Let me refresh your memory of our first conversation, on my first day at my new job:
Supervisor: “Coworker, this is lorinada, she will be the Medicaid CBA and hospice biller.”
Coworker: “When’s your birthday?”
lorinada: Nice to meet you, too, I guess, but you didn’t say that. Pasting on smile to hide surprise at such rudeness. “It’s in a few months.”
Coworker: “But, when?”
lorinada, fake laughing to try and diffuse indignation: “That’s classified, at least for anyone but my friends!” In other words, NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! And thanks for the welcoming words, and offering to show me where the supplies are, and such! We are coworkers, not best buddies or Brownie scouts on our first day in our new troop! I just met you, for gosh sakes, and it wasn’t even in a social setting!
And our second conversation, about an hour later than the first:
Coworker, with pen and paper pad in hand: “Now, when did you say your birthday was?”
lorinada: “Well, I didn’t.”
Coworker: “But we like to know when each other’s birthdays are so we can do a little cake and party.”
lorinada, wishing the female employed of America would understand the difference between a friend and a coworker, a social situation and a business situation, a party and a day at work: “I really don’t feel comfortable giving out personal information, and I really don’t get into those birthday things, either, so my feelings won’t be hurt if my name is not on that list and there is no birthday cake for me.” Did you not hear me the first time? I don’t get into that silly, shallow “birthday” crap, and haven’t since over 20 years ago, when, on my very first “real” job, I looked around and saw that of the 10 people singing “happy birthday” to me, five of them I didn’t know their names and two were on active campaigns to get me fired. It doens’t mean anything unless it’s sincere and it can’t be sincere when it’s coming from people who don’t even know you…
And our third conversation, about three weeks after that:
Coworker: “There’s some birthday cake in the cubie across from the copier. It’s Shaquaka’s (or whatever, I don’t always hear real well) birthday. Would you like a piece?”
lorindada: “No, thank you.” She really doesn’t get it, does she.
Coworker: “Are you sure?”
lorinada: Well, now, don’t rush this, lorinada. You need to think long and hard before making such a snap decision about an issue so earthshaking. If you thought this through long and hard, you may come to realize that you really are very fond of birthday cake and you may regret to your dying day refusing a piece. So, are you sure? Are you REALLY SURE? “Yes, I’m sure.”
Coworker: “Are you diabetic?”
lorinda, finding difficulty hiding look of shock on face: Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I am, but that is none of your business and I can’t believe you just had the balls to ask a near stranger a question about their medical history! Besides, I don’t want the fucking birthday cake becausse I’m sure your vapid little ass got it at a grocery store which means it’s going to taste like plastic! Furthermore, you irritating little fuck, I’m not in the habit of celebrating personal milestones of people I BARELY KNOW! NOW FUCK OFF! “I don’t want any cake, thank you.” Icy stare.
But you really showed your class today, when we were in that meeting where I had the supreme misfortune of sitting next to you, and you spotted my MedicAlert tag. Did you really do that? Did you really grab my tag, twist it around, and try to pull it up to your face so you could read it, WITH MY ARM STILL IN IT? Hey, NUMNUTZ! IT IS NOT A CONVERSATION PIECE! Unless I am unconscious, and you are emergency medical personnel, LEAVE YOUR FUCKING MITTS OFF MY TAG!!! You got it? My medical history is none of your business! And even if it was, what’s the deal with grabbing pieces of my personal property WHILE IT IS ATTACHED TO ME and trying to ogle it two inches from your face? Have you not heard the terms, oh, I don’t know, maybe KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF??? STAY OUTTA MY PERSONAL SPACE??? Anything like that?
STAY OUTTA MY FACE!! THERE IS NOTHING ABOUT ME THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!!!