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Thread: Who here's good at social interactions? Need suggestions for an awkward work situation

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  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Tazlima's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
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    Who here's good at social interactions? Need suggestions for an awkward work situation

    So I just recieved an email from a new employee asking if I was attending the going-away party for one of our other coworkers.

    The problem: I didn't know there WAS a going-away party.

    Now my feelings are NOT hurt here. Both the email writer and the outgoing employee work in a different location from me and 99% of my interactions with them are just formal work emails/quick troubleshooting phone calls. If I were throwing a going-away party for myself, I probably wouldn't have thought to invite her either. We're friendly and cordial, but we're not friends, you know?

    My question is this: how do I respond to the email?

    Do I just say I'm not going to be able to attend and let him assume I knew about it? But then, if he finds out I wasn't invited, he'll wonder if my feelings have been hurt.

    Should I give him a heads-up that not everybody was invited, so he might want to be careful who he mentions the party to? If I do that, I'd have to explain that I know this because I'm one of the ones who wasn't invited.

    Should I just not respond at all?

    Mostly I don't want to make the letter-writer feel bad for blabbing or worry that he's hurt my feelings. He's brand new, and brand new employees tend to already be bubbling cauldrens of anxiety at the thought of saying or doing the wrong thing. I can't exactly write that I don't care, either, because 1) that's what someone would probably say even if they DID care and 2) it's liable to sound like I'm saying I don't care about the outgoing employee herself, which would be not only incorrect, but harsh.

    I'd love suggestions on how best to navigate this minor, but tricky social interaction, and figured the best place to ask about an office party was... office party.

    Normally, I'd ask my other coworkers for advice, but I can't in this case, because either they were invited and will feel awkward that I wasn't, or they weren't invited and telling them will just complicate things.

    Lol... am I just overthinking this whole thing?
    Last edited by Tazlima; 06-14-2019 at 09:34 PM.
    "One of the hardest things to do, I think, is learn to trust your own creativity." - Ambrosia

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