating for 3 months, why not my best friend or my brother?

I do understand that it's the culture or the norm to only bring significant others, but I think it's too bad because really what difference does it make to anyone else what the exact relationship is as long as the person they bring is pleasant? (and I say this as someone who is part of a couple who does pretty much everything together, so it's not sour grapes on my part.)

Maybe this is one of those situations romantic comedies are made for; "pretend we're partners for an evening so I don't have to go alone." :D I honestly didn't realize there were still situations where that would matter, so this is interesting to me.

Ginger G

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2013, 02:01:12 PM »
At my current job, we have three Christmas parties (yes, we are spoiled):

Party #1 - Includes everyone in the company, retired employees, and board members and everyone is welcome to bring a guest. It's in the evening on a Friday night (tomorrow night actually) at a banquet hall with open bar, live band, huge appetizer smorgasbord.   It's perfectly fine with us for the +1 to be a friend or relative.  It would be very weird for someone to bring a child to this event, fortunately it has not happened so far.

Party #2 - A very nice dinner at a high dollar restaurant for the employees in my department, again +1's are invited, and some of the single people have brought a friend or close relative.  Again, that is perfectly normal and ok with us.   This is also an adult event and no one has ever tried to bring a child.

Party #3 - This is held at the office on the day before our two day Christmas holiday.  The foold is usually pot luck or deli trays,  each department does their own thing but there's usually lots of mingling and visiting between departments.  Now this is where it gets odd to me.  You would think, actually being at our office, that it would be employees only.  However, family members are invited and some do show up.  I have never invited my DH, he's usually working anyway.  Over the 10 years I've been here, it has become increasingly chaotic as some families have increased in size.  Our department head for example, has gone from having 1 grandchild to 8 grandchildren (some are step-granchildren), and ALL of them come.  All of these children, plus the other employees' children, just completely run amok in a fairly small area.  There's not even enough seating for everyone.  Did I say it was chaotic?  It really is!  I'm a quiet type of person and my nerves just can't take it for long.  Maybe I'm just a Scrooge or a Grinch, but I no longer enjoy this event at all.  I make a brief showing to be polite and get some food, then I return to my office, which is fortunately in a completely different area!

TootsNYC

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2013, 02:04:37 PM »

With those who say no to bringing friend or relative, is the rule 'you must be romantically involved' or 'long term partners only'? The first one doesn't make much sense to me; if I can bring someone I've been dating for 3 months, why not my best friend or my brother?

I think that's because of this:

Quote
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.

Someone who is your life partner (or close to being one, as with a long-term sweetheart) will be impacted by the business; your brother or friend aren't impacted in the same way.

MindsEye

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2013, 02:20:17 PM »
With those who say no to bringing friend or relative, is the rule 'you must be romantically involved' or 'long term partners only'? The first one doesn't make much sense to me; if I can bring someone I've been dating for 3 months, why not my best friend or my brother?

Married legal spouses, engaged couples, and long term partners only. 
Not your sister, not your BFF, and not even the person you have been dating for the past couple of months. 

It may be billed as a "party" but it is still very much a work event and not a social event.

EllenS

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2013, 02:26:26 PM »
It's not about "I want to get as much out of this as I can" as when everyone else has someone they're bringing, and you don't, that doesn't feel so good.

With those who say no to bringing friend or relative, is the rule 'you must be romantically involved' or 'long term partners only'? The first one doesn't make much sense to me; if I can bring someone I've been dating for 3 months, why not my best friend or my brother?

I do understand that it's the culture or the norm to only bring significant others, but I think it's too bad because really what difference does it make to anyone else what the exact relationship is as long as the person they bring is pleasant? (and I say this as someone who is part of a couple who does pretty much everything together, so it's not sour grapes on my part.)

Maybe this is one of those situations romantic comedies are made for; "pretend we're partners for an evening so I don't have to go alone." :D I honestly didn't realize there were still situations where that would matter, so this is interesting to me.

I think this also comes back to the perennial discussion of "what is a social unit?"

A social unit is NOT "anyone who is important to you" or "anyone you would have a good time with."  It is a person who, for formal social events, would be rude to exclude.

Which, I think, is why this varies so widely according to firm culture- if the event is supposed to be a traditional formal social event, then you invite social units.  If it is work-only, you invite only employees, if it is more relaxed/casual, or positioning itself as "family-friendly", then you do a family or "bring a friend" event.

citadelle

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2013, 02:26:39 PM »
With those who say no to bringing friend or relative, is the rule 'you must be romantically involved' or 'long term partners only'? The first one doesn't make much sense to me; if I can bring someone I've been dating for 3 months, why not my best friend or my brother?

Married legal spouses, engaged couples, and long term partners only. 
Not your sister, not your BFF, and not even the person you have been dating for the past couple of months. 

It may be billed as a "party" but it is still very much a work event and not a social event.

However that isn't always true, and saying that it is doesn't trump the experiences of people for whom the reality is different. Follow the culture of your specific workplace would be my advice.

EllenS

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2013, 02:36:22 PM »

However that isn't always true, and saying that it is doesn't trump the experiences of people for whom the reality is different. Follow the culture of your specific workplace would be my advice.

And if you haven't been there long enough to have a good "read" on the culture, it's always better to err on the more cautious side.  You will come off much better having people tell you, "Hey, you could have brought somebody!", than to the other extreme and have people think you are being inappropriate.