General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch

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Here's the bg on the cast of characters:

Coworkers Fox, Cat, Dog, and Ferret are scheduling a lunch in a few weeks with lilfox's former mentor, Gandalf, a very well-known person in our field.  Cat, Dog, and Ferret have all worked with Gandalf in the past as well.  The purpose of the lunch is part social catching-up and part work discussions (Fox, Dog, and Ferret are currently collaborating with him).

Gandalf was also Mule's mentor.  I don't think they've kept in touch, and Mule hasn't exactly been a feather in Gandalf's cap (see bg).  Mule also works in a pretty isolated group and none of the others hear much from him (and prefer it to be so).

Mule is not currently invited to the lunch, because frankly, Fox forgot he existed when she organized the initial invitation list, and Gandalf hasn't asked after him in several years.  Ferret asked a few days later if Mule was invited but he might have been joking, and Cat strongly prefers that Mule not be invited.  Fox, however, is torn.  It seems unprofessional (or perhaps uncharitable) to exclude him primarily because we don't like or respect him, but on the other hand, it would change the tone of the lunch quite a bit if he came (which he definitely would because he would never pass up the chance to network with Gandalf).  He's not likely to find out about the lunch unless he receives an invitation because as mentioned, none of us chat with him informally or see him in a work-related capacity.

Is it rude to exclude him on the basis of "we'll be talking about work and he's not involved"?
For that matter, would it be rude to exclude him if it was just a social lunch?

Outdoor Girl:
IMO, it isn't rude to exclude him as you neither work with him nor socialize with him.  And, as you said, he would have no way of finding out about it, no harm no foul.

I agree. Not rude.

gramma dishes:
As long as the "work discussions" part of the luncheon do not involve Mule's work, I can see no reason for him to be invited.  It, however, that part of the discussion would be important for Mule to be involved in it's a lot iffier.

If Mule was so interested in keeping in touch with Gandalf, why didn't he take the initiative to do it himself? You and your group are not responsible for keeping his social or professional connections going.


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