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Author Topic: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?  (Read 16352 times)

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bah12

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2013, 10:37:31 AM »
Work isn't the place to play the "you didn't think of me so I'm not playing with you" game.  That works when we're talking to friends but not work.

It sucks that your department is small and you got overlooked, but that behavior isn't going to change if you three just decide to take your toys and go home.  You should go to the party.  If this is a white elephant gift exchange, then bring an extra stapler or some sticky note pads and participate.  If you can't pull together a gift, then just watch and laugh with everyone else.

Whoever the manager of you three is, needs to go to whoever is resposible for sending out the invites and make sure that they are on whatever distro list goes out to inform of managers of the holiday plans.  Also, since this is something that obviously happens every year, being a little proactive by sending out a "hey, don't forget to let us know about the holiday party this year" message wouldn't hurt either.

So...basically I agree with MummySweet.

BarensMom

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2013, 10:42:59 AM »
But what if it's a "plated" dinner with a RSVP instead of a buffet?  If OP and her group didn't know, then they would either be sitting there without food or be taking someone else's plate.

When this has happened to me, I've simply said, "Oh, was I invited?  I didn't know and made other plans.  Have fun at the party!"

bah12

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2013, 10:48:01 AM »
But what if it's a "plated" dinner with a RSVP instead of a buffet?  If OP and her group didn't know, then they would either be sitting there without food or be taking someone else's plate.

When this has happened to me, I've simply said, "Oh, was I invited?  I didn't know and made other plans.  Have fun at the party!"

But this isn't a plated dinner.  There's no reason for this group not to go to the holiday party.

And IF it was a plated dinner and the group got notified about the party, even if on the day of, then it only makes sense that the organizer would have a way to arrange for three extra plates (having extra plates is just good planning anyway). I seriously doubt that a company head will require employees to go to a party and then make them stare at the food while everyone else is eating.

BarensMom

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2013, 10:51:46 AM »
But what if it's a "plated" dinner with a RSVP instead of a buffet?  If OP and her group didn't know, then they would either be sitting there without food or be taking someone else's plate.

When this has happened to me, I've simply said, "Oh, was I invited?  I didn't know and made other plans.  Have fun at the party!"

But this isn't a plated dinner.  There's no reason for this group not to go to the holiday party.

And IF it was a plated dinner and the group got notified about the party, even if on the day of, then it only makes sense that the organizer would have a way to arrange for three extra plates (having extra plates is just good planning anyway). I seriously doubt that a company head will require employees to go to a party and then make them stare at the food while everyone else is eating.

I don't know about that, Bah12, the manager/planner sounds flakey to me.   After all, the manager forgot to invite them until the day of, it might be too late for the venue's catering department.  The one time I did get invited to a holiday party at the last minute, the only thing the venue could whip up for me was some yucky pasta and peas dish, while everyone else had salmon, steak, and chicken.

bah12

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2013, 11:00:46 AM »
You can play the "what if" game all day long.  This isn't the time or the place to 'stick to your principles' and pout.  Work etiquette is not the same as personal etiquette.

BarensMom

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2013, 11:08:43 AM »
It's not necessary personal vs. work etiquette.  What's more embarrassing for the manager and/or employee (in the case of a plated meal),could be having the 3 overlooked ones either eating a different meal not eating or participating in the gift exchange and having that noticed by others, who might put the wrong spin on it.

If it's a buffet, then it's not so bad, because there's almost always extra at a buffet.

eltf177

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2013, 11:12:21 AM »
I'm w/ MummySweet. In the workplace, it's really not cool to say, "you didn't invite us!" It's an oversight; not a deliberate snug.

As this is _not_ a one-time thing but a regular occurance I think it is a deliberate snub.

I would definitely go with "sorry, no one told us and we made other plans."

bah12

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2013, 11:23:42 AM »
It's not necessary personal vs. work etiquette.  What's more embarrassing for the manager and/or employee (in the case of a plated meal),could be having the 3 overlooked ones either eating a different meal not eating or participating in the gift exchange and having that noticed by others, who might put the wrong spin on it.

If it's a buffet, then it's not so bad, because there's almost always extra at a buffet.

Actually it is.  Work collegues aren't your friends.  There might be office politics at play, personal relationships that get in the mix, etc.  But at the end of the day, it's work.  A small department is overlooked.  It's an oversight.  An unprofessional and unfortunate oversight.  I hightly doubt that it's some grand scheme to oust one department in the company.  But, let's just say that it is...what is the best way to get back at someone that is trying to exclude you and make you miserable?  Not to be miserable.  Go and have a great time.

Realistically, though, it's not intentional.  And in the workplace, no matter how bad it may feel to be overlooked, one unprofessional act does not warrant another.  You don't play the "gotcha" game. In a situation like this, you suck it up and go.  Be a team player.  And be proactive next time.

We can try to change this specific scenario a million ways to Sunday, but that doesn't change the answer for the OP.  Her department needs to go to the party.  If they don't and they're accused of not being team players, then their accusers would be right.  Unfortunate as it may be.

TootsNYC

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2013, 11:37:13 AM »
Actually, there are parallels in personal etiquette--people have been known to think they've sent a guest a wedding invitation and then discover that through a clerical error, someone's name wasn't on the list they gave to the calligrapher.

And then they issue the invitation late, once they realize their mistake.

And it's OK to say, "Oh, too bad, I ended up with plans already!" but it would be bad form to say, "I'm not coming because obviously I'm not important enough for you to make sure to invite me!" And Etiquette doesn't really care if you resent people's mistakes in your head, but I would say that Character would suggest you forgive them for a simple clerical mistake and not read more into it than that.

And I can totally see how a small group might not be in an automated email list (which is how our invitations are sent for our holiday party). Or the person who sends the emails might mentally run down the list of all the departments and then overlook this one bcs they don't interact much.
   That doesn't mean it's a deliberate insult, or even a slight. It's a mistake.

EllenS

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2013, 11:42:47 AM »

When this has happened to me, I've simply said, "Oh, was I invited?  I didn't know and made other plans.  Have fun at the party!"

POD. I would have plans, even if it was to go to the library or organize my pencil drawer. I would also be more glad than sorry to have an excellent reason to get out of a work so-called party, as well as the "opportunity" to exchange meaningless tchotchkes to fill up my "donate to charity" box.  Pffffft.

Excuse me, I think I just Scrooged on myself.

BarensMom

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2013, 11:43:47 AM »
It's not necessary personal vs. work etiquette.  What's more embarrassing for the manager and/or employee (in the case of a plated meal),could be having the 3 overlooked ones either eating a different meal not eating or participating in the gift exchange and having that noticed by others, who might put the wrong spin on it.

If it's a buffet, then it's not so bad, because there's almost always extra at a buffet.

Actually it is.  Work collegues aren't your friends.  There might be office politics at play, personal relationships that get in the mix, etc.  But at the end of the day, it's work.  A small department is overlooked.  It's an oversight.  An unprofessional and unfortunate oversight.  I hightly doubt that it's some grand scheme to oust one department in the company.  But, let's just say that it is...what is the best way to get back at someone that is trying to exclude you and make you miserable?  Not to be miserable.  Go and have a great time.

Realistically, though, it's not intentional.  And in the workplace, no matter how bad it may feel to be overlooked, one unprofessional act does not warrant another.  You don't play the "gotcha" game. In a situation like this, you suck it up and go.  Be a team player.  And be proactive next time.

We can try to change this specific scenario a million ways to Sunday, but that doesn't change the answer for the OP.  Her department needs to go to the party.  If they don't and they're accused of not being team players, then their accusers would be right.  Unfortunate as it may be.

Why would it be professionally rude to "have other plans" when a planner messed up and didn't issue an invite?  It's not a huffy "well, you forgot to invite us AGAIN, so we're going to fix your hash and not go, so there!"  It's "hey, we didn't know about the company party, so, for us, it's just another work day and we made our plans."

cwm

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2013, 11:52:05 AM »
I've been the overlooked department. There was a period of time where I reported directly to a VP without being assigned to a team, and the teams didn't think to include me because they did team events. Or when it was a whole sales-wide thing, I didn't get told because managers were supposed to tell their teams, which they did. But I didn't have anyone telling me anything.

Go to the party. Enjoy yourself. When someone asks you why you're not participating in the gift exchange, smile and say something came up and you can't this year, sorry.

After the party is over, get with your direct supervisor and put into place the correct lines of communication. Tell your supervisor that it's very hurtful that you don't get invites until the last minute, offer suggestions to remedy the problem. Maybe instead of telling all the managers to filter the word down, there's one companywide email that goes out. Maybe there's notices posted on break rooms or by a time clock about the upcoming party. Offer suggestions, work with your manager to see what can change. And if that doesn't work, go to his or her manager. Or higher. As high as you need to go to ensure that your department won't be left out again.

whatsanenigma

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2013, 11:55:13 AM »
It's not necessary personal vs. work etiquette.  What's more embarrassing for the manager and/or employee (in the case of a plated meal),could be having the 3 overlooked ones either eating a different meal not eating or participating in the gift exchange and having that noticed by others, who might put the wrong spin on it.

If it's a buffet, then it's not so bad, because there's almost always extra at a buffet.

Actually it is.  Work collegues aren't your friends.  There might be office politics at play, personal relationships that get in the mix, etc.  But at the end of the day, it's work.  A small department is overlooked.  It's an oversight.  An unprofessional and unfortunate oversight.  I hightly doubt that it's some grand scheme to oust one department in the company.  But, let's just say that it is...what is the best way to get back at someone that is trying to exclude you and make you miserable?  Not to be miserable.  Go and have a great time.

Realistically, though, it's not intentional.  And in the workplace, no matter how bad it may feel to be overlooked, one unprofessional act does not warrant another.  You don't play the "gotcha" game. In a situation like this, you suck it up and go.  Be a team player.  And be proactive next time.

We can try to change this specific scenario a million ways to Sunday, but that doesn't change the answer for the OP.  Her department needs to go to the party.  If they don't and they're accused of not being team players, then their accusers would be right.  Unfortunate as it may be.

Why would it be professionally rude to "have other plans" when a planner messed up and didn't issue an invite?  It's not a huffy "well, you forgot to invite us AGAIN, so we're going to fix your hash and not go, so there!"  It's "hey, we didn't know about the company party, so, for us, it's just another work day and we made our plans."

There are also situations in which a "proactive" approach might be regarded as "fishing for an invite", and therefore rude.  That would not be very logical in this situation, in which this group of people seems to get overlooked and then actually invited every single time-it seems like the logical approach would be to start asking about when the party was even before the invites are issued.

But I can see how some people could take it as a demand to be invited, or even, "please invite us, please please please", and either way that would not be good.

So, if the people doing the inviting wait until the last minute, I think the best thing to do would be to say that you didn't know if you were invited or not and thought it would be impolite to ask about it, to avoid putting the inviting parties in an awkward position, and now other plans have been made and unfortunately you will not be able to attend.

That is probably not the best exact wording but I think as long as it was sincerely stated (not in a passive aggressive or snarky way) it would cover a lot of problems.

Deetee

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2013, 11:55:39 AM »
I'm on team "You go and smile and next year you start asking about the party earlier". This is what makes you look best professionally. Proactive, adaptable and cheerful. Easy to work with.

(I wouldn't bring a gift. I'd say "My department only just found out about the party. I'll talk to Manager about getting us on the list for next year. But it's great to watch everyone else!"

whatsanenigma

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Re: invite to our group was 'overlooked', do you go?
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2013, 12:00:43 PM »
I'm on team "You go and smile and next year you start asking about the party earlier". This is what makes you look best professionally. Proactive, adaptable and cheerful. Easy to work with.

(I wouldn't bring a gift. I'd say "My department only just found out about the party. I'll talk to Manager about getting us on the list for next year. But it's great to watch everyone else!"

My problem with this approach is that it might not be the best thing to do professionally.  This might be a situation in which the OP's department is not being properly respected, in which they are assumed to really want to come to this party and therefore will come at the last minute if asked at the last minute.

In other words, maybe this department is getting used as a doormat and needs to develop a collective polite spine, especially if this attitude is spilling over into other interactions from other departments.

We discuss the "polite spine" here a lot and I think that while the specifics of work versus social life might be different for what having a "polite spine" means, it surely can be done in some way and my personal opinion is that this should be attempted.