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The following question from Kev wouldn’t be too weird if he worked in a strip joint. But, he doesn’t:
I recently started working at a call centre for a bank. I am nearing the end of my training, and a couple of days ago I met with the team I am to join, and my prospective manager. They all seem perfectly likeable, and my manager – a woman in her mid-forties – is very welcoming. But during this brief meeting she announced that she plans to organise a day of pole dancing for the group, which I do not like the sound of at all.
I realise that in the corporate world this kind of thing is important for team building etc, and as a new member of the team I could perhaps benefit from an event at which I would have a chance to socialise with my future colleagues, but I simply do not want to go. I don’t like doing even vaguely work-related things outside of work as this is not a career I wish to be in for a long time and there are things that I am passionate about that I could be doing with my spare time. I also think that either watching or doing pole dancing sounds completely boring; not because I am a man, but because it’s just not my thing.
I tried to find out when it was to make up a prior engagement, but I was told that the date of the event is yet to be decided based on our schedules.
So, answer me this: What do I do? Do I make up a weak and potentially transparent excuse and not go? Do I go, and have a very uncomfortable, unpaid day constantly thinking about what else I could be doing with my time? Or do I outright and honestly tell my manager that I do not want to go as I don’t think I would enjoy it or get much out of it? Would that result in her making my life at work harder than it needs to be?
Even though we discussed in AMT221 how pole dancing can be an athletic discipline rather than a purely sexy one, this does not seem to be an APPROPRIATE WORK ACTIVITY. Can you suggest an alternative?
If not, and you’re determined not to go, just tell her you have a long-standing spinal or muscular complaint. Pole dancing is physically demanding, and your manager is unlikely to want you to be laid off work with a slipped disc.
Readers, any other ideas? I’m not best placed to help, since I’ve managed to get myself out of all such situations by working on my own since 2005.