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To pull out of hen do due to promotion?

(53 Posts)
tearoomtrash Sat 30-Nov-13 17:59:19

I have recently taken up a new post at work and it's going really well so far. I have worked at the company for several years and have a network of great friends. I am now in a position of senior responsibility.

My problem is that I now line manage some of them and so made the decision to pull out of a colleague's hen weekend, for fear of it being seen as unprofessional/favouritism. I have paid up my share, plus put in a bit extra for a round of drinks.

Unfortunately the hen and my other friends have taken it badly, and don't understand why I don't feel able to attend.


Tee2072 Sat 30-Nov-13 18:21:00

I'm on the fence on this one. I hate hen dos anyway, but I do think it can be tricky to transition to management and it might actually help if you go.

Just don't get blotto.

VioletPlum Sat 30-Nov-13 18:21:13

Depends if you're going to get drunk, cry, threaten to glass someone, show them your fanny and reveal that you're having an affair with the groom or not.

scottishmummy Sat 30-Nov-13 18:21:43

Go,don't talk shop,and have good tome

Finola1step Sat 30-Nov-13 18:23:37

YABU but I do see where you are coming from a bit.

When I got promoted to senior management, I did watch what I said down the pub and excused myself from any work conversations that I thought could "turn". I did cut down the socialising a bit and 8 years later, I only go out a few times a year (but that's because I now have 2 young children and a 3 hour daily commute).

I think you should go. Enjoy yourself but don't get drunk. And don't snog strangers. Be very wary of what could be put on Facebook etc.

tearoomtrash Sat 30-Nov-13 18:24:41

I still go for work drinks, and even the odd drink with the group involved, but avoid drinking these days.

This is a whole weekend away involving strippers, nightclubs and the usual hen party fare. It is a small group of colleagues and no other management attending. All are on Facebook, I'm not and feel uncomfortable about photos being posted. I would also find it harder not to drink & join the fun and gossip in this kind of setting.

I am finding the professional distance thing challenging and I think they are too. I thought I was doing the right thing all round, but maybe not...confused

scottishmummy Sat 30-Nov-13 18:26:53

Strippers,and FB!oh Christ given that I'd no go
Reading what you describe it's best not go
Make polite excuse

wetaugust Sat 30-Nov-13 18:29:18


So suddenly activities that you would have no qualms about joing in with are suddenly taboo? They shouls either be acceptable/taboo regrdless of your managerial status.

Don't think that being aloof makes you a good manager - it doesn't.

A good manger knows they command the respect of those they manage without having to create artificial boundaries.

Actually, being a good manger is the easy bit, it's being a good leader that will get you results.

How can you lead if you're not even there?

Tee2072 Sat 30-Nov-13 18:37:13

YANBU now that I hear about strippers and Facebook.

You are right to not go.

Of course, as I said, I hate hen dos anyway and certainly hate ones like that.

Sunnysummer Sat 30-Nov-13 21:00:21

Ah, if it's a whole weekend then I take back my last post, YANBU.

daisychain01 Sat 30-Nov-13 21:25:07

Good advice on here IMO. Just go along, stay friendly, stay sober, have a lovely time and do what you can to make sure the 'hen' sees you enjoying yourself.

She is the most important person, it is her event.

Poppy67 Sat 30-Nov-13 21:36:34

You could have gone for a while then made excuses and left before they get paralytic.

razmataz Sat 30-Nov-13 22:46:04

YABU. I work for a large company and everyone socialises without discrimination - in a party environment even the MD lets his hair down and drinks with everyone else. It doesn't make anyone respect him or anyone else less - actually it really helps team morale because it makes everyone feel part of the same team - there's plenty of time for hierarchy in the office.

You could go, have a few drinks and join in the merriment without getting smashed and being inappropriate with the stripper.

HildaOgden Sat 30-Nov-13 22:49:44

Did you tell them why you were pulling out?If so,that was a mistake.In your shoes,I'd probably pull out too,but I'd invent an unconnected reason to do so.

Financeprincess Sun 01-Dec-13 00:25:56

Truthfully, the stripper/Facebook business sounds like embroidery added by you to make the weekend sound entirely inappropriate.

You were happy to go before you got promoted, though! That is why your colleagues are upset. The message you are giving them is, "I'm too important and special to socialise with you any more". Big mistake.

iwasyoungonce Sun 01-Dec-13 00:36:13

YAB completely U.

You will lose the respect of your colleagues by not going, It make you look as if you feel you are better than them now.

I have a senior position at work, and I understand how it can be slightly difficult in these situations, but as everyone else has said, you go along and you don't get hammered.

scottishmummy Sun 01-Dec-13 00:42:15

You're the boss,not the big mate.given what you describe avoid
You need to be boundaried,professional, because you're not one of the girls

Mia4 Sun 01-Dec-13 00:52:12

I think you've slighted them tbh. They probably think you feel you are too good now especially given that you've paid for extra drinks. It could look like a patronising pat on the back, however nice a gesture.

Have you explained your reasoning to them?

RE: the strippers though, if you were happy to go before then it's null and void to bring it up now imo. You were happy when you signed up, I dislike people that suddenly have a change in situation and then act like suddenly they don't agree/want to do with things they once did. My sister always bangs on about being a mum meaning that she can no longer come near alcohol or places that sell alcohol-even if it's for one (non alcoholic) drink. Mind you her 'being a mum excuse' is her cop out for everything these days.

I understand that you want to draw lines but unfortunately this wasn't the best way to do it. Personally I would have bowed out as unwell instead, it would leave them sympathetic rather then feeling slighted.

Mia4 Sun 01-Dec-13 00:58:07

And by reasoning, I mean not saying 'I'd look unprofessional' which could imply that she and the others look unprofessional. Rather sitting the bride down at work but in private, saying something along the lines of 'Since my promotion, I've had to consider the possibility that people think I'm creating a conflict of interest and showing favouritism. I'm really upset because this makes me feel very uncomfortable and like I shouldn't come to your hen do. I'm going to have to pull out of this weekend in case I get accused of anything and then the backlash comes to you, sorry'.

scottishmummy Sun 01-Dec-13 00:59:49

Look just don't turn up,avoids any convoluted avoidance of drunken hens etc

annielouisa Sun 01-Dec-13 02:03:17

OP I think maybe people have been a bit unfair as alot of Hen Weekends have now grown into very madness packed weekends where all the excesses seem to be captured on numerous digital cameras and smart phones.

It is not a case of thinking you are better than people but understanding that if you directly manage people the lines between friendship and professional role have to be clearly defined. Haolding back on the alcohol is easier on a night out, where you can get an early taxi home but not so easy on a weekend away where you'd be viewed as the party pooper.

ravenAK Sun 01-Dec-13 02:24:28

Either a) rock up; don't get totally shitfaced & embarrass yourself; bear in mind that 'what goes on on tour stays on tour' re: anyone else getting totally shitfaced etc; go bed early with a 'migraine' if it's looking a bit lairy - & don't accept similar invitations in the future if it's an uncomfortable situation

Or b) invent a clash of dates NOW - you think it's best to pull out as your sister is organising Great Aunt Myrtle's 90th & you'll never hear the end of it if you don't go, blah blah...

What you don't do is opt out of an invitation you've already accepted on the basis that you're Management now. You will look a right plank, & insecure to boot.

But if you've already done this, the best way to rescue it is probably to leave it. You made what you thought was the best decision, in everyone's interest. It'll blow over!

Mia4 Sun 01-Dec-13 09:50:31

annielouisa OP was happy to enjoy this kind of hen do so regardless of promotion or not she wanted to experience it, they just think she shouldn't now use the hen do activities (which she tried to make sound skeevey despite agreeing to them before) to excuse why she doesn't now want to go to us and add to our sympathy to get more yanbus. I think for a large part people have understood boundaries are needed, just not agreed with the way OP went about backing out.

I do agree though professional lines should be drawn, there may be a potential conflict of interest with her being higher management, she could very well feel uncomfortable especially given she's so new at this. OP just went about it in a rubbish way, probably due to her being a new manager or new higher up person. Before I became a manager and had appropriate and good (not to be confused with shit) training, I found it hard to know the best way to deal with conflict and how to talk to people without either a) getting walked over or b) seeming like a PITA manager.

Really all managers should have conflict training so they know the most tactful and assertive way to deal with things-in order to maintain your professionalism. Sadly, this way she looks less professional for it.

meganorks Sun 01-Dec-13 09:55:58

Yabu. You have essentially said 'now I've been promoted we aren't friends any more's. Harsh.

mrsjay Sun 01-Dec-13 10:00:23

Truthfully, the stripper/Facebook business sounds like embroidery added by you to make the weekend sound entirely inappropriate.

^ ^ this it sounds like it is a wee added extra to the story as it was fine before the promotion now not so much OP you are a line manager lovey not a nun these women would have respected you more if you went,

flippingebay Sun 01-Dec-13 10:04:31

My senior manager will still come out with us drinking for a variety of reasons and I respect her more. She's happy to have a laugh with is mere mortals and shows a fun side to her too.
I really dislike managers who come across as 'too good' to have a drink with the minions.

If you're that bothered you should have gone for a few and left early.

I agree you can't let rip like you might do with friends but there's nothing wrong with having a laugh and getting a bit merry

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