To not want to attend this work event?

(20 Posts)
LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Thu 08-Sep-16 19:55:55

I don't want to provide too much detail here as I'll out myself, but I am being asked (and probably expected) to attend a work event in a foreign city. The event will wipe out a weekend (though it also includes a Friday). My main problem is the hours that would be involved. The flight (there is only one a day from the local airport) on the Friday is at 6.30am. I would need to leave my house at 3.45am. I would then be expected to lead an afternoon workshop / lecture, and network over drinks and dinner. The next day would also involve a full schedule of activities and I'd fly home on the Sunday (again, only one flight, at 8pm). I am taking on an additional management role at the moment, so things will be full on from first thing on Monday morning. There is no option of time off in lieu.

While this trip is being touted as something that I should be excited by (partly because it is in such a lovely city), the reality is that the sheer thought of it makes me feel exhausted. My job is very demanding already and this is not how I want to spend my weekend (I do actually work weekends quite a lot, as well as most evenings, but at least I can do this at home in my pyjamas). AIBU to refuse to go? I simply do not have the energy for a 3.00am - midnight day. My energy levels are through the floor at the moment (a combination of anaemia, insomnia and overwork).

Frogers Thu 08-Sep-16 19:57:29

"I'm sorry, that doesn't work for me"

Job done.

violetbunny Thu 08-Sep-16 20:04:18

Either ask if you can fly over the evening before, or do a quick round of networking in the evening then go to bed (possibly skipping dinner).

LordEmsworth Thu 08-Sep-16 20:04:23

It sounds exhausting but I'd need to know more about the importance of the event and why you're in the frame for it to really have a full opinion. I would do it but negotiate extra time in the foreign city to recover & see the sights, potentially flying out the day before to prep as well. You say time in lieu isn't an option but unless you have opted out of the Working Time Directive then it would be not allowed - the WTD entitles you to 11 hours' break between shifts and at least 1 day off a week.

Lilaclily Thu 08-Sep-16 20:07:30

It sounds exhausting
Do you have dcs ? Can you cite child care ?

YelloDraw Thu 08-Sep-16 20:19:54

Get the train to London (or other airport with better flights) the day before and fly the evening or afternoon before?

Apart from that I would do it and suck up the tiredness the next week if this is good for your career.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Thu 08-Sep-16 20:20:42

I could possibly fly over the day before, and that would make things more manageable, though it would still be a 6.30am flight (and 3.00am start) as there's only one a day.

It's hard to explain what the event is without outing myself. It's a kind of commemorative / celebratory event and there will be some people attending who know me, and may be pleased to see me. I am in the frame because I'm one of the longer-standing members of my department.

I don't have dcs, just a poorly old dog who is on her last legs (another reason I don't want to go, but this is hardly an excuse that I can use).

No one gives a shit about the WTD at my work. I'm getting very pissed off with it because there is a culture of overwork, and the expectations of productivity and availability are set by those who don't seem to sleep or have any life outside of work,

I agree with the others. I think you need to be able to fly the night before. In fact, I think you need to be able to fly the afternoon before (during work time) so that you have some time to unwind before the conference starts.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Thu 08-Sep-16 20:27:31

Here is another problem - we are being told that we can either take those horribly-timed flights from the airport nearest work, or fly from elsewhere but with a subsidy equivalent to the price of the horrible flights. All the other flights are £50 to £150 more. Plus travel to the other airport. So, if I want to have the luxury of sleeping past 3.00am, I have to cough up.

Are you in a union? Or do you have a great department?

'great' = HR

RealityCheque Fri 09-Sep-16 06:46:36

Subsidise sensible flights yourself?

"Sorry, but fuck off."

Euphemia Fri 09-Sep-16 06:57:46

No way!

OwlinaTree Fri 09-Sep-16 07:04:58

If work will let you go the day before, do that. Gives you time to sleep etc before the event starts.

Only you know really whether or not you have to go.

MiniCooperLover Fri 09-Sep-16 07:05:15

It sounds like you're an integral part of the presentation, that you're giving a talk? I'm afraid it sounds like you'll have to do it but I would go the day before so you can rest.

smellyboot Fri 09-Sep-16 07:10:49

My experience of these things is that you'll barely see the city and who says you want to anyway? I'm not sure you'll get out of it, but it sounds awful in terms of expectations. I'd be looking for a new job

LunaLoveg00d Fri 09-Sep-16 07:28:21

What's your relationship like with your boss? My husband sometimes has to do this sort of thing but his boss is very good and will let him have a couple of rest days in the week after, unofficially as they don't do TOIL either.

I suppose it depends on how much you want to stay with the company, how important this event is seen as for your career progression and the "risks" of refusing to go.

Adnerb95 Fri 09-Sep-16 07:30:16

If your new role involves a higher salary, then I would pay the £50 for the more civilised flight this time, arrive relaxed and ready to rumble. That way you have a chance also of getting to see the place - which means you've only paid £50 for a day's city break.

But in the longer term, you may want to consider exactly how you many hours you are prepared to work in this new position and either negotiate with management or just use this promotion as a stepping stone and look for a new job in a year or so.

DoNotBlameMeIVotedRemain Fri 09-Sep-16 07:31:17

Go on Thursday early morning flight and then catch up on sleep and perhaps a little prep on Thursday. At least that way you'd get a good night's sleep before your presentation on Fri. Then agree late start on Mon. Say only way you can do this given early flight time.

Improvisingnow Fri 09-Sep-16 07:49:20

I used to get a few of these 'fun' weekends in my previous job. I worked like a dog during the week and really resented having to spend my precious free time with colleagues.

My solution was always to plead pressure of work, fly out on the Saturday and ask to get my presentation shifted to the Saturday. Then fly back early Sunday morning saying that I really needed to be doing some work for the week ahead. This only works if you don't drink much at the dinner on Saturday night.

Net result = you have basically just lost a Saturday. You are still a bit short of sleep but at last can be home on a Sunday and potter around and go to bed early.

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