Darned if I do/don't

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Post by Aggrax on Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:54 am

So, this week at work is the last week of our current session for swim lessons. That means that we get next week off for parents to sign their children up. Since that means we're going to have a large chunk of time free on Saturday and my co-workers have decided that we should use the time to have a pool party. I'm not a huge party person (or a huge fan of being awake earlier than 11 on a Saturday) but they wanted me to be there so I figured I'd go. Then the idea of everyone bringing their SO came up and now everything's gone down hill.

For 1, I'm the only single person currently working there, so I'm going to feel like a third wheel to everyone else. I'm also super awkward and quiet when meeting new people. Add to that the fact that the boyfriend of one of my co-workers thinks that I've been hitting on his girlfriend is going to make things super tense. All in all, I feel like things would be better if I just didn't go, but my co-workers have said that they really want me there.

If anyone knows a good excuse that could get me out of this, I'd really like to hear it.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:18 am

Honestly, in your shoes I would already feel burned enough to drop out with only "I don't fit the theme" as explanation. If they don't understand what that means then they must not want to.

And after that kind of explanation is given, my reply to anyone who's like "we really missed you there" is to just shrug and say "oh, sorry."

I am of course not the most socially successful individual, myself, but I also don't find myself spending much social time with people I hate spending time with, at least outside of my extended family. Salt to taste, as always.
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Post by eselle28 on Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:20 am

So, I have a few suggestions, but I first would want to clarify something. If you pretended both that the party was coworkers only and that the other people attending would be equally happy to welcome you there or hear you had other plans and that there was no pressure to attend, would you want to go? (Full disclosure: I can think of few things less appealing than spending time with coworkers early on a Saturday morning, especially in the same environment where we usually work, but others' mileage presumably varies or this problem wouldn't have come up in the first place.)
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Post by Werel on Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:32 am

"Sorry, I've already got plans"/"Oh, too bad! I'm not available that day" is generally unassailable, but needs to be deployed before you've accepted an invitation. In this case, if you really have no desire to be there, you don't have to be. Weekend work parties are... optional ways to earn brownie points, at best. If your job's not at stake if you don't attend, boom! No reason to go. If people say they missed you (which is actually nice to hear, no? People like you and want you around?), a gentle "yeah, I hope you guys had a great time!" will do.

If you feel like you really need an excuse, aka your coworkers will badger you incessantly and you're bad at putting your foot down, "last-minute doctor's appointment" is gold for anybody with chronic health problems and no aversion to white lies. Wink
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Post by Aggrax on Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:33 am

eselle28 wrote:So, I have a few suggestions, but I first would want to clarify something. If you pretended both that the party was coworkers only and that the other people attending would be equally happy to welcome you there or hear you had other plans and that there was no pressure to attend, would you want to go? (Full disclosure: I can think of few things less appealing than spending time with coworkers early on a Saturday morning, especially in the same environment where we usually work, but others' mileage presumably varies or this problem wouldn't have come up in the first place.)

I'm not 100% sure. Honestly part of my decision is going to be influenced by the night before, since that Friday my monthly Pathfinder group will be meeting. The place we play at is about an hour away from my home and we usually play until around 1-2 am. I guess I would say that, under the circumstances you said, I would be split about 70/30 between wanting/not wanting to go.

Bear in mind that, since this is a part time job, my co-workers and I only see each other for about 2-3 hours every few days and we do work at an indoor pool that has some fun equipment, so it wouldn't be the same as hanging out in an office or a work breakroom or whatever.
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Post by eselle28 on Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:03 am

If the goal is to slither out of with minimal friction, I'd go with what Werel said, or I might phrase it as, "I'll be out really late Friday, and I have a ton of things to do on Saturday as it is." If they press, "Have fun!" is all that really needs to be said.

If you want to challenge the way work social events are split up, I think there are some other scripts to request that socializing be done without significant others - perhaps a, "Not this time, thanks, but let me know next time there's something for the [however many employees there are] of us." This only applies if you'd actually like there to be more things like that, of course.

Basically, there are a couple of true things here. You don't want to be the lone single person there. You have some tension with one of the invited SOs. You've got a better thing going the night before that makes attending seem like a pain. I tend to lean toward the last option when I deal with social events as a single person, but I'm older and know many coupled people and will tolerate some amount of fifth wheeling both because it's fine sometimes and because I don't want to work my way off the guest list. I'd say think about where you stand and pick a set of scripts accordingly.
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Post by Guest on Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:05 am

Aggrax wrote:So, this week at work is the last week of our current session for swim lessons. That means that we get next week off for parents to sign their children up. Since that means we're going to have a large chunk of time free on Saturday and my co-workers have decided that we should use the time to have a pool party. I'm not a huge party person (or a huge fan of being awake earlier than 11 on a Saturday) but they wanted me to be there so I figured I'd go. Then the idea of everyone bringing their SO came up and now everything's gone down hill.

For 1, I'm the only single person currently working there, so I'm going to feel like a third wheel to everyone else. I'm also super awkward and quiet when meeting new people. Add to that the fact that the boyfriend of one of my co-workers thinks that I've been hitting on his girlfriend is going to make things super tense. All in all, I feel like things would be better if I just didn't go, but my co-workers have said that they really want me there.

If anyone knows a good excuse that could get me out of this, I'd really like to hear it.

I'm not big on parties either unless there's copious amounts of booze and food available. In this case, since it's a children's pool, most likely the latter will more prevalent. So, being the one to never turn down free (good) food, I would go. Grin I say just go, don't let the fact you're single get in the way of hanging out with people that do want you there, and actually enjoy your company -- unless they're jerks to you or you don't like them.

Don't let the possibility that they're bringing their SO's bring you down. Just go and make friends with these fellows too unless they're jerks too. For dealing with the awkwardness, I'd suggest laughing it off; as for being quiet, well if you like being quiet that's fine, I like being silent a lot of times especially when people are talking about shit I know nothing about, I'm always willing to listen. There's no shame in being quiet, just be relaxed, cool and in control.

As for the boyfriend of the girl who thinks you were hitting on her, I would suggest keeping your distance. Buuuut, I also say that even if you were hitting on this girl, he needs to deal with it. Because you're certainly not the first, nor will you be the last dude to "hit on" her (I'm putting that in quotes because I know you said you didn't), I'm sure there's other dude's who've tried and failed or succeeded at getting with his girl in the past.

Aggrax wrote:

I'm not 100% sure. Honestly part of my decision is going to be influenced by the night before, since that Friday my monthly Pathfinder group will be meeting. The place we play at is about an hour away from my home and we usually play until around 1-2 am. I guess I would say that, under the circumstances you said, I would be split about 70/30 between wanting/not wanting to go.

Bear in mind that, since this is a part time job, my co-workers and I only see each other for about 2-3 hours every few days and we do work at an indoor pool that has some fun equipment, so it wouldn't be the same as hanging out in an office or a work breakroom or whatever.

If you don't wanna go afterall, just say you didn't go to bed until 4am and missed your alarm and were dead tired. Or you could say you were nursing a hangover (granted, if you're of age), which is typically a pretty good excuse for most people too sometimes. Razz

Oooor, you can do what one of my homies used to do go to a party, chill for an hour or two and silently make your exit. Wink

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Post by reboot on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:18 am

I would just say, "Ah shit, I have plans I cannot get out of, sorry! You guys have my part of the fun."* If they ask, just say you have plans with friends or your family.

*I use this line because it is true all the time and everyone takes it well
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Post by InkAndComb on Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:16 pm

Do you have a friend you could bring along? If the worst feeling is that you might be 5th wheeling, then I would suggest this as an option and go anyways.

I am always in need of coworker brownie points because I tend to miss 'going out' events and stuff, and it's always nice to rub elbows. Plus, SO's of coworkers means more potential friends (obvs avoid that one couple but you should be good otherwise).
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Post by Aggrax on Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:46 pm

Thank you everyone for the advice. I think I'll just let my co-workers know that I won't be there due to how late I'll be out the night before. After all, Demons won't slay themselves (usually) and I am the ride for 3 other people, so I have a pretty big obligation to the game group. I'll likely sleep though any alarm I would set that morning anyway.
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