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Help - being made to go away for awful team building trips for days at a time
11

Notahandmaid · 06/12/2019 00:20

I’m going to be working more with a director at work and she likes to take her team away to A holiday cottages for two days at a time. She’s invited me on their latest team building jaunt. They travel a few hours away, stay in a cottage, do strategy work as a team during the day and get pissed in the evening. I don’t really drink, I don’t want to spend two or three days stuck in a holiday cottage sharing facilities with work colleagues and I feel resentful at having to spend hours travelling either side of it as well.

Plus I feel it’s a blurring of boundaries to be spending so much time and at such close quarters with work colleagues too. It might be easier if we were in a hotel where I could have my own space but to be stuck in a cottage with people I don’t know that well is my idea of hell. Help! How can I get out of this without compromising my position at work?

I don’t even really socialise with my immediate work colleagues. I don’t have anything against them but I have a long working day and a long commute and precious little time at home as it is.

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BillHadersNewWife · 06/12/2019 00:50

I can really sympathise as I would HATE this. I also don't drink and hate that the drinkers always assume everyone else is happy to live that lifestyle.

I would consider telling her that you have a personal issue which stops you spending time away from your home.

She won't pry unless she's made of steel and if she does pry, just say "I'm afraid it's deeply personal and I don't want to discuss it"

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WatchingTheMoon · 06/12/2019 00:52

I'd maybe go on one to show my face and be a "team player" (gross) but after that, I would avoid.

My idea of hell, do these people all have awful home lives or something?

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VaggieMight · 06/12/2019 01:03

Can you stay in a hotel?

I don't like drinking with work colleagues either, these trips sound like hell.

Are you sure you don't have any caring responsibilities that mean you need to be at home just in case?

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Tartyflette · 06/12/2019 01:06

It depends on the circumstances -- are the 'two days' at a weekend so you have to give up your free time, and do extra work?
If that is the case, do you get time off in lieu at a later date?
Taking your free time is not on really. If it's during the week when you'd be at work anyway it's perhaps not quite so bad.
But I agree it sounds awful having to share facilities with colleagues - a hotel would be vastly preferable (providing you don't have to share a room!)

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AutumnRose1 · 06/12/2019 01:09

Are you very senior? I don’t know how you get out of this stuff at a high level, but I’ve always just said no.

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Tartyflette · 06/12/2019 01:09

Just to add - I always gave these kinds of things a swerve at work anyway. 😆
But I'm a paid up member of the awkward squad.

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managedmis · 06/12/2019 01:10

It does sound awful but would it be career suicide if you DON'T go?

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AdriannaP · 06/12/2019 01:31

I sympathise- I have to do 2-3 a year and 2 of them involve long haul flights!!
I would do it as it would be bad for you to make an excuse and not participate. Hope you get your own room at least!

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Notahandmaid · 06/12/2019 17:15

Thanks all - appreciate the views and the insight and the validation that I'm just not being awkward!

To answer a few questions - I'm quite senior in the organisation and the person organising these is very senior. I also don't have caring responsibilities (well, I am helping to care for two ill parents but they don't live with me). Nothing that would stop me going away for a couple of days unless my parents really needed me there. These trips are during the week and I don't get time off in lieu.

I bit the bullet in the end and emailed my boss and explained that I felt these trips are inappropriate, they blur the boundaries between work and friendships, I value my privacy and my downtime from work and that, as a compromise, I'd be happy to attend for one day of the two. He hasn't replied yet but hopefully he will be sympathetic!

I don't want to be in the position of bumping into one of my work colleagues in my PJs on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night! And I am not a morning person so the thought of staggering to the kitchen before I've had my cup of tea in the morning and having to be polite to work colleagues is not an ideal scenario for me!

Thanks all.
PS I think I must also be a paid up member of the awkward squad. Glad to know I'm not the only one!

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TeacupDrama · 06/12/2019 17:22

maybe you could have beliefs ( don't say which ones they could be religious but they don't have to be) and that you don't want to share bathrooms etc with anyone not in your immediate family especially if not the same sex
obviously if all rooms are en suite this excuse won't work

I would emphasise again beforehand that you are teetotal and do not want to participate in drinking so is there a separate reception space ??

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AutumnRose1 · 06/12/2019 18:23

Good for you OP!

The only way this crap stops is if people say no.

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