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Putting The “Fun” Back In “Funeral”

, , , , | Working | May 4, 2021

My company is big on what I call “forced fun.” They will book events on company time so you have to go, or they’ll schedule them on weekends and badger you to attend or dub you “not a team player.”

I can’t stand it, but what I really can’t stand is the people pretending they are having the time of their lives to look good to others.

The worst offender, [Coworker] is the first to volunteer, the first to come up with ideas, and the first to complain when people aren’t doing enough on these ideas of hers. She is like the fun police.

Another one of these events comes up: a guided walk followed by drinks. Thanks to [Coworker], no one is allowed to just go for the drinks after. It’s a double no from me; besides, I want to be home for the kids. I tell [Coworker] it’s a personal matter but she is having none of it. She pushes and pushes and then goes straight to the manager.

Manager: “I understand that you won’t be joining the company outing. Why is that?”

Me: “I have other arrangements, sorry.”

Manager: “I know you have a way to travel, but team bonding is important, and you are part of the team, aren’t you?”

[Coworker] is hanging back, pretending not to listen in.

Me: “Actually, it’s a funeral. I did tell [Coworker] that I had a personal matter, but she wouldn’t listen.”

Manager: “I am so sorry. Yes, of course. I will have a word with [Coworker]; we don’t treat team members this way. I’m sorry for your loss.”

He left, taking [Coworker] with him. The funeral went well. I didn’t tell anyone it was for our pet goldfish, though. [Coworker] didn’t bother me as much but was still a tyrant to others.

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