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How do I respond to people who didn't attend my party?

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Here is my dilemma... one that I have never been in before. I sent invitations for an open house; kind of a housewarming party, but no gifts. The party had to be postponed due to funeral services held for a former co-worker. After that, I had second thoughts about even having the party at all... until at least 8 people asked me, "So when are you having your party?" That was enough to convince me to go ahead with it three weeks later. I sent invitations again, to 28 people. Seven of them RSVP'd with a positive; three with a 'sorry, can't make it.' The other 18 said nothing at all.

Playing on the safe side, I spent over $250 on food and drinks, expecting people to show. Only four guests arrived. The others, I haven't heard a word from. My problem is that now I have to go back to work with all of them and I'm wondering how to respond when someone asks about the party, or says they're sorry they didn't make it (but didn't bother to let me know ahead of time.)

How would you respond/treat the people you work with in this situation, aside from never having a party again?

  1. That is just terrible. I am very surprised so many people didnt respond either way. I also think it is terrible that 7 Rsvpd yes but only four came - so the other three didnt alert you that they couldn't make it? I think that this is very disrespectful behavior. Personally, I am not sure how I would respond to them except to never invite them to anything every again.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cassoulady

      Yes, three of them apparently did respond.
      "Seven of them RSVP'd with a positive; three with a 'sorry, can't make it.' "
      The 7 who RSVPd can't be blamed!

      I'd plan food for those who RSVPd with a positive. If people show up having not called and said "yes, I'll be there" within the stated RSVP date, that would be even more rude than just not responding at all. Yes, I've done this sort of thing - quite a long time ago - and for various reasons, most of those who never responded to an invitation are not in my life any more.
      Bottom line - you deserve better than this!

    2. anytime you cancel and then kinda let the momentum get away from you this can happen.

      1. be honest. then forget it and move on.

        1. How completely rude. To be honest, and in the interest of keeping things copacetic with your co-workers, silence is probably your best policy. I would simply not have a party for them in the future. If it is mentioned, simply state that you missed them at the party and had a great time. Manners seem to have gone by the wayside and that is a shame. In their defense, perhaps there was some confusion because of the postponement of the first party. Hey, it sounds like great fun and I would certainly have attended if invited.

          1. That is really sad. But it would probably be best to not say anything to your co-workers. What did the four people who came say of the situation?

            4 Replies
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              The party was set as an open house, stop by between 5pm and 10pm. Three of the four arrived at 5. They asked who else would be attending and I told them. The fourth person arrive an hour later. Two of the four left soon after that, leaving me with two guest for the next 30 minutes. They both asked again who else would be attending. They left at 7:30. I began to put food away at 9:15. No one else came by or called.

              I know since I work with these people that I need to maintain good relations, but my eyes were opened wide and things will never be the same again. I guess I need to look for other friends in places other than where I work. It just puzzles me and upsets me that people who said they would come, asked for directions and what items they could bring, didn't.... and the rest said nothing at all. That's what I get for assuming the smiles they gave me when they got the invitation meant they would be there.

              1. re: coastalconfessions

                "It just puzzles me and upsets me that people who said they would come, asked for directions and what items they could bring, didn't.... and the rest said nothing at all. That's what I get for assuming the smiles they gave me when they got the invitation meant they would be there."

                I guess that I don't understand. You said that 7 people responded to the invitations - 3 said that they couldn't make it, 4 who did come to the party. Of course people would smile and say the right things when handed an invitation - what else could they do? It sucks that they didn't respond by saying that they wouldn't be there. I don't think that you can say anything to co-workers about it now, though. I think it's pretty hard to socialize around work. Always awkward, potentially disastrous.

                1. re: sophie fox

                  Sophie, I think you're misreading what CC said. 7 people responded with a "yes" and 3 people responded with a "no." Of the 7 people who said they were coming only 4 showed up. I had to re-read it myself to get what she meant.

                  1. re: kimmer1850

                    Right, I've got it. I responded below.