Sunday, April 22, 2007

Is There a Right Thing to Do?

It turns out that I unknowingly have invited guests that hate each other to my party. I’m not exactly sure what to do now. Here’s some background information.

For 15 years I worked in the international area of my agency, seeing places like Nairobi, New Delhi, Santiago, and Tegucigalpa along the way. The people in that division were truly public servants, many without families, who devoted themselves to helping 3rd world countries. I reluctantly left when the travel demands were too great for my growing family.

My young temporary boss, who turned out to be a great supporter, is married to the man who currently heads up my old division.

I invited several friends from the old division and I invited the young ex-boss and her husband. Let’s just call them XB and H so as not to make this any more confusing than it is.

Last night I was at a retirement party for two of those friends from the old division. I heard horror stories about how H has lied to them and treated them just as badly as my current boss has treated me. His behavior is responsible for the fact that they retired.

I happened to mention to XB the other day that I had heard several people were leaving my old division. She said that H was glad to see them go.

So now what? Do I

(1) Uninvite XB and H?
(2) Ask XB if H is really coming (he might be on travel on May 5)?
(3) Warn XB that she may hear things she doesn’t want to hear about H?
(4) Reveal the guest list to all parties and just let them deal with it?

I picture myself walking into a friend’s retirement party and seeing my current boss there. That would be enough to make me walk back out. If what my old colleagues have said is true (and I don’t doubt it is because so many people were saying the same thing), H is behaving like a first-class bureaucratic asshole and needs to be fired. Of course I could say that about my current boss, too. The same people seem to be impressed with both of them. That says a whole lot about the leadership of my agency.

Please give me your advice on how to deal with this mess I have created!


Blogger Kristin said...

I think that you should keep everyone you want on the list. It's your party; you shouldn't have to worry about making everyone else happy!

It's a fairly big party, right? Your guests should be able to interact socially or avoid each other for a couple of hours. I'd just give them a heads up about the invite list.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I agree mostly with Kristin, although I would not share the list. This is your party. If people can't get along they can leave. People who love you will not create a fuss.

And here's hoping he is on travel May 5!


2:11 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Invite the people you want. Don't invite the people you don't want.

Do have a good time. Don't worry about other peoples problems / interactions (unless you suspect a high likelyhood of violence or gunplay)

4:21 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Go with your list, tell them if they ask who is coming, and let the "adults" del with it.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Beakerz said...

#4. We're talking about adults right? They'll stand on the other side of the room. Some 'shiot' will be talked between the parties but it will be all smiles and drinking.

You've prolly been in the same situation before. What woulda made you happiest?

and what will make you happiest in your heart of hearts, in terms of, what can you live with?

Only you can answer that....and that is your only answer


5:21 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Your house is big and you have outdoor space, too. Let them work it out.

Every story I hear about your particular chunk of the government makes me wonder how the heck you managed to stay as long as you did. Sheesh.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

How comfortable will you be with all of them there?

8:11 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. (Richard -- The invitations have already been sent: "regrets only" and no one of the 30 invitees has regretted yet.)

I'm not sure my house is big enough to handle this level of animosity.

I'm still agonizing over this but I'm sure it will sort itself out somehow. In the worst case, someone will leave early.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

I always seem to invite a mix of people to my parties that you'd never see together otherwise. It always turns out well.

6:18 AM  
Blogger NYCD/aka Sue said...

I've been in situations like this myself. You suck it up for your friends and act like an adult instead of making it into a drama.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous David said...

What great advice. I'd go with the majority opinion here.

6:41 PM  

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