How should I feel about not being invited to after-work socializing? My boss and most of my co-workers are in their 20s or 30s; I am in my late 50s. We all get along well at work and are a productive team in a large organization. But I see an “inner circle” that includes my boss, and I’m not a part of it. I’m not a big fan of office gossip — which I know goes on at times at these after-work gatherings. Truthfully, if I were invited I would decline most of the time as I’d rather go to yoga than to happy hour. Maybe my co-workers realize that and that’s why they don’t bother to invite me. But sometimes I feel I should be invited anyway, so I at least have the chance to go — as I might a few times a year. Is it wrong to feel excluded from the inner circle that I don’t want to be a part of anyway?
My workplace provides a variety of free snacks. These usually include bananas, and there is no problem with taking one or three of them to eat at one’s desk. Recently, the bananas provided were quite brown, which makes them not very fun to eat, but very perfect to turn into banana bread. My first thought was to take a bunch home, turn them into a loaf, and bring it back the next day to share with my colleagues.
Is this stealing from my workplace? If we had each eaten one of the bananas at work there would be no problem, so is there a problem if they each eat one banana’s worth of my banana bread?
NEW YORK TIMES Work Friends business column