At my office it is customary when a new person is hired that they are shown around and introduced to all of the team and everyone gives a quick explanation of their job role.

Today a new team member was shown around, they were introduced to everyone including the people next to me but I was passed over and not introduced. I have since introduced myself to the new worker but I feel isolated not being introduced along with everyone else. It hasn't happened before so I might just be an accident (Don't really know how but it's possible I guess).

Should I question the person showing them around about this? If so how can I do it without sounding accusational?

To answer some of the questions we have name tags on our desk and have worked with the person doing introductions so knowing my name should not be an issue. I took my headphones off so it was easier to approach me.

  • 2
    When they were near you, did the others talk longer than a minute to those next to you? I ask because it may be they just forgot as they were going into the conversation.
    – Dan
    Jun 18, 2018 at 18:52
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    Did you look particularly busy or "in the zone" so that they might have though it would be best not to bother you at the moment? Jun 19, 2018 at 10:35
  • Were you wearing headphones?
    – user7360
    Jun 19, 2018 at 15:24

4 Answers 4


Should I question the person showing them around about this?

If this is the first time, just let it go. People are human, and introductions are not comfortable to some people. (myself included, I don't like making introductions)

If so how can I do it without sounding accusational?

This will be difficult, and mostly up to the tone of your voice. If it happens again, I would ask "Is there a particular reason you skipped me when introducing person X to the group?" Most likely, they will be slightly embarrassed and make certain it doesn't happen again..

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    I'd add that in addition to the tone of voice, the facial expression also helps. Saying it with a smile helps give the right impression in my experience.
    – Cronax
    Jun 18, 2018 at 15:42
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    Phrasing can also avoid confrontation: "Did you notice that you missed introducing so-and-so to me?" Of course, the less direct the question is phrased, the less direct (and clear) the answer will be.
    – employee-X
    Jun 18, 2018 at 20:25
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    @Cronax saying that with a smile will make anyone appear as if the face is disconnected to the output - picture perfect raving lunatic. Your best bet is a slightly sad / shameful face. The best way to avoid being accusative (ie: confrontational) is being self-accusing (implying "is there something wrong with me") and you do this by being humble which in this case is best shown as sad and ashamed... Smiling while being either accusational or unironically self deprecating is going to be confusing people.
    – Stian
    Jun 19, 2018 at 6:58
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    @StianYttervik Perhaps this is a cultural difference then, but in my frame of reference, a friendly smile will take the sting out of the question without implying that you don't actually expect an answer.
    – Cronax
    Jun 19, 2018 at 7:58
  • @Cronax Well, as you say can be a cultural difference. In my cultural reference, I just have a hard time seeing how this question can be framed or percieved like an innocent by-the-way question (which is what smiling tries to achieve) and it is also going to be difficult to pull off (I just picture myself trying that, and I find it difficult) Another solution for me would be the "humbling yourself" way of asking the question. But as you say, there might be cultural differences that makes me misread the situation.
    – Stian
    Jun 19, 2018 at 8:02

Lots of room for speculation here, as there could be different reasons why this happened:

  1. Accidental (simple mistake) - The person making introductions got distracted and passed you over without realizing it.

Your response: let it go, as you have done.

  1. Intentional but without ill intent - The person making introductions assumed you were busy (if you looked busy, had headphones, etc) and made a judgment call that it might be best not to bother you at that moment and that you will get introduced eventually anyway.

Your response: let it go, and maybe next time someone is coming around with introductions, try to look less busy.

Alternatively, you can also jokingly call them out on it: "Hold it right there Bob! I think you accidentally passed over the friendliest member of the team, right here!"

  1. Intentional, with ill intent - Least likely, it being the first time it happened. Unless you are being isolated/marginalized in some other ways and can guess possible reasons (if you are, you usually know it's happening).

Your response: Watch for this in the future and if it happens again with the same person making the introductions, then a follow-up might be in order.

One potential thing to worry about in this situation is that failure to be introduced might have sent an unintended message to the new person. The message being that you are not important enough and overlooking you is not viewed as a big deal by the management. If the newbie picked up on that, it might take some careful messaging to demystify things without appearing insecure. The best approach is to let your on-the-job performance speak for itself, which I am assuming won't be an issue. Hope that helps, and good luck!


I worry about the passive nature of the other posts. If something is bothering you, and it's easy to remedy, you should do so.

In this case, you can do it quite easily. You simply tell the person, in confidence,

I was missed when Newguy was being introduced.

It's not an accusation, it's not placing the blame on anyone, and it's not inviting anyone to discuss it. And to be perfectly honest, there isn't much to discuss. But what it does do is make the introducer aware that you are interested in taking place in these introductions.

The idea that because something happened once that you shouldn't worry about it is how patterns get built up. And if you get in the habit of letting it go once, you'll be in the habit of letting it go again. It clearly bothers you - do something about it. Control the controllables.

  • 1
    You could also turn this into a request -- "I was missed when Newguy was being introduced -- could you introduce me [later today, after lunch, this morning, now, ...]"
    – rrauenza
    Jun 19, 2018 at 18:56

The most direct answer, to me, would be to privately tell the person something like this:

If you come by with anyone new, please introduce me. I hope I didn't seem too busy or distracted the other day with [Name].

Rather than calling attention to their behavior in the past, or asking for a direct explanation, you're putting in a clear and polite request for their future behavior. Also, by assuming that they were being courteous in skipping you, you give them a polite "out" that saves them from blame or awkwardness. They may be able to follow up with "okay, you'd seemed pretty focused", or "oh, sorry, you didn't seem busy, I just [...]", or simply "sure, will do next time".

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