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Woman tells friend to 'suck it up' after she complains about vibe at fancy work event.

Woman tells friend to 'suck it up' after she complains about vibe at fancy work event.


Going to a work event is very different than going to a big party in your free time. At a work event, you have to keep a certain level of professionalism and presence that isn't required when you're letting loose with your friends. For this reason, mixing worlds can be really difficult.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if he was wrong for telling her friend to 'suck it up' when she expressed discomfort at a work event. She wrote:

'AITA for telling my friend it was too damn bad she was uncomfortable?'

I work as a kind of personal assistant/art handler & organizer to an individual with an extensive collection. It’s an interesting job and I get a lot of opportunities for new experiences and invitations to events. My boss and I do not have the same tastes in art - he’s an older, very traditional guy and that reflects in the events I get invited to/the people that I’m interacting with at these events.

We have a world-famous opera in our city and I was gifted two tickets to the opera last weekend, with an invitation to attend a pre-show cocktail party in a private area. This was not a work event for me but still a networking opportunity and a gift from my boss’s personal friend. My fiancé was visiting family so I invited my friend Sara to join me. She arrived at my house Saturday afternoon to get ready with me.

She had brought a dress to wear that I didn’t think she should. It was very pretty but more like a club dress than an event dress, bright pink and very short. And our opera is known for a “no dress code, just be fabulous” approach so it was fine for the venue itself but I knew the pre-party was going to be an older, more “traditional opera dress” crowd (I wore a deep green floor length dress, for reference).

I offered her the option of choosing something out of my closet and told her I thought she might be uncomfortable at the party because of the type of group they were but she wanted to wear that dress so I didn’t push it. At the party, most of the attendees didn’t seem interested in engaging with her and while outwardly polite, it did feel like they were equally uncomfortable with her presence.

She stayed next to me the whole time which was fine but she was sullen and kept grabbing my arm to whisper in my ear that we should leave. After the third time Sara pulled me out of a conversation and told me she wanted us to leave the party, I got irritated and told her it was too damn bad that she was uncomfortable, I warned her.

There are two bars out in the public area, she could go hang out there and I’d join her in an hour for the show but I couldn’t leave yet without looking bad. I might not have been “working” but I accepted the invitation and now my behavior here reflects on my boss and that ultimately affects my job regardless of it not being officially work.

Sara stayed at the party instead and eventually, it was over and we attended the show. She didn’t speak to me at all on the drive home and texted me after I dropped her off that she was upset by the way I had treated her and that I should have left when she wanted. I think that’s unfair.

I talk about my job all the time and she knows very well what expectations are placed on me at these events and how I am expected to act. I tried to tell her but obviously, I wasn’t going to force her to change? But she’s still mad and a mutual friend is guilting me for “not caring” about Sara’s comfort and im starting to feel a little bad and idk, AITA?

Edit to address all the “why didn’t she get an Uber” questions - sorry to be unclear, she wanted to leave the party and go to our seats or out to the public areas. She was not asking to leave the opera entirely.

People jumped on with all of their thoughts.

TacoLand-Invader wrote:

NTA - fair warning was given prior to the event as well as an opportunity to change attire. That being I don’t know the extent of the warning given, perhaps a bit more detailed explanation should be given next time to ensure the individual in question knows exactly what might occur.

Sometimes communicating a warning doesn’t match the level of internal concern due to not wanting to insult the person resulting in them not thinking too much about it and it may be possible that was the case. Her feelings are somewhat justified as it sucks being judged like that. But as mentioned, you’re NTA here.

Content-Plenty-268 wrote:

NTA. Sara came as your guest to what she knew was a career-related function for you. She insisted on dressing inappropriately when advised against it, and her repeated demands that you leave because she was as uncomfortable as you told her she would be were immature and self-absorbed.

So was her refusal to retreat to an area where she might be more comfortable and let you finish working the room. So is her sulking and involving another friend, who wasn't there, knows only her side of the story, and should STFU instead of getting in the middle. I predict you'll find yourself outgrowing friends like Sara in about 5... 4... 3... 2...

EmpressJainaSolo wrote:

NTA. What sort of Devil Wears Prada friends do you have? You made clear this was an older crowd and that her dress would make her stick out. You informed her it was a networking event even if you were technically off the clock.

Perhaps she’s not as familiar with these type of non-work work interactions and truly didn’t understand the subtext but I think you made yourself clear about what the night was going to be like. She should have excused herself and went to the general bar if she wasn’t able to enjoy the party.

Diasies_inMyHair wrote:

NTA. It is not your fault that she didn't take your advice. Even though it 'technically' wasn't a work event, your attendance and behavior does affect your work and your career. Her behavior jeopardized your career - first with her choice of attire, then her sullen attitude. She should have left quietly as you had already explained that you could not for professional reasons.

If she's too immature and selfish to understand that, too bad. You now know not to invite her to future work-related events. And you have also learned that in future, you need to advise of the dress-code along with an invitaton if you invite a friend - and hold to it if they show up inappropriately dressed.

grumpy_celt wrote:

NTA. While it may not have been a work event you were still technically working, jobs like these aren’t 9-5, networking is extremely important in these sectors, you need to build and maintain relationships and reputations too.

You also warned her beforehand of what she was getting into and gave her the option to change which she chose not to heed. Honestly, I think she’s a major asshole for potentially jeopardizing your work reputation, she’s your friend and it was one night, she should of just dealt with it instead of acting like a child.

OP is definitely NTA here, it sounds like her friend truly didn't listen to her.

Sources: Reddit
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