Fired workers showing up to a (non-sponsored) company party?

My wife and I host a huge Halloween party every year and specifically go out of our way to invite folks from both our offices because it’s nice for morale in these crappy economic times, and because people who both of us work with are actually pretty cool.

So today, my boss who is also the CEO (and who plans to show up at the Halloween party) fired my co-worker for poor job performance. The co-worker and I, while friends, have vastly different jobs, so I had no idea this was apparently a long time coming. Anyway, as the co-worker is packing up his office, he tells me he still plans to come to the Halloween party because he and his girlfriend (who is also unemployed now) have been looking forward to it and already have costumes. I didn’t exactly want to uninvite the guy, but considering all the awkwardness this will create, and the fact that large amounts of alcohol will be present, I’m a little concerned at what will happen when my boss and the fired co-worker meet at my house a little less than a month from now. I almost wonder if he plans to attend the party specifically to make my boss feel uncomfortable.

So, what would you do to mitigate this potential shouting match/fistfight/stabbing/shooting?

Let them work it out on their own. While your friend may have totally deserved his firing, there’s always that creepy Milgram Experiment-esque disconnect between the people who effectively determine the fates and livelihoods of the people beneath them and the people whose entire lifestyles are dependent on the whims of their superiors, in that there’s that creepy whitewashing where the person is escorted out of the building and nobody talks about them and pretends they never existed and everyone goes on with their lives. If managers were actually confronted with the reality of the person’s life going on sans job, they might be a little more personally invested in working things out and more reluctant to just “press the button.”

Treat it as if your boss and the former employee were a couple who’d just broken up. Assuming your boss is also planning on coming, you should let each of the parties know that the other will be in attendance. Your boss may choose to bow out. If they both show up, just kind of keep an eye on things and try to head off any confrontations. Check out where they are as you wander around the party, and try to steer them away from each other if you need to. If you think either of them is the type to start something, consider asking some other coworkers who will be there to help you keep the two of them apart.

Inform your boss and your co-worker that each of them will be in attendance at your party. Be guided by their reactions. If both of them play it off, then hopefully you shouldn’t have a problem. If one or both has some reservations though, then just pay a little more attention to them.

Also, I would hope that being guests in your home would compel them to behave civilly, especially your boss, being a CEO, in front of all his employees, no less. Lastly, I think with everyone being in costume should bring some levity to the situation and release a lot of tension.

Because no one should ever be fired for poor performance??? :dubious:

The title of the thread and the OP seem to conflict. It isn’t a non-sponsored company party, it’s a private party involving people from both companies that the couple are employed by. In that case, if the person is a good friend, I’d say let him and his SO come, but let him know you don’t want any major scenes taking place in YOUR HOUSE.

I consider that sort of thing part of my private Castle Doctrine. My home being my castle, I don’t want two people who don’t live in my house bringing their private conflict into my living room. Especially when I’m entertaining, doubly so when I’m entertaining a large number of people.

You describe the guy as your “friend.” Does anything else matter?

I agree, just warn them both that the other will be there. Hopefully they will both act like adults. Definitely don’t “un-invite” the poor guy.

I agree with the general “tell each the other is coming, hope they act like adults” themed advice.