Ask Amy: Team outing has her seeking the exit

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • Updated: January 6, 2014 - 4:21 PM

Dear Amy: My boss wants to take my small team (fewer than 10) to a movie after work as a sort of employee appreciation/team-building event.

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ladyingaJan. 7, 14 8:25 AM

Hi Amy, I read your column daily as published in The Augusta Chronicle. Today's column included a question about an employee outing sponsored for seemingly female employees from a male employer. While your suggestion is "doable", my opinion of the matter is that this lady should be more assertive with her boss and simply tell him that this is inappropriate and that, had she known what the movie was before he purchased the tickets, she would have declined initially. Either way, though, she should feel the freedom to decline; like you said, this is not a team-building activity anyway. Maybe others are waiting for someone to make the first move; he would soon find himself alone in the theater. Seems more like a way to test the waters with his female employees. I worked for a very long time, having recently retired. Never in all those years was this awkwardness presented; was invited to weddings, included in births, shared outings with work friends, but never invited to a sexy movie with my boss. Thanks, LadyinGA

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charmed9Jan. 7, 14 1:38 PM

I agree with LadyinGA that the employee should be more assertive with her boss, but I don't think this is a gender issue. Men and women both make mistakes like this in the workplace mistaking a social work event with a personal event. My boss bought us all tickets to a haunted house a couple of years ago as a team-building event and I refused to go because I don't like to be scared. I got a little razzing from my co-workers, but I held a table at a nearby bar while they went and we all enjoyed a beverage together after. Likely, the boss does not realize this will be uncomfortable for some and hopefully will understand that the movie choice could have been better. On the flip side, the employee should never have agreed to attend a movie without knowing the options and certainly should not pretend to be OK with it now. Bad advice from you, Amy.

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oliverlarJan. 7, 14 6:26 PM

Instead of ducking out at the movie and saying that it made her uncomfortable, she should just lie and say she's sick and can't go or that another commitment came up. She's a new employee. Bad idea to tell the boss his ice breaking activity is inappropriate. Just get out of the activity and go on with work life.

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momof4wiJan. 12, 14 9:55 AM

To letter writer #2. You had better start getting proactive NOW. The longer you allow this relationship to continue, the less your chances are of saving your marriage. Ive been down this road. Nothing seemed suspicious to warn me of an impending threat. I enabled these two to build their relationship in front of my eyes. As I look back, there were signs I should have seen, but didn't react to, until it was too late! Get on the ball NOW!

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