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I started a new job recently, and my boss works remotely, so an onsite senior level employee sort of fills the roll of my boss. There is a several-hour long meeting tomorrow in the afternoon that goes well beyond the hours I usually work; I am salaried but usually try to keep certain hours unless something important comes up.

In an email to me and a couple of other people my boss stated the senior level employee needs to attend the meeting, but didn't mention me. The organizer of the meeting didn't even include me on the invitation, but my coworker forwarded me the invitation. I know that my coworker will ask me in person to attend the meeting, but I really don't want to spend hours in a meeting that will require me to stay a couple hours late and doesn't sound like it actual is important that I attend.

I don't want to just come right out and say "No, I'm not going" because as a new employee I don't want to come off as rude or jeopardize my position. How do I politely say I'm going to skip this meeting?

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    How relevant is the meeting to your work? Do they need your input for anything? – さりげない告白 Feb 2 '18 at 1:35
  • @雰囲気読めない人 I won't be required to give any input or answer questions as a junior level employee. It is regarding a project I am involved with, but it's usually just the lead people from the various departments who attend. I was thinking I'd just review the slides after the meeting. Much of the meeting will be about areas of the project I have no involvement in. – tpm900 Feb 2 '18 at 1:52
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If it isn't going to hold back the project, or make it difficult for you to follow the project by you not attending, then I would approach the senior employee and tell them you have previous engagements for when you get off, so you would prefer to not attend the meeting itself, but you will review the slides. Make the offer that if it is really important for you to attend, you will adjust your schedule accordingly.

I will however suggest that attending these meetings will likely give you better opportunity for advancement / raises within the company than those who do not participate. If that is something you are interested in, it may well be worth it to attend these meetings.

  • Keep that attitude and you'll be the guy the senior (or the boss) go to when "Yeaahhh... I'll need you to come in Saturday". OP has already done very well for keeping to his salaried hours unless absolutely necessary (and unless he is a lead dev, SRE, TA or something, it's very rare its something that'll need his attention). – PrometheanVigil Feb 2 '18 at 8:42
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    @PrometheanVigil That is why I suggested it if he is interested in advancement. Being one who has a voice in the projects in front of important people in the company are more likely to be noticed than those who don't participate in the meeting. If he wants to just do his time and get out, then it wasn't recommended to him. -- There is likely a reason that the senior forwarded the email to him. – さりげない告白 Feb 2 '18 at 9:03
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    I wouldn't use the word's "prefer to not attend". I would use the words "I will be unable to". Don't leave any wiggle room to suggest there is a choice in the matter. They scheduled an off-work hours meeting... you have zero commitment to leave your off-work hours open. – DanK Feb 2 '18 at 20:38
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You could always attend the meeting but make it known you need to leave at a certain time. Then when that time comes make your apologies and leave. You don't miss out entirely but keep to your schedule.

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