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Work-related social events question
Old 11-30-2018, 03:13 PM   #1
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Work-related social events question

DH went back to work after 6 months of retirement. The last couple companies he worked for had social events during, or right after workday with no expectation of spouse participation. DH just forwarded an email invite to local employees for Christmas dinner on a Saturday evening at the bosses’ home.

This troubles me on several levels. One, he already spends 5 days a week, all day with these guys. Not counting the extra work he has to occasionally do on weekends. These are work colleagues, not personal friends (and likely, never will be). I’d rather spend the evening with our own family and friends. “Christmas” has a lot of religious aspects to it so this work-related dinner doesn’t seem to me to be non-secular and inclusive. A lot of the employees are out of state and work remotely. How will they feel knowing the business owners invited the local team and spouses to their home knowing they can’t attend.

I’ve always had very negative feelings about bosses who think they are doing their staff/employees a favor by taking them from their loved ones, even more than the job already requires, by hosting these type events during non-working hours.

Finally, while he wants to continue to work (not because we need the $), I don’t think I should have to be subjected to this type event with all the fake posturing, smiles, small talk, etc. to be a supportive partner when that’s part of what I left behind (joyfully) when I retired.

I’d like to find a way to decline that is honest and respectful to DH. He is a social butterfly. I am not.

Am I being unreasonable/cranky/bah humbug in feeling this way?

Thanks,
INTJ
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:16 PM   #2
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:20 PM   #3
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Can’t he just tell his new friends that you’re retired? Seriously, just say no. You can let your DH read what you wrote above and be done with it. I never liked that stuff when I was working. I certainly wouldn’t do it if I went back to work and I don’t think it’s unreasonable for you to expect your DH to understand. Seems like you would have undoubtedly discussed this at some point in the retirement conversations you’ve had.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:23 PM   #4
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I own a business and I discovered long ago that you will never please everyone. We tried so many variations of holiday celebrations. We now pick a date and a restaurant and go. I still hear complaints through the grapevine about the place, the time, the type of restaurant, you name it. I am sure I would hear even more complaints if we just dropped it all together. As a boss, you can never win and whatever happened to the old saying about not looking a gift horse in the mouth. To me its all pettiness.
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Work-related social events question
Old 11-30-2018, 03:29 PM   #5
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Work-related social events question

Saying no in a positive way seems right and honest. On the evening of the event, though, do things you find enjoyable and don’t worry about being apart for that evening. You both can feel OK doing what you choose. Christmas this year is Tuesday, not Saturday.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:30 PM   #6
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Are you invited? I can’t tell from your OP. If so, I would tell my spouse I will do whatever he decides. It’s just a few hours out of your life (and free dinner—woohoo!)—if it makes him happy to take you? Why not?
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:33 PM   #7
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My DH is a social butterfly, and always the life of the party. I am a high-functioning introvert who becomes queasy when faced with a social occasion like this. I finally explained to him that there was NO reason for me to be at his work functions because once we get in the door, I could be kidnapped and he wouldn't notice until it was time for me to drive him home. He finally got it, but it took decades and many 'discussions' about it.


I relish the time home alone, and he gets to go to the party and when he gets home his wife is happy and so is he. Just explain how unhappy these things make you. Social butterflies have a hard time grasping this concept.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:39 PM   #8
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Saying no in a positive way seems right and honest. On the evening of the event, though, do things you find enjoyable and don’t worry about being apart for that evening. You both can feel OK doing what you choose. Christmas this year is Tuesday, not Saturday.


The party is labeled “Christmas Party” on Sat before Xmas. I do like the idea of DH tending to his work-related social duties and I’ll spend a delightful evening with my new 7 mos old grandson!
Good idea, Steelyman!
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:41 PM   #9
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My DH is a social butterfly, and always the life of the party. I am a high-functioning introvert who becomes queasy when faced with a social occasion like this. I finally explained to him that there was NO reason for me to be at his work functions because once we get in the door, I could be kidnapped and he wouldn't notice until it was time for me to drive him home. He finally got it, but it took decades and many 'discussions' about it.


I relish the time home alone, and he gets to go to the party and when he gets home his wife is happy and so is he. Just explain how unhappy these things make you. Social butterflies have a hard time grasping this concept.


You’re so right! This has been a minor, but recurring problematic point with us for 40+ years. I’m going to “retire” from these events going forward with a sweet tone and big smile.

Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:44 PM   #10
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Are you invited? I can’t tell from your OP. If so, I would tell my spouse I will do whatever he decides. It’s just a few hours out of your life (and free dinner—woohoo!)—if it makes him happy to take you? Why not?


Yes, spouses are specifically included. As a long time, very committed vegan I’d just as soon pass on any free dinner that includes dead animals on my plate (plus, all the discussion that goes with declining same).
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:47 PM   #11
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..... Am I being unreasonable/cranky/bah humbug in feeling this way? ...
Absolutely, no doubt about it.... it totally pervades your OP.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:48 PM   #12
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Yes, spouses are specifically included. As a long time, very committed vegan I’d just as soon pass on any free dinner that includes dead animals on my plate (plus, all the discussion that goes with declining same).
Ah. Sounds like it will be better to stay home in that case, especially if your DH doesn’t care if you go or not.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:49 PM   #13
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Am I being unreasonable/cranky/bah humbug in feeling this way?
Well yes, yes you are.

You can easily:

Make socially acceptable excuses (just to be polite) and don't go. No one will care. It's your choice.

or.....

Go and enjoy yourself. The boss isn't inviting you on a week long cruise or retreat (been there, done that), it's just dinner one evening. Yawn..........

There are so many things in life to get worked up over. Being invited, along with others, to the bosses' for dinner isn't one of them, IMHO.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:50 PM   #14
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You’re so right! This has been a minor, but recurring problematic point with us for 40+ years. I’m going to “retire” from these events going forward with a sweet tone and big smile.

Thanks!


Great attitude, I love it!
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:55 PM   #15
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The party is labeled “Christmas Party” on Sat before Xmas. I do like the idea of DH tending to his work-related social duties and I’ll spend a delightful evening with my new 7 mos old grandson!
Good idea, Steelyman!


That sounds like a nice Saturday. If that’s what ends up happening, don’t forget you can always change your mind for a future event. Retirement brings flexibility!
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:57 PM   #16
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We always go but I didn’t really like some of the people but it’s only 1 evening. No big deal.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:59 PM   #17
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I own a business and I discovered long ago that you will never please everyone. We tried so many variations of holiday celebrations. We now pick a date and a restaurant and go. I still hear complaints through the grapevine about the place, the time, the type of restaurant, you name it. I am sure I would hear even more complaints if we just dropped it all together. As a boss, you can never win and whatever happened to the old saying about not looking a gift horse in the mouth. To me its all pettiness.
+1 +2

Yep, except for the ownership part, been there and done that! At Mega, it didn't matter what you did, some people would bitch and moan. Even when we decided that we were spending money on events just to make people unhappy and decided to do nothing one year, the bitching and moaning just turned into complaints that we didn't do anything for the holidays!
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:59 PM   #18
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I should probably post this under pet peeves, but why in the world do all of these places and people think they can only have a ‘party’ in the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas when everybody is so busy? Why not early February to March when many of us could use a party especially if we live in the dark frozen states.
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:11 PM   #19
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Give him permission take a 20 year old escort to the dinner. He'll be the hit of the party. Especially when he tells 'em it was your Christmas present to him.
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:14 PM   #20
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I should probably post this under pet peeves, but why in the world do all of these places and people think they can only have a ‘party’ in the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas when everybody is so busy? Why not early February to March when many of us could use a party especially if we live in the dark frozen states.
And instead of a Christmas party, you could just give the employees a "Jelly of the Month Club" membership. Such a better deal!

Oh, how I miss the mandatory fun.... (hint the sarcasm)
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