No one likes to be ignored. Yet everyone claims to dread the annual ritual of your co-workers acknowledging the fact that you’re one year older – which means another year gone by with a measly 3% raise.
I was recently interviewed by the fine folks at the Globe and Mail about office birthdays. While fresh in my mind, here are the variations I’ve experienced. Please share your experiences in the comments section below and you could win our comments contest.
The folder goes around. Everyone signs your card and chips in $3 – $5.
Pros: You get to feel special.
Cons: The spotlight is on you, meaning 20 forced minutes of age-related jokes and fielding generic questions.
Notes: The problem with this model are months like April, when it appears everyone was born!
Once a Month
Simple. Everyone’s birthday for the particular month is celebrated at once.
Pros: Many birds, one stone. Variety of cakes.
Cons: Where’s the love? Gives new meaning to being nothing but a number. Super sugar shock.
Notes: Makes the occasion an "event," putting extra focus on you if you call in sick or happen to go "missing."
YOU Make Something
Pros: Less guilt about people catering to you. Could poison entire office.
Cons: Pressure to make something that won’t suck or get the office sick.
Notes: This model is apparently popular in Holland. Hutspot, anyone?
Pros: Higher productivity, less awkwardness. Control your caloric intake.
Cons: Pressure to celebrate outside of work.
Notes: This is a growing trend. The Jobacle crew is not sure where we stand at this point.
Final thoughts. There appears to be one consistent with office birthdays, and that’s the fact that hard-working cube dwellers always pay for these affairs. God forbid someone utter the words petty cash.
Please share your thoughts on office birthdays below. I’m particularly interested to hear from our international friends. Extra points for the person who can answer this age old question: How long do you have to awkwardly stand around talking once you’ve finished your cake?