Some coworkers recently told me they were interested in the opera. I typically have season tickets to the opera with mom. So I talked to mom, and she doesn’t want to go to the first show. I approached my coworkers about whether one or both of them would like to join me. We could all buy season tickets together. They want to go to the first show, but not necessarily the second. I’ll buy season tickets, sell them mom’s seat to the first show (for what I paid for it), and if we need one, we’ll buy an extra.
I suspect that single seats might be a little extra, to cement the benefit of being a season ticket-holder. (I’ve now checked— they’re $10 more than my seats. But if I buy them all at the same time, they’re all the same price. So dilemma effectively resolved, but this is a flag that tells me that the political posturing I think I’ve recently seen from coworker 2, below, is not really in my imagination, and even non-work events are in play.)
One of my coworkers said to the other “that works great— if one of us gets a discount for using the season ticket, we’ll split it, if the other one has to pay more.” To me, this seems 100 percent reasonable. I’m not making money off them in this transaction— I’m passing along savings. For them to split that savings is only fair. Their business more than mine, but seems like a fair way to handle it.
The other coworker said that she’d do it on the condition that we all pay the same amount. She really emphasized it. Which means, if my intuition is right, that I’ll actually pay more for my seat than I would if I sold it to a stranger.
I suspect that the amount of discount between season ticket and single seat is small, and so it’s not probably worth worrying about. I work closely with these coworkers every day, and inviting them to share the opera with me was meant to be team-building. It’s not worth alienating them over $5 or $10. I’ll probably follow through with this either way. But it bothers me so much that she’d insist that we all pay the same amount. The reason I get a discount is that my season ticket subscription is a financial commitment I make up-front, and have repeatedly made. I earn that discount by a longer-term commitment of funds than either of them is willing to make, and sharing it with them shouldn’t come with a financial penalty for me any larger than the fact that I’ll assume the risk in buying the tickets and they’ll have to pay me back.
Help me figure out what about this bothers me so much, and whether I should try one more time to fight it.