... is online here. It's a three-fer, so here's the middle question & answer for you:
Our boss of 38 years was suddenly laid off. She was given two hours to clean her office and was escorted out. The staff is in shock, crying and dazed. They are expressing grief and said they did not get to tell her goodbye. They have decided to have an off-site get-together for her. What would be the proper name of this event? It isn't a party, as this is not a celebration.
S.H. / Pontiac, Michigan
That is disgraceful and unforgivable and I am so sorry. You can call your event--well, you can just call it an event, if you want to, "an event to celebrate Jane Bosslady." Or you can call it a gathering, or a get-together if it is more informal, or a social if that sounds natural to you (it sounds stilted to me, but it's probably a regional thing).
Or you could create your own nomenclature for the event: Call it Bosslady-palooza or The First Annual Conference for Jane Studies or a Story-Sharing or a Cocktail Kvetch. The advantage of this more idiosyncratic approach is that it would allow you, the hosts, to set a tone for the event, which is a good and important thing to do. Some of your guests will want to excoriate the injustice and strategize next steps, some will want to focus on how great Jane is and ignore the situation entirely, some will relentlessly happy-talk about Jane's wonderful future. It's on you to manage the emotional tenor of the event in a way that will best honor Ms. Bosslady and meet her present needs.
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