I have worked at the same place for 26 years. I have colleagues I have treated more like family than friends, as we’re a small group and don’t have a big turnover of staff.
We have always been invited to most weddings, christenings and, sadly, funerals.
The colleagues who’ve been there the longest are like sisters to me and I’ve loved feeling part of such a wonderful group. I feel it sets us apart from many other businesses and I know that others in the group feel the same.
Recently a member, who we considered a very established part of the group, got engaged. We were all excited and were looking forward to the wedding. But we were later told it would be an intimate family affair.
Naturally, I felt a bit upset but accepted this. Later on, though, I and a few others were told that some colleagues were invited after all, which left us feeling pretty hurt. I pretended that it was fine, as I thought this would make the bride-to-be feel guilty.
She said it “wasn’t personal”. I thought fine at least we could celebrate her hen do. Then one Friday she left work early and on the Sunday a picture on Facebook appeared of her and some other colleagues at the hen do.
I use to think highly of her, but this has seriously affected how I feel. The angry part of me wants to say something, but should I?
No, you shouldn’t. It’s nice you work in an environment where your colleagues feel like family, but they’re not.
In my opinion, it sounds far too close and cliquey, and that you rely on work too much for your social life. It’s good to make connections at work and get along with your colleagues, but it’s also healthy to have a life outside of it.
It doesn’t sound like you do to me.
And, while you think of these women like sisters because you’ve been doing the job such a long time, perhaps some of them don’t feel the same way.
Perhaps it is just work to them.
I don’t think it would be a bad thing for you to have some separation between your work and home life, and try to build some interests and friendships outside of it.
If you did, a colleague not inviting you to their wedding wouldn’t be such a big deal.
Also, weddings are expensive, so you have to be really selective – even ruthless – when it comes to the guest list.
But she doesn’t have to justify her decisions to you.