Ditching the company Christmas party

88 posts in this topic

Posted

My work environment sucks and has been getting steadily worse. I have a scheduling conflict on the night of the company Christmas party and have decided to do what I always do (whatever my girlfriend tells me to). So I'm going to the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt instead of the party.

It's an office of only seven people and I have caught a tremendous amount of grief from every one of them. My boss took it as far as to say that the people from Nürnberg are horrible, and the Weihnachtsmarkt there is a total bullshit operation that's famous for no reason at all. The one in Mannheim is better. I joked that this is information that we could have used back in October when we made our plans. He wasn't amused, and went on to say that I had really disrupted the party plans. I wasn't planning to pop out of a cake or anything, so I don't know what he's talking about.

My colleague told me today that in Germany it is "deeply offensive" to not attend the company Christmas party. When I pointed out that she is planning to fake sick to get out of going, she said, "when you're sick you're sick."

Is it really "deeply offensive," or is it the standard great-if-you-can-make-it, your-loss-if-you-can't affair?

Incidentally, if anyone wants to meet up at the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt Saturday the 13th (and isn't already obligated to go to the TT party in Munich), let me know. ;)

-1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Can't say exactly as it depends on the company and the people. However, I have worked for a lot of German companies and know the working culture fairly well and I would say:

No, it's not "deeply offensive", but it's also not just a come-if-you-can thing, especially given that it'll be a small affair.

My feeling: it'll be frowned upon. May not be a diplomatically wise thing to do since you seem to be not well accepted there anyway; attending may actually help loosen up the atmosphere between you and your colleagues.

That said, nothing in the world would force me into attending if I really didn't want to. But you will have to be willing to take the flak for your decision, maybe stand the pressure of the others trying to talk you back into itor eing rude about it.

Btw, I also think "getting sick" on the day will go down just as badly, or possibly even worse than just saying - in advance - that you can't go. People have suspicious minds, and the numbers will already have been catered for.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's just a question of numbers; if there were 40 people in your office then your absence wouldn't even be noticed, but if there are only seven of you then they need everybody on board to stop it being a total flop.

I suspect that part of the reason that your colleagues are upset is that they wish they were doing the same as you.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

hmm, I'd also say it's bad form not to go, especially if your office is only 7 people.

can you postpone your Nürnberg trip and go to your office do after all?

may score you some 'points'.

-1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I think you should come up with a good reason you can´t go- wedding, family anniversary, something that clearly takes precedence. However, reading the above again, it seems you already blew them off for the markets :) Oh well.

I think you should dob in your sick colleague too (because I am in a bitchy mood today) ;)

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

hmm, I'd also say it's bad form not to go, especially if your office is only 7 people.

can you postpone your Nürnberg trip and go to your office do after all?

may score you some 'points'.

This bird offers sound advice I rection.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

This year I have 6 different work Christmas parties.

Two from each of my departments (I help out with stats for my old bunch), one of which I have to fly to another country for (yes. For lunch only), then there's the big flashy one and the non-official one.

Thus far, I've been to one, am going to another 4 (non-official, old lot lunch, current lot ski day, other country current lot) and missing the big official one.

Why? It's dull as. And big enough that I shalln't be missed.

In smaller companies, it will be noticed and will be bitched about. But if you don't like working there that much and are planning to leave anyway...

Calling in sick looks bad. If needs really must, go sick the day before too to make it look realistic ;)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yeah, I decided honesty would be best. But I still feel guilty. The plans can't change. Train tickets are booked, and I don't have another spare moment.

What's really funny is that another colleague had plans to go away as well, but has canceled them due to the fallout over my situation. There's not enough time around the holidays.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I used to work for a German company and my boss (the Geschäftsführer) told me in no uncertain terms that skipping the party was not an option.

I had a coworker confirm this and told me that her relationship with our boss changed after she had missed the party for a legitimate reason years ago. In my experience Germans can get really wound up over formalities like this.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Some poeple can be extremely strange. When we enter the world of work we open ourselves to all kinds of strange, annoying and downright crappy people we would otherwise not even take the time to piss on if they were on fire.

Hence the current situation of the OP, working relationships are not the best and have been getting worse yet, yet, everyone still expects everyone to put in a show at the Chrimbo party/get together.

Unfortunately if you do not go you may make things worse and lets face it, they will just bitch about you anyway.

As previously said, if you have a good reason you should be ok, failing that, call in sick 4 days before the event.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I've not been on a company Christmas do for 4 years now, I simply refuse to go, I dont give a toss if it offends anyone. The only ones I have gone to, everyone has sat there talking krout all night knowing full fucking well I didnt(And still dont) speak the language.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

ER - That, I think, is exactly what has happened. I'm not worried at all about my job (I'm the only one who can do what I do, and I give it all my effort), but the atmosphere is certainly altered.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

ya know, screw that. You made your plans months ago. It's not your fault that they picked that weekend. You have plans. Period.

Germans do it all of the time making plans 3 months or 3 yrs in advance. You're unavailable.

Suggestion: ask them to reimburse you for your non-refundable tickets and hotel fare. Work out the cost split for them...say, you pay this much xx each, I'll go to the stupid party. That ought to shut them up.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

That's a nice compromise and might help save your working relationship. Going into work every day with a boss that hates you will be miserable best try to keep things amicable.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

That's an excellent idea, Moonboot. Thanks a lot!

The problem is that in an office that small, the notion that we're a family creeps in, falsely, and I think feelings have been hurt. So that might repair some of it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

My lot get Christmas cake for this reason.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I brought in little chocolate santas this week and left a plate of them on my desk by the door. everyone thinks I'm the bees knees now!

*beam*

Katrina you're welcome to pop over if you want one, can I have some Christmas cake!!!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Work christmas parties are always shit, unless you work with loads of really hot girls, who totally like to get drunk and party, and are very likely going to end up naked at the xmas party, and doing loads of sexy stuff. That'd be sweet.

I work with no hot girls.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Well I reccomend you going and bringing a bunch of american xmas movies. Then let them know it is extremly rude in your country not to watch all the movies since you brought them to share in the xmas spirit. That should get you off next years list.

FYI

I recommend:

The Refugee (because its funny and sadistic and germans wont get it)

Chrstmas vacation (because it sucks)

Oh yeah make sure to bring a bottle of hooch.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

After the dons post...

I think I will have to start a new career as a page 3 Photographer...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Katrina you're welcome to pop over if you want one, can I have some Christmas cake!!!

Not iced yet, but when it is, you're on the list!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Well I reccomend you going and bringing a bunch of american xmas movies. Then let them know it is extremly rude in your country not to watch all the movies since you brought them to share in the xmas spirit. That should get you off next years list.

FYI

I recommend:

The Refugee (because its funny and sadistic and germans wont get it)

Chrstmas vacation (because it sucks)

Oh yeah make sure to bring a bottle of hooch.

Definitely Team America! :lol:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thats a great movie. At the Laurulhurst Theater in Portland they use to have a sing a long version.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I got looked at askance when I left the office Christmas Do (out south of Starnberg of all places) early (11pm) for another party but I could not have stood another 15 minutes with that stuffy inbred crowd* (that's the evening I met bluedave who wouldn't trade tops with me). We are expected to turn up giving childbirth with bubonic plague and a broken pelvis.

Then again, the office cannot expect you to plan around its needs. Did you tell them that your group bought these tickets three months ago in a special sale? There will always be clashes at Christmas time, this year they have to live with it.

*Thank goodness the venue and group of attendees has changed in the last two years. Now we're at the Blue Spa Lounge in the Bayerischer Hof with finger-food and a pasta station and drinkies and free bar and petits fours and cheese and hot Mai-Tai all evening long (that's for the benefit of everyone who had to turn down my invitation; I promise to contact you earlier next year).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now