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Old 13 April 2016, 02:40 AM
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Default Little things that annoy you

My coworkers.

I've mentioned my birthday before at work, and the response has always been, "So are you bringing us doughnuts or bagels?"

They all believe that I'm supposed to supply them with treats on my birthday, which is something I've never heard of.

Yet these same co-workers keep hitting me up to donate for cake, etc, for other coworker's birthdays.
  #2  
Old 13 April 2016, 03:03 AM
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It is traditional in some work places to bring treats in on your birthday. But those work places usually don't collect for birthday cakes.
  #3  
Old 13 April 2016, 05:18 AM
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My current workplace has that tradition, which sometimes also deeply offends some people. So a compromise was reached where the tradition remains, but people who don't want to do it can sign up on a list where people agree to provide the treats for someone else on the list. I don't much care either way, but I like that I don't perpetually get hit up for money for cakes. And it's kind of cool that the people who follow it get to decide how fancy they want their birthday treats to be. (And get exactly what they want.) Some people bring fantastic treats.
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Old 13 April 2016, 05:53 AM
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I'm selfish, I guess, because I feel people should give me treats on my birthday since I chip in for theirs.

When I told them I wouldn't bring treats for my birthday, I guess they took it to mean that I didn't want any at all.

I wouldn't mind chipping in if they chipped in when it was my turn.
  #5  
Old 13 April 2016, 05:56 AM
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It's definitely not fair to expect some people to both help provide treats for others and provide their own treats.
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Old 13 April 2016, 07:45 AM
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I don't get doing birthdays in a professional setting. It seems impertinent almost to the point of rudeness. I used to think that kind of thing was great but I was impertinent and rude. More than I am now, I mean. Now I'm less those and more boring.
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Old 13 April 2016, 09:07 AM
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We used to have the tradition of a quarterly brunch in a meeting room, where all colleagues provided some food, apart from the ones that had celebrated their birthday in the last three months. They even got a decorated plate setting.

I liked that tradition, but since the department has grown a lot over the last months, it has been discontinued.
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Old 13 April 2016, 09:35 AM
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In that case did they have to tell everyone their birthday or could they opt out? I would hope such things are done on an opt-in basis or, at the very least, without telling everyone ones birthday. It would be a little thing that annoyed me to have personal data used for such a trivial purpose without permission.
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Old 13 April 2016, 09:43 AM
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We never did anything at the office for birthdays, but sometimes people who are social outside of work would go out and pay for the birthday person's meal and drinks, or some similar activity. No gifts other than that. There tends to be a lot of overlap between coworkers and friends since almost everyone is recruited from elsewhere rather than hired locally.

The only "birthdays" we normally acknowledge are when children are born, which we'll often get announcements for, especially if they're first time parents. No cake, but I got a cigar once.
  #10  
Old 13 April 2016, 12:43 PM
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Phil'sGirl, I totally agree with you there. It could be done either way - you bring in for your own birthday, and everyone who partakes brings in for theirs, or you get treated on your birthday and contribute for everyone else's. What you were faced with was really out of whack.

And Ganz, while O sort of get what you are saying, I tend to view it as taking a chance to say that we (which may be the company or just the particular office) values that individual as a person and as part of the team, a way of saying that as much as we have a job to do, you are a person beyond being just the body that fills a particular working niche.
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Old 13 April 2016, 03:25 PM
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My work group has always been erratic about celebrating birthdays. However, I can't say we've been erratic to the benefit or detriment of any particular people. These days, we don't generally do anything. We do celebrate major work anniversaries (the 5s--5, 10, 15, etc.).

Now that I have more vacation, I celebrate my birthday by taking the day off.

Seaboe
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Old 13 April 2016, 03:28 PM
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My company hasn't done it in a while, but they used to have monthly birthdays. Basically, one party with cake to celebrate all birthdays in a given month. They usually had the party in towards the middle of the month.

If you wanted to come by and cake up, you could, but you didn't have to. That way, people who for whatever personal reasons don't celebrate birthdays weren't obligated to opt out or explain anything. That's probably the better way to do this sort of thing.
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Old 13 April 2016, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post

And Ganz, while O sort of get what you are saying, I tend to view it as taking a chance to say that we (which may be the company or just the particular office) values that individual as a person and as part of the team, a way of saying that as much as we have a job to do, you are a person beyond being just the body that fills a particular working niche.
Absolutely agree. The best workplaces I've ever been in were ones where staff were treated like people and not automatons and where an effort was made to provide activities where they could socialize and enjoy each others company outside the "daily grind". That shouldn't be a radical concept but IME it actually can be.
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Old 13 April 2016, 04:32 PM
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I haven't worked anywhere that had any social things for birthdays. And I really don't mind. I don't care to be the centre of attention.

At my office, we have other gatherings when people leave (had cake last week for a pregnant co-worker) if they are amenable to it. IMO, we have just the right amount of other social events (annual Jays game, Christmas party at a restaurant, Christmas potluck in office and a few lunches/breakfasts through the year.

People in my office just aren't that big on socializing outside of work, unless it's a friendship that's developed beyond work. Whenever they've tried to have additional events, it's always the few same people that show up and the majority don't come.
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Old 13 April 2016, 04:38 PM
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For me the best places I've worked have struck a nice balance. One place for instance had a breakfast in various restaurants every few months where the library staff would meet before work - if you didn't want to go you certainly didn't have to but most of us did. This was the same place that did a cookie exchange every Christmas - I'd never worked anywhere that did that before - that was fun. Anyway I can see that some people would prefer not to socialize at work and that's fine but I've worked in places where there was no feeling of camaraderie or friendliness at all and they were places I'd never go back to unless it meant otherwise I'd be begging on a street corner. Just awful environments. There has to be a happy medium and the best workplaces have managers who've found that.
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Old 13 April 2016, 05:43 PM
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Where I work we do one birthday treat a month (and it alternates--the time I ordered tamales was a big hit) with a birthday card printout that lists the people who have their birthday in that month. It just gets left in the kitchen sometime in the middle of the month and then people can come eat it whenever. I think it works great, but I'm the one in charge of the ordering so I'm a little biased.
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Old 14 April 2016, 04:08 AM
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I would love some kind of monthly shared treat. That would be a better way for people not to feel left out, I think. Though not having any kind of treat at all would be good, too, if there are more people who don't want it.

I do take my birthday off these last few years, my job is very flexible, so I'm able to work another day in the week instead of my birthday. It's much less painful to do it that way.
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Old 14 April 2016, 04:41 AM
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I just don't consider my birthday to be anyone's business. I don't mind if other people want to do the birthday thing but it wouldn't contribute to my sense of camaraderie or make me feel any more social to have it recognised. ETA gee I really have become a curmudgeon. But, still, stay off of my chronographic lawn!
  #19  
Old 14 April 2016, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
In that case did they have to tell everyone their birthday or could they opt out? I would hope such things are done on an opt-in basis or, at the very least, without telling everyone ones birthday. It would be a little thing that annoyed me to have personal data used for such a trivial purpose without permission.
We had a list with the birthdays of all co-workers. For some, it showed the day and month, but not the year. I'm sure you could have opted out totally, but that never came up.
  #20  
Old 14 April 2016, 06:50 AM
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I've never been a fan of making a big deal out of my birthday but the last time I worked in a big office I went along with the birthday cake thing because I knew the other people in my team enjoyed taking part in it. Having your team acknowledge your birthday isn't just about you, it's a social event where your friends/teammates get a kick out of doing what they perceive to be a nice thing for you. People like doing nice things for others and my feeling is that it'd be a shame to take that away from them unless there's a more important reason not to do it.

(As compared to my recent case where I was trying to finish some work and a co-worker kept interrupting me because he thought he was doing a nice thing by keeping me company. I was pretty annoyed but I couldn't bring myself to burst his bubble and tell him he was making things harder rather than helping.)
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