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Dear Urban Diplomat: How do I bail on community events without becoming a co-working outcast?

Dear Urban Diplomat: How do I bail on community events without becoming a co-working outcast?

I recently joined a co-working space near my condo. It’s clean, amenity-packed and affordable. There’s just one problem: as I’ve gotten to know some of the people who work there, they’ve started inviting me to their incessant community events, after-work Ping-Pong tournaments and PechaKucha presentations (whatever those are). I don’t want to be rude, but I have zero interest. How do I fend off these Silicon Valley start-up shenanigans without becoming the office outcast?

—PechaKucha Pooh-Pooher, Liberty Village

You know what they say: where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And where there’s an in-office beer tap, there’s an invitation to someone’s free yoga class. If you insist on killing the congenial vibe, be direct: politely tell your officemates you’re just too slammed with work/kids/volunteering to tag along. Most people won’t take it personally. That said, occasionally indulging the overzealous organizers won’t kill you. You might even have fun. Just steer clear of those PechaKucha nights. A dozen people each presenting 20 PowerPoint slides about their African eco-holidays and vintage vinyl collections? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com

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