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Work meal out

(40 Posts)
BhajiAllTheWay Sat 11-Feb-17 11:48:23

Long time lurker here. Struggling to know how to handle this one. Works outings have started to get more often in lunches, teas out for any occasion. If someone can't attend on a certain date it gets juggled round until everyone can go. So far so good as I think it's seen as a bonding thing.BUT.. i try to order pretty much the cheapest thing as I'm a single mum plus earn not very much and im the only part timer compared to most of them in the top roles. Lately the consensus has been splitting the bill total between everyone there!! I don't drink either. So last time I had a meal at £10... it ended up costing £18 as the rest had pricey stuff!! Dunno how to handle this without being the one who says they can't afford...I feel embarrassed. If I said no to going they'd just rearrange till I can. I like my colleagues but already they are planning another 2 meals out ..WWYD??

Creampastry Sat 11-Feb-17 11:49:59

Can you leave early and so leave the exact amount plus tip? It's bloody annoying when ''tis happens.

Trifleorbust Sat 11-Feb-17 11:51:15

I wouldn't be embarrassed to say I didn't want to spend the money this time, and I wouldn't go. You don't have to say you can't afford it.

DJBaggySmalls Sat 11-Feb-17 11:51:25

You just have to speak up,. they are the ones being unreasonable.

Ohyesiam Sat 11-Feb-17 11:52:23

Yes, creampastry had the right idea. Even of it's a work lunch hour, you could always have av urgent errand.

TeenAndTween Sat 11-Feb-17 11:52:35

Find someone in the team you feel closest to and confide in them. Elicit their help in sorting it out. They are being thoughtless and will probably be embarrassed when they realise.

BhajiAllTheWay Sat 11-Feb-17 11:54:40

I know...and without being too specific, they are in very high profile professions and know I've had a really tough time personally. I think leaving early is a good one cream pasty thank you.

PollytheDolly Sat 11-Feb-17 11:55:28

Yes that's not fair. I'd just tell them you would love to come but you will pay for what you have as you don't drink. They can't argue with that and it's perfectly reasonable.

I've done this before.

SalmonFajitas Sat 11-Feb-17 11:55:57

No reasonable person would object to you saying - "do you mind if I just chip in for what I had as I can't afford it otherwise?".

It's quite insensitive of them not to pick up on it to be honest. I used to have a friend at uni who would do this - she got a generous allowance from her parents and would always order cocktails, most expensive set meal etc. then suggest splitting the bill at the end.

Chloe84 Sat 11-Feb-17 11:56:16

Bhaji you have to speak up before this becomes a habit.

When you accept an invite say: 'I'd like to come, but on the understand that I will pay for my own food and drink and not a share of the entire bill. Please let me know if this is an issue.'

You will stop enjoying the lunches and resent them if this continues.

Roomster101 Sat 11-Feb-17 11:56:17

That sounds really frustrating. In my experience, it is always management who want to split the bill despite their high salaries. I would speak up as I bet you aren't the only one who doesn't want to split the bill.

BhajiAllTheWay Sat 11-Feb-17 12:11:36

I honestly don't know if I'm the only one.It's a relatively small place..but my circumstances are different to the rest. Something else is the constant collections...not only birthdays but any event really. It's hard when emails come round saying " can I have your £5 by such and such a time. It's obvious who has or hasn't contributed....

Chloe84 Sat 11-Feb-17 12:17:01

I would speak to my line manager and explain you can't afford the collections and either ask

- for the collections to be anonymous and amounts to be voluntary


- to be left out (i.e. Colleagues don't have to do a collection for your birthdays etc).

Line manager can then speak to other managers to gauge other peoples' opinions and then speak to the person who does the collections to say amounts are unaffordable for some

Chloe84 Sat 11-Feb-17 12:18:11

Managers are there to make work life easier - use them! smile

SorrelSoup Sat 11-Feb-17 12:24:24

shock at £5 collections! You can't be the only one feeling this way!

BhajiAllTheWay Sat 11-Feb-17 12:34:09

Thanks everyone. I honestly don't think I'm BU here. Good to know lots of you would be on a downer about it too.

JustSpeakSense Sat 11-Feb-17 12:34:13

I'm afraid you are going to have to be honest, you have to speak up, the majority of them will probably feel really bad you have been put in an awkward position.

arethereanyleftatall Sat 11-Feb-17 12:38:30

It's so irritating when this happens, as the wrong party ends up being embarrassed. It's they who should be embarrassed not you when you say you would prefer to just pay for your own.
Mind, make sure you do actually pay your share. I've been out with someone once who insisted on only paying for their pizza as they didn't drink wine; conveniently forgetting their share of dough balls starter and coke.

Crunchymum Sat 11-Feb-17 12:43:43

Its really, really selfish of the other people involved.

I remember going for a big birthday meal years ago and the girl I sat next to had a salad as a her main and tap water, yet she was hit with a £30 bill as it was split evenly and included paying for the birthday girl. Most other people had indulged in 3 courses and booze!!

The poor girl tried to speak up and was met with "well why are you here if you have no money?" (I may have called the person who said that a rude cunt and caused a bit of a row!!)

I also remember joining my friends at a leaving do at a very expensive bar. Think £15+ a cocktail and this was over a decade ago. I had 2 small glasses of wine, made sure I was on a separate bill and then when everyone was leaving the whole party split the bar bill and whoever did the calculations included me. So I was landed with a £50 bar bill. I was young and these people were all barristers and pissed so I just sucked it up!! Oh and I had to pay the £16 for my wine as well.

Did tell my friend and she gave me the money back next time we met though.

meganorks Sat 11-Feb-17 13:11:30

If there is a big group the bill generally does always get split. It's just impossibe otherwise.
Its OK and not embarrassing to say you can't afford to go and eat out all the time. There is no point lying that you can't make it if they will rearrange.

seven201 Sat 11-Feb-17 13:23:15

You shouldn't feel embarrassed. If you want to go (you said you like them) then just reply to an email saying you'd like to come if you can pay for what you have, as you can't sustain the meet ups otherwise. I wouldn't think anything of receiving an email like that. Last night I went out with two friends and because of a stupid allergy the only things I could eat were the most expensive and I drank the most wine so I insisted on not splitting equally. It's just not fair otherwise.

TheProblemOfSusan Sat 11-Feb-17 13:23:58

It's not impossible. At all. In fact it's really easy especially if it's one person - you just make sure you know exactly what you need to pay and a bit for tip, hand it over as soon as the bill is mentioned and don't get included in the split of the rest.

Best to make sure someone knows this as a PP suggested - say yes I'd love to but I'll not be having much or drinking so I'll not be splitting the bill. Someone had better wording above!

I hate it when people don't think this through, it's so unkind. We agree ahead what we'll do if it's a work thing - takes two seconds before ordering to say "splitting the bill?" and gives the drivers, budgeters, etc a chance to say "oh actually...". Or we have set menus.

wettunwindee Sat 11-Feb-17 14:32:49

Most normal people will feel embarrassedthey've put you in this position. A subtle email saying you'll pay for your food is fine. Doing that when you accept the offer is the best time.

No need to feel bad or unreasonable or otherwise. We all have budgets. If you can't afford to go or would rather spend that money on something else then say so.

Roomster101 Sat 11-Feb-17 21:10:52

If there is a big group the bill generally does always get split. It's just impossibe otherwise.

I go out with large groups all the time and usually each person pays roughly for what they have had. Most people will add a bit and there is always enough to pay the bill and tip at the end so it not that difficult. I don't mind splitting the bill if the group is all female friends, but if there are men, some will eat/drink huge amounts so could be very unfair.

TarragonChicken Sat 11-Feb-17 21:40:07

always enough to pay the bill and tip

I don't think I've ever split the bill like this and there's been enough! Someone always miscalculates or forgets to add their side/share of wine etc.

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