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To think you can politely decline to go to the office party

(25 Posts)
Vintagegramaphone Mon 09-Nov-15 15:52:41

There seems to be almost a competition where I work to utter the most disdainful put downs of the Office Party - "Ugh no, I wouldn't be caught dead..." "God, I have a life....." "I've enough problem seeing my 'real' friends at Christmas without wasting a night" and so on.

I can take or leave the Office Party, and have frequently not gone because I've something else on, the venue doesn't suit me or whatever. But I just make a polite excuse.

AIBU to think some people are almost rude in their eagerness to show they've 'far better things going on in their lives' than the office party'.

ShamelessBreadAddict Mon 09-Nov-15 15:53:45

Yanbu that is rude.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 09-Nov-15 15:56:39

Possibly because a polite "no" is met with "oh gwaaaaaan" or repeated requests about whether you've sorted childcare or whatever your excuse was.

I just found "no, I'd rather stick pins in my eyes." got the message across and people stopped asking me.

Pootles2010 Mon 09-Nov-15 15:58:01

Milk surely 'oh sorry, busy that night' would suffice? Anyone who's organised one of these will know that they're a baggage to sort out, and you're being rather ungracious.

Vintagegramaphone Mon 09-Nov-15 15:58:39

No, it's often people's initial reaction in here. As I've said, I haven't been able to go (or wanted to) on several occasions and came under no undue pressure.

Surely giving a reason such as having an alternative arrangement that night is less likely to get a 'gwaaaan' reaction than 'I have a life' or whatever.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 09-Nov-15 16:07:25

Unfortunately not Pootles. A simple "no thank you" gets the "oh go on" response. A "can't get a babysitter" gets a "have you found a babysitter?" on a daily basis often with helpful suggestions of their aunt's hairdresser's cousin's daughter can do it. "I'm doing something else" is met with offers to rearrange or trying to get you to rearrange.

It's easier to say "fuck no."

OurBlanche Mon 09-Nov-15 16:11:52

Having also tried the polite, sorry I am busy that night and got weeks of being poked and prodded to change my life to accommodate it I now just glare and say "I don't do nice".

If HoD asked she would let me know if it was a 3-line whip request or not.

PolterGoose Mon 09-Nov-15 16:15:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CrohnicallyAspie Mon 09-Nov-15 16:19:46

I tend to say something like 'I can't, no really, I can't' or plain 'I don't want to'. Like PPs have said if you give a reason people will assume you actually do want to go, and will try and 'help' you. 'I don't want to' isn't as rude as some of the other comments but means that people are less likely to nag you to go!

whois Mon 09-Nov-15 16:26:09

Meh, we have fun Christmas parties in our team. Meal out and some drinks. Anyone who doesn't want to drink can go home after the meal.

BackforGood Mon 09-Nov-15 16:26:49

That does sound rude.
I tend to just say 'Sorry, I can't make it this year' without offering other excuses / reasons, if I don't want to go.

MaxPepsi Mon 09-Nov-15 16:30:28

I used to decline the office party, with no thanks I don't want to go.

Worked for me everytime, however I think I either had an edge to my voice or a don't fucking bother trying to convince me otherwise look on my face.

Funnily enough, the non freebie works do I would gladly go along to, but the paid for by the company free booze all night bashes I avoided at all costs!

cjt110 Mon 09-Nov-15 16:30:54

At least you can get out of yours. Ours is at 2pm. You either go to the office party, or have to stay at the office. Alone. Til 5pm. biscuit

MaxPepsi Mon 09-Nov-15 16:32:28

cjt I changed jobs this year, I think that is the way of our Xmas bash here. I'd rather not bother, but it's my first year so will show willing. Plus the venue is a 5 minute walk from my house so I plan to disappear when no one is looking!!

Nabootique Mon 09-Nov-15 16:33:30

Have almost the opposite problem here. People fall all over themselves to go and there is a waiting list! Outfits purchased especially for the occasion. All the women knock off at 2.30 (don't book holiday or anything, just go) to have their hair and/or make up done. Gel nails done that week, etc., etc. I don't go and have to work until 5pm. Grumble.

Seriouslyffs Mon 09-Nov-15 16:34:58

Another reason I love my employer. They pay for it and it's in the working day.

cjt110 Mon 09-Nov-15 16:35:05

MaxPepsi I dont mind a good bit of food and a laugh but they get silly IMO and drink because the tab is there. I've been here for 3 years. First year I drove so didnt drive, got away with that excuse the following year (they all thought I was just being boring but was pregnant) and last year I did have a drink as I was on mat leave, but just 2 glasses of wine. This year luckily(?) it's on a Friday which means I will have to collect DS from my parents or get myself home as DH will have DS. So, Driving it is again for me grin

celtictoast Mon 09-Nov-15 16:37:39

Damning responses are not very kind to the person who's taken the trouble to organise it. Decline politely and stick to your guns. Just keep saying no, that's all.

NewLife4Me Mon 09-Nov-15 16:39:01


The only thing worse than working in a boring office would have to be the office party. grin

Vintagegramaphone Mon 09-Nov-15 16:41:06

I actually prefer the ones that take place in the afternoon. That way you can head home at 5 if you like, without looking anti social. My least preferred ones are where everyone goes home from work and then re-groups, all dolled up, at 8pm. I always (politely) avoid those.

squoosh Mon 09-Nov-15 16:41:25


Some years I don't attend, I just say I have something on. Competitive disdain is teenage behaviour.

RhodaBull Mon 09-Nov-15 16:47:32

Agree that the competitive disdain is very rude. I suppose the "no" brigade are oh, so cool and wouldn't be seen dead talking to boring people such as Malcolm from Accounts or any lesser beings.

Must be the same people saying that who come on MN and dictate that only saddos fraternise with work colleagues, and that out of work only saddos try to talk to people at the school gate, and that out and about only weirdo saddos pass the time of day with strangers.

SharkSkinThing Mon 09-Nov-15 16:49:00

After 5 years of sleep deprivation with a child who now generally sleeps, personally, I am flippin' gagging for the office Christmas party!

If you don't want yours, I'll have it!

SuperT3d Mon 09-Nov-15 18:38:58

Nah went to it my first year at this job. It's just an excuse to get so drunk you throw up and continue to throw up at work the next day <- not my scene

A nice meal out with my colleagues, yes please! Sadly if it doesn't involve a lot of booze no one is interested. Boring lot :-/

PeacockPie Mon 09-Nov-15 20:37:04

Ours, although the meal (and some drinks) are paid for, would incur a self funded expense of approx £100 once travel was added... I declined on the principle that I couldn't justify the expense a fortnight before Christmas. No one pestered me. If I'd been desperate to go I could easily find the money but I'd prefer to spend it on/with family and friends. I'd never be rude about parties though, in my younger days it was me that had to organise them, and finding something a whole department wanted to do was nigh on impossible.

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