Co-workers having a birthday dinner for my coworker because

She is a lonely older woman with no friends and she's turning 70. They are inviting 25 people and it's going to be at a restaurant but I don't feel comfortable being amoung 25 people without masks since it's going to be a restaurant no masks are required because you're eating

I told my coworker who is planning it I don't think I can because of covid I'm worried and she says it's rude of me to not come but I have a chronic illness..I don't want to risk it or risk it for my family

Is this normal to be shamed

Is It Normal?
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Comments ( 24 ) Sort: best | oldest
  • Even without the pandemic I don't think you should feel obligated to go. If you feel like you have to do something nice for her though, then maybe you could still give her a gift. I don't know how much it'd mean to her either way since it sounds like she's just an acquaintance, but it'd still be nice. Next best thing to showing up for the actual celebration

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    • She works in another department but I see her at least every other day for a few minutes and she's on zoom meetings so I know her fairly well but we're definitely not that close. She's a total sweetheart but I have a lung condition so I'm high risk and afraid to go otherwise without covid I wouldn't even question it.

      My coworker who planned it gave me a gigantic attitude after I said I didn't think I could go and called me rude despite me declining in the kindest way possible. :/

      I'm already planning on getting her a gift, thanks for the input though I appreciate it!

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  • Screw that, if I was the 70 year old, I would refuse to attend it's as dangerous for her as you. Your office is so into zoom and covid safety practices they might even have a problem with it. It's not much fun but maybe the organizer should get a cake for her and have a zoom party. Lol, sorry, lonely or not, you don't need to make this her last birthday...

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  • It sounds to me like, as far as the person organising this event is concerned, the party is more about her than it is about the woman whose birthday it's supposedly celebrating. I suspect the reason the organiser got bent out of shape when you expressed concerns wasn't really because of her taking offence on behalf of the birthday-woman, but because she took that as criticism of herself. Possibly also because you not being there would reduce the number of social brownie points the organiser would receive for being so kind and thoughtful. A party that people don't want to attend is a pretty crap party.

    If the older woman really is as nice as you believe her to be, she should understand if you explain why you're not at the party and emphasise how bad you feel about having to give it a miss. You may pay a price for not complying with what your colleague wants you to do, but your main concern should be your own well-being.

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  • If I was 70 and working I would wish for death too

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    • She didn't work until she was 50 so she started extremely late.

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  • You already explained your illness as the reason why you can't go. If some idiot can't understand that, that's not your problem.

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  • So it's simple then. Either go and distance yourself appropriately while eating or don't go because of your lung condition. If your co-workers don't understand that then maybe they're a bit dumb?

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  • I accidentally clicked not normal,but I meant normal.

    Me personally if she doesnt have friends and seems lonley, I for 1 wouldn't invite 25 ppl for a get together with no masks for EVERYONES safety. 2 what if she doesnt really want to be around that many ppl to begin with. Maybe she enjoys being alone. I wouldn't even wanna be around that many people.. esp if I didnt really know nor care for them. I appreciate the effort but NO THANKS 😬.
    Also you not wanting to go is fine. I'm sure she'll be happy with just a quick personal moment with her of you telling her happy birthday/handing a card/giving a gift.

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  • Please ask the Organizer if she will sign legal documents that she is personally responsible for all medical bills, lost wages, etc. for anyone who gets Covid from the mask-less event.

    Also that she has to demonstration that she has the financial resources to do that.

    Just tell her that is a normal expectation that you have for anyone who wishes to ignore the medical guidelines on Covid.

    Of course, that won't go over well with "Karen"; but, nothing goes over well with the "karens" of this world except getting their own way.

    Have fun, live life, and grow past this experience.

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    • Good idea. OP could mention his/her lawyer will be getting in touch with the company’s HR or legal department.

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  • Y’all see and touch the same things probably 5 days a week. But I love excuses.

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    • Excuses? I work in my own office I'm always 6 ft apart from everyone. At my work it's required to be 6 ft apart and we are also required to wear masks. I've never been around 25 people with no masks. At restaurants near me there is half capacity rule and it's every other table for a reason. My sister was hospitalized for 5 weeks with covid in June.

      But okay excuses. I guess you're what they call a Karen aka anti masker. I have a lung condition, I am very cautious of not going anywhere where there are too many people and I don't want to take the chance. I love my coworker who's party it's for, I would love to go but I'm scared of getting sick. I'm high risk.

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      • If you already have a lung condition I certainly can't fault you for being apprehensive about this event. I think your concerns are merited.

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      • Distancing with masks in an enclosed space doesn’t help much either. The virus can be airborne for 3+ hours. Your coworkers are morons.

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      • I wear my fucking mask. Everyone has to.

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  • The woman who's turning is 70 is in a high risk group herself: I wonder if anyone's checked with her whether or not she wants to be around so many maskless people? Risking covid isn't an appropriate birthday gift in my opinion: I just turned 74 and have heart and lung conditions and I won't go near anyone without a mask on.

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  • if ur at risk dont go just tell her about your lung condition and you don't wanna risk it right now

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  • Don't go. It's fine

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  • Suck it up puss

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  • If it were me I'd probably go, but still wear a mask, possibly say I'm feeling under the weather, and then send a present to the lady either before, or after the party.

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  • Eh, who cares. I just wouldn't go, or say that i'm sick. Covid-19 or not.

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    • Thanks for the honesty 🙂

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