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to not go for after work drinks?

(52 Posts)
LittleLionMansMummy Fri 30-Oct-15 10:55:52

I work 35 hours and have one ds who is nearly 5. I work from home 3-4 days a week and ds goes to cm for an hour or two after school so I get to pick him up at a reasonable time (4.30pm) on 2 days and my dh collects him from school 1 day and brings him home (where I'm working). On the other 1-2 days I work in London - a good 80 miles away so it's a train and takes maybe 2 to 2.5 hours door to door. My boss is very flexible around the hours I work when I'm in London. I love my job and career, but obviously my time with ds is precious. I'm not really a mum who chooses work over family. My family will always come first and my work and career decisions have always been made with a view to getting the right balance for me, dh and ds.

So my boss has emailed the team and suggested fortnightly after work drinks, starting on Tuesday evening. The team is really hard working and I doubt will be leaving before 5.30pm. Even if I got away from London at 6.30pm I won't get home until 8.30 - long after ds has gone to bed. I know he's fine with my dh and on the odd occasion I'm not averse to having a night out, but it's never a regular thing. As a rule I prefer to be home in time to say goodnight to ds. I don't really want to go on Tuesday, let alone more regularly, because it means I'll see ds for only about 10 mins before I have to leave for work in the morning. But it's a relatively new job and I don't want them to think I'm antisocial or whatever. It's just that either the people in the team are too young to have dc or older and their dc are therefore much older/ adults. I really like my team, they're all lovely so I feel I should make a bit of an effort especially as I work remotely from them most of the week.

Wibu not to go?

PiperChapstick Fri 30-Oct-15 10:57:06

YANBU. Surely a Xmas do once a year is enough for socialising with colleagues, whyever would anyone want to go out every 2 weeks! Most people don't see their friends that often

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 30-Oct-15 10:59:49

Could you go once a month - so go to one, miss the next one, etc?

It's not unreasonable to want to be home with your son, but it will have an impact on your standing in the business - regular drinks will likely make the team closer together, and if you never attend, you risk alienating yourself a bit. That might not affect you, or it might, but it's difficult to tell until it's happened.

I don't think many women choose work over family, by the way. Needs must, in most cases.

LittleLionMansMummy Fri 30-Oct-15 11:01:46

I guess I just mean Anchor the high flyers who want to be chief executive and are more career focused/ ambitious. I know that for many they don't have a choice.

ImperialBlether Fri 30-Oct-15 11:04:53

I would go to every other one, so once a month.

welliesandleaves Fri 30-Oct-15 11:05:19

I would go to the first one to show willing, and then just go to the odd random one now and again. It might peter out in any case. Even people with no children or older children won't necessarily want to be tied down to fortnightly drinks. It will probably end up with just a small core group going every fortnight and everyone else not bothering or just going now and again.

ImperialBlether Fri 30-Oct-15 11:07:07

Could you, once a month, pick up your son from school, give him something to eat and spend an hour with him, then go to London for the drinks?

ILiveAtTheBeach Fri 30-Oct-15 11:08:47

Just go as and when you fancy it. If you don't want to go, just say you have child care issues. Simples.

SkyFoCrumbo Fri 30-Oct-15 11:10:55

I would go maybe once every 6 weeks, just to show my face.

Buy YANBU to not really want to go! I work half days on Friday, so leave at lunchtime and rarely go to the weekly after work drinks in my department on a Friday evening.

I dont work in a sector where socialising has a big impact on career, though, and there are several others like me that just aren't up for drinking with colleagues on a regular basis.

SlaggyIsland Fri 30-Oct-15 11:14:29

I hate how UK businesses assume that everyone is an extroverted drinker with no commitments.
People might be, like the OP, parents of young children. They might be recovering alcohols. Alcohol might be against their religious beliefs. It's actually pretty discriminatory to base team-building activities around a pub.
I wouldn't go, or maybe once in a blue moon. I don't like drinking in the week, I'm introverted and I like my own home.
If that affects my ability to get on in that particular company, so be it.

yorkshapudding Fri 30-Oct-15 11:21:38

I would go to the odd one now and again but there's no way I'd commit to going every time. I spend far too much extra (unpaid) time at work as it is and while I do like my colleagues and enjoy their company, time with my family is precious. I imagine many of your colleagues will be unable to attend every time due to family commitments and even your single, child-free colleagues won't necessarily show up every time. People have hobbies, voluntary work, DIY projects, all kinds of things they need their evenings for. If frequent attendance at after work drinks does end up giving people an advantage professionally (in terms of promotions, training, people being involved in big projects etc) then that's not acceptable to be honest and could be seen as discriminating against those with family commitments.

welliesandleaves Fri 30-Oct-15 11:23:14

In fairness Slaggy the fact that he's organising it for a Tuesday night would indicate that he's just thinking of a quick drink after work and not a big drinking session.
But in any event, I certainly wouldn't be blocking off my Tuesday nights for this. I would go if and when it suited me.

IamtheDevilsAvocado Fri 30-Oct-15 11:25:09

I guess it's a question of how ambitious you are?

I think once a fortnight /once a month is little in the great run of things? Tje vast majority of the time you are home at a reasonable time.

lexigrey Fri 30-Oct-15 11:27:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuperFlyHigh Fri 30-Oct-15 11:29:26

Once a month is fine. I'd suggest that just to show willing.

You could also said explain your child (eg you want to see him) and suggest as an alternative (not to the drinks but an extra) going for a team lunch. I worked at a large accountants then based in Baker Street and we organised team lunches (pizza express etc) where partners, secretaries etc came along. Very social and meant that those who did not fancy the after work drinks due to distance, kids etc could do the lunch instead.

scatterthenuns Fri 30-Oct-15 11:29:49

Go every now and then. I highly doubt the whole team committing to fortnightly drinks. Most people will dip and out as and when they feel like it.

welliesandleaves Fri 30-Oct-15 11:30:11

I find the idea that you have to go for after work drinks in order to get on really horrible. Surely if you're good at your job, work hard, are prepared to go the extra mile when needed, have relevant qualifications and don't cause problems in the workplace that's what should count?

chrome100 Fri 30-Oct-15 11:33:33

I too would go every now and again to show willing.

Rightly or wrongly these things do matter at work and if it's your boss that's suggested it then I think that ought to be your cue to attend every so often.

You have my sympathies, it's far from ideal. I live a 5 minute walk from work and still resent doing all the social stuff, but in my office at least the people that shun work events are noticed and it's commented on. I think being late home every so often is a small price to pay.

SuperFlyHigh Fri 30-Oct-15 11:33:58

Also you could suggest a social club or a night where the focus isn't on drinking.

We did this at the accountants and went to Bavarian Beerhouse for Oktoberfest, a comedy evening, theatre (we were near Regent's Park so did an open air one in the summer), greyhound racing etc. our main boss also organised an excellent evening at the Namco Centre in London (a games place) where we all played bowling, pool, bumper cars and had fun - and all the big bosses joined in which was hilarious and it made it a real team bonding event.

Mrsbennington Fri 30-Oct-15 11:35:42

just say NO. there is no obligation to socialise with your colleagues.

SuperFlyHigh Fri 30-Oct-15 11:38:02

wellies it depends totally on your Job and company re drinks and getting on. I've worked as team sec/PA for 2 firms of architects where team drinks or drinks afterwork on Fridays were an essential bonding time or time to discuss work or not, as architects work long hours sometimes these can be invaluable for morale. One architects they made us discuss/show projects too though and the Friday night drinks (in boardroom with drinks and sandwiches after work) they showed work (drawings, models etc) which was a bit boring and hard to get out of going to.... You were expected to go!

Janeymoo50 Fri 30-Oct-15 11:42:21

I'd perhaps do the every other month to start off with and see how it goes, it may well fizzle out of its own accord anyway (especially over Christmas/New Year etc) and you'll not have to worry about it. If not, then at least if you go on occasion then it will be recognised and appreciated (hopefully!).

Hullygully Fri 30-Oct-15 11:50:27

A cunning plan would be to go to the first one and be super friendly and enthusiastic, say how nice it is to see everyone socially, and how hard it is to get out when one has a child (planting seed).

Next one, don't go and express disappointment, such a shame, really enjoyed first one, childcare issues, aren't kids a nuisance?

Ditto third one.

Go to fourth and be friendly as in first.

After that, go or not at random. Everyone will think you love them and are willing and just terribly disappointed you can't make it all the time. No one will resent you for it. They will all love you and not think you don't want to be with them.

welliesandleaves Fri 30-Oct-15 11:54:30

Super I take your point but I think it is very wrong of employers to view Friday evenings as essential bonding time. Friday evening is the start of the weekend and people need their weekends if they are to have a proper work/life balance.
A functioning workplace should not need weekly pub sessions to create a sense of team and getting on. Obviously it is good for morale if colleagues socialise together now and again, but compulsory after work drinks every Friday sound like false morale building to me.

juneau Fri 30-Oct-15 11:55:32

I think if you value your job and want to get on you have to go at least some Tuesdays. Going twice a month is a lot, I agree, particularly if you're working from home that day and would have to go in specially, but social stuff is part and parcel of a lot of jobs and not going out ever with your colleagues isn't a very smart move IMO as it sets you apart and perhaps even marks you out as not a team player and/or not much fun.

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