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to feel I am being excluded at work?

(22 Posts)
Bumblequeen Thu 27-Sep-12 14:49:15

I work in a team of five made up of men and women.

Several months ago they decided to each cook a dish and bring it to share for lunch.

I usually bring my own lunch to work (cooked food)- low finances.

I have never once been invited to join them.

Am I being over sensitive?

I feel excluded and this has happened to me before in another job where a spiteful colleague used to organise breakfast with another and never asked me. When I sat at reception she would shut the door in front of me while they ate in our office.

Brings back horrible memories. sad

iwantavuvezela Thu 27-Sep-12 14:54:08

Would you like to join in with the meal? If yes you can say quite casually, "I see you are all bringing and sharing a meal, could I be part of it".

If you dont want to be part of it (as you mentioned low finances), but would still like to eat with them perhaps you could say "it looks like fun when you all sit down to eat together would you mind if i joined you."

Is there someone within the 5 that you like / get on with the most? If so you could appraoch them and ask if you could join in ...
sometimes these set ups at work that look formal, are not ...

i think its best though that you know what you want .... either company; or to do the food thing, so you can ask about this.

Good luck, i am sure if there are decent colleagues they will include you .... me personally i love hiding somewhere to eat on my own!

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 27-Sep-12 14:55:04

Why don't you offer to bring a dish to share with them all......

Maybe they are aware of your low finances and don't want to embarass you by expecting you to bring extra food.

BonaDea Thu 27-Sep-12 14:57:09

YANBU. I would be hurt, too.

But as has been said above, there may well be nothing in it which is deliberate or intended to offend. So, if you want to join in, just ask.

BurlingtonBertieFromBow Thu 27-Sep-12 15:01:22

What are they like the rest of the time? If you generally feel left out then that's probably because they are trying to leave you out. Do they all socialise together and never invite you?

tbh the bringing a meal thing sounds like a right faff and I probably wouldn't want to do it, but it's not nice to feel excluded

Bumblequeen Thu 27-Sep-12 15:16:12

Yes they meet up outside of work - go to each others homes and know family members . I am invited for meals out but never to anyones home. They discuss it at work which automatically excludes me as I was not there.

BurlingtonBertieFromBow Thu 27-Sep-12 15:22:03

Maybe they think you are not interested? When I'm at work I'm very focused on work and don't have much time for socialising. This has meant that sometimes I don't get as friendly with colleagues as the others. But it doesn't really bother me because I have friends outside work and a lot of stuff to get through during the working day.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Thu 27-Sep-12 17:28:13

I think in the first instance I would ask them outright. Or just tell them: "I'm planning on bringing in food for lunch each week now too, is there anything specific I need to bring this week?" If they say no then they are unkind and not worth knowing.

redwineformethanks Thu 27-Sep-12 17:32:35

I once discovered that a colleague felt we had excluded her. We were mortified. I can assure you it may be totally unintentional. In our case, she went out every lunchtime. We just assumed she liked the fresh air. It turned out she was going out because she felt we didn't want her in the office. I promise you we had no idea

I'd suggest you ask if you can join in (if you wish to), or (if you're afraid of being rejected) ask if you can sit with them while you eat the food you've brought in

disastrous Thu 27-Sep-12 23:29:49

I know how you feel. In my current job, I usually eat lunch with two other people. A couple of times person 1 has been busy/out of the office, and person 2 has told me they were eating lunch with someone else. Since person 2 never said "you're welcome to eat with us if you want", I assumed I wasn't welcome. So I ended up sitting on my own in the cafeteria a couple of tables away from them, while they said with a bunch of empty chairs around their table. Also, a couple of times I've had to listen to person 1 and 2 talk about how they should meet up again outside of work.

Still, I shouldn't complain as at my last job I didn't have anyone to eat lunch with.

Bumblequeen Thu 27-Sep-12 23:38:43

I am quite a sensitive person but cover it up by acting aloof.

Generally they are a nice group of people who get on very well together. I was the last person 'in' so they already have a formed clique which I am not part of. I do not have the confidence to invite myself to join them. I think if people want me to be a part of something they would ask me.

McHappyPants2012 Thu 27-Sep-12 23:44:54

i would be mortified if people thought they couldn't join in with us on break.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Fri 28-Sep-12 00:00:31

In the nicest possible way Bumble, perhaps if you act aloof,they might think that perhaps you don't want to join them, so that's why they haven't asked you.

I think in this situation I would just ask to join in. I think you will make yourself more upset thinking about the situation and beating yourself up about not being invited, when you could save yourself a lot of upset by just taking the bull by the horns and asking. I'm sure they will be more than happy for you to join them!

Pandemoniaa Fri 28-Sep-12 00:05:57

I am quite a sensitive person but cover it up by acting aloof.

I think that's your answer, OP. I can understand your sensitivity but if you come across as unapproachable it is difficult to blame people for not approaching you. So I think you have to make some effort yourself here.

Leena49 Fri 28-Sep-12 01:15:47

It's a team of 5 not 35 so why don't you just say something instead of letting the resentment fester. Communication is a two way thing!

NapaCab Fri 28-Sep-12 06:25:10

When you're last in the door and there's an established team who are used to socializing with each other, it's hard. I've been in that position and it means you have to make much more of an effort to fit in as the existing team is already comfortable with how things are. It's not that they're particularly mean but they just can't be bothered.

So if you are bothered and you want to become friends with them, then you'll have to make a big effort i.e. actively ask them if you can join their lunch-sharing plans and other social events. It's so hard to do if you're shy but as the 'new person', it's just the way it is. I hate being the new person!

pigletmania Fri 28-Sep-12 07:16:52

Exactly bumble you have answered your own question. You acting aloof puts up an instant barrier, you do t want to be their friend or that you are not approachable, or unfriendly. YOU need to make the effort I am afraid if you want things to change, don't wait for them.

Bumblequeen Fri 28-Sep-12 08:06:46

I am friendly though and show an interest in their lives. I meant if I am not invited in I give the impression that I am not bothered when it actually hurts. I generally wait to be included rather than putting myself upon people. That has always been my problem.

pigletmania Fri 28-Sep-12 08:35:40

Well you have to bite the bullet and go for it, if you don't ask you don't get

pigletmania Fri 28-Sep-12 09:22:07

Yes I think tat you do give that impression of not being bothered, that is probably why they don't ask you.

sookiesookie Fri 28-Sep-12 09:41:56

But if you act like you are not bothered, that's perhaps why.
Why don't you arrange something. Maybe invite them to your house.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Fri 28-Sep-12 11:42:25

I really think Bumble that you need to make the first move in this situation; you could spend another few years at that same workplace feeling miserable and left out, or you could take positive steps today to making things happier for yourself at work.

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