General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

The Unwelcome and the Halloween Horror-


So this happend about 2 companies ago and 4 years but I felt like sharing.

I had started this new job and was welcomed into the new company. I thought it was going to be an awesome place to work for. They had flowers on my desk and a "welcome to the company" card on my desk when I started. They told me all about how they really celebrated the holidays and in particular they "loved" to celebrate Halloween. Which happens to be my favoritest holiday in the world.

Things were ok at the company. I kind of felt excluded from the rest of the employees. For instance one night I and another new coworker were required to work late with 3 other employees and my manager. We were supposed to take a dinner break and our manager said she would take us over to this restaurant for dinner around 6pm and pay for our dinner. We were going to be working until 3am so this was fine. Except that around 5pm apparently the owner came in and rounded up everyone but the two new people (myself and the other girl) and took them all out for drinks and dinner and left us. Not a word was mentioned to us, no one said anything, suddenly they were just all gone. The accountant later told us as she was leaving what had happend.  Now because we were new we couldn't leave the office because A. the phones had to be answered until 6pm and B. the elevator locked and we wouldn't be able to get back in if we left.  So here we were, sitting in the office by ourselves.  For 2 and a half hours. Finally our manager came back with the other employees and handed us some work to do. We both looked at her and asked when we were going to dinner. She then said "oh I thought you would have gone by now". Of course we then said no, we had to answer phones til 6 and then we had no way to get back into the office because the elevator locks and we both don't have keys.  She then made some wavey motions with her hands and said she figured we would just go and wait outside for them to get back and how the owner took everyone out to dinner and she didn't think to include us because he had only invited her and the other employees and not us.

Needless to say my coworker and I were not thrilled and felt very left out. I think she raised more of a fuss about it.  We ended up going across the street and having a crappy dinner since now we were paying for our own dinner which we hadn't planned on since our boss said she was buying us dinner. We had to hurry and eat in 30 min and then get back to finish the night's switchover.

Throughout my employment there this seemed to be the refrain. Employees would all just up and leave to get coffee in a group or lunch and leave me and my coworker to handle phones. No mention said of "hey join us" and when we tried to join them we would be rebuffed with "someone has to answer phones".  And yet when the two of us would try to take a small break together to go get coffee we were told that we can't both leave at the same time because someone had to answer phones. Mind you there were 4 other employees there to answer the phones too and in fact three of them, their primary job was to answer calls.

But the unwelcome was really shoved in my face for Halloween. They had been building up the month before about how awesome Halloween was going to be. Everyone in costume and decorating the whole office. But their biggest hype was the Secret Trick or Treat.  This was where if you wanted to participate, you put your name in and drew a name and then you would prank them or leave treats on their desk for the week leading up to Halloween. For instance one year they filled a manager's office with balloons. Another time they took the Owner's chair apart and hid the pieces and then left a map to his chair pieces. Also people would leave candy or other treats on the desks. Decorate them up in Halloween stuff and generally just really celebrate the holiday. Then on the last day before Halloween or on Hallloween we would have our Halloween party and everyone would reveal who their secret Trick or Treater was.

So of course being the Halloween lover I am I put my name in.  So let's say we started on that Monday. So Monday I come in and I notice that several desks are decorated and a couple have prank things done to them like one had a chair wrapped in fake spider webs and a big fat spider sat in the chair. Another had their phone receiver taped to the phone base. And there were Halloween decorations all over the desks. Mine had nothing.  Tuesday, more desks decorated, more pranks on other coworkers. My desk, nothing. And the same all week. Everyone else had a great time and enjoyed their tricks or treats and the person I had loved the stuff I did. I added something every day. But still nothing was done to my desk.

And then the day of the Halloween party. Nothing on my desk. But while I was participating in the scavenger hunt a box of chocolate cherries showed up. So that's what I got from my Trick or Treater. Everyone esle got decorated desks and treats and pranks all week and I got a single little box of cherries.  When the big reveal came up the person who had my name said "well I couldn't think of anything and I didn't really have time to do anything".  (Then why put your name in Jerk!)
No one said anything other than gee it sucks to be you. And HA HA LV426 must have made someone mad, she gets nothing for Halloween.

I didn't say anything, just gave my box of cherries to someone else in the office, packed up my halloween stuff I had brought in for decorating for the party and went home. But boy was I really cheesed off. And my manager who had arranged all of this stuff to be done with everyone else just said "well maybe next year someone will like you enough to decorate your desk."

The following year someone took a hole puncher and emptied it all over my desk and chair and that was my Trick or Treat from my coworkers. Needless to say I didn't make it to another Halloween and I left. We won't even mention the Christmases.

The dinner item was rude.  I want to ask - were you and the new girl on a lwer level than the other staff ? i.e. were they management and you were not ? That doesn't make it right - but would kind of explain why you were left out ( and no - you should not have been - it was really really rude and your manager is a demented circus monkey ) .

As for the Halloween thing ... this is why I don't allow ANY celebrations in my group.  it gets out of hand , it gets cliquey and in my opinon it is detrimental to the team.  Sorry you had to go through thAT. 


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