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To not want to contribute to trainees' meals.

297 replies

MonaLisaDoesntSmile · 17/11/2019 19:01

I do realise it's petty, but have had a bad day, so thought may as well vent somewhere.

My company usually gets a couple of trainees every year for a couple of months- we have some sort of agreement with universities who send us students who need to do a placement as a part of their degree, or who just look for work experience. These are paid, not sure about the amount, definitely not anything like a regular salary, but they also get limited responsibilities and workload as most work PT. Usually they are young-ish people in the last year of their degrees. They are then attached to one or possibly two, occcasionally three teams, depending on what they need for their course.

Every year we go for a Christmas meal with my office. Some time ago one of my colleagues proposed we chip in to cover for the meal(s) of trainee(s) if any are placed on our team, and of course they get invited to come to the dinner and it became a bit of a tradition. It's never been an issue as they have been some really nice, helpful people and not earning much, so no one objected.

This year we have two trainees. They are both mature students, and both a lot better off than anyone on the team really except maybe for the team leader. Both are doing the degree because they seemed bored with their previous jobs, which in itself is not an issue, and both have high earning husbands. We're a bit strapped for cash at home at the moment, and I don't really want to pay for a meal for someone who, well, does not really struggle financially unlike some of our previous trainees. Plus, they are not actually really nice, don't want to get in a lot of detail but again, don't really feel like paying for a meal for someone who has been unpleasant and patronising. I feel I probably should mention it to our team lead who organised this years meal, not to look awkward on the day, although it's probably going to be awkward anyways as she seems to get on pretty well with them :/

OP posts:

Ummmmcake · 17/11/2019 19:03

YANBU. If you need the cash more than them it seems downright idiotic to pay for them


Passthecherrycoke · 17/11/2019 19:06

It can’t be much though surely? 2 meals between all of you?

I think if you’ve set a tradition (and it’s a lovely one) then that’s it, you can’t get into discussion every year about whether the trainee deserves a free meal or whether you all like them


GrumpyHoonMain · 17/11/2019 19:06

Mature / experienced interns tend to be more likely to get a senior job in the companies they intern at. So it isn’t worth singling them out to your boss if there’s any chance of it getting back to them. If you really can’t afford it then play that angle first - no team leader worth their salt would force someone who can’t afford to do so to contribute for other team members.


TokyoSushi · 17/11/2019 19:08

YANBU, it's nice to pay for the younger students but it seems like these people can well afford to pay their own way.


fedup21 · 17/11/2019 19:08

How much money will it cost you?


goodwinter · 17/11/2019 19:30

Imo the company should pay if the rest of your meals are paid for. If not, they can pay for themselves.


Justajot · 17/11/2019 19:35

The trainees weren't there last year, so don't have the expectation that they will be covered.


floraloctopus · 17/11/2019 19:37

YANBU if they can well afford to pay their own but how do you know if they can or not?


Crunchymum · 17/11/2019 19:38

How much does the meal cost?


catandadogandababy · 17/11/2019 19:43

I can understand where you are coming from but if it's tradition to pay for trainees then you can't pick and choose which ones you want to pay for. What if one had rich parents, would you refuse to pay for them too?

We have a similar set up in that paying staff cover volunteers. Some (actually, most, if not all) volunteers are much better off than me but I see it as a thank you for their "free" work which helps me and my team out immensely.


Beautiful3 · 17/11/2019 20:07

Why don't you suggest ending it completely due to financial situation changing for some staff, like yourself.


GiveMeAllTheGin8 · 17/11/2019 20:11

Depends how much will it cost? For the sake of everyone getting along I think I would just suck it up but do understand where you’re coming from


heartsonacake · 17/11/2019 20:16

YABU. The tradition is that you pay for the trainees. You can’t just pick and choose and evaluate the individual trainees each year to decide if you think they’re worthy of being paid for, particularly when it’s clear opinions will be divided.


Wellmet · 17/11/2019 20:22

Maybe mention it to management but come at it from the angle of not wanting to patronise them? I'd say a mature student with a decent household income is very different from a young person living the student life!


Skittlesandbeer · 17/11/2019 20:24

If you do decide to bring it up with your manager, it’d be better to leave out your personal dislike of the trainees. It’s actually not as relevant as their incomes, and it sounds very ‘bah humbug’ at Christmas time.

Hide your dislike, and suggest the company chip in in cases where the trainees are mature-age and on better incomes than many of the full-timers.


Expressedways · 17/11/2019 20:26

I agree that’s annoying, especially as the company really should be paying for the Christmas meal. I wouldn’t be massively happy either but I think this is one of those things you should suck up. Shared between everyone 2 extra meals surely can’t be that much and short of declining the invite altogether there’s no way to bring this up without your colleagues thinking you’re being cheap or petty.


Liverbird77 · 17/11/2019 20:27

I can't stand it when people spend other people's money for them. It might sound a bit bah humbug, but I prefer to spend my cash on ds, dh, parents, in-laws and friends.
So yanbu!


MonaLisaDoesntSmile · 17/11/2019 21:06

We are not a big team, so the actual payment can amount to quite a lot on top of what we pay for our own meal already. It's not a company do as such, just the couple of us from our team going out for a nice meal, the set menu is usually around 30/35/40 mark plus drinks. It's going to be my special treat for myself as not been going out much, but then on top I'd be paying another 20 GBP with service charge, right before Christmas, for someone I really did not appreciate neither as a trainee nor as a person.
We could of course chose a cheaper place, but then we sort of decided as a team that once a year we can splurge a bit for a special meal, and to be honest options are limited because of some people comuting long hours, so it has to be accessible and it's between somewhere upmarket or somewhere where no one would like to eat.

@GrumpyHoonMain- the trainees won't be staying, we don't have a high staff rotation and very infrequent job openings, and the very junior ones are filled with the new wave of trainees, so I don't really feel the need to suck up to them in any way.

@catandadogandababy- well, by tradition I meant, someone said it once 7 or however many years ago and so far it made sense to continue by default- because the circumstances of all trainees were the same. Paying for someone who earns lets say 500 for the month while paying for their degree is for me a bit different than paying for someone who was previously on a 50k+ salary and who on top of that was not really kind.

@heartsonacake- the ladies in question have been quite rude, and based on that as well, I do not think I want to cover their meal which is a way to say 'thanks for your hard work'- as there is nothing I can thank them for. I am not picking trainees I want to pay for, but for someone who has been looking down on me the thole couple of months and not really contributed much, I don't feel particularly grateful.

@floraloctopus- we know from conversations with them, chats about lifestyle, stuff we overhear, cars they drive, clothes, etc. It's very clear they have considerably more to spend than most of us.

OP posts:

MonaLisaDoesntSmile · 17/11/2019 21:15

@Skittlesandbeer I would not think to tell my manager that I don't want to pay for them as I dislike them! I wanted to tackle it more from the purely financial point of view, and I don't think I am really isolated in thinking this either.
@Expressedways Unfortunately we do not have a company Christmas do as such, as we are a bunch of smaller teams and no one really coordinates one big thing for everyone, so it's a lot of smaller meals in teams or in some cases nothing at all.

@Liverbird77 When it was first suggested it was not even agreed beforehand, the manager just asked the trainee at the time to put their wallet away, but then told everyone waht to pay, so clearly was not thinking of paying for the meal herself. Then we sort of assumed the same thing would happen subsequent years and we went along with it, but as I said, curcumstances were different and I didn't mind as much. I kind of feel different about it this year.
@Beautiful3 That's the plan- I think knowing a few people have had children and other circumstances, it's something we need to mention. Does not help our manager (lovely as they are) lives in a bit of a bubble...

OP posts:

Jon6b · 17/11/2019 21:22

There's a lot of agism and assumption going on here. Personally I think you are being churlish. However perhaps you should bring the matter up in your team along the lines of money is tight, can we reassess contribution.


JusticeForSandra · 17/11/2019 21:24

As above, it's absolutely fine to stop the "tradition" but stop it completely.

In a professional environment you absolutely cannot pick and chose (as much as you would love to!)


Mrstwiddle · 17/11/2019 21:28

I think you’re being perfectly reasonable, if your company wants to cover the trainees (and preferably all of you!) that’s one thing, but I would begrudge being told how to spend my money in a work situation.


MonaLisaDoesntSmile · 17/11/2019 21:32

@Jon6b - I am not making assumptions. The ladies are quite open about their financial situation, wealth etc. I have not broken into their bank account to check their statements :P
But on top, they have been patronising and unpleasant, so as I said, while maybe it's petty, I hardly feel like I need to pay them a nice meal while they have been looking down on some members of the team, me including, from day 1.

OP posts:

Iamtooknackeredtorun · 17/11/2019 21:33

If it’s £20 I would pay it. However, I might decide not to go myself if money is that tight. Not paying when everyone else is seems to be inviting criticism.


MonaLisaDoesntSmile · 17/11/2019 21:34

Also, it's got nothing to do with age- I mentioned that as we usually get very young people who are paying off big loans and only get a comparartively small wage from the company for their placement. This is the first time we have trainees who are very well established in life. If they were in their 20s, but in the same financial situation, I would feel the same about it.

OP posts:
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