If yoiu are feeling the pinch this year, how do you handle the following...?

(33 Posts)
nkf Mon 26-Nov-12 19:28:34

The Christmas work lunch/dinner. I love my colleagues and my work but I don't want to spend money on a work outing. I work across two departments and that means two meals out and I don't want to spend money on a work and I won't enjoy either because of the money.

If you are in this position and feel the same, what do you say/do?

nkf Mon 26-Nov-12 19:29:13

You not yoiu.

I'd make an excuse such as a family party on that night that you have to attend

nkf Mon 26-Nov-12 19:34:56

They always fix the date first. I suppose I could pretend to be busy every night.

Mum2Fergus Mon 26-Nov-12 19:35:24

We are a UK wide team and Christmas is usually an overnight stay in Birmingham with a black tie evening event. This year those of us based in Scotland have decided to do our own thing and will have a nice lunch in Edinburgh instead. We've booked somewhere that will accept my Tastecard too so that will be a bit of a saving, and it being lunch instead of dinner we can easily get train home, so no taxi fare either. Dont need to dress up which is biggest result for me lol smile

I just say no. No is a complete sentence.

ProPerformer Mon 26-Nov-12 19:36:58

I'd tell them the truth, that I can't afford to go! That's what I told my collegues this year and they understood.

ProPerformer Mon 26-Nov-12 19:38:07

I honestly don't see why telling the truth about just not having the money is a problem!

nkf Mon 26-Nov-12 19:38:24

The just say no advice is good when it's people who are being unreasonable. But these are nice people and if I wasn't feeling so desperately short of cash, I'd happily break bread with them. But I am and I don't want to spend the money.

nkf Mon 26-Nov-12 19:39:16

I know. I will just practise saying, "Sorry, I can't afford to eat out this year." Shall I go along for a drink or not bother at all? I'm probably over thinking it.

2cats2many Mon 26-Nov-12 19:40:10

Make up a lie excuse. Work dos are nice and all that, but its ok to miss one and they won't think any less of you for not going.

nkf Mon 26-Nov-12 19:43:44

I'm just squirming at the thought. It usually gets arranged in a group discussion. Does this date work? How about here? I feel really down at the thought of saying in a large group that I won't be going. I guess I could go along with it and make an excuse at the last moment. I did that in the summer too.

ProPerformer Mon 26-Nov-12 19:57:51

The thing is I bet you're not the only one who can't really afford it and if you had the guts to mention it I bet a few others would follow suit. When I said I couldn't afford the meal this year a few others confessed that they couldn't either and now they're just going out for drinks. As it happens I can't make that date either as have a concert but....... What I'm saying is there's no shame, especially in this day and age, in having little money.

Mum2Fergus Mon 26-Nov-12 19:59:41

I can appreciate you not feeling comfortable about bringing it up with the group. Could you suggest something in the office to celebrate instead...maybe each bring in a snack type food instead? You'll probably find there are others in the group feeling exactly the same as you and will be grateful for some cheaper options ...

I was just honest and in a MN voice said 'oh that sounds lovely but that won't work for me this year - money/childcare issues - you know' accompanied by an eye roll and shrug left everyone in no doubt I wasn't up for it.

SlinkyPebbles Mon 26-Nov-12 21:55:01

Interested, as I'm in a similar situation due to hubby being out of work for over a year. I feel embarrassed to suggest the truth, which is that I need to keep the money to buy food and clothes for the kids. I think I will just say that I've got something else on.

nkf Mon 26-Nov-12 22:35:03

Not sure what an MN voice is but I could do the eye roll. I think I will be straight about it. It's probably (hopefully) one of those things that are easier done than thought about.

cozietoesie Tue 27-Nov-12 08:52:41

Just stay strong after you say it. It's easily done to come out with that and then have everyone say - Oh don't worry nkf, we'll chip in for you ' or 'That would be such a shame, nkf, you'll only need to pay for what you eat' or......

So you decide to go - and then you get to the lunch and either everyone forgets or you feel like such a rat that you don't bring it up and end up paying the normal proportion of the bill.

If you say you're not going then be sure not to actually go.

somebloke123 Tue 27-Nov-12 10:38:33

You can always have some family event/ emergency cropping up at a late stage, which you must attend to e.g. unexpected visit from a long-lost aunt etc etc.

manicmum66 Tue 27-Nov-12 12:04:19

The problem with pulling out at a late stage is that you'll probaby have had to pay a deposit and will lose it. Saying it straight with an eye roll sounds the best tactic to me - and I bet you won't be the only one thinking like that. If there are a few of you in same boat, maybe you could suggest a trip to the pub instead?

cozietoesie Tue 27-Nov-12 14:07:08

I bet there are others as you said manicmum66. It's especially unfortunate when all the office go, including less well-paid staff, and there's an expectation that everyone will pay a straight share because it's 'social'. In a previous job I had, there was an understanding at least that managers would buy all the booze and leave any tips - so that less well paid staff only contributed to the actual food. And that was before times were less awful.

I don't think even that is the case everywhere though and it must really hurt some people's Xmases having to lay out for a meal they may not want, deep down, to go to.

nkf Tue 27-Nov-12 19:29:15

I'm glad to find some understanding about htis. I know it's a first world problem but it is still bothering me.

I dropped out in the summer with an excuse and so did one other person. And I think the people who still went felt a bit miffed. So I am going to go for the truth. And maybe take in a box of chocs or bake some cookies as a department gift.

I like these people and back in my single days, I was the colleague ordering another bottle (ah, happy times) but I can't justify it now.

racingheart Tue 27-Nov-12 19:51:53

If you can face being honest about it, I think it would go down well. Pulling out at the last minute can upset some people who think you can't be bothered or had a better offer. or they might think you're stand-offish. but if you say it's just too expensive right now, they should be very understanding.

It's horrible isn't it -but these things end up costing hundreds of pounds if you go to them all. I only go now to one or two - the ones with the people I really love, who you can also say 'let's have a pizza' to, because they understand not everyone can afford champagne all the way.

I picture the MN voice as a sentence being said in a clear, straight voice. It should be done without any hint of sarcasm/whining/apologising. No ifs, buts, umms or errs....

Just leaving no room for other people to start trying to co-erce you into it with false promises of chipping in etc.

harrietspy Tue 27-Nov-12 20:17:17

I think honesty is the way to go. It's not an excuse then and you don't have to feel bad about deceiving anyone. If anyone is grumpy with you, that's their lack of imagination/compassion and not your problem. (Oh, if only it were always that easy!).

LauraPashley Tue 27-Nov-12 20:23:57

I have just had to do this today! Decided to be upfront about being skint and just said I really can't afford it this year. Did not pull off anything near what I imagine the mn voice to be! I think actually I ended up sounding embarrassed which I'm not at all, but I think it helped as no one pushed me on it. Phew!

I definitely hear you on this one - we have FOUR Christmas "dos" in work this year - they kicked off on Friday and although that did include a buffet and the first drink it was in the arse end of nowhere so taxis were a nightmare. The next is on the 15th, a meal locally but still an arm and a leg, then the 20th and the 22nd! And it's not just the booze or taxis or food it's the outfits, sitters, time spent hungover - I've said no to the last 2, way too close to Christmas anyway!

My colleague (who is young, free and single) cornered me and demanded to know why I wasn't going to all of them and when I explained that it was a number of reasons she just huffed and said I was boring! I was so mad it made me determined not to cave in - too easy to spend money you don't have on drink!

cozietoesie Wed 28-Nov-12 08:26:45

Well maybe being grown up, having maybe a mortgage, obligations, DCs etc is boring. Tough - that's life unfortunately. She'll learn.

I'm awash with leaving do's at the moment.

Stinking NHS angry

Collections, lunches, 'do's.... ARGH!

onlyhannah Fri 07-Dec-12 11:15:12

Be honest - you should be proud you are being sensible! XX

Another vote for honesty. You certainly won't be the only be who can't afford it and it will also be a useful line for people who don't really want to go (I.e. me, hate work night's out with a passion).

Another vote for honesty. You certainly won't be the only be who can't afford it and it will also be a useful line for people who don't really want to go (I.e. me, hate work night's out with a passion).

Adversecalendar Fri 07-Dec-12 22:19:55

Nkf I use the term break bread, not used enough.

Be honest no one will mind, maybe you could suggest that you have a shared lunch in your staff room on the last day because you can't make the going out meals or all bring in a couple of cakes or mincepies.

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