Always awkward. Always necessary.
Who honestly wants a surprise birthday party at the office? Yesterday, I attended one such party and the recipient of the party looked visibly pained to attend.
I think most people came for the brownies.
I do want to honor people who have the tremendous misfortune to be working on their birthday. I have had the pleasure of never having to go to work or school on my birthday as I was born during Christmas holidays. But, to honor them by embarrassing them at a surprise office party? “Hey we really got you this time,” coworkers say. “You had no idea! You thought you were coming to a status meeting. Ha ha ha! We tricked you gooood.”
I don’t know. I just think there is another way.
I don’t mean to be unappreciative. Really. And I REALLY don’t want the baker of the brownies to read this because I love her brownies and I don’t want to ruin a good thing.
They really are good brownies.
Yes. They. Are.
These office birthday parties remind me of all the Office Space things we do in corporations. We say the same dumb things like “hump day” when it’s Wednesday and “One more day” when it’s Thursday. We ask the same dumb questions, “How was your weekend?” on Mondays, and “Got big plans for the weekend?” on Fridays. We share tips for how to make the best oatmeal in the office microwave (Tip: use cold water). We send a card around the agency with an envelope for you to throw in your extra bucks for the birthday/wedding shower/baby shower/going away gift.
When does it end?
Every time I slip a couple bucks in an envelope, write a pithy comment in a card or sing happy birthday, I can’t help but sigh inwardly and say:
This is not my life.