Author Topic: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event  (Read 5644 times)

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Figgie

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #45 on: December 12, 2013, 11:18:23 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!

The company doesn't expect all of its employees to be married.  It does expect those who move to the upper tier to be in a supportive re*la*tionship (marriage equivalent) because at those levels, the demands for time and travel that they place on their employees means it is difficult to do what the job requires without someone else managing all of the rest of the details of your life.

It is hugely stressful, especially during the interview process.  As the spouse, I have to be able to figure out what the people doing the interview want from a wife and then give whatever impression it is that they want so that I don't sink my spouse's chances.  I need to be able to get along with everyone and I also need to know how to order and eat in the restaurants and even which fork to use.  :)  Generally (but not always) the spousal part of the interview has taken place at a restaurant.

Everyone at my spouse's level and above is married.  All of them but one to their first spouse.  While I don't know for sure that that is a criteria when they advance/hire people, I suspect that it might be because of the prevalence of people at that level who have been married a good number of years to only one spouse.

And to bring it back to the original question...it would kill someone's chances of advancement to come to a Christmas party (which is really just another work function) with someone other than a person that they are in a spouse type re*la*tionship.  Since one of the functions of the party is to assess how well people are working together and to see which people are ready to move up and which aren't, it is important for the higher ups to see the couples together.

KarenK

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2013, 06:34:36 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.

I was not looking at it in that way. I was seeing the problem was that some people were bringing all and sundry and the company was sick of paying for it. I do think that if spouses/significant others are invited, then single people should be allowed to bring a +1 of their choice.

ETA:

Actually, according to inviteseller, my interpretation was correct:

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. 

People were taking advantage of the company's generosity. That's the sad part - the fact that people had to be told that it's inappropriate to bring their entire extended family just because it's free.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 08:21:29 AM by KarenK »

ladyknight1

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Re: S/O You can't come...Bringing friend to work event
« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2013, 04:07:01 PM »
My previous employer had a lovely dinner provided to all staff, and closed the business during the party so all employees could come.

Some people really made an effort to come and be social and one of our junior employees brought her dog, since he was her family. That was the last one of those parties I attended.

In my current field (higher education), it is important to attend these events for networking purposes and to socialize. When employees do not attend, it is noticed.