Recently I think what we're being asked of is really unrealistic, and I am growing tired of it and I'm done with pretending that everything is okay. What I'm doing is every work they throw at me, I just do it to the best of my abilities.

Now, the higher ups deem it fit to throw a dinner to celebrate what we're doing so far, and I can't just grin and bear it. Since it won't be on the clock anyway, how do I decline the invitation when everyone is expected to attend? I'm afraid I'll just bring the mood down, so I don't want to go.

Update: thanks people, most of you were upfront and frank, and I guess I see the error of my ways, I guess I'll just stomach it a bit more since it'll end soon anyway. Thank you for all your advice.

  • 1
    "Recently I think what we're being asked of is really unrealistic" That sounds as if there is more going on than just that dinner invitation. If so, give us facts instead of your conclusions.
    – user8036
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 12:57
  • 1
    @NoThanks So don't work overtime? Will they honestly lay you off? Probably not, there is a very good chance that this is just sales and project management bullying the workers. Even if they threaten and follow through with it what is the worst that will happen to you? You get unemployment for a little while until you find something significantly better. Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 13:13
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    I rarely turn down a chance to stuff my face with free food :) If I am in a sour mood, I stuff my face, socialize, have a good time and then I go back to my sour mood. Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 13:28
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    My attitude is that no employer can buy me happiness with just free food. Or with free food and more money. But would I discourage them from trying and trying harder? Hell no - I'd say, it's hopeless but you folks keep trying :) Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 13:33
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    I don't understand how your personal financial situation prevents you from finding another job. Nobody said quit and then look. Usually you look and quit when you've found something.
    – NotMe
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


A celebratory dinner for a whole group is not the same as "a dinner invitation from a superior" - that implies your boss wants to take you, perhaps you and one or two other people, for a quiet dinner and private chat. What you're describing is perhaps an acknowledgement that what was asked of your group recently was unrealistic, and an expression of gratitude that you handled everything that was thrown at you.

Look at your team-mates. Have they worked extra hard lately too? Do they deserve a thankyou and a bit of applause? I bet they do. You should go, so you can give them that. Someone may give you that, too. And at some point, a higher-up may stand up and give a bit of a speech that will give you some important insight into what's been going on, and whether it's the "new normal" or has finished now.

I appreciate that you don't want to sit at a dinner sulking and thinking "but what's been going on was awful and stupid and not something to celebrate." Staying away from the dinner won't help anything though. Instead, try to see whether what's been going on was awful and difficult and for a reason and has now concluded successfully. The dinner can celebrate what you all have done and the return to normal operations. Or it can usher in the new era of always being like this, which will probably be your cue to look for a new job. But you'll do so with a better understanding of what's happening in this one.

  • Well, if by their definition of extra hard is putting everyone's health at risk by asking them to stay late every day and work on weekends would this still apply? A lot of us already had sickness in different days and none of those stemmed from laziness but pure fatigue.
    – NoThanks
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 13:02
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    @NoThanks Nobody is chaining you to a chair dude. They just "asked" you. Tell them no and that you have plans and don't show up. 9 times out of 10 they will stop asking you and just leave you alone. Have sour grapes all you want but it was your choice to stay late and to go into work in the evenings. Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 13:15
  • That's what I probably forgot to say, it was do what they want or find another job. It's not optional for everyone. It's oppressive.
    – NoThanks
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 13:26
  • 2
    NoThanks: I suspect you're misreading that. If you aren't, you really have only two choices: Deal with it, or leave.
    – keshlam
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 22:25
  • But it is only a short term project, I forgot to add.
    – NoThanks
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 2:44

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