Money Moral Dilemma: Should I lunch with work mates?



  • awehla
    awehla Forumite Posts: 109 Forumite

    1) Say you can't afford it but maybe next time
    2) Say you have other plans, it's your lunch break and you should be able to do what you want
    3) As a rule attend 1 in 3 lunches or one a month depending how often they are, maybe the one closest to pay day, just to maintain a nice working relationship and so you can say you've made the effort.
    4) Suggest cheaper venues

    I understand how you feel but try and give people a chance, they might seem like they have little in common with you but I've made some good friends at work and with people I wouldn't normally be friends with.

    Not everyone is confident and sociable all the time and at the end of the day for some people work is just work and when you are on your time it should be your time.
  • awehla
    awehla Forumite Posts: 109 Forumite
    Before the smoking ban came in my office used to go to the pub on a friday.
    This particular pub was awful, a typical old mans place with old boys smoking pipes.
    I told my boss I couldnt stand the smell and wouldnt be coming from now on.

    I was labelled the party pooper and later pushed from my position, I dont think that was a coincedence.

    So I'd say depending on how much you value your job, grin and bear it.

    That is awful. Did you actually get sacked or transferred to a different department or something?
  • LameWolf
    LameWolf Forumite Posts: 11,233
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I couldn't think of anything worse than spending lunch with work "mates". You work all day with them so need some time to chill out on your own. I'd just say thanks but no thanks.
    I agree totally. Just because you work with someone, doesn't mean you want to be best buddies with them.
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.;)
  • eleanorowen
    eleanorowen Forumite Posts: 4 Newbie
    Tell them your on a diet or that you need to study in your lunch hour
  • xhosa9
    xhosa9 Forumite Posts: 42 Forumite
    Life is too short to spend it regularly having lunch with people don't really want to spend the time with, even more so if you are spending money that you don't have!

    Politely decline their invitation as you have other plans.

    Be prepared that they might kick-off though but stick to your guns and they will give up eventually. Beware that they don't then start excluding you from work activities though if they feel slighted.
  • SallyMC
    SallyMC Forumite Posts: 14 Forumite
    I know, it's ghastly feeling obliged, & it used to be even worse at Christmas as we were expected to fork out upwards of £50 each to go to some dreary venue, usually with awful entertainment, and smile politely for 3 hours. The last one I went to I got stuck between my service manager & assistant director both of whom were sipping diet coke as they both drove long distances to get home - not criticising them but hardly a recipe for getting into the Christmas spirit!
    I found the best way of getting out of team lunches - happened a couple of times a month & usually cost about £15 a time - was to book a meeting, however low key, just a visit to the post room/IT dept./distant colleague over a minor point will do, picking a time which meant that I would only be able to either join the team later, or leave earlier. That way I could, as suggested above, not have anything to eat & choose a small drink which didn't cost very much. Worked wonders. And the suggestion of only going to 1 in three is sound too. A long response for me, but I feel very strongly about this as I had to find coping mechanisms for more than 9 years & know how difficult it is.
  • alanorme
    alanorme Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    You should try to avoid going on this if you are not comfortable.
    I am a boss youre and I arrange social things for the staff all the time. a) you dont come unless you want to. b0 Its always in the evenings, c) you can bring your partner and d) most important of all, they are fun.
  • Any
    Any Forumite Posts: 7,944
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    lsbell wrote: »
    i agree she should be brave and say she cant afford it. However this post above that says to pretend you have coeliac disease is disgusting. I have coeliac disease and it is not a joke, it is a lifelong autoimmune disease and saying you have it just to get out of a dinner is beyond the pale. Please get some common sense and be aware that people who have diseases also use this website.

    A bit oversensitive?
    I am sure the poster meant the best, it was probably the first illness that came to his/her mind, didn't want to upset anyone. If he said diabetes I wouldn't be upset. Calm down.

    Otherwise I would say that I really cannot afford such a lunches and bow out. I bet there will be at least one other person who is also just affraid to say.
  • holdenismine
    holdenismine Forumite Posts: 20 Forumite
    You could explain to your boss that you're not able to afford to eat out for lunch everyday, and even if you were you don't see it as a good way to spend money. Maybe you could suggest your team eats together once a month, and that it doesn't necessarily have to be at a restaurant, you could all bring food in from home, or order takeout, vary it each month. I think there are other ways the team could bond, and yes, food is a good activity to bond over, but it should not be such a regular thing and you and the other employees should be compensated as you're still 'at work' if it's something your boss wants.
  • irishwench69
    irishwench69 Forumite Posts: 807
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    MSE_Lee wrote: »
    Should I lunch with work mates?

    I work as part of a newly formed team; my boss, four other girls and me. My boss thinks he is very "cool" and wants us all to "bond" so often suggests we go out for lunch (at our expense).
    The other girls are fine, but I don't really want to be best buddies with them, and they always choose somewhere expensive and I resent having to pay when I don't enjoy it.

    Should I tell my boss and risk looking bad or grin and bear it?

    If you are comfortable in your own skin, then you shouldn't really need the validation to be 'seen' to have to join in during your OWN lunch time. As for being a 'team' building excersise, this is just a cop out from your boss. True company 'team building' excersises are expensed by the company, not paid for by the employees..

    If you have the confidence to beat your own path, and enjoy your own time, doing things YOU want to do, there are plenty of other ways to bond with your team. Some examples I have used is to pop out on a warm day, and buy a round of ice creams, inexpensive, novel, and sure to endear you.

    Also, during normal break times, you can bring in the odd cake, or whatever else you feel appropriate - much less expensive than being forced to buy lunch in an expensive restaraunt. If you've baked yourself, can be a real talking point. You can even initiate a 'lottery' syndicate (be sure to get everyone signed up legally - you can download a form from the net, it's no problem when you lose all the time, problems only arise when/if you win!!). That'll only cost you £1/week, much cheaper than lunch out, and a bonding experience as it gives you all something in common to talk about!

    As someone else has already said, above all, it's YOUR money, let no-one else influence or dictate to you on how you spend it.

    Absolutely agree with frugalstephen on this!!

    I've highlighted part of the inital MMD above - to point out that the whole point from your boss is about the team bonding. You're not going to bond if you're sitting there uncomfortable and too afraid to speak up, and your workmates maybe think you're a bit aloof - and no one wants to say anything!

    There are plenty of ways to bond without splashing out on lunch - frugalstephen gives some great examples above, but things we've done here include ordering a pizza in (and tbh the boss should pay - their team and all!!), going for a drink after work (cheaper than a whole meal and a bit less formal, as after hours), bringing doughnuts or something in on a Friday.....even just making everyone a tea during the day, or going round for a chat to someone's desk.

    Or run a tea rota, have a birthdays list (and sort out cards for people etc)....or the lottery / football syndicate idea (especially with the world cup coming up :) )

    You can be seen as friendly and sociable without spending a bundle - and if I was the manager of the team, I would much rather the person with concerns spoke up rather than sat there worrying about it, or going but not enjoying it.

    While you don't have to be best mates or anything, it's nice to do things as a team - but this is as much going for a tea and a chat to the kitchen together as going out for a big fancy meal.....

    (I do manage a team btw :) )

    IW x
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 222 :beer:
    :T Debt free wannabe - Proud to be dealing with my debts! :T

    Remember the MoneySaving mantras!

    IF YOU'RE SKINT......
    Do I need it? Can I afford it? Can I find it cheaper anywhere else?

    Will I use it? Is it worth it? Can I find it cheaper anywhere else?
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