Got in trouble at work and need to deflect the backlash. What should I do now?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Misskitty, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    YIKES!!! I didnt think my boss would be upset over me changing my invite to the staff golf tourney next month from yes to no. To be frank, I just dont give a damn about golf, that and I dont like staff get togethers especially if theyre AFTER work in your free time. Want me to go? Make it during work hours, where im paid.

    So I emailed him last weekend saying Im not gonna go anymore because I got family plans that night and I wont have enough time (of course this was a lie :noes:) since the tourney is at night and really I didnt want to go and take off only an hour later.

    Today he comes to me asking what i got going on that I cant go, and gives me this dead serious look. I thought he was being sarcastic, but few secs later realized that holy crap hes pissed! Then i told him I got a family birthday blah blah blah. Sorry but family always comes first, well before work. I know that may sound bad but whatever. It is what it is. Even though technically i dont have anything planned for that night except going home and playing video games.

    Then he said that he really wants me there and that its a great time to meet the staff from other offices that i havent met yet. For me, i couldnt give a crap about meeting others. Am I way out of line for thinking this way? Not to be rude or anything but I just dont like mingling after hours. And that he will let me go 2 hours early that day with pay, to let me do my thing, just so i can be at the golf course after and stay the whole 9 rounds. Being let go 2 hours early with pay, nice! 3 hours on the golf course after, OH THAT SOUNDS SO EXCITING! NOT! I appreciate being offered the 2 hours pay, but still not happy about having to go.

    How bad does it look on me for trying to back out? :noes:

    I felt uncomfortable at the end and didnt know what to say so I said "its not that i dont want to go":mad:

    1) Does it look bad on me? Put a black mark on me as a person or employee?
    2) What can I do now or say to him to deflect some of the negativity and backlash on me?
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    It does seem a bit overreaching on your boss's part to question why you would choose family over socializing with your coworkers, but since you asked:

    This is, largely, the way the business world works. You make time to get to know your coworkers at functions like this, yes, sometimes even when you would rather just go home and play video games. You come across as someone who isn't a team player, who think's they're above everyone else somehow.

    This isn't about whether you like golf, or whether you like your coworkers. To your boss, this is about whether you like your job. And you're sending the message, loud and clear, that you don't.

    I once went to a company function outdoors on a 100+ degree day, AFTER I moved from one apartment to another and I was completely spent. But it was made clear that I was expected to be there. It might sound crappy, but that's how the world works sometimes.
  3. Misskitty, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014

    Misskitty thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    How can I lessen the blow on me? Do you think he will see me much differently now? I need to say something to him to set us straight again on even ground.

    its not that im not a team player, I just like my free time and want to go home after a long day at work. I couldnt give a damn about mingling and getting to know others.

    I will admit (amd im not ashamed in doing so), that im a loner. Id rather be alone than be around people.

    And i doubt im gonna be able to get out of future events either, which makes me upset.
  4. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    The simplest plan would be to resign immediately.

    A more subtle plan would be to go golfing, but to intentionally play so badly that you're never invited again. And while playing badly, make sure you take a long, long, long, long time to set up your shots. Because the plan shouldn't just be to show how badly you play, it should be to subject others to as much boredom as possible watching you play, for as long a time as possible. This could backfire, however: your boss might force you to take golfing lessons.

    If you really want to make the event memorable, go to a thrift store or Goodwill and buy some crappy clubs that don't fit you. Then during the course of the game, lose your temper and demolish several clubs.
  5. Misskitty thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
  6. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Oh, he already sees you much differently, I would bet.

    This isn't about saying something to fix it, it's going to take you doing something to fix it. My advice would be to bite the bullet and go to the outing. I don't know that any amount of talking is going to make up for your absence.

    This is exactly what you should NOT say to your boss. Because it's the very epitome of not being a team player - that you don't see yourself as part of the team, nor do you want to.

    Everybody likes their free time after work - you're no more special than anyone else in that regard. But many of them go to these things, some for the sake of their careers, some because they simply don't mind the camaraderie.

    I wouldn't necessarily recommend that you resign, but you really should consider your words here:

    If going out with coworkers every once in a while really leaves THAT bad of a taste in your mouth, then perhaps you should consider a different job - but another word of advice, there are MANY companies that do things like this, and while they have varying expectations with regard to employees' attendance, continued absences really do paint you as "that" person, the one who finds herself near the top of the list when layoffs need to happen, or the one who gets passed over for more prestigious positions, or the one who gets relegated to crappy duties when the need arises, etc.
  7. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

    Feb 8, 2007
    Mesa, AZ
    Just suck it up and go play. I'm the same way - I don't really like work related functions outside of work hours. But, sometimes what I like/want and what I *should* do are different things. Think of it as one day where you have to put in a couple hours of "overtime". You're outside on a nice golf course - not like you're doing actual 'work'. It might be annoying, but sometimes if you want to get in the good graces of those above you, you have to get out of your comfort zone and do things you don't want to do. It's one day, for a couple hours...c'mon. And who knows, you *might* actually have a little fun and do some useful networking and meet some nice people.

    Also, now you have the chance to really look good to your boss by saying, "I was able to get out of the birthday event so I could go this work function."
  8. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    Whatever you do, don't stand up for your rights. Don't stand up for your right to privacy. Don't stand up to your employer trying to control you during non-work hours.
  9. Misskitty thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Well then he should be more forgiving and not jump to conclusions because we've had like 3 events in the past 3 months, with the most recent being just last week and I went to all of them and stayed for as long as he needed me. Mind you they were during work hours, but still....last weeks went 2 hours past my end shift time.

    Well im going now because i have to.

    I know and i didnt say this to my boss and never would.

    For me, my job is a paycheque, nothing more. I do my job and dont care for the company.

    I just think they should be optional. If not, then have them under paid hours.
    I just cant stand when some people expect you to live and breathe your job 24/7, 365 days a year.
  10. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2012
    B'more or Less
    This is so appallingly feudalistic.

    But then again, I have a ton of friends looking for work, or who only have short-term contract work with no benefits, no overtime (and yet it's still expected). If they ask questions, someone else is dangled over their heads as an implied replacement. It's chilling and really sux.

    ---Also, pre-2008, a friend of mine was forced to take kung-fu classes by her boss. She's an interior designer/project manager and he wanted her to be more assertive. At the last minute she changed the class to Tai chi but he found out about it and was furious. She still had to take kung fu to keep her job.
  11. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    Those are the underlying reasons for why you should resign. Your boss's expectations of what's necessary for the job clearly don't match yours. And not just in a small way. This mismatch in expectations will not turn out well. It's only a question of how long it can last, and how much fireworks occur when it breaks down.

    It could simmer beneath the surface for a long time, with resentment slowly building on both sides and poisoning business relationships. It could seem to be fine but actually be simmering, too.

    It could erupt at some time when you least expect it, where you get fired. I'm guessing that could have repurcussions among others in your industry. In other words, you could get a bad reputation in addition to getting fired.

    If I were working for someone where there was that much of an expectational mismatch, I'd be quietly looking for another job, one where schmoozing with coworkers outside of work was a much lower priority. I'd also be trying not to burn any bridges before their time.

    I think one mistake you made was in first agreeing to go and then declining. If you'd thought about it more before giving the first answer, and assuming the feeling of not wanting to be with coworkers isn't new, you should have known this about yourself and planned your exit strategy more carefully. For example, say that you might have a family thing that weekend, but you weren't sure yet. That is, make it a "maybe" instead of a "yes". It's a lot easier to turn a "maybe" into a "no" than to turn a "yes" into a "no".
  12. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    I wouldn’t [re]reverse myself at this point.

    Look, there’s a couple of kinds of after hours events:

    1) Just pure fun, perks for working at the company, there’s a slightly implied requirement to attend, but you don’t have to - will it potentially hinder your career? Yeah, maybe, even if that’s not legal or “fair”

    2) Required after hours events, retreats, offsite sales/brainstorming, etc., that should be +clearly+ indicated as an extension of your position, and should be comped

    Sounds like this was a #1 with your boss kind of trying to make it a #2 (potty humor intentional ...), so I wouldn’t sweat it, other than the possibility of bad company mojo I mentioned above.

    Work is a kind of a social environment, that’s hard to avoid unless you’re in very unique profession, or it’s your own business. Maybe there will be some after work situation that fits in your wheelhouse a little better, and you might actually find fun, if not, and it’s not required, and you don’t mind the negative karma, then don’t worry about it. :)
  13. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008

    So let's see. You lie to your boss, cough up feeble transparent excuses when he calls you on it, admit you don't care for the company and are just dialing it in, and you just want to be alone.

    My best advice is to start looking for new work.

    It sounds entirely likely that the stony look he gave you when he confronted you about your lie was because this was not an isolated incident. You're not happy in your work and there are dozens of ways it shows to any supervisor with a molecule of awareness. That goes for your co-workers also. I'm rather sure that if someone shared your post anonymously with a random person in your workplace, they'd know exactly who it was.

    Your job is likely already over; it's now just a question of when and on what terms you will be leaving. Take the initiative and find something worth getting up for in the morning. It's easiest to find a new job when you're employed, so get started.

    Incidentally, there's no crime in being an introvert, but there are consequences for failing to adapt to a extrovert-run world. It's worth cultivating a few friends in your workplace so you can find a pocket of solace in group events like this-- which are necessary parts of most work environments. It's up to you to find a way to cope, or find work that doesn't necessitate group interactions, like independent coding, writing or editing, or other various flavors of entrepreneurship.
  14. rdowns, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  15. Gutwrench Contributor


    Jan 2, 2011
    Sorry in advance if this has already been covered but I'm a loner too and frankly got bored with the back-n-forth.

    How much time has elapsed since your original RSVP acceptance and the event date now that you want to cancel?

    Could he be pissed because you're giving short notice? Depending on the size of the outing (large-ish) with a lot of people, awards, heavy hor de ovres or a meal a late cancelation is a tad insensitive and an inconvenient adjustment. A fair amount of effort is extended in setting up a tournament or large outing.

    If you're in a job, not a career, then the question I have is this: if you don't care enough about advancement to attend and network, then why do you suddenly care about it if you don't?
  16. Misskitty thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    About 4 weeks have passed since i first rsvped yes.

    Hes upset because i changed my rsvp from yes to no. He said he really wants me there because i work for him and id imagine it would hurt his image to the owners if i didnt show up since technically im his partner.

    I dont care if i dont show up, i just dont think its fair to view me in now a negative light over something so minor.
  17. Gutwrench Contributor


    Jan 2, 2011
    Well the truth is you are viewed in a negative light and likely earned.

    But since you don't care about that then lock the thread and go about your business. You got your answer and it probably doesn't match up with what you want to hear.

    You could have handled this a lot better. But since it's a job, who cares? You don't. Remember?
  18. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    How high up the chain are you if the boss considers you a partner. I would imagine there is already a distain for you since you appear to be mailing it in, believe that it shows with coworkers. Unfortunately you might be so far out of the loop that you don't see it. Get that resume typed up and try to save face while you can.
  19. Misskitty thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    I know what youre saying, but i just dont understand how someone who doesnt want to attend a work event should automatically be seen with a black mark on them. Is it because i initially accepted then backed out? Had i declined at first, i bet i wouldnt get the backlash.


    But im not mailing it in. I just dont feel one should have to attend every work event.
  20. charlesbronsen macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2008
    Toronto, Ont
    I'm not a fan of work related events either but sometimes you just have to suck it up and go. A few times a year I have to travel for trade shows, meetings or dinner with clients and spend a night or two in a hotel. I really despise it but I do it out of respect for my boss, company and co-workers. A few weeks ago my boss did come to me and told me I was to go to a golf tournament for the day with pay and I declined. He said "your going", I said "no" and we went back and fourth like this a few times. After I expressed my hate for golf he understood but he was quite shocked at first. However I do play in hockey tournaments with him and some of my co-workers a few weekends a year on my free time so it wasn't that big of deal. I see where your coming from though, good luck
  21. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    Is your job hiring? I'd rather be playing golf than flipping through papers all day long.
  22. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Now you're talking in hyperbole. At first, it was three times in three months, for a couple of (paid) hours at a time. Now it's 24/7/365.
  23. jbachandouris macrumors 601


    Aug 18, 2009
    Upstate NY
    I agree that you should not be forced to be someone you are not. Judging from your previous postings, that's what they want: for you to be someone other than you. I won't be as harsh as others as I despise being 'forced' to do things, but its long past time for you to have started looking for a new job. You really need to decide what you want to do with life. As others have responded, it's not going to get better for you. You don't like the company or the culture and it's just a matter of time before the boss finds a 'legal' excuse to get rid of you.

    Good luck. It's tough finding work out there.
  24. WinstonRumfoord macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2014
    Good lord

    You are free to skip all "extra curricular activities" with your work, it's your right.

    It's also your manager's right to pass you over for promotions and all the other good stuff that comes along with being a happy, motivated employee.


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