Author Topic: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event  (Read 5246 times)

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MindsEye

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2013, 02:48:51 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.

I assumed that the question was about workplaces that are very strict about the "+1" which is how I answered (my workplace is very conservative and strict like that)

YMMV as always...

fountainof

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2013, 03:58:32 PM »
My work's policy is employee plus date.  So you could bring someone you were dating only briefly.  However, it is a small party and a new SO might feel intimidated by the whole party vibe.  No one has ever tried to bring a friend, even those single probably because the event is small.

I think for large parties how would someone even know if the person you brought is your SO since they might not even know you at all.

Arila

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2013, 04:31:06 PM »
Personally, I would never bring a friend (or family member other than spouse) to a work event. The whole point of allowing a +1 to a work event is to sort of get to know one another. A person's spouse is their other half, and it's socially beneficial for the spouse to finally put a face with a name that they always hear about at home, and vice versa. A +1 not so closely related to your coworker is.......moochy. It feels like they are just there for the free food.

AnnaJ

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2013, 05:01:24 PM »
I'm surprised at the number of comments that anyone other than a significant other is there to mooch.  Bottom line, very few company holiday parties are crash worthy for their food or entertainment - if I invited someone to go to a company party with me I'd consider it a favor on their part.

There have been several threads lately about people feeling isolated at company social events - seated with only their partner at a large table, or having no one sitting on one side of them because one of the 8 chairs is empty (a single person attended) or people who admit to social anxiety and being dependent on their partner for support at an event...and yet, people seem to feel that if you are not part of a couple you have no right to this sort of support.

I have been very lucky, apparently, to have worked for employers who see social events as rewards and not as extensions of work where 'team building' is expected.

EllenS

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2013, 05:12:14 PM »
I'm surprised at the number of comments that anyone other than a significant other is there to mooch.  Bottom line, very few company holiday parties are crash worthy for their food or entertainment - if I invited someone to go to a company party with me I'd consider it a favor on their part.

There have been several threads lately about people feeling isolated at company social events - seated with only their partner at a large table, or having no one sitting on one side of them because one of the 8 chairs is empty (a single person attended) or people who admit to social anxiety and being dependent on their partner for support at an event...and yet, people seem to feel that if you are not part of a couple you have no right to this sort of support.

I have been very lucky, apparently, to have worked for employers who see social events as rewards and not as extensions of work where 'team building' is expected.

I don't think it would necessarily be intended to mooch - but that is how it would be perceived in the corporate cultures I have been in.  However, I have seen plenty of people who make it very clear they only go for a free meal/open bar - and they do not advance in their careers.

I think you have been very lucky to work for employers where attending company events is enjoyable enough that you would go for fun.  If I am to be "rewarded", I really would rather have a check.

And, of course, the other point about being "paid for their time" if it is work-related?  A lot of people are not paid by the hour, and of course those are usually the positions with the most pressure to live up to company expectations.

AnnaJ

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2013, 05:19:58 PM »
I'm surprised at the number of comments that anyone other than a significant other is there to mooch.  Bottom line, very few company holiday parties are crash worthy for their food or entertainment - if I invited someone to go to a company party with me I'd consider it a favor on their part.

There have been several threads lately about people feeling isolated at company social events - seated with only their partner at a large table, or having no one sitting on one side of them because one of the 8 chairs is empty (a single person attended) or people who admit to social anxiety and being dependent on their partner for support at an event...and yet, people seem to feel that if you are not part of a couple you have no right to this sort of support.

I have been very lucky, apparently, to have worked for employers who see social events as rewards and not as extensions of work where 'team building' is expected.

I don't think it would necessarily be intended to mooch - but that is how it would be perceived in the corporate cultures I have been in.  However, I have seen plenty of people who make it very clear they only go for a free meal/open bar - and they do not advance in their careers.

I think you have been very lucky to work for employers where attending company events is enjoyable enough that you would go for fun.  If I am to be "rewarded", I really would rather have a check.

And, of course, the other point about being "paid for their time" if it is work-related?  A lot of people are not paid by the hour, and of course those are usually the positions with the most pressure to live up to company expectations.

Perhaps I've been lucky, but part of it is choice - I was not interested in a career that would involved being 'at work' all of the time.  Also part of it is making a choice to attend - the institution I currently work for has several events every year and I rarely attend because I have no interest in doing so...frankly, the vast majority of people in my work position do not attend for a variety of reasons. 

It really is the 'mooching' accusations that I find so odd, mostly because I can't understand the idea the generally mediocre food and drinks are worth it, so I find it strange that there are so many people willing to attend these events just because it's free.

amandaelizabeth

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2013, 05:20:30 PM »
I am taking five mins out of the preparation for our staff barbecue in the back garden tonight.  This is a once a year gathering and I make sure that people understand that they can bring a partner and then define that I mean husband/partner/relative/friend but that must an 'adult'.  Because I have to specify that I don't just mean partner as husband or equivalent, people do not expect to bring a friend or a relative.  We have met some wonderful people over the years and one or two have ended up being invited in their own right. 

katycoo

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2013, 05:35:24 PM »
I've never worked in an office where it would have been appropriate to bring anyone other than partner.
But then, the culture here for weddings is that your plus one is a partner too - not a friend so I'd say that's the default for both workplace and social events.

That said, I've attended functions of my friend's workplace as a friend as it was ok in that environment. These tended to be 'family' day events rather than evening parties though.

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2013, 05:48:44 PM »
I've gone to company parties solo, I've gone with Partner to her's, I've gone as a "date" with friends, I've even gone with my mom on several occasions. It's never been much of a big deal in any of the offices.

I do caution, whomever you bring, make sure they can behave appropriately at a work function. If you bring them, they represent you.

I've met a lot of people's brothers, sisters, cousins, best friends, and even parents at work parties. I think nothing of it other then "Oh, this is someone Joe knows that is important to Joe, good to know", and I treat them the same as someone's husband, wife, or girlfriend/boyfriend. I don't think "Look at single Joe, bring his friend John, just to get John a free meal! Bad Joe!", the company gave him a +1, it's up to him to do what he'd like with it. Now if John gets wasted hops up on the table and gives his best Miley Cyrus impression...well now I'm thinking "Dang Joe, why'd you bring John? Reel him in!", but if John was Joe's husband, I'd be thinking the same thing.

DavidH

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2013, 06:00:37 PM »
Everywhere I've worked that has has a +1, the intent was it to be your spouse/partner or maybe someone you were seriously dating, not just some other person you knew. It was clearly understood that kids or other family members would not be appropriate as the +1.  From a practical purpose no one was checking marriage licenses at the door or evaluating how serious your relationship was, but the intent was clearly understood. 

The party is a reward, but it's different from a bonus check.  I see it as intending to reward and build camaraderie among employees and their families.  There was definitely an element of networking and team building as well. 

I think that taking the stance that "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." is problematic since it can be both, rather than just one or the other.

Had anyone suggested they be paid for attending the holiday party, it would be hard to even take the request seriously.  If they pushed, I think the easy answer, would have been along the lines of then don't come, but it would certainly not reflect well on the person asking.

nuit93

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2013, 07:04:03 PM »
My BF and I both work for the same company.

Said company has held the occasional holiday party in the past and allowed all employees to bring a "plus 1" (generally assumed to be an SO).  Technically, we would both be allowed to bring a guest/date of our own and have considered doing that.  Typically we end up skipping those events altogether though.  We're kind of boring like that.

LazyDaisy

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2013, 07:47:40 PM »
The only times I've been offered the option of a +1 at work functions stipulated that employee dinners were complimentary but any +1's had to pay for their meal. I've also seen this at fraternal and professional organizations, and alumni functions -- the members or alumni are free, their companions must pay.
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Figgie

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2013, 07:57:27 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.

This has been my experience too.  I attend my spouse's Christmas party because in his conservative workplace, superiors knowing the spouses is part of how people advance. 

I've never, ever seen them as fun.  Just as the equivalent of the spousal part of the job interview. 

I need to be on the entire night and make sure that I am showing my spouse's bosses and coworkers that I am supportive and able to deal with a variety of people and situations.  We both come home exhausted.

That's just how that particular fairly conservative corporation prefers to do things.  Kind of like the "free" trip to an all inclusive resort in Mexico where they bring along their customers isn't a vacation for either of us.  It is work, as we are expected to do whatever we can to make things positive for the customers. 

I'm very grateful that we've done our turn and I am hoping that my spouse will be retired before we have to do it again.  :)

Allyson

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2013, 08:57:36 PM »
Figgie, I am curious, in a situation like that where the spouse is expected to do more than just 'not be a social embarrassment', what happens with single employees? Is it just expected everyone in the company is married? I know you say it's conservative, is that what's meant? I have honestly never experienced anything like that, so it's totally out of my frame of reference. It seems really stressful, in any case!

*inviteseller

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #44 on: December 12, 2013, 09:13:48 PM »
The reason my company had to institute the rule was because it is a catered event at the facility (we are 24/7 and because of this if they had it off site some people by default of their schedule would not be 'invited') was in the last few years, from what the ED and a few others have told me, people were bringing not only their SO, but parents, siblings, their kids, nieces and nephews.  There was one girl who showed up with her new BF, her mom, aunt, 2 sisters and all their kids (5 or 6 of them).  These companies try to put on something decent, spending a lot of money, for the employees and their spouses/partners and kids as a thank you for all our hard work and to our other halves, a thanks for putting up with sometimes weird hours.  I have set these events up at previous jobs and I always see people take advantage of the companies generosity, be it on or off company property.  I know my ex husbands company had to go to the pay for the +1 because people were bringing anyone for guests and people who didn't care about their behavior because they had no connection with the company were chugging the free alcohol and one guy had a serious drunk driving accident leaving and sued the company..they figured employees would pay for their spouses/partners..not so much for their drunken friend.