The Etiquettical Office Birthday Cake Anomaly

It’s my birthday.  Happy birthday to me.  Let’s eat cake! But, who should be providing that cake?

Here’s what I don’t get.  When one celebrates a birthday at home with friends and relatives and loved ones / pets, the cake is bought for them (not by the pets obviously) as part of the celebration of you getting through another 365 days without being dead.

It’s a lovely gesture which we can all share by all eating too much cheap icing and feeling sick.  That’s after we’ve blown out all the candles and made a wish that won’t come true.  (You may remember that I don’t like birthdays!)

However, it’s a completely different case at work and you can’t get away from it, because if you have the day off you’re expected to fulfill your annual duty on another date.

That duty is that you have to buy the cakes for the people that you merely tolerate while you earn money.  In my case, I don’t even get anything back since we stopped doing departmental birthday presents.  The purchase of cake for colleagues actually leaves you at a net loss.

And that’s whatever way you look at.  If you buy the cakes, you have the financial deficit.  If you don’t buy the cakes, you’re ostracised as the miserable bastard who doesn’t join in.  In my case, that would be in addition to being the grumpy bastard who doesn’t want to join in because he dislikes the balloons that are taped to his monitor.

And then what if you don’t buy enough?  You get enough for your team, but there’s Finance who sit just across from you and who you speak to regularly.  Should Finance eat cake?

And then you always get the f*cker who has an allergy to cake, so you don’t only need to buy cake but you have to buy a bag of f*cking boiled sweets too.

Let’s not forget the issue of being in a team who don’t eat lunch, so you still go for lunch with your old team, that means you need to buy them cake too.

Before you know it you’ve bought 3 dozen doughnuts (and the f*cking boiled sweets) to find out that, because your birthday is in the middle of summer, the office are all on sodding diets, so you leave for the night with 2 and half dozen doughnuts (and the f*cking boiled sweets) that you need to eat yourself or throw away, which is a waste because the pretentious lot don’t just want any old doughnuts, they want Krispy Kremes.

There’s not even the opportunity for making a wish that won’t come true, as the lighting of candles would breach Health and Safety guidelines.

It’s lose, lose, lose.

(F*cking boiled sweets.)

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear [Michael],
Happy Birthday to you.

From good friends and true,
From old friends and new,
May good luck go with you,
And happiness too.

Comments 2

  1. Liberty Henwick

    Funny! (etiquettiical – nice I like new words) ps been meaning to ask where do you find your images? They are always great.

    • Michael

      It’s a good word, isn’t it?! I think this is the first time I’ve ever been able to use it myself.

      Images… Some are original, most are just from random Google image searches. I did want to be entirely original all the time but it’s a bit impractical, so I use original when I can and otherwise “borrow” them.

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