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WIBU to tell my team members they must attend this leaving do?

(238 Posts)
regenerator Wed 05-Jul-17 21:24:33

Ok, I know I would be but I do feel I would be justified in raising the matter.

We are a small team in a larger organisation and one of our team members is leaving having been with us for almost 5 years. Everyone was positive about going out to say goodbye, and we usually go out as a team at Christmas/when someone leaves etc - we don't socialise a lot but mark occasions and always have a good time when we do. Organising a date for a 'do' was hard as we are all busy people, but we finally got one that suited everyone.

We decided to have the meal in a location about 30 minutes drive from where we work, which is nearer to where leaving girl lives. Aside from one person, no one lives in the town we work in, so there is no 'obvious' location we could go to that would suit everyone.

The day after we settled on a date, the management of our organisation announced that there would be a 'summer party' held on the same date in our place of work - a licenced bar, buffet etc. Two of our team members immediately started saying they would like to go to that and leaving girl immediately started trying to accommodate them, suggesting other dates etc. None were any good and they said they would go to the staff do for an hour or so and then come to the leaving do.

However, the leaving girl feels it isn't fair to expect them to come as, with the distance, if they don't have a meal it won't be worth the time spent to get there - neither of them wants to drive, which is obviously fair enough. She has left it with them and nothing has been said for a day or so and she has said to me, sadly, not sulkily or in a flounce, that she may just 'leave it'.

I feel so bad for her as she has been a great person to work with and a friend and now may leave without it being marked. I also feel these two were incredibly rude to go back on plans made and would like to gently point this out. I get that, for one reason or another, they both know a lot more people in the wider organisation than the rest of our team does, so that's why they want to go to the summer party. one else is leaving, they can go to any number of occasions with their other friend. Our colleague is leaving and we probably won't see her again. It may well be that they don't realise how she is feeling...

WIBU to do that? I am the manager of the team, if it matters.

RandomDent Wed 05-Jul-17 21:26:44

Can leaving lady go to the party and you have that as the leaving party?

scurryfunge Wed 05-Jul-17 21:27:42

Incorporate her leaving do within the summer party.

TwitterQueen1 Wed 05-Jul-17 21:28:03

No manager should ever direct staff to go to a leaving do. It's just not reasonable (money, time, distance etc)

And it's 30 minutes drive away? That's a long way.

And there's a work summer party.... it's no contest. The person leaving should go to the summer party, as should everyone else (if they want to). the person leaving can still have a fuss made of them at the party.

areyougoingtoeatthat Wed 05-Jul-17 21:28:19

Same thought here. Mark her leaving at the summer party rather than having two different locations.

CottonSock Wed 05-Jul-17 21:29:32

You want to piss off your whole team for the sake of someone who's already leaving?

Barbie222 Wed 05-Jul-17 21:30:17

That's a tricky one. If all else fails do you have the kind of job where you could take a bit of time in the office to celebrate her last day nicely? I can understand that not all employees will appreciate her long service as much as you do, so in that sense it does matter that you re the manager. I would try to get approx numbers for her do asap and be prepared to have something up your sleeve for her last day if need be.

rollonthesummer Wed 05-Jul-17 21:30:23

Use the summer party as her leaving do-it's a bit of a no-brainer really?

Glumglowworm Wed 05-Jul-17 21:31:15

30 minutes drive away is too far. But I know they all agreed to it.

Just use the summer party as her leaving do.

You can't tell people they have to go to a work social event! One year our manager was demanding reasons from everyone who wasn't going to the Christmas party ("I don't want to" was all he got from me!) and it put me off going tbh!

Guepe Wed 05-Jul-17 21:31:25


Mulberry72 Wed 05-Jul-17 21:31:28

Combining the Summer party and her leaving do is the simplest solution.

littlewoollypervert Wed 05-Jul-17 21:32:16

Make it a leaving lunch instead. We always do that as a department, and the leaver then has drinks later if they want to.

caffeinestream Wed 05-Jul-17 21:34:58

Just combine the two.

You might be the manager, but you can't dictate what people do outside of their working hours.

Loopytiles Wed 05-Jul-17 21:35:04

YABU. It's unfortunate for leaving woman, but one of those things, and it's entirely understandable that people would prefer to go to the laid-on corporate do.

Piratesandpants Wed 05-Jul-17 21:35:10

As above... Incorporate leaving do into summer party.

Thekissbyklimt13 Wed 05-Jul-17 21:35:43

YABU - sorry. I remember leaving a job about 8 years ago and a leaving do was organised for me, out of about 40 colleagues invited only 3 came, it was excruciating. In my current workplace (I'm the boss), all leaving do's are held over lunchtime - it's a treat getting caterers in and having an extra long lunch break, plus nobody is obliged to give up their free time.

Loopytiles Wed 05-Jul-17 21:35:49

If you want to do something nice for leaving woman, do lunch, cakes in the office or whatever.

GahBuggerit Wed 05-Jul-17 21:38:15

Leaving breakfast fuss on her last day - pastries, fruit, posh tea with nice cups/saucers, granola stuff etc etc, nice flowers, mid morning a lovely bit of cake, then the party with gifts given, club together for an extra special bottle of bubbly.

You're welcome grin

regenerator Wed 05-Jul-17 21:43:19

Sorry, should have said that making the summer party her leaving thing would not work as she and two others of us have no desire to go to that whatsoever, for a number of reasons. So the team is split on this really, with a further 2-3 people who don't mind either way.

Cakes in the office is beyond shit and a bit of an insult imo.

I do get that I can't tell people how to spend their time and money, but does no one agree that they were rude?

BreezyBreeze Wed 05-Jul-17 21:46:04

Just do lunch, find another date (surely not impossible) or sack it off.

You cannot ask people to miss the summer party. Imagine the atmosphere at the leaving do for a start.

peachgreen Wed 05-Jul-17 21:46:06

Where I work there's a bit of an expectation that you show your face at work social events (or at least that it will be noted positively that you have). The fairest thing would be to be rearrange or incorporated it into the company event.

HeteronormativeHaybales Wed 05-Jul-17 21:47:42

Leaving dinner early on in the evening and then people who want to go to the party can go and the rest of you can stay with leaving lady over pudding/drinks etc.

Leeds2 Wed 05-Jul-17 21:49:28

I would also rearrange it into the company do. Or have a leaving lunch on the same day which merges into the company do.

ChildishGambino Wed 05-Jul-17 21:50:20

I'm sorry but you can't make anyone do as you wish with their own free time, even if you're their manager. I wouldn't dream of doing this or lording it over people - they have their own lives and you aren't in charge of them.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 05-Jul-17 21:51:10

Lunch or do the do the day before.

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