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The 7 - Random - office party ettiquite question Register and log in to post!
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EddieBurkett
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#1 Posted on 27.7.05 1007.22
Reposted on: 27.7.12 1007.42
In a few weeks, my office will be having an office party at the owner's beach house. We are a small company with 12 employees including myself. Employees are allowed to bring their spouses/significant others and children. I asked if I could bring a date, and I was told I could. About a month ago, a rather attractive employee left the company after five years. She did not leave on bad terms. I told her about the party, and she immediately offered to go with me once I told her I could bring a guest. Putting aside the questions of whether this is a date and whether I stand a shot with her (highly unlikely), I'm wondering if it would be in bad form to bring a former employee to an office party. I don't think anyone would object, and I'm sure some people would be glad to see her, but I don't want it to seem like I'm exploiting my guest privilege.

Am I just being overly paranoid/sensitive about the matter, or am I going to be bringing the wrong sort of attention to myself with this? Any input/advice is appreciated, as always.
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spf
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#2 Posted on 27.7.05 1010.22
Reposted on: 27.7.12 1010.34
If she left on good terms I wouldn't think so. I've seen former employees at our office parties before, ones who simply moved on to other positions, and there was no sense of rancor.
JayJayDean
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#3 Posted on 27.7.05 1012.23
Reposted on: 27.7.12 1014.20
I'd say if you knew for a fact that no one would be upset by her being there (because that person disliked her), there wouldn't be any reason not to bring her. It would be bad form to bring someone no one had liked except you.
Von Maestro
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#4 Posted on 27.7.05 1052.34
Reposted on: 27.7.12 1053.24
At my old job, people who used to work there would show up at the office party all of the time. If you have a small company, where everyone gets fairly close & has their working lives overlap into their social lives then it's not that uncommon.

I think it's basically a matter of how that person left the company. If you needed a rule to follow, I would say that if the person was fired then it's probably not a good idea, but if she simply left for something better & on good terms with management then go for it.

And yes, it is a date... :-)
Rudoublesedoublel
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#5 Posted on 27.7.05 1126.04
Reposted on: 27.7.12 1126.26
Sounds like you found a clever way to get a date with an attractive former co-worker.

I've worked for small companies and agree with everyone else - shouldn't be any feathers ruffled by bringing her as a guest.
too-old-now
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#6 Posted on 27.7.05 1325.04
Reposted on: 27.7.12 1325.17
Don't be paranoid if she left on good terms, it sounds like she liked the folks there enough to want to go hang with them in a social setting.

In small companies, you have a much better chance of actually liking most if not all of the folks you work with. You work hard together, it's time to play together.

Have fun.
Oliver
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#7 Posted on 27.7.05 1350.49
Reposted on: 27.7.12 1359.02
Worst case scenario...contact someone higher up in a supervisory position. They may have good insight concerning this.

How long has your date been from the company?
DJ FrostyFreeze
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#8 Posted on 27.7.05 1350.54
Reposted on: 27.7.12 1359.03
Please let us know how the *date* goes & keep us up to date on any shenanigans that may occur between now & then :)
CANADIAN BULLDOG
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#9 Posted on 27.7.05 1459.32
Reposted on: 27.7.12 1500.18
I'm with Sok on this one. Just double check that it's cool to bring her over, and then you don't even have to worry about it.

That said, I doubt it would be a problem if she's on good terms with the company still...... but it never hurts to check.
Lise
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#10 Posted on 27.7.05 1521.55
Reposted on: 27.7.12 1526.56
I would also suggest checking with an HR person or supervisor if you have any doubts, if for no other reason than it won't be a surprise when she does show up with you. I'm sure they'll just give you a rubber stamp approval, but that way you won't be taking any kind of chance. I mean technically those people are supposed to be able to deal with any questions of that sort you pose to them, so don't feel weird asking.
EddieBurkett
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#11 Posted on 27.7.05 1733.09
Reposted on: 27.7.12 1737.24
All you people saying that this is a date are only going to get my hopes up...

    Originally posted by too-old-now
    Don't be paranoid if she left on good terms, it sounds like she liked the folks there enough to want to go hang with them in a social setting.


I think you're correct on this assessment. I just worry that she's using me as her invite to the party...

I think I'll take SOK, Bulldog, and Lise's advice and check with someone. She was hoping to surprise everyone, and the person I'll need to consult with would have been one of the most suprised (and happiest to see her), but its probably worth spoiling her to make sure that I'm clear. The only person I can think that this would possibly offend is the owner who would be planning this as a party for current employees, and of all the people in the company, she's the one person I should be offending the least.

SOK, she left in mid-June.

Frosty, I'll keep you all posted, but don't get your hopes up about it.

Thanks to everyone who's responded so far!
Leroy
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#12 Posted on 27.7.05 1833.51
Reposted on: 27.7.12 1837.37
    Originally posted by EddieBurkett

    All you people saying that this is a date are only going to get my hopes up

    ....

    Frosty, I'll keep you all posted, but don't get your hopes up about it.


Hey, she asked YOU if she could go with YOU. That's not a bad sign by any means. Don't think you've already lost before you've even gone out.

    Originally posted by EddieBurkett

    I just worry that she's using me as her invite to the party...



Or she could actually like you, and maybe this is an opportunity to get to know her better.

(edited by Leroy on 27.7.05 1644)
Lise
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#13 Posted on 28.7.05 0041.31
Reposted on: 28.7.12 0041.53
As someone who has accidentally caused many "date" misunderstandings in the past, I think there's a good possiblity that she think's you're cool to hang out with and would be good to go to this party with. After the party you should invite her on a date, and BE SURE to use the word "date" and otherwise make things quite clear. Asking a girl to "coffee", "a movie", or to "have dinner" can often go astray especially when it comes time to pay and she tries to pay her half, or pay you back afterwards and looks confused or surprised when you say "no I've got it". Such events do not constitute a "date" in a lot of girls' minds, especially not when there is a prior non-dating relationship such as co-worker comraderie. Even if you go out and do these things repeatedly, if the subject is never clarified, you can become "best friends" without meaning to.

Clarify Clarify Clarify... girls can be dense too. Five minutes of awkward conversation is sooo much better than five months of misunderstandings and wasted energy.
pieman
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#14 Posted on 28.7.05 0849.11
Reposted on: 28.7.12 0851.06
    Originally posted by Lise
    Asking a girl to "coffee", "a movie", or to "have dinner" can often go astray especially when it comes time to pay and she tries to pay her half, or pay you back afterwards and looks confused or surprised when you say "no I've got it".


So is this how you and Aaron started out? :)
Parts Unknown
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#15 Posted on 28.7.05 1042.40
Reposted on: 28.7.12 1043.56
    Originally posted by Lise
    As someone who has accidentally caused many "date" misunderstandings in the past, I think there's a good possiblity that she think's you're cool to hang out with and would be good to go to this party with. After the party you should invite her on a date, and BE SURE to use the word "date" and otherwise make things quite clear. Asking a girl to "coffee", "a movie", or to "have dinner" can often go astray especially when it comes time to pay and she tries to pay her half, or pay you back afterwards and looks confused or surprised when you say "no I've got it". Such events do not constitute a "date" in a lot of girls' minds, especially not when there is a prior non-dating relationship such as co-worker comraderie. Even if you go out and do these things repeatedly, if the subject is never clarified, you can become "best friends" without meaning to.

    Clarify Clarify Clarify... girls can be dense too. Five minutes of awkward conversation is sooo much better than five months of misunderstandings and wasted energy.


I think women should realize that when men talk to you and ask you to do ANYTHING, there is an amorous ulterior motive.
JimBob Skeeter
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#16 Posted on 28.7.05 1555.57
Reposted on: 28.7.12 1556.16
"I would also suggest checking with an HR person or supervisor if you have any doubts, if for no other reason than it won't be a surprise when she does show up with you."

Sorry, this has nothing to do with your party, but I found this sentence extrememly funny. Here's why: the past coupleof years, I've been the one to coordinate our Christmas party for work. Since we got bought out by a corporation five yeras ago, we no longer have a company sponsored one, so we just all get together ourselves some Friday evening at a local establishment for a few cocktails, laughter, darts, etc., etc. Now, we invite former employees to this party as we have always been a close knit "family", (we employ 51 at this site), and everyone stays in contact with each other. Well, last winter's party got a little touchy as since the past Christmas, three LONGtime employees got let go by corporate, and the person doing it (OUR HR person, who held the meeting in her office, give the the heave-ho, walk them to their desk, then walk them to the parking lot and let them on their way. Nice.) found out about the party (I didn't put her on the e-mail invite) and started making these big plans on what we should do here. When word started to spread that she was attending, it was amazing how many people started backing out of the party (especially ex-employees who didn't want to come.) I had had a talk with our VP, who said "This is ridiculous. What is she THINKING~!" He called her into his office, and in a not-so blunt way asked her not to come. She was pissed, but he told her to deal with it. It was amazing how fast word spread of her being told not to come (about 5 minutes thru the whole workplace) and we had at least 80 people (past and present) show up for the get together and had the time of our lives, WITHOUT her. She stillkind of holds a grudge against me to this day as she knows I had something to do with it. It still makes me laugh. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, bitch.

(edited by JimBob Skeeter on 28.7.05 1625)
EddieBurkett
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#17 Posted on 3.8.05 1747.26
Reposted on: 3.8.12 1750.17
Thanks again for all the input everyone!

Update:

After FINALLY being able to get ahold of the owner, I asked her if I could bring a date or guest. She said of course, and then I asked if it would be okay to bring an ex-employee. At that point, her eyes bugged out of her head and she stumbled backwards into her seat. She then asked who it was (and I told her) and then she said I should check with my boss (who is handling HR issues at the moment.) So I ran off and brought my boss in, and after bringing her up to speed, my boss and the owner agreed that it would be fine. So at least THAT issue is now settled.

Now I need to start planning things with the ex-employee. The next few weeks are going to be *interesting*...
DJ FrostyFreeze
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#18 Posted on 3.8.05 1828.56
Reposted on: 3.8.12 1829.01
    Originally posted by EddieBurkett
    At that point, her eyes bugged out of her head and she stumbled backwards into her seat.
What's that about? Who did she think you were gonna bring?
EddieBurkett
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#19 Posted on 3.8.05 2019.27
Reposted on: 3.8.12 2029.03
    Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze
      Originally posted by EddieBurkett
      At that point, her eyes bugged out of her head and she stumbled backwards into her seat.
    What's that about? Who did she think you were gonna bring?


I wish I knew. We have had a high rate of employee turnover in the last year, and not all of that was under good conditions, so its possible she was afraid I'd bring back someone who was laid off or let go. She did say that she'd had a crazy day, and this was another crazy thing being thrown at her. Perhaps I should have asked tomorrow, but I have a feeling all her days tend to be crazy.
EddieBurkett
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#20 Posted on 20.8.05 1148.18
Reposted on: 20.8.12 1149.10
UPDATE:

The party is in about 20 minutes, so leaving now I'm going to be late. I haven't heard from the fairly attractive former co-worker in about a week. She was in San Diego last weekend, and when she got back, she didn't respond to my IM when she was on. I've e-mailed and called her and gotten no reply/answer.

So I'm guessing this wasn't a date.

Fucking bitch.

{ EDIT: Moved onto tail end of original thread - CRZ }

(edited by CRZ on 20.8.05 1417)
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