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I have a dinner meeting this Friday with my boss and with some coworkers. Last week, they asked me if I could go I said yes, but in somewhat non-committal way e.g. "umm, ok". But now that I had time to think about it, I don't want to go.

The first reason I don't want to go is that I don't like my job that much. The job's okay and I get paid well. But sometimes the job is very stressful and I have to work 12 hours a day. My boss is a good guy, generally, but when I do something incorrectly or say that I don't know how to do something, he gets very very sarcastic to me and laughs at me. I think he might do this because he is 15 years older than me.

The second reason is that most of my coworkers are older than 27 (I'm 22). I feel like I don't have to much talk about with them.

With all of these reasons, I feel like it'd be easier to stay home, eat some pizza and watch some Netflix instead of going to a dinner with them.. What should I do?

  • 5
    I am 69. My youngest friend is 3. We share affection for a particular small pony. Have you tried talking with those aged 27-year-olds to see if you have any interests in common? – Patricia Shanahan Nov 28 '18 at 3:24
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    You are 69??!! And you still have all your own forks? – Mawg Nov 28 '18 at 11:02
  • It is not clear to me if this dinner would be considered "off work" or not, because you also mention "meeting". Will you be discussing one or some specific work-related matters that you don't have time to discuss during the day (and the dinner makes it easier to accept these overhours) or is it an informal afterwork dinner, where you will most probably discuss work among other things but also (and hopefully mostly) non-work subjects? – Laurent S. Nov 28 '18 at 16:31
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Go to the dinner

Be pleasant, listen carefully and attentively to the stories people tell. Tell a story or two of your own, but only if you want to.

If someone tells a joke, smile. If it's funny, laugh (but don't fake it).

Don't drink a significant amount of alcohol.

Why you should do this

  • Ever hear the adage "It's not what you know, it's who"?
    This is how you get to know people.
  • Everyone at the dinner will be more inclined to think of you as "one of us" rather than "that new kid".

These kinds of connections will (not "can", not "might", will) reduce the pressure at work. It takes time, but the benefits for you are very real.

When was the last time a Netflix & pizza advanced your career?

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    +1 for "When was the last time a Netflix & pizza advanced your career" – PeteCon Nov 27 '18 at 23:11
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    +1. Just Do It. Consider it as "it is your job to go". Do it for the company. – Sandra K Nov 28 '18 at 0:13
  • This answer assumes that OP will indeed be a good social fit. I mean, ok, most of the time you will probably turn into "one of them" rather than "the new kid", but you could aswell turn into "that freak"... – Laurent S. Nov 28 '18 at 16:38
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You can simply say something like "I am not really feeling well. Will need to do a rain check on the dinner. Maybe next time." Situations like this is why making excuses exists.

That being said, do you really want to stay in your comfort zone? Part of business involves going out of your comfort zone and socializing with your coworkers. If you are not comfortable because of the toxic environment, I would look into pursuing other opportunities. If you are not comfortable with interacting with people you do not necessarily share a lot with, you will need to face that if you want to advance.

  • He _could_ make a weak excuse ... this time; but, next time? and the time after? I have been there, OP, went, and was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed myself, and my colleagues really me to treat me as "one of us". Win-win – Mawg Nov 28 '18 at 11:10
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If its a dinner meeting, it suggests that there will be a workplace element to the event. Not being at that event could then impact on your career, as you'll miss being able to add your input, and you'll not glean new information.

You'll also miss out on the opportunity to get to know your colleagues better, thereby making you all work together better.

You state "it would be easier to stay in". You are correct, but life isn't easy and it won't come to you, so go out there and get it! :)

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You should go if you feel it will make your collaboration with your colleagues better or if it's a work meeting. You should also go if you are new or a team leader, but this doesn't seem to be the case.

Otherwise, you are free to decide whether you would like to attend or not. You're not a prisoner. It's your free time. If you don't like your job and/or colleagues you don't need to force yourself to anything. Just say you have an unexpected personal commitment.

During such dinners/ Christmas parties, etc. those who normally talk to each other are talking to each other. Those who like each other keep liking each other after such occasions, those who hate each other keep hating each other. It's highly improbable that people will change their opinions about you as a result of you going there or not going.

I know there is this theory that people shouldn't miss such occasions and it's probably true 1) if you're a team lead 2) if you are new. But apart from that, nobody cares if OP will be there or not. I've been in the workforce for a few years now and have never witnessed anybody's participation to make a difference.

I just had a Christmas party last week. I left around midnight together with a colleague. I spoke to her a lot during the party too. Yesterday she asked me whether I attended or not. This really summarises it all. (Before someone asks: we are both teetotallers).

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Well you say you don't like your job. So I would say don't go. I agree with other posters saying not going wont do you any favors, but if you don't care to advance in your current position that is a moot point.

At best it is just a complete waste of time, at worst it is detrimental because it may give your boss the wrong idea about your commitment level to your job.

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