Author Topic: everyone at work is invited, except for me - but I'm expected to give a gift....  (Read 10448 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Coley

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1111
My mind is blown. What a faux pas train wreck. I agree with TootsNYC's lengthier rant. I was thinking exactly the same thing: They're trying to absolve their guilty consciences, and they're doing it horribly. They need to stop talking about this party already. And they owe the OP a serious apology.

I love the way Free Range Hippie Chick lined out the standard eHell phrases. "I'm sorry, that won't be possible," is the perfect response for the inevitable expectation of working the party or the last-minute invitation from GCW. "Why would I want to do that?" is perfect for the gift expectation. OP, tuck those in your back pocket and use them as needed.

YummyMummy66

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 721
After reading your update, my first question to you is; if you would have been invited, would you have gone to the party?

If so, then I think you need to talk to the grad directly at this point.  "Grad, do you mind if we chat?  I think there has been a misunderstanding.   I would love to come to your grad party if you will still have me.  I don't know why said co-workers are saying that I would have not wanted to attend.  Is the invite still open?".   

I am not good at wording, so I am sure someone can word it better.  But, it seems that someone needs to stop all the go between the grad and your co-workers on a situation that everyone has you involved in, but not really involving you, kwim?

If you do not want to go, then I would tell co-workers, if the subject is brought up again, that they should not speak for you and that you have no intentions of providing a gift for an event that you were not invited to, and unless I am getting paid, I will not be making said pastries for said event.

sammycat

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5950
Wow. I'm really sorry you've been put in this situation, OP. All these people have behaved atrociously towards you.

The coworkers are totally rude and 100% wrong for telling the graduate that you wouldn't want to go. I'm sorry to say, but it sounds as though they don't want you to come and used graduate to further their own agenda.

The graduate is completely spineless for not being able to decide her own guest list and listening to these other people. When I'm deciding a guest list for my parties I do it on my own, not by taking a poll amongst the other guests.

Even if you wouldn't have gone if invited, the only person who should be given a say in that decision is you. Hosts should never preempt the RSVP by jumping to an immediate 'no' and not even inviting someone who they otherwise would've invited.

As for the directive that you give the girl a present???  What planet are these people living on?! She wouldn't be getting a present, card, or even well wishes from me. And what kind of person would actually accept a present under these circumstances? A very self absorbed one I imagine. She sounds rather immature. Is she graduating from kindergarten?

Unless you'd run over her cat, or worse, I can't imagine inviting four out of five of my coworkers to an event and not the fifth. And then to talk about it in front of you? Beyond rude and tacky. Cruel actually.

Please don't get sucked in to 'donating' your time for making the baked goods for this shindig.

I'd be looking for another job as who knows what else they'd be cooking up behind my back.

doodlemor

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2146
After reading your update, my first question to you is; if you would have been invited, would you have gone to the party?

If so, then I think you need to talk to the grad directly at this point.  "Grad, do you mind if we chat?  I think there has been a misunderstanding.   I would love to come to your grad party if you will still have me.  I don't know why said co-workers are saying that I would have not wanted to attend.  Is the invite still open?".   

I am not good at wording, so I am sure someone can word it better. But, it seems that someone needs to stop all the go between the grad and your co-workers on a situation that everyone has you involved in, but not really involving you, kwim?

If you do not want to go, then I would tell co-workers, if the subject is brought up again, that they should not speak for you and that you have no intentions of providing a gift for an event that you were not invited to, and unless I am getting paid, I will not be making said pastries for said event.

I definitely agree that this jr high silliness of relaying messages back and forth to you needs to stop.  For your sake, I hope that these people aren't as mean and clueless as they sound.  I do think that you will feel better if you clear the air by speaking with GCW about this. 

At this point I think that I'd start out by saying something like, "I've been having some extraordinary conversations with CW's concerning you and your graduation party."  Then perhaps I'd give a disclaimer that I didn't know exactly what had been said between GCW and other CW's, but I would relate what had been said to me.  The next part of the conversation would be harder.  I think that I would end by saying that since you and I aren't closely associated at work, it wasn't the biggest deal not to be invited to the party.  ***However,*** all of the ruckus and conversation  about the situation with the CW's has been extremely hurtful. 

Find out directly what GCW has to say, once you lay out your cards on table.

PS  Watch your back.  I hate to say this, but I wonder if one of your CW's is some sort of a mean girl who has engineered this whole situation for her personal amusement.

whatsanenigma

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1898

Find out directly what GCW has to say, once you lay out your cards on table.

PS  Watch your back.  I hate to say this, but I wonder if one of your CW's is some sort of a mean girl who has engineered this whole situation for her personal amusement.

These are good points, and part of why I wanted clarification on where the "you will bring a present" thing came from and if it was told to GCW if it didn't originate with her.

On one hand, it might very well be that GCW is caught up in this culture and playing an active part, not really wanting you at the party but still wanting a gift.  In that case, I think that the hard line advocated by some of the previous posters is absolutely the way to go.

But on the other hand, it could be that GCW has no idea what's going on, that all this is going on around her with her as much of a prop for amusement as the OP.  Somehow they convinced her that OP doesn't like parties, to the extent that extending an invitation to her would upset her...but that also, OP has positive feelings and still wants to give her a gift. (And why shouldn't OP have positive feelings? She's never had any clashes or disagreements with GCW.)

I'm imagining myself in GCW's position if the second scenario is the case.  The most inexperienced person there, being suckered into thinking certain things about a co-worker, acting in genuine good faith by not inviting co-worker to a party, being told that she still really wanted to give me a gift, and then....it all blows up in my face because co-worker is obviously really mad and doesn't give me a gift after all.  Not because the gift itself is important...but because I've obviously offended her in some way even though I was acting in good faith.

Now, OP is still not obligated to give a gift or do anything for the party.  Especially not do anything for the party.  But I think that OP should ask herself:  If she had been invited to the party, would she have gone?  If she had gone, would she have brought a gift?

I think that if everything had not been so weird, and she was either invited to the party and would have given a gift or would have given a gift if there had been no party and others were just giving her gifts, I think I would go ahead and give the gift, maybe a token gift or just a card if the OP didn't really know her all that well, in private at some other point.  This way, GCW isn't penalized for the actions of the other co-workers if they have truly suckered her in and are setting her, and/or OP, up for a fall.

But if OP does talk to GCW beforehand as suggested, which I think is also a good idea, OP can get a read on which of the two scenarios is most likely and act accordingly.  I'm just asking that OP be open to both potential scenarios, and if GCW is another innocent party, try to find a way to honor her without helping the obnoxious co-workers, who would be the ones at fault if that were the case.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30461
And what kind of person would actually accept a present under these circumstances? A very self absorbed one I imagine. She sounds rather immature. Is she graduating from kindergarten?

There's nothing to indicate that the graduate is like this at all.

The OP wrote in her followup:
Quote
GCW said that it wasn't for the gift, but that she wanted me to be there.   (I have really decided that there would be no reason to ask coworkers about it if she did want to invite me - but there would be if she did not want to but felt badly to exclude just one).

And remember, the GCW has some good instincts:
Quote
GCW told them when I was out of the room that she felt uncomfortable discussing the party in front of me.

In fact, it's possible she thought of not inviting the OP because she felt that, esp. if there was some pressure to give a gift, it might be presuming too much since the GCW doesn't work with her that often.

And true, she might have just thought, "why would I bother, I don't know her that well, and it will keep the guest list small." That's actually fine--absolutely fine Etiquette-wise, and even fine Character-wise. The GCW is *not* the one who has announced all this stuff to the OP.

anonymousmac

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 327
I hate to suggest this, but is there some weird kind of bullying going on here?

The grad may be innocent, but whoever's making up things about the OP not liking parties, and then being sure to tell her all about the party and how she's being left out, sounds like someone who maybe likes drama, or likes putting people down, or at the very least can't be trusted to have everyone's best interests at heart here.

OP, are there any other signs that these co-workers might have something against you, or be competing with you in some way, or just like to put you down?

If I were you, I would either speak directly to the grad to clear things up, or just avoid the situation entirely.  But from now on I would be very careful around the co-workers who started all this, and I don't think I'd ever really trust them.

whatsanenigma

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1898
I hate to suggest this, but is there some weird kind of bullying going on here?

The grad may be innocent, but whoever's making up things about the OP not liking parties, and then being sure to tell her all about the party and how she's being left out, sounds like someone who maybe likes drama, or likes putting people down, or at the very least can't be trusted to have everyone's best interests at heart here.

OP, are there any other signs that these co-workers might have something against you, or be competing with you in some way, or just like to put you down?

If I were you, I would either speak directly to the grad to clear things up, or just avoid the situation entirely.  But from now on I would be very careful around the co-workers who started all this, and I don't think I'd ever really trust them.

I was wondering along those same lines.  I can just exactly imagine myself in the position of GCW, as I said above.  I do tend to be somewhat naive, I will admit, but I would be falling all over myself with guilt and have no idea how to fix it, if it turned out that I'd been tricked into doing a thing that actually offended a co-worker so deeply, when I really was acting in good faith and didn't mean for that to happen at all.

It would be a shame if GCW got thrown under the proverbial bus, if she really played only an unwitting role in the whole thing-especially if what the whole thing is, is a desire to bully OP.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6257
I can see the graduate's motivation for consulting with other co-workers. Runningstar said she seldom works with GCW. I can easily see a conversation that goes like:

GCW to imbecile CWs: I'm planning my party and wanted to invite everyone from work, but I hardly know Runnigstar since we seldom work together. Do you think she'd find it odd to be invited?
imbecile CWs: Oh, no. She doesn't like these types of things. I wouldn't worry about inviting her. She doesn't socialize with the rest of us.
GCW: Oh, ok. Thanks for the heads up.

And then the imbeciles realize they made a boo boo about talking about the party in front of you and made their GCW uncomfortable. So to prove to GCW that they were right and you really wouldn't have wanted to attend they are going to guilt you into giving a gift.

By any chance, is there a reason why imbecile CW's would be courting the favor of GCW? Does she come from a well off family or seem to have a high level of popularity? Are they trying to keep their "special friend" to themselves, thus making them fell more special?

greencat

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2327
While I wouldn't go fishing for an invitation to the party itself, I would speak with the graduating coworker and tell her "Hey, I know you don't know me that well because we don't work together much, but our coworkers have been telling you things about me that aren't very accurate.  If you don't hear me say it myself, assume that whatever they're saying is sheer speculation."

whatsanenigma

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1898

By any chance, is there a reason why imbecile CW's would be courting the favor of GCW? Does she come from a well off family or seem to have a high level of popularity? Are they trying to keep their "special friend" to themselves, thus making them fell more special?

That might be part of it, or t might not have anything to do with GCW, really.  It might just be about finding a way to harass or bully OP.  And GCW is just a convenient tool to use for the purpose.

sammycat

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5950
I can see the graduate's motivation for consulting with other co-workers. Runningstar said she seldom works with GCW. I can easily see a conversation that goes like:

GCW to imbecile CWs: I'm planning my party and wanted to invite everyone from work, but I hardly know Runnigstar since we seldom work together. Do you think she'd find it odd to be invited?
imbecile CWs: Oh, no. She doesn't like these types of things. I wouldn't worry about inviting her. She doesn't socialize with the rest of us.
GCW: Oh, ok. Thanks for the heads up.

I can see this happening BUT I would still err on the side of caution and invite her anyway.  With 250+ guests it's not as though one more is going to make much difference.

To invite all my other coworkers but not one, despite having a limited working relationship, just seems mean. And honestly, I'd probably be side eying someone who told me to deliberately exclude one person.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 09:56:22 PM by sammycat »

Luci

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5978
I will never, ever give a gift to someone because I have to!  Ask my family - they will clue you in.

If questioned, the answer is "It's taken care of". I really don't know how the "Of course, you will give a gift" has anything to do with OP's response to the other coworkers. I would never approach the co-workers who told grad to not send the invitation if it ever comes up - if it is mentioned, just a smile and OK - as in I acknowledge you -  it is fine.

I am very sorry that you weren't invited to the graduation party if it means something to you or if the other co-workers said you don't need one but still need to send a gift. It's no one's  business but yours and the graduate. If questioned by rude, intrusive coworkers, the response is, "I'm thinking a gift card," and then later "It's taken care of (as in ignored)" - all with a gentle, knowing smile.

Out of 250 people invited, no one will know if you send anything or not, including the graduate. It has been my experience that if a card is sent without a gift, it may be remembered. If ignored, no one will notice.

(Story: We are all rather close and kind of gossipy. A child passed away at 18 - our daughter's niece - from natural causes - genetic problems. The whole town turned out, including us. We couldn't support the donation recommendations, so did nothing. No card. Just there. We have never heard anything about our doing nothing, and the family still accepts most of our invitations to parties. I still think that if we had sent an empty card, they would have noticed and been hurt.)

gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7945
Runningstar ~~  Would you have any opportunity at all to talk privately with the GCW?

Because I agree with those above. 

She needs to know how you feel without having "interpreters" involved.  Just tell her! 

It may or may not be too late for the two of you to ever feel completely comfortable again with each other, but it at least will clue her in to what the other coworkers did just in case she really doesn't know and that knowledge might be very helpful to her in the future.

esposita

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 473
  • If you have the power to make someone happy, do it
I can see the graduate's motivation for consulting with other co-workers. Runningstar said she seldom works with GCW. I can easily see a conversation that goes like:

GCW to imbecile CWs: I'm planning my party and wanted to invite everyone from work, but I hardly know Runnigstar since we seldom work together. Do you think she'd find it odd to be invited?
imbecile CWs: Oh, no. She doesn't like these types of things. I wouldn't worry about inviting her. She doesn't socialize with the rest of us.
GCW: Oh, ok. Thanks for the heads up.

I can see this happening BUT I would still err on the side of caution and invite her anyway.  With 250+ guests it's not as though one more is going to make much difference.

To invite all my other coworkers but not one, despite having a limited working relationship, just seems mean. And honestly, I'd probably be side eying someone who told me to deliberately exclude one person.

See, I would err on the side of caution and /not/ invite someone I didn't know very well. Especially for something like a graduation, where in my circles a gift is expected. I'd be thinking "This person doesn't even /know/ me, why would they care about me graduating? They'd probably just think that I want more cash!" No matter how nice you are, I'd feel like a heel inviting you, for no apparent reason, to a gifting event. I'd not invite you (and I could see myself checking with people that I thought knew you better) and make plans on inviting you to my next non-gift function.