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How to tell boss I can't go on Christmas work trip? (new hire)

(54 Posts)
mmullen19 Mon 16-Oct-17 20:40:53

I have recently started my first job out of university. In my first week, I had to travel to London (HQ) for 3 days for training. The annual Christmas week, also in London, is currently being planned. It involves lunches, a team-building day, party - nothing too essential.

I have a very sick family member, and really don't think I can be away from home so close to Christmas. I just don't think it's worth it should anything happen, and particularly as this trip doesn't seem essential. Although the trip in my first week was difficult, as it was arranged for the sole purpose of training me I felt I had to go.

Flights, etc. for the Christmas trip have already been booked. I have checked the cancellation policies of both the airline and hotel and the company don't stand to lose any money should I cancel. I don't want to rock the boat as a new hire and cause bad feelings.

How should I tell my boss (who I've been getting on very well with), without any major fallout/risk of losing my job?

Tentomidnight Mon 16-Oct-17 20:50:53

Honestly? I think you need to go. It is important for your integration into the company, and I don't think that your manager and team would be understanding if you took the time off.
Is your sick family member alone? If so, can you arrange for someone to take on the caring responsibility that week?
Unfortunately, now you are in a professional job, you'll have to make difficult decisions and juggle your priorities. How you best do this depends on how seriously you take your career.
For what it's worth, the work 'christmas week' you have described is my idea of hell, too, but I would consider it part of the job, and go.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 16-Oct-17 20:58:05

Unfortunately all that stuff you think isn’t essential, is. They get to decide it is and if it’s a work week you need to be there at work.

What are the policies on time off to care for dying relatives?

Gunpowder Mon 16-Oct-17 21:02:19

I disagree. I'd explain to my boss what was going through my mind and how worried I was about the relative and see what they thought. They might be really sympathetic. Maybe there's a way you could do a part of the trip instead of the whole thing. If you don't ask you don't get.

Gunpowder Mon 16-Oct-17 21:03:12

Sorry that disagree wasn't meant to be arsey! Was just imagining how I would react if I was the boss. smile

peppykoala Mon 16-Oct-17 21:04:25

Can you go for some of it but not the whole time? E.g. go for the team building day but not the party & lunches?

Squarerouteofsquirrel Mon 16-Oct-17 21:05:22

Explain situation to new boss, maybe you can compromise/ show willing by going down there for a day, 1 night whatever you can do.

Works important, but family more so.

NapQueen Mon 16-Oct-17 21:06:22

Surely you will have to be at work those days anyways. So is each evening of that week crucial to your sick family member? Are you assisting with their care? If so, discuss it with management and see if there is a potential for you to attend some parts.

paq Mon 16-Oct-17 21:07:03

Sorry, if you want the job you should go.

Normalserviceissuspended Mon 16-Oct-17 21:10:54

if it is a working day then surely you have to go.

nobutreally Mon 16-Oct-17 21:11:03

I would think a bit about long term here too - if you are in a caring role, are there likely to be more times in the new year when you might need your boss's good will ( doctor appointments/helping out with care etc) - I would be wary of loosing all the goodwill too early and try and do as much of the work Christmas stuff as you possibly can, tbh. If your relative becomes extremely seriously ill when the trip is bear, I'm sure no-one will mind if you cancel, but to cancel months in advance because you've judged this non-essential wouldn't sit well with me as a boss. I think the only way you could 'sell' it would be to say that if they need someone to msn the fort, you are happy to miss out on the fun/it would suit you for this year.

Normalserviceissuspended Mon 16-Oct-17 21:11:55

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

DailyMailDontStealMyThread Mon 16-Oct-17 21:12:32

I would have a conversation and explain my concerns and see what they suggest.

As a boss I would want you there but only if you were happy and engaged. I suppose you would need a frank conversation in order for the best approach to be worked out.

BakedBeans47 Mon 16-Oct-17 21:14:45

Explain to your boss. Maybe I am just old and jaded but there’s more important things in life than bloody work

tarheelbaby Mon 16-Oct-17 21:17:05

This is a question you will have to answer all your life. Is it more important to spend time with certain family members or is it more important to go to work? Each instance will be different but the question is always 'what will I miss?' about each scenario and then you can determine what is more important. If your sick relative is genuinely on the brink, don't waste your time on work travel but if your relative could manage a few days, make the effort to earn more for both of you in the long run. Definitely explain your situation to your manager.
Remember: no one ever said 'I wish I'd worked longer hours' ... but ... sometimes a few extra evenings add up to several days off or even sufficient salary to retire early.

NapQueen Mon 16-Oct-17 21:17:15

When you took the job did they mention anything about overnight travel?

SummerKelly Mon 16-Oct-17 21:18:30

The idea of taking employees away for a week before Christmas sounds awful. I would hate it knowing I have lots of stuff to arrange for my DD and my parents, and as a lone parent there’s no way I would be able to go. But I’d agree with sounding it out with your boss as well.

Believeitornot Mon 16-Oct-17 21:20:13

I'm in two minds. Do you have caring responsibilities? If not then I would be wary of you saying you can't go - you could always fly back (I'm assuming it's all UK based) if something went wrong.

Shesaysso Mon 16-Oct-17 21:23:38

I think you need to go on the work trip unless your sick relative is a very close relative and terminally ill. If it's the latter then I'm sure your new boss would completely understand how you can't be away from them and wouldn't expect you to go.

NoSquirrels Mon 16-Oct-17 21:24:11

Are you your relative's carer? How did they manage the week you were away for training? Why would it be different before Christmas?

Kindly, I think you have to go. If it is a situation where your relative is terminally ill, then you should warn your manager that you are in a difficult position and may need to pull out at short notice. But you should plan to be there.

It's not "just" party etc - it's company culture, integration with a wider team, building bonds etc etc. It may sound optional but it's not really m. If you'd been at the job for longer it would. E different.

scrabbler3 Mon 16-Oct-17 22:08:39

I think it depends on who the relative is and what the illness is.

eddies36 Mon 16-Oct-17 22:52:00

Agree with scrabbler3

slimyslitheryslug Mon 16-Oct-17 23:10:37

Where are you usually based? How long would it take you to get to London? What travel options are there other than flights? Worst case scenario is that you get a call in the middle of the night & need to get home now. If it is somewhere in England you need to get back to, you can probably jump in a taxi & expense it; if it is Paris for example, you'll need to wait until there is a means of crossing the channel.
Also, what is your relative's prognosis? How reliant on you are they for care or for advocating for this care? Who will be looking after them if you do go away? How your boss reacts probably depends on the answer to this question. Long term illness & you accepted a job with some travel, I would expect you to be available for travel if sufficient notice was given; sudden deterioration and I would accept that you may have to cancel at the last minute & the company would be out of pocket.

MillicentFawcett Mon 16-Oct-17 23:29:54

Well presumably, unless you're the career for the sick family member, you cam just go home if they take a turn for the worse. Being seen as a team player as a grad trainee is really important

daisychain01 Tue 17-Oct-17 06:53:44

I’m not getting this... the event is in London and you’re taking flights. So your office is in Scotland or something?

Presumably there are other staff in your office who also have to consider the long distance of this Christmas event, and their family obligations back home? So you may not be the only one having this conversation with your boss.

I find it amazing companies go to the expense of shipping staff long distance when they could do something local and save a fortune!

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