Boss Retirement Luncheon - advice!


Ok so my boss is retiring. She said she doesnt want anything big, and has said that for years.

Our office has insider politics though, so it ends up she is having a retirement luncheon and its at like one of the PRICEIST places in the whole city.

They said its 26.40 for lunch (plus soda) so it will be like 30.00 per person. :eek: :eek: :eek:

Now, this year is tight for us. We are getting our credit card debt down, we are saving really good for Christmas, I’ve already made a ton of presents.

Now, why would I spend 30.00 on a lunch for me, when thats how much I plan to spend on my parents for all of Christmas!!! Yikes.

I feel obligated because if I dont go - it will be noticed.

So I thought I would say I have an appointment (that wouldnt be a lie hehe I could meet my husband and daughter!!!) haha!

What do you guys think - is this totally unreasonable - or should I just suck it up and go?



I would get write your boss a nice letter, thanking her for the leadership and for the opportunity to work with her.

For the luncheon, a simple “I will be unable to attend due to a prior commitment” would suffice.

Third thought - would it be possible to make an appearance at the luncheon, but, not eat (need to arrive late or leave early).


Well, I will have to actually take “time off” work to do that and use vacation leave. See, if you arent there…its noticed. TECHNICALLY and legally, its voluntary, but you know…politics…its really not.

So I was thinking about taking vacation leave that day for part of the day? Ugh. This is INSANE that I have to take vacation leave to avoid spending 30 dollars. Insane.



Been in serious corporate America for years now, and I have a firm “no politics” stand :smiley:

If it were me, I’d write the letter to the boss, and not buy a ticket for the luncheon. I would let my superior (and only my superior) know that I could not attend due to the price of the luncheon.


haha - she IS my superior haha! :slight_smile:

I told one person in the office and she said she thought other people were balking at the price too but that it was sort of “expected” that we go…ugh.



Vester - Is it possible that, if you say outright that you admire the retiring boss but won’t attend the event, others will follow your example and also refuse to go?

Of course I don’t know how bad the politics are where you work.: but is this perhaps an opportunity to make things better?


Probably not. Things have recently took a turn for the worse around here - its become VERY masculine at the top if you know what I mean, several people were promoted that were male that were totally non-deserving (almost in a scary way) and peopel are just afraid to say anything.

I’m looking for a new job - but my speciality is well, specific haha, so I’m looking for a good match and it could take a long time (years even!) because I’m not willing to move to NY or LA where a lot of the attorney jobs are that I am qualified for.

Anyway - just wondering what you guys thought. I know its a little thing, and 30 dollars wouldnt break us, but I think its rude to even ask for that much. Its NEVER been done in the 9 years I’ve been here…



Do you know who the new boss will be? Would it create a problem with the new boss if he/she is at the luncheon and you are not?


I think I’m going to just take a couple of vacation hours and say I have an “appointment” to go to and cant make it and give her a card that day.

they want us to pay for a boss’s day luncheon tomorrow, plus a gift for the retiring boss, PLUS this 30 dollar lunch? UGH. Its too much.



Last Christmas not only did people want to chip in for a gift for the owner where I worked, but also do secret santas. Geez, I had to work extra hours just to pay for those things!

I can’t imagine what it would be like in an office! Good Luck.


why suck up to someone whos leaving. or anyone for that matter? do what you want to do, when and how YOU want to.


I’m not sucking up to anyone. But its a political environment in an office. A promotion is coming up that would be good for me to get (money etc.) and to be gone without an excuse would be noticed. Sorry, but thats true. I"m not willing to make a federal case out of it and stand on a soapbox about it and ruin my chances, but at the same time, I would like to GRACEFULLY decline…



If the new boss is somebody from that office, not a new hire from outside the company, the new boss could make work miserable for the OP due to the “politics” at the office. It sounds like the OP wishes to maintain employment at this company.


More of a matter of courtesy and kindness. At retirement, those who worked with this person want to say thank you for they years of service. A good professional most likely gets “courted” by other companies on a regular basis. To stick with a company shows loyalty, showing appreciation for that loyalty is a kind thing to do.

Now, it should not be done on the backs of those who cannot afford it. The lower paid employees should be given a venue to express appreciation without footing the bill.


I understand. It would probably be best for you to take vacation time and give your boss and card and/or gift on your own. Perhaps, you could mail it to the boss’ house if you have her home address. If you are absent from the luncheon due to vacation, it would not “look bad”. The boss probably won’t care, as you mentioned in your OP that she wanted her retirement to be low key.


I would do one of two things:

  1. Go talk to the retiring person face-to-face and let them know that as much as you’d like to come to the luncheon, it isn’t in your budget. I’d be quite frank that you and your spouse have in an effort to get a handle on your financial future have put the clamps on. If you aren’t frank, it will not be seen in the spirit intended (out of budget vs. personal against the boss).

  2. Go to the lunch. It won’t break you and every once in a while an unexpected expense comes up. Unless this person has not been a good boss to you for whom you feel no loyalty or affection, is it too much to ask for you to spend $30 to express your appreciation for the support they have been to you professionally and personally? It usually “costs” to express sincere gratitude (as well as sincere contrition).


I dont feel much loyalty or affection frankly. There are times she has been nice, but more often than not she is rude, and condescending, when I have just as much education and skill as she does. (she just has seniority, etc.)

So I dont care a flip one way or another on that.

The only thing I’m concerned about is my image in the office, but frankly, the more I’m hearing today is that I’m not the only one concerned about the high cost of this shin dig.

So I think I"ll just take some vacation time and call it an early weekend - bonus to me. :slight_smile:



This is probably a silly question, but are you taking a paid vacation or do you lose money on your paycheck because of taking this vacation? Just a thought that came to mind, prolly silly but anyways.


Not a silly question!

I will take some vacation hours (probably two) and its paid :slight_smile:



probably why it’s best for me NOT to be in a corporate environment. I’d be fired/demoted/tarred and feathered in hours.

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