A reader writes:
My employer has a holiday party every year. This year, I don't really want to go. I feel like if I go, I'm accepting the "free dinner" when the company spends $ on company cars and other gifts instead of giving us health insurance. I don't know a good excuse without hurting anyone's feelings. What can I tell my manager?
Say you have to work at your second job to pay for your health insurance.
No. Say you have a scheduling conflict and unbreakable plans that night, maybe a family obligation. That's assuming you're looking for a tactful way to get out of it and that you're not looking to make a statement (which I would advise doing only at your own risk).