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"Invitations were sent out and I was somehow omitted..."
Recently, a colleague of mine decided to have an office get-together
at his home and emailed everyone what they thought of the date. I replied
that my son would be out visiting and that it would be his last day
out here. The only way that I could go is if I could bring both him
and his frind. My colleague replied that it would probably be OK but
that the party was intended to be only for the co-workers and their
"significant other". Note that there is another colleague
who will be bringing his daughter because of a recent loss of their
son (doesn't want to leave her alone).
Dear Not Invited,
This is a balancing act... The host obviously wants to have an adult-oriented party, which is their right. He/she might have been reluctant to get back in touch with you because they really only wanted co-workers at the party, and bringing kids -- no matter how old -- changes the tone of the event.
Considering that it's your son's last day in town (I assume he's college age), I personally would choose to spend it with my kids rather than a work event, especially if the kids aren't enthusiastically welcomed.
You have a perfect excuse to 'duck the event', but maybe you don't want to? In that case try this: Call the host, thank them for the earlier email invitation and briefly explain that you won't be coming because of your son being in town. If the host really wants you there, he'll say so... and if not, you'll have a nice day with your family.
Try not to blow it out of proportion, or take offense. Part of being good at office politics is smoothing over rough spots like this one, in favour of the big picture.
Also consider being proactive in socializing -- why not throw a party next month? And then you can invite all your co-workers and their kids for a casual get together.
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