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Socialising with ex -colleagues ?

(25 Posts)
Notjustaprettyface Mon 06-Jan-20 19:27:34

A friend of mine , who I also worked with for a short time , has asked me out for lunch with a group of ex-colleagues ( common to both her and me ) on a couple of occasions
Both times , I have had a genuine reason for not going . I know that she will ask me again but feel uneasy about this as , in the group, are people who I didn’t get on with at work and actually caused me trouble in my role as a manager
There are also people who are fine but I don’t know them that well
I don’t want to upset my friend nor do I want to burden her with some of the resentment I feel towards some of the colleagues ;( I don’t wish them any harm but am happy to not see them again )
What would you do ? Would you go anyway or make an excuse next time she asks ?

Harris27 Mon 06-Jan-20 19:32:26

I work with a girl who can be let’s say very outspoken and manipulative she always gets what she wants. I wouldn’t want to socialise with her and would find it hard to go out of an evening with her. That said if I was finished work or retired it wouldn’t be a problem.

Doodledog Mon 06-Jan-20 19:36:15

I think that if you didn't get on with them at work, and crucially, that there is 'unfinished business' between you, the chances are that the lunch could be awkward.

On the other hand, a lot of people are very different when not at work, so it may be that you gain a new set of friends.

Whether or not I would go would depend on whether I felt that I needed or wanted to broaden my social circle. If not, I would maybe say to the friend that I would like to meet her for lunch, but was less keen on a larger gathering. If I felt that I was in a bit of a rut, then I'd probably go along, and see what happened. If it was awful I wouldn't go back.

You could always ask someone to call or text you after an hour or so, and give you an 'out' if you are really hating it.

Chewbacca Mon 06-Jan-20 19:39:09

I like the people I work with. But I'm paid to be with them. They are not my friends. My friends that I want to socialise with are outside of my workplace. My stock answer to any work related social functions is "Thank you very much for inviting me but I'd rather not. Thank you anyway". I don't make excuses. Don't expand on why I won't be going. No is a complete sentence.

Bridgeit Mon 06-Jan-20 19:42:49

Just say thankyou for the invite , & tell her it’s not for you,If she is a friend I am sure she will understand & accept that you don’t want to go.
If you are not happy to say that , then you are going to have to invent a prior engagement.
But there is nothing wrong with saying no. Best wishes .

MawB Mon 06-Jan-20 19:47:38

I would decline - a prior engagement (or be honest- and arrange to meet your friend separately)
If work colleagues become friends, so much the better, but the simple fact of having once worked together, is not enough for me to want to include them in my social life.

Madgran77 Mon 06-Jan-20 19:51:03

I would do exactly the same as Chewbacca and in fact have done very similar in the past

GrannyOrNanny Tue 07-Jan-20 20:02:59

Personally I’d tell her I’m either not available or that I didn’t want to go. I’ve enjoyed working with most of the people that I’ve worked with over the years, some have even become friends but I’m not bothered about socialising with them.

Charleygirl5 Tue 07-Jan-20 20:45:59

I have now disassociated with everybody I worked with except a couple of friends- one I have known since I was 11 years old.

I was their manager- I do not want to have even a coffee with any of them.

Two send me a Christmas card, that is up to them, I do not return the compliment.

Fiachna50 Tue 07-Jan-20 23:17:35

Charleygirl, thats a shame but I guess you have your reasons. I have a former manager who I got on well with we have now been friends for nearly 20 years. I do meet a group of former work colleagues but there is only one in that group Im a bit wary of, but the way I look at it is,I got on with the rest of them and it is one afternoon on the odd occasion. However, if you really didn't get on,or, if your life at work was made really difficult. I can understand it and would just say sorry I am unable to make it.

Hetty58 Tue 07-Jan-20 23:28:02

I don't socialise with my ex colleagues now that I'm retired. Their conversation revolves around what's happening now at work and in the teaching profession.

I feel I've drawn a line now that I've done (more than) my best and I honestly don't care anymore. Someone else can take on the challenge now. It was what we had in common - so nothing in common now!

timetogo2016 Wed 08-Jan-20 11:19:41

Chewbacca is spot on.
I do exactly the same.

TwiceAsNice Wed 08-Jan-20 11:26:47

I think it depends entirely on how your relationship with them was. I regularly meet up with 2 ex colleagues but they are genuine friends. None of us work at the same place anymore. Sometimes we refer back to it sometimes not. We were equals at work.

I wouldn’t want to meet up with people I disliked

grannymy Wed 08-Jan-20 11:28:24

I'm with Chewbacca also on this one.

Urmstongran Wed 08-Jan-20 12:14:49

Tell the truth (limited version) and shame the devil. Don’t go. See your friend separately. Just say it’s nice of you to ask me but I’d rather not.

jaylucy Wed 08-Jan-20 12:26:19

There is an ex manager that I used to work with that if I never see her again, it will be too soon ! An ex colleague has asked me to go out for a meal with her and this other woman because the other woman keeps asking how I am!
I eventually had to say that I really did not want to see the manager again as she had made my life very difficult at the time .
I have since met up several times with my ex colleague,as well as several others - we had worked together for several years before the manager arrived !
Either just say no or say that you didn't get on with x y z so would rather not see them again but would love to meet up with the rest!

Grandad1943 Thu 09-Jan-20 12:34:28

Myself and my wife are part of a retirement group that comprises of old workmates. As the men in the group, we were all young heavy goods vehicle drivers in the mid-1960 to the 1980s. Two of the life long wifes worked in the offices of the company we all worked for and as with many companies in that era they had a social club that did many a good social outing and evening.

Therefore a group of us developed a habit of evenings out etc and although we all went our separate ways career-wise in the mid-Eighties we have always retained that contact and through that social occasions.

Sadly the group is now down to six of us who retain enough mobility to be able to join together for various experiences. Last year we all went to Belgium to see an André Rieu concert and tour the world war one battlefields which was a wonderfull experience for us all.

We all joined together again to spend this New Year at a lovely hotel on the edge of Exmoor which is the second year we have done that and had a wonderfull time.

So, being part of an old workmates group can be a great social experience we have found with much shared past working experiences being the very base of that.

So, my advice, just go for it.

Callistemon Thu 09-Jan-20 12:55:18

I used to meet up with a group of ex-colleagues for lunch but some moved away, others were not well enough to come, were younger and found new work and gradually it dwindled and the lunches became a thing of the past.

Generally speaking most of us we got on well, some became friends, most 'friendly acquaintances' so if we see one another we have a good long chat, say 'we must meet up for lunch' - but never do!
Other life takes over.

I wonder if men are more inclined to keep in touch, Grandad? We are more likely to meet up with DH's ex-colleagues for weekend reunions.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Thu 09-Jan-20 12:59:59

If those colleagues were difficult I can see why you don't want to see them again. If I were you I'd tell your friend that you'd like to see her and explain that the others made life difficult for you and that you'd find it awkward. A good friend would understand.

Daisymae Thu 09-Jan-20 13:01:23

On the basis that you are not comfortable attending it's perfectly ok to decline. That's the bonus of being retired you don't have to show up if you are not so inclined. I keep in touch with a group of ex colleagues but we like each other and worked well together. Maybe just suggest lunch with your friend?

Grandad1943 Thu 09-Jan-20 14:46:20

Callistemon Quote [ I wonder if men are more inclined to keep in touch, Grandad? We are more likely to meet up with DH's ex-colleagues for weekend reunions.] End Quote.

Callistemon, I think men are in all probability more inclined to keep in touch especially those who have worked in the Road Transport Industry which I and my wife have been involved with throughout our working lives.

In the above, even today in Road Transport the best laid plans and schedules very often "go awry" to put it at its best. In these times there are mobile phones and vehicle tracking for drivers to allow all to know when things are not going to plan.

However, as I referred to in my earlier post, our ex-work colleague's group is made up of persons who were very young HGV drivers at a time when mobile phones and tracking were only seen in "Star Trek". Therefore when the best-laid plans went wrong it was down to us as those young drivers to sort out those problems, and the ways we often did that were "far from conventional"

Those activities would often impact on the office at our employer where my to be wife (although she did not realise that at the time) who worked in the invoice office frequently had her phone red hot all too often from very irate customers complaining that they had received an invoice for goods that I or one of my colleague drivers had not even delivered or delivered somewhere else.

The above makes for some great reminiscing which often escalates into howls of laughter when we get together all these years later. The wine and the memories have made for some great nights and other occasions over the years, with that old working camaraderie being the basis for it all.

Greenfinch Thu 09-Jan-20 15:38:26

I left my first teaching job in 1974 to have a family.In the years that followed others left for the same reason and we would meet up once a month in each others' houses with all the children.Years passed and we went our separate ways but after retirement we started meeting up once again for coffee and we still do this now. The colleagues from my first job have remained really important to me.

M0nica Fri 10-Jan-20 14:12:22

Why not just thank your friend for mentioning it, but say that you are really not that interested in meeting up with these former associates and it is a long time since you worked with them. Do it tactfully and I cannot see why anyone could take your comments amiss.

Tangerine Fri 10-Jan-20 15:12:21

If you truly don't want to go, don't go to please your friend. Calmly and tactfully explain why.

However, if it's a largish group and you like some of the people, you could think about going and say the polite minimum to those you dislike.

Who knows? They may be different away from work. They have may have grown wiser, as well as older.

endlessstrife Fri 10-Jan-20 19:18:20

Just be honest, it sounds like you’ve nothing to lose.