I'm Single and Being Discriminated Against

Dear Cubicle Coach: What does the happily unmarried woman do when her boss won't invite her to dinner parties because they're couples-only? I feel like I'm missing out on networking opportunities.

Dear Single Gal: First, be sure that's the reason you're not being invited and that it isn't more of a hierarchy cutoff - i.e., nobody below pay grade seven gets to enjoy flank steak on the boss's deck. If you're really being cut out, either approach the boss directly (but be prepared for a cold-water slap of "I don't feel you're quite ready for the inner circle") or, better, drop the word to someone who is invited to the soirees and see if she can intervene on your behalf. Or how about this: Throw a party yourself for your work pals, inviting singles and couples so your boss sees that bachelorettehood is nothing to fear. You can e-mail the Coach for a primo flank-steak recipe.

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