The Internet Back Employee Who Left the Work Cookout

The Internet is running after an employee who lied to his boss about his reasons for not eating food at a company cookout. Although they said it was because they stopped eating meat, the activist admitted online that they simply didn’t want to pay the $5 the company was charging to participate.

Posting on Reddit’s popular r/antiwork forum, u/I_am_Tanka_Jahari—taking their username from one impractical satirist Sketch- Explaining the situation, wrote, “I lied to the President of the company.” Post Over 10,000 upvotes and 750 comments have been received in six hours.

The poster reads, “The company president asked me why I didn’t want to attend the company’s hamburger cookout over lunch. I politely said, ‘Oh, thanks, but no. I actually stopped eating meat’ is.”

“The truth is, everyone had to pay $5 for a meal, but I feel like I’d rather save my $5 for something worth more than a hamburger, like gas for my car. A gallon of milk or a gallon of milk. The president is a millionaire and probably won’t understand,” he continued. “I’m sitting calmly and peacefully at my desk, reading r/antiwork instead.”

Some companies pay employees for the work of social events.
Drazen Zigic / Getty

While many employees would expect management to pay for these types of social events – after all, it is team building and morale booster – this is not always the case. On the Workplace Stack Exchange forums, when it comes to questions about paying employees for social events, users, who are both in management roles and not, argue against it.

Requiring payment for a team-building event can lead to a backlash against management. Depending on how much employees are paid and how much the incident cost, it can also put workers in the awkward position of telling their bosses that they weren’t paid enough to leave. But most importantly, while employees may have a good time at the event, it is ultimately in the service of management—and thus, the company must pay for the event.

The original poster’s fellow Redditors agreed—and some shared their stories of what they expected to pay for social events.

“When I was hired I was told I would have to set up a monthly $5 auto transfer to fund the obligatory staff holiday party. Where was this glamorous party I helped pay for? In Zubitz Banquet room … a truck stop. This was in 2006, a company that was ‘too big to fail’ required employees to collect bills and attend a work party on our holiday. Good times, u/Worldly-Abroad2858 wrote.

“A boss once told me this is the cost of being an employee. Like tricking the manager into giving me a birthday present. I played with the first year because I was new. Then when it was my birthday and I got nothing I said so loudly that he could hear I thought I was insulting that I had to pay $40 for his birthday present and I didn’t get anything for my birthday,” u/time- Influence-Life wrote. “To this day I refuse to participate in any type of gift/party that does not directly benefit me such as being on company time or receiving something I receive in return.”

“The place I used to work gave us $20-$30 to pay for a summer ‘office morale’ day and $40-$50 for an office Christmas party. One hour off work at a horse racing track in the summer It was completely closed. Full of tourists and absolutely pathetic traffic. We’d have to pay anywhere from $10-$50 to park and walk a mile to get there, ” wrote u/Bobo3006. “Then, once inside, you weren’t allowed to gamble or drink, had to sit with everyone from the office and eat whatever food they rented. It got so bad that people knew The director said that if you don’t go then you have to use your PTO.”

newsweek Contacted u/I_am_Tanka_Jahari for comments.

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