General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....

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Ok, I must admit that I am puzzled and need advice.  I work in a small store and one of the 5 employees is graduating in May and has planned a huge party with over 250 guests.  Everyone else at work is invited with their families, except for me.  I don't have a problem with that, especially since I'm a part timer and don't work that often with the graduate.  Boss and a co-worker (not the graduate) explained to me that I wouldn't be invited as they knew that I don't usually like to go to these types of parties ( ???) and that they advised graduating co-worker(GCW) of that when she asked them if she should invite me.  Ok, not entirely what I'd have chosen, but maybe for the best then.
Yesterday the party was being discussed in front of me, and I'm not entirely comfortable with it - but say nothing and do my work.  We had a lot of customers coming and going so it wasn't like I didn't have plenty to do!  But then I was told that they felt so badly about discussing the party in front of me, and repeated that GCW had really wanted to invite me but had been told not to.   Then it was added that of course I'd be getting her a gift.  I just picked up my jaw off the floor and said nothing and kept working. 
Has anyone ever had something like this happen to them?  Would you actually buy a gift for a party that you weren't invited to?  I'm pretty much feeling like a total jerk, and one that might just go get a gift card for a party that I wasn't invited to :(

No. I wouldn't buy a gift. But I probably would have replied to their assumptions.

Them: We told Grad not to invite you because we know that I don't usually like to go to these types of parties.
Me: Really? What makes you think that?

Them: Grad really wanted to invite you but we told her not to.
Me: That wasn't very nice, was it?

I put "me" in the above examples because that's probably how *I* would reply. But honestly, they've been pretty rude and I wouldn't mind letting them know that and that my feelings were also hurt.

Nope. And I would tell my coworkers "I'm not going to send a gift to a party I wasn't invited to. That would be really awkward. And while we're on the subject, please don't attempt to speak for me if this comes up again. I would have preferred Coworker either invite me or not, and I could have decided for myself whether to accept or decline. By intervening you made it really uncomfortable for both of us."

Wow, that's awkward, and rude of your coworkers to assume you didn't want to be invited. No I would not be getting a gift if I were you. Maybe a card, if I was friends with her at all. Honestly I wouldn't be getting her a gift even if I was invited to the party. A graduation of a random coworker isn't high on my gift-giving priorities list.

(And if they "feel so badly" about discussing the party in front of you, well you'd think maybe they could just... I don't know... stop? ::) )

What the heck is WRONG with these people?

They told the recent grad not to invite you? And they're telling you to give a gift?
Who died and made them the boss? And their etiquette is tremendously challenged.
And their judgment. And their human decency.

Avoid talking with them at all about this.
Avoid the gift thing--be Teflon.

I do like JenJay, "please don't speak for me."
And that's a good point about saying, "If I give her a gift, that makes it really awkward for Recent Grad."
And if you can slide away, say, "Well, I know that you're aware I wasn't invited to the party, because you -told- her not to invite me. But I took that to mean she and I aren't close. And since we aren't close, I won't be pitching in on the group present."

If they think you should give one on your own, say Teflon things like, "I've got it under control."

Give the recent grad a card and your best wishes, warmly--remember that she wanted to invite you. And the only reason she didn't is that these pushy people who think they know everything--and are the Etiquette Boss of everyone--told her not to.


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