Should I request off work to attend a friend's wedding shower?
May 28, 2015 7:43 PM   Subscribe

Last week, I received an invitation to a good friend's couple wedding shower that's happening a week from now. It happens to be on the same day that I work. I just started a new job and the company is short-staffed currently so I feel bad about requesting a day off to go to her shower. I'm reluctant about asking for a day off because I'm afraid that the manager might get mad at me. Plus, I wasn't sure if a week would be too short of a notice. Do you think I should try to request off to go to the shower or do you think it's not a big deal?

I feel really bad about missing either one so I'm trying to weigh my pros and cons. I've never been to a wedding shower before so I'm not sure how bad it's frown upon if I can't come to the wedding shower. Thank you for your response.
posted by missybitsy to Society & Culture (16 answers total)
No, send a sweet note and a little present. This is not your problem to fix.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:50 PM on May 28, 2015 [8 favorites]

It's early to be asking for days off if you just started. Also, do you need the whole day for travel or something? Because if the shower is in your town, there is no way you need the whole day off.

It sucks, but sometimes you have to miss fun things to take care of your adult obligations. Your friends will understand and there will be little to no frowning, I assure you!
posted by cooker girl at 7:51 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think requesting off of a new job to go to a wedding shower sends the wrong message to your manager. The wedding itself, especially of a family member or good friend, is a bit of a different story, but a wedding shower just isn't important enough.
posted by incolorinred at 7:51 PM on May 28, 2015 [9 favorites]

I avoid wedding showers like the plague, and for a long time I worked weekends so it was easy to get out of them. AFAIK nobody was ever offended and I'm still friends with the people whose showers I avoided; people know that sometimes you have to work (especially on a week's notice!) Send a nice card and a gift if you're so inclined.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:51 PM on May 28, 2015

A wedding shower is not super important in the scheme of wedding-related events. They are frequently boring (and I am someone who loves attending weddings). Not worth risking your relationship with your new boss. Declining the invite because you have to work is a perfectly fine reason to not attend one.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 7:53 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

no, a wedding shower is not a good reason to ask for time off work, even if you weren't new at your job. Especially since you are trying to make a good starting impression, send regrets and a gift.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:54 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Don't. Even in Australia (which is way more relaxed about taking time off), people would mutter if you took a day off for a social engagement after just being hired. You would have needed to flag it as a priority before being hired.

Wedding showers are totally skipable. Not to mention often totally dull.
posted by kjs4 at 7:57 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Don't ask for it off. The invite was sent quite late and I'm sure the couple will understand that you were unable to get time off. It's not a great idea to get on your manager's bad side especially when you know that staffing is an issue right now.
posted by quince at 8:02 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

If they only gave you a week's notice then it makes perfect sense to say you're sorry but you have to work.
posted by salvia at 8:57 PM on May 28, 2015

Another vote here for No.

They really didn't give you much notice, even if you HAD been in your job for a good while; new job plus that short notice equals no. Add in your job being short-staffed and the fact that I'm sure you don't yet have any vacation time built up, and it all just emphasizes that No.

But a wedding is a different critter entirely from a wedding shower: make sure you let your boss know when it is, as soon as you know the date yourself: let him block that out on his scheduling calendar now, and remind him BEFORE he makes up the work schedule that you'll need that day off.
posted by easily confused at 1:12 AM on May 29, 2015

I am a supervisor. If a brand new employee asked for a last minute day off for this, I would say yes but I'd also keep an eye on that person in case this was an indication of not being very serious about the job. People always come into new jobs with commitments and travel plans already made, so it's usually no big deal, but no one wants to work with the person who is a slacker and always taking time off just when things are busy, and at first the two can look the same.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:31 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, building on Dip Flash, I too am a supervisor/boss-type. If you came to me and expressed it was very important to you and as long as the shift got covered I'd be inclined to let you have it, but would also pay extra attention to your work/attendance for awhile.
So, be sure you actually want to go, and if so, ask with the expectation you might be turned down (and be ok with it), and make sure you don't have any other reason for your boss to mutter about you.
posted by edgeways at 5:31 AM on May 29, 2015

My sense is that if your friend cared a LOT about people attending this event, she would have given more than two weeks notice to her guests! Given the late notice, I would assume it's a more casual affair where she won't be taking a head count. If this were an even that had been planned for months and you'd had on your calendar, it would be a different story -- for example, I would do what you can to make sure you can take time off to attend her wedding.
posted by rainbowbrite at 7:15 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

What do YOU want to do? Do you really want to go to the shower? Or would you rather keep your scheduled shift because you need the money/hours at work and skip the shower because it's not really your thing?

Because in an ideal world you should be empowered to make the choice you want and do it, and everyone should be cool with that. I realize that the real world is sometimes not ideal and there could be petty social consequences to missing the shower or petty workplace consequences to asking for the day off at a new job, but there's also a very good chance that you are overthinking this and worrying too much and stressing out over something (because you've been conditioned to worry and stress and fear consequences) but the reality is that either of those people (management or engaged friend) should be able to take your decision in stride and not take it out on you later. Assuming they are decent people. And since we, the anonymous advising internet, don't know them personally all we can really do is give them the neutral benefit of the doubt and assume they are good or else project our own bad experience and pessimism about humanity onto them.

So make your choice based on what you want, not what you think others want from you. At least until others explicitly tell you what they want (i.e. your boss says "no" to your request for a day off), and if that happens be able to roll with it and adjust.
posted by jonpaul at 7:55 AM on May 29, 2015

Oh god, don't go. Short notice, showers are boring, new job, and they're already short staffed.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:12 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nthing not going, I have direct reports as well and if they requested time off right after being hired I'd be a little wary until they'd proven themselves.

I just wanted to point out that you don't have to let your manager know the reason for your requesting time off as personal emergencies do arise from time to time.

I would say though, that even if your manager doesn't find out that you were absent because you were attending a social engagement, a wedding shower would personally not be pressing enough for me to use up my precious personal time off, even if for a family member.
posted by Everydayville at 10:24 AM on May 29, 2015

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