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To not go to a work 'family BBQ' that is on a Sunday evening before a new terms begins 30 miles away?

(35 Posts)
DrNortherner Mon 13-Jun-11 13:05:51

Email invites sent today. 7.30pm on Sun 4th Sept at 7.30pm. The venue is 30 miles away from where our office is and where most of us live.

They are dubbing it as a family evening and kids and partners are welcome.

Not overly enamoured with my employers, and quite frankly can think of better ways to spend a sunday evening, however, I know it will be scorned upon to not go.

AIBU to simply say thanks but no thanks?

LordSucre Mon 13-Jun-11 13:07:07

yep, thanks but no thanks.

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 13-Jun-11 13:07:49

Thats not very family friendly! YANBU. Just say that you are afraid you can't make it.

altinkum Mon 13-Jun-11 13:08:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fivegomadindorset Mon 13-Jun-11 13:12:05

YANBU, however does you school start back on 5th, ours has inset day. DNBU about the time.

DrNortherner Mon 13-Jun-11 13:14:16

Yes school starts back on 5th. Loads of people here with kids so not quite sure who will go as to location most people will ahve to drive so can't drink.


Pandemoniaa Mon 13-Jun-11 13:16:09

YANBU. There's no need at all for anyone to be holding a work event on a Sunday night, let alone the night before a new school year begins. We have no tradition of this sort of event in the UK although I'm aware that this sort of company BBQ/picnic is more common in the US.

But I suspect that labelling it a "family" event is an ill-concealed opportunity for the company to try and test loyalty and commitment and, quite frankly, that ridiculous sort of outdated macho attitude stinks. So I'd also send a polite no thanks.

zipzap Mon 13-Jun-11 13:37:49

may be it is a cunning plan to reduce the numbers of people going so they don't have to pay as much for it in these credit crunch days...

and I'm betting it was set up by a man without a family at school (or at a private school where term starts later and with a wife to organise everything) and it is convenient for them grin who thought it would be a nice way to end the summer holiday hmm

Can a lot of you all get together and send a joint note to say that whilst you would all love to go, they have chosen a very bad night for a family friendly event given school starting the next day, time of day, distance etc and propose a couple of alternative dates that would be really family friendly that you would all like and suggest them instead? Is there an HR person or employee rep that you could speak to? And then at least if they don't change their dates it won't reflect too badly on you all... strength in numbers and all that!

Blu Mon 13-Jun-11 13:41:58

I think ZipZap's suggestion is a good one - couldn't they change it to lunchtime? 7.30 on a Sunday eve really isn't family friendly.

Or in you replay say 'thank you, would have loved to have come, but 7.30start on a sunday eve on a school night isn't possible'.

DrNortherner Mon 13-Jun-11 13:52:25

OK update. It's been arranged by our CEO, who does indeed have kids at private school grin

Anyway, I respnsed back to his PA simply saying tahnk, but we can't attend. She just collared me in the kitchen to ask why so I explained. She said she thuoght lots of people would say the same thing but it can not and will not be changed. She said it looks bad if I don't go, and although she understands my reasons, I should attend alone and leave my family at homehmm

She said she will give me a few days to think about it.


GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 13-Jun-11 14:00:59

Tough titty then. Your reasons are valid, they are expecting a lot of refusals. They could change it but won't.

God I'm glad I work for a load of anti social tightarses!

Xiaoxiong Mon 13-Jun-11 14:18:23

I would talk to the CEO about it rather than the PA. She may think it will look bad if you don't go, but you may find the CEO doesn't feel the same way and will be more understanding.

I know the PA of the partner I work for often refuses to move meetings to accommodate anyone else, but when you email the partner directly he is happy to be flexible. I think she feels that she gets some reflected glory from how important he is - and if he is so important, then everything must be fit in around his schedule which is sacrosanct.

Xiaoxiong Mon 13-Jun-11 14:21:09

Also meant to say YANBU to not want to go to something so late on a Sunday. That's a ridiculous time for a work function. My work can't even organise things on Friday evenings because people are itching to get out of London for the weekend. Even Friday afternoon meetings with any partner can be difficult.

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 13-Jun-11 14:21:54

Thing is, I don't understand why these companies act like they own your own time as well as your work time. Or why people let them. Not criticising, just genuinely don't understand.

Pandemoniaa Mon 13-Jun-11 14:23:55

As I thought. It's a power thing. So I'd still not go! Sod what the PA has insinuated.

AppleyEverAfter Mon 13-Jun-11 14:29:41

BBQ at 7.70pm? It will be freezing by then, surely?!

If you don't fancy it, don't go. You are allowed to turn down an invite, whatever the PA says.

ElizabethDarcy Mon 13-Jun-11 14:30:03

The usual corporate pressurising tactics... I am SO glad I left it. At my annual work review I was told I was not a team player (huh??? I am first one in and last one out... always in over the weekend for deadlines - UNPAID)... he told me I was not seen as a team player because I didn't go drinking with everyone on a Friday night.

Stick to your guns. It's corporate bullying... with underlying threats.

DrNortherner Mon 13-Jun-11 14:43:07

The CEO is not the type of guy I can have a chat to about this.

Thanks all, am sticking to my guns.

zipzap Mon 13-Jun-11 14:59:01

And make sure that all your other like-minded colleagues stick to their guns too - always much better to be one of lots that don't turn up for the same reason grin

LolaRennt Mon 13-Jun-11 15:01:30

Bring them and let them sleep on a picnic table for added effect.

topazmcgonagall Mon 13-Jun-11 15:11:23

What guns? The ones you use to shoot yourself in the foot with?

Of course you don't have to go but you have three months warning. Arrange childcare and go to this event that you have been warned the CEO is so keen on.


AppleyEverAfter Mon 13-Jun-11 17:08:55

I cannot believe topaz that you are telling someone to pander to their boss's ridiculous whims, leave their DC alone to go to a 'family' event and generally betray their principles just so the boss can feel popular! Fuck that!

Fuzzywuzzywozabear Mon 13-Jun-11 17:12:51

Just keep saying "sorry I'm not available" you don't have to explain yourself to anyone, not least the PA! As GwendolineMaryLacey said - these people do not own you, you just work for them - during office hours

sounds to me more like no-one is going and the PA is panicking about it

Inertia Mon 13-Jun-11 17:17:13

If the company are so keen for staff to attend, even without families, they should run the event in working hours. If it's a family event, they could run it at say 4pm on a Thursday, letting staff off by 3 to pick children up from school.

Perhaps your company plans to provide and pay for child care if they expect you to attend a work event when you are supposed to be looking after your family ?

topazmcgonagall Mon 13-Jun-11 17:28:29

Actually I'm not suggeting she leaves her DC alone. I'm suggesting she gets childcare and goes.

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