Friday, June 1, 2012

Weddings and the Workplace

The following is a re-post from an old blog/column I wrote for another medium a long time ago. I've tweaked it a little to bring it up to date while hopefully keeping the content intact.
Bad enough we work together, did you have to seat us at the same table?

Wedding invites at the office are tricky business. Let's say you have a standing arrangements with three co-workers were you pretty much eat lunch together almost every day. Unless you have a really good reason for omitting one of them, it's best to invite them all or none of them to your wedding.  Otherwise, until you change jobs or departments, it makes for an awkward moment in the employee break room.

I’ve been to weddings where I was the only person invited from the office.  I’ve also worked at places where I seemingly was the only person not invited to a wedding.  Most of the time it was simply because I wasn’t close to the person and just didn’t make the cut. I've said before, you cannot invite everyone and hopefully the person getting married is classy enough not to talk incessantly about it in front of your face.   
A few years ago, two co-workers at the No-Name Software Company got married the same summer (not to each other). I was invited to one wedding, not to the other. I was perfectly content with not being invited to Jacob's wedding. We were not best buddies and we had little in common other than both having started at the company around the same time. In fact, he’s rather a DBag.  I was a little surprised that he had invited someone else from the office who had only been there a couple months.

Had he invited me however, I would have gone out of some misguided sense of obligation and, as it would turn out, give up a Saturday evening that was better spent at a street festival getting some hottie's phone number [I was single at the time]. Worse yet, I would have shelled out cash for a wedding gift that would be better spent on said hottie.

Hanna on the other hand, did invite me to her wedding. But the difference is we are friends in the sense that we talk about subjects outside the realm of work and even share advice on personal matters. She not only invited me to her traditional Indian wedding, but I also somehow scored an invite to the rehearsal dinner.  It was a little ackward because I didn't know anyone there and no one else from the office was apparently invited. 

Perhaps the culture at the No-Name Software Company simply bred odd behavior.  A few years later I was invited to my co-worker Jacob's wedding.  Jacob and I happened to go to high school together and he also invited our mutual friend Larry, whose parents practically raised him. He said he could not invite Larry's parents because he was at the Wedding Guest Limit. At his reception, he had invited our boss, Director Palpatine, and a couple of other mangers from the office.

I get inviting the Big Boss and your direct manager. It's a good career move and it doesn't hurt when it comes to asking for time off for the honeymoon.  Jacob also invited two goons who were not his direct boss but merely Palpatine's hand-picked band of merry ass kissers. [They all came over to the No-Name Software Company under the Motorola Outreach Program our director implemented the moment he was hired.]

How do you not invite the Parents of your high school best friend in lieu of two people you barely interact with at the office?  You only get one first wedding and what a beautiful way to say thank you to the people who you claim helped raise you and provided a safe place to hang out after school?  It still boggles my mind today.

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