Am I overreacting to proxy invites?
February 22, 2013 2:19 PM Subscribe
I work in the head office for a hotel chain and know hotel managers all over North America. I travel quite a bit for work and because of my job, I stay free. Occasionally with my accumulated air miles I will go somewhere for a getaway and as long as I am careful to avoid peak times, I can usually stay at one of our facilities free as a professional courtesy. If the room is going to be empty, I feel no guilt at hanging my hat there for a night or two.
Often I invite someone along for company and to share in my perk. The problem is when someone invites someone else along. And occasionally that someone invites someone else along as well.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (37 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This happens more often than I would like. In the worst example, I was going to Chicago a few years ago and I invited a friend. The friend invited her mother, whom I had met maybe twice. The mother, hearing about the free accommodations on offer, invited a friend of hers along (because woohoo free weekend in Chicago), whom I had never met before. The expectation was now that I would provide two rooms free for three nights and not the one that I had asked the manager about. The rationale was apparently that I was not paying, so what did I care? (Incidentally, I did provide free lodging, for which neither of the uninvited guests ever saw fit to say thank you).
This weekend I am going to Seattle. I invited along my best friend, and she of her own accord invited along her new boyfriend. It took a bit of finessing to explain that I was not totally comfortable sharing a room with my friend since childhood AND a total stranger, and that possibly he might be self-conscious to be heading for a weekend away with his new girlfriend along with someone he had never met before sleeping four feet away.
It would never occur to me to decide unilaterally to invite more people along to take advantage of someone else's professional perks. If I am dating a dentist, I might well get free dental care. Bringing along my cousin and my landlord and expecting they would get free fillings would not even cross my mind.
Perhaps this is Ask Culture Vs. Guess Culture in action. I am pretty shy and retiring, and had some tremendously awkward third-wheel moments growing up. How can I convey politely to people that when I invite them to go to New York City or Montreal - even if it is not a romantic getaway, just two friends hanging out, dining, and shopping - that I am inviting that person only and not anyone else who feels like going?