Author Topic: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....  (Read 10773 times)

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Runningstar

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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 :(

lowspark

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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.

JenJay

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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."

LemonZen

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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? ::) )

TootsNYC

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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.

buvezdevin

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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."

This.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain

SamiHami

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So let me understand this. You were not invited to a party because your cow-irkers told her to not invite you. Now they are telling you to send a gift. And you feel like a jerk?

Yeah, what JenJay said.

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

lowspark

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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.

I was thinking about the Grad's motivations and I'm not sure I agree with this Toots.

According to the OP,
Quote
they advised graduating co-worker(GCW) of that when she asked them if she should invite me

Why did the Grad ask anyone if she should invite the OP? She's inviting everyone else in the office. Did she ask someone advice about inviting them? It seems pretty obvious that she should have gone ahead and invited OP and just let her decline if need be. Does someone really need to be told that it's best to not single out one person in the office? And then the result of this ended up being that she got the wrong advice and followed it. Bad all around on Grad's part.

I think the first mistake was made by the Grad in asking anyone's advice about this.

TootsNYC

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She may have said, "Who should I invite?" She may have worried that inviting someone she doesn't know well would be a burden to that person. There may be other people on the list even less well-connected, and she consulted the Bad Etiquette Bosses about the whole list.

I was going off this (which i know is not that accurate):
Quote
repeated that GCW had really wanted to invite me but had been told not to. 

But OK, change that to "she was probably willing to invite you" and "she's not the one talking about this party in front of you." (Unless maybe she is? It sounded like it was coworkers, and not the grad but that might not be true.)


Runningstar

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She may have said, "Who should I invite?" She may have worried that inviting someone she doesn't know well would be a burden to that person. There may be other people on the list even less well-connected, and she consulted the Bad Etiquette Bosses about the whole list.

I was going off this (which i know is not that accurate):
Quote
repeated that GCW had really wanted to invite me but had been told not to. 

But OK, change that to "she was probably willing to invite you" and "she's not the one talking about this party in front of you." (Unless maybe she is? It sounded like it was coworkers, and not the grad but that might not be true.)
Toots it was both the grad and CW's discussing it, but only the CW's that repeated the GCW wanted to invite me.  I am puzzled over the whole thing - and feeling low.  I'm an adult, invite, don't invite, but really even in first grade I knew to behave better than this. 

YummyMummy66

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First of all, this has to do with your co-workers and not the grad in question.

They spoke up for you when they should not have done so.  Whether or not you usually do not go to these types of outings is none of their business.

I would politely inform them that you do not intend to provide a gift for a party you were not invited to and to please not speak for you again.  It is up to the invitee to invite me or not and it is up to me to decline or accept said invitation.

TootsNYC

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And it is up to you whether you give a gift.

Maybe you should just start saying, "This is really awkward" every time this happens. With a meaningful look at them. And then go do some sort of straightening of the shelves somewhere else.

"Oh, are you talking about that party I'm not invited to again? Can't you save it for the break room?"

Well, maybe not the strike-out part, because you do have to work with these people again.

whatsanenigma

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I have a question here.  When the "of course you will give a gift" thing came up, did they mean that it was just in their opinion that you would? Or that they had told GCW that of course you would? (Or even, was it GCW that assumed first that you would be giving a gift?)

The reason I ask is that, of course you are not obligated to give a gift for a party you aren't invited to.  But that's in the abstract and pertains to the other co-workers.  But if GCW is thinking that you'll give a gift, and maybe somehow is thinking they did you a favor (sparing you having to go to one of those terrible awful stress inducing parties that you supposedly hate), then that makes the situation more complicated.

You are still not obligated to give a gift, but the way you say things and who you say them to might be affected.

English1

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No one gets a pass from me.

Grad - why ask others if she should invite you? Even being told you don't like parties, it was still rude to exclude only you from the invitations. People can decline an invitation if they don't want to go.

Co worker and boss. Interfering busybodies who had no right to speak for you, and also set up the hurtful situation of your not being invited.

I haven't a clue what you should do about it. If you think these are basically nice people who messed up, you should probably say something to clear the air and so that you don't continue to feel hurt/build resentment.

Initially I thought about saying something to co-worker/boss, but really that's just continuing the whispers and indirect communications. But it's hard to think of what to say to Grad that doesn't sound like a last minute plea for an invitation (which I don't think you want to do).

Maybe it's time to just grab one of them, say that the whole thing has hurt your feelings and ask them to think about how they'd feel if they were the only person left out of an event, and leave the ball in their court.

gramma dishes

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I'd be really REALLY honest if it comes up again.

I think I'd just say: 

"You know.  It really hurts my feelings to know that I am the only one not invited to this party.  I have no idea why (you) told her not to invite me.  I can't even begin to imagine why you did that! 

Please if this situation ever comes up again, let ME decide whether or not to accept or decline rather than speaking for me."