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About not splitting the bill?

(208 Posts)
TattiusTeddius Thu 23-Nov-17 23:04:20

At work we are about to merge teams with a group of about 10 people who work for the same organisation but in a different building and do a very similar job to us. The team managers organised a Christmas night out tonight to get to know each other a bit better. They picked a place that wasn’t too expensive for a meal, and we put in pre-orders and paid £10 deposit per head.

I only ordered a main as I wasn’t crazy about any of the starters or desserts, and so did a few colleagues from my team. Mine was £10.50 so I was only supposed to owe 50p tonight plus whatever drinks I’d buy.

It was established at the beginning that everyone would order and pay for their own drinks at the bar as some people were drinking and some weren’t. Some people (mostly from the other team) had pre-ordered 3 courses, which would be around the £35/£40 Mark in total.

We all had a lovely night and made the effort to mix with each other, everyone seems to get along well. However When the bill came, one (of the better paid) members of the other team took charge and calculated that because the food bill was £216 we owed £13.50 each.

I was hmm, as I should have only owed 50p, I was going to put £3 in to cover that and a tip. 2 of my younger colleagues, who are on less money than me, looked a bit annoyed as well. One is on minimum wage and the other has just had a baby so I know that they could do with the money. One of them was technically owed 50p as her main was only £9.50 and she ordered nothing else.

Anyway I spoke up and said that I think it’s only fair for me and the 2 colleagues to put in what we owe as we only had one course each. The ‘organiser’ from the other team argued the toss, saying that she thought we were splitting the bill evenly and that we should have made it clear at the start of the meal if we only wanted to pay for our own. I said I didn’t think I should have to point that out when there’s a £25 difference in what some people are ordering (she had 3 courses BTW). I stood my ground and we and a couple of others paid for our own, everyone else split between them (it went up to £18 each when split). The 2 younger colleagues thanked me quietly afterwards btw!

The manager from the other team has text my manager after the meal saying that it’s ‘unspirited and unsharing’ to insist on paying for our own meals and that’s not how they do it in their team. She made a joke about us being skinflints, but I do think it was just a joke. She basically doesn’t think it bodes well if we have an ‘every man for themself attitude’. My manager is on our side, she wanted me to know about the messages to give me a heads up in case they bring it up with me but she’s going to reply tomorrow fighting our corner.

WIBU or do they have a point? It’s gonna be awful when we merge isn’t it?

Allthewaves Thu 23-Nov-17 23:08:13

This is why we make everyone pay the organiser before we go and have food pre selected.

newmumwithquestions Thu 23-Nov-17 23:08:54

Technically you were right but I think you were ott to kick up a fuss over £3. If you didn't want to split the bill then you should have spoken up in advance.

MyBrilliantDisguise Thu 23-Nov-17 23:10:30

It's certainly not conducive to a great team feeling to have half the team paying for the other half's meals!

And that's before you look at the difference in pay.

StealthPolarBear Thu 23-Nov-17 23:10:50

There must have beenac lot of people playing around a tenner to dilute the people whose meals were 35 or 40

Seniorcitizen1 Thu 23-Nov-17 23:12:01

I only have pne soft drink as driving and one course as dont like desserts - I pay my own as I am not subsiding the additional courses and copious alcohol consumption of other. I am from Yorkshire so that might explain why.

SleepingStandingUp Thu 23-Nov-17 23:12:47

Good on you for sticking up for yourselves and the other colleagues. Someone will say OT was £3, yabu but its the principal that people clearly think they're entitled to a free ride.

Of o had 3 courses and mains were 10 of be embarrassed to only put in 13 and would insist on putting in more. Hat doesn't bode well is people thinking they can take out more than they put in and let everyone else pick up their slack

Columbine1 Thu 23-Nov-17 23:14:39

£10 difference
Why would she need to mention it before - so the higher paid freeloaders might rein in their tendency to let lower paid colleagues cross subsidise their night out?
This only works if everyone cooperates eg orders midpriced items rather than the most expensive thing on the menu(unless they put in a bit extra)

MissesBloom Thu 23-Nov-17 23:16:05

Well I was about to say that id probably have just paid the extra 13 quid or whatever just to save the argument, but to be fair the manager of the other team is an absolute arsehole to send a snotty message to your manager. It's always someone whose eaten more than everyone else and usually drunk more that pipes up and wants to split it.

I hate splitting the bill. Can't tell you the amount of times I've gone out, had a salad and drank a glass of water and someone else has been sat having bottle after bottle of wine and then demands that the bill be split. I make it clear early on if i think it'll be boozy or I'm eating light and say I'll pay for my own.

TattiusTeddius Thu 23-Nov-17 23:17:00

Me too senior grin

Stealth most people had 1 or 2 courses, the total price for meals ranged from £9.50 to £37. I wasn’t sat there scrutinising everyone with my calculator BTW, the reason I know this is because, for some reason, the pre-order list was sent round via email with everyone’s orders on. I noticed a few people had 3 courses for £37 as I remember think it was quite expensive for a pokey Italian place.

MyBrilliantDisguise Thu 23-Nov-17 23:17:09

I think your manager ought to wipe the floor with her and remind her that she had 3 courses but was only prepared to pay £13.50. Even when the bill was adjusted, she paid less than she ate. That is NOT the spirit of a great workplace, if junior staff have to subsidise manager's meals!

RavenLG Thu 23-Nov-17 23:17:49

It was established at the beginning that everyone would order and pay for their own drinks

If it was established at the start that everyone was paying for themselves, then where was the organiser when this was established as she clearly hear that? You're not BU, she sounds like a twat.

ButchyRestingFace Thu 23-Nov-17 23:19:03

There was a similar thread on here recently.

In principle you're right. I'm not sure I would have argued the toss over £3 though, unless you are really strapped for cash.

That said, what a fud the other manager is, to go running to your manager and trying to dazzle you with corporate mumbo jumbo about sharing and attitude.

icelolly99 Thu 23-Nov-17 23:19:27

I think the op means she was expected to pay an extra £13.50 on top of the £10 deposit already paid.....

MissesBloom Thu 23-Nov-17 23:19:34

Oh just seen it was £3 extra. I would prob have just paid that. It's not worth bickering over £3 surely?

MsHarveySpecter Thu 23-Nov-17 23:20:28

Bloody hell, massive own goal from the organisation's pov! Idiots.

YANBU. It was a self pay meal and you only expected to pay 50p so that suddenly turning into any more at the end of the night isn't reasonable. It was optional, going out in your own time too.

Your manager was unprofessional in sharing the text with you, as was the other manager in sending it. I think now you should completely stay out of it, refuse to discuss it as it's all in the past sand just try to get on as best you can with your new colleagues.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 23-Nov-17 23:21:38

So, if you were going to put in £13 anyway, and the £9.50 meal people around £12, to include their tip, you're arguing the toss about 50p/£1?
You are right, it's completely fair to only pay what you owe, but is 50p really worth the fuss?
If it only went up to £13 when some people had £35 meals, then the cast majority of people must have had just one course. So, you could argue the three of you put up the price for the other single course people who didn't want to cause a fuss.

TattiusTeddius Thu 23-Nov-17 23:21:47

I would have been paying £13 more not £3 more (I wouldn’t have fussed over £3), we all paid a £10 deposit a couple of weeks ago. My dish was £10.50, so technically I owed 50p tonight and was asked to put £13.50 (sorry I wasn’t very concise in my OP)

StealthPolarBear Thu 23-Nov-17 23:23:19

Oh I see. Yes more than double is ridiculous

arethereanyleftatall Thu 23-Nov-17 23:23:24

Oh, I think I've read it wrong. Sorry. It was £13 more. Changing my post above, Yanbu.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 23-Nov-17 23:26:17

I hate the way that people who want to pay their fair share, are branded the stingy ones, rather than the real stingy freeloaders who want their meal subsidised.

TattiusTeddius Thu 23-Nov-17 23:26:25

That said, what a fud the other manager is, to go running to your manager and trying to dazzle you with corporate mumbo jumbo about sharing and attitude

Ha YY about corporate Mumbo jumbo, when we first met this team they described themselves as a ‘blue sky team’ - they did this with a straight face.

grandmainmypocket Thu 23-Nov-17 23:26:33

I think you did the right thing. Paying an extra £3 at different meals adds up.

Why would you need to say something at the beginning of a meal if you don't want to split the bill? It creates awkwardness before the meal has started.

KeepServingTheDrinks Thu 23-Nov-17 23:26:47

When I'm out with friends I usually prefer to split the bill, because I don't find doing lots of maths at the end of an evening particularly fun, and we're all (generally) pretty equal in terms of what we've consumed. One person might say at the beginning "I'm skint, so I'm just going to pay for mine" and that's fine, and we just split the bill for the rest.

But on a works do, where it's not necessarily friends AND it's a big group, I'd expect to pay or hte bulk in advance and then pay for what I've consumed.

I think it's outrageous they complained (and even worse that they then sent the text).
I think if they can call you 'skinflint', you can certainly suggest "freeloader" in reply. In the same joking spirit, of course!

ScouseQueen Thu 23-Nov-17 23:30:55

It's always the freeloaders who get arsy about any resistance. Don't accept it. BrilliantDisguise makes very good points in both her posts above as does Sleeping. I'd pass those on to your manager as ammunition!

Well done for speaking up by the way. I did this years ago in a similar situation where lower-paid colleagues in particular were getting shafted. It all got unpleasant on the evening as has happened for you, but looking back I don't regret it at all.

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