I’d rather spend a weekend the way I want to. Since it’s organized with a poll to know people’s availability, it’s not as simple as saying I can’t make it during one weekend.

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    I'm not sure what "polling availability" means here. Are you being asked "Who'd like to go on a company outing"? Or are you being asked "We're planning a company outing. Which of the next 6 weekends work for you"? Or something else? What do you mean by "non-business"? If it's purely a fun reward type thing, presumably the company would be fine if you said thanks but no thanks. My guess is that the company sees it as a business trip for team bonding and you see it as a non-business trip. Feb 8 at 20:06
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    non-business company trip is an oxymoron;
    – Tiger Guy
    Feb 8 at 20:26
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    Does this answer your question? Declining a Team Building Trip
    – keshlam
    Feb 8 at 21:53
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    @TigerGuy some companies organize holidays for their staff. Typically this is optional, considered a team building measure and/or bonus. Feb 8 at 23:53
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    Only mark your weekdays during office hours as available. Mark your weekends as unavailable. This should convey the right message. And you have to mark those weekends as unavailable, if you don't and if they buy you a non-refundable ticket to something, then they'll blame you for wasting money. Feb 9 at 6:27

2 Answers 2


Respond with whichever poll option(s) say that you're not available then.

And if they later announce that it's going to be on that date anyway, then at that point you can just inform them that you're not available on those dates.

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    this would be fine if the "trip" is just "who wants to go to Sea World, we can go together." If it is "Team Building for Leadership" you might find yourself self-selected off the leadership team.
    – Tiger Guy
    Feb 8 at 20:47
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    @TigerGuy well it's up to OP to decide whether they think that it's worth going on the trip vs spending their weekend how they want. And if that means they miss out on a potential promotion then that's their choice (and a red flag for the company).
    – Gh0stFish
    Feb 9 at 9:32

Just respond for all weekends that are available to choose from, that you're not available then. If someone asks, you can say that you've planned out your weekends with your family/friends/spare time activities or that you are not interested in this trip. If it is a holiday trip it's got to be optional. If it turns out to be an actual business trip, you might need to free up a weekend and go, that will depend on the contract you have signed.

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