A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem
Dear Sue: What do you think of office mates who host parties at
their own residences, but only invite some of the individuals who work in
the office? Our office is not big; there are only 30 of us working here
and most of us have worked cohesively together for the past few years.
From what I can see, there have been a handful of people who have not been
included in the gatherings. Incidentally, these get-togethers have been
distributed throughout the office via email and/or routing envelopes.
As one of the few left out of these gatherings, I am finding it
difficult to understand. I am considering bringing this to the attention
of the president. I am not doing it to merely to complain or get people
into trouble, but feel that if he were to send word to everyone about
office protocol that it would have some impact.
– Left out
Sue Says: Groups and cliques are commonplace in most work
environments, and it is never fun to be the one excluded. No matter what size
the company, cliques can be found. The bigger the company, the more
opportunity there is to find people outside a clique for you to connect
with. In your small company, with just a few people being left out makes
it all the more obvious and painful.
In elementary school, if kids are handing out invitations and not
inviting the whole class, most are discouraged from distributing the
invitations at school. It’s fun for those who are, but painful for those
who are not. It used to be that valentines were given in school randomly,
but now kids are instructed to bring cards for the entire class, and for
the same reason; it hurts to be left out. It hurts as a kid and it hurts
as an adult too.
While there may be a reason a handful of you are left out, there is a
good chance that the people hosting these events are oblivious to you and
the others left out, and simply are inviting the people they feel closest
Bringing the issue to their attention is a wise thing to do;
establishing protocol will be a benefit to everyone. If you feel it is
best to have the suggestion come from the president, then proceed with
your plan. I am not sure it has to come from the president or anyone else
– you might be the perfect person to propose the new protocol.
As long as you don’t blame anyone or have ulterior motives, the
suggestion to use other means of distributing invitations could come from
you. However you decide to proceed, do something; there are more people
than you realize who will appreciate your efforts.
Dear Sue: I am 16 years old and was wondering how to check on my
job application. Recently I put in applications and no one has called. I
just wanted to know what to say to check on it and what to do.
Sue Says: Don’t wait for them to call you – pick up the phone
and call them. The more interested you appear the better. Right now, your
application is one of many that are sitting in a pile on someone’s desk.
You may or may not ever get a call as a result of filling out the
application. However, if you make the call or better yet, personally
introduce yourself to the manager you’ll have a better chance of getting
an interview and ultimately, a job.
You have to stand out and work hard for what you want; submitting an
application is the first step, securing an interview the next. You
probably weren’t called and asked to fill out the application – you went
in, requested an application and submitted it. The same is true for the
interview and getting a job offer – you need to go after it. Good luck.
Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She
is author of the newly released
101 Tips for Graduates and
How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at
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