We are just CO-WORKERS here, not family or friends

don’t ask, you must not have a Princess or a Fucking Denise! or a obsessive-complusive nitpicker in your office- it’s good to be you! :stuck_out_tongue:
Oh, another thing, at my work a year ago they banned the old free cake from management on your birthday thing. Now the rule is, if you want to have cake for your birthday, bring it yourself. Except, it doesn’t quite work that way. Cuz, you know, this one has been here for 126 years, so she really deserves it, and that one is old and getting ready to retire, so she can have a birthday cake, and that one gets a cake because she refuses to call it her birthday and instead calls it her Appreciation Day. You- you bring your own damn cake.

Fuckers. :mad:

Wheee, that felt good.

Thing is, there are probably other workers who feel the same as you but noone has had the guts to give the lady some constructive feedback. I mean in a very nice but firm way. She probably has no idea how you feel, and why should she if you never tell her?

I hate this sort of thing. I finally just quit going at my last job, and when I did an exit interview and they asked me if there was anything I felt was poorly done/ I would like to change, I said, “Yeah, it would be nice if there wasn’t a donation envelope coming around every three days to underwrite another ‘cake in the conference room’ half-hour of forced ‘fun’.” I realize people have birthdays, and babies, and, unfortunately, close relatives that die, but jeezamoe – it’s like being nibbled to death by ducks. “But it’s only two dollars!” Yeah, every other day. And if it bugged me as “professional” staff, I could only imagine it didn’t sit well with everyone in the ranks of support staff, who work just as hard, if not harder, for about half the pay.

When I was leaving, I told my boss, send out an e-mail that says anyone who wants to go down to the local watering hold at 5 on Friday can raise a glass to Jodi; but there will be pno going away party! So they threw one anyway (!) – cake in the conference room from 3 to 3:30. (Me: WTF??? Boss: We can do both!)

If it starts up at my new job, I’m going to tell everyone I’m Jehovah’s Witness.

Ha! Yes! We have an inordinate amount of JW’s at my office, and oh how I envy them.

You were asked to donate blood? Hey, I guess Edna’s baby has to drink something…

When I worked at the public library, we did a potluck luncheon every month or two, and those were actually nice because, hey, free big meal! I became a bit of a star through my cooking, considering I was one of the younger employees and one of the only men, and I’d bring in huge vats of lasagna or sausages and peppers, stuff like that. But luckily, being one of the only men, they left me out of things like showers and weddings and babies and those types of frou-frou activities.

Before my company was bought out, we had an informal rule against “passing the hat”, unless it was for somethng business-related, like getting a promotion or a transfer. The company I’d worked at before was very social and celebratory, so it struck me strange that here nobody celebrated birthdays, etc. When I asked a manager about it, he replied that policy dictated that “this is a professional environment and shall remain so”. Oh.

Now the tables are turned. The company that bought us out is quite rah-rah in making it a fun place to work, so there’s always a company-sponsored outing, an “employee appreciation” buffet, a weekend relaxation of the dress code, or something going on. We’re now encouraged to celebrate birthdays, pass the hat, whatever – anything to make it seem that it’s not all corporate and staid. A few of the more socially hungry jump on this, while the rest are like, “Huh…I thought we weren’t allowed to do this” or “This is a place of business.” Meanwhile management is left scratching its head wondering why everyone isn’t jumping on the bandwagon.

Me? As long as the requests aren’t excessive and I know the person, I’ll give something. I’ll be a bit more generous with the people in my department, but that’s it. I just don’t have the funds and sometimes not the desire to get all buddy-buddy with people who, as a group, I wouldn’t be friends with outside of work.

While I discussed my meager experiences with this, I should note that I’d play along if I felt it would help me “win friends and influence people” in the workplace. It’s better to have your co-workers like you and think you’re a stand-up guy, so they might come to your aid if you ever need it, cover shifts, help with your work load, stand up for you in case of a problem or accusation, or just be less likely to stab you in the back. I’ve learned after a few years in the workplace that it’s much better to be a rah-rah kind of guy if it benefits your career, and builds alliances. You don’t have to love your co-workers, but isn’t it better to make them like you so they’d go to bat for you (and occasionally go to bat for them in exchange)? If a little silly socializing is all it takes, I think put my distaste aside, sign those cards, chip in a few bucks when I had to, and eat the hell out of that birthday cake.

Gun/or on the spot performance reviews, no. What we get is snide comments about “not being a team player” – and given that ‘being a team player’ is one of the criteria that does show up on our annual reviews…

Exactly. The first time I was hit up for a contributions it was minimal, and for someone who worked close to me. I was happy to hand over a couple of bucks. The next time… the ‘request’ went something like “Debby has her heart set on the XXXX stroller so we’ve decided to each chip in $10 and get it for her.” At the time the only reason I could have pointed out Debbie in an office lineup was that she was the only women in the office who looked like she’d swallowed a watermelon. And money was kind of tight right then, so I started to do one of those 'Gee, I’m not sure…I hardly know Debby…" And she gives me this icy stare. “We’ve already bought the stroller. If you don’t pay your share, I’ll have to go back and ask everyone else for more money. Or pay your share myself…” And I caved. Piss off the whole office? Or even just the organizer, who has seniority in the department?

And then the next collection comes and it’s for someone in the hospital with something or other, and how can you not help send get well flowers to Mel when you were willing to help buy a stroller for Debby?

And on, and on. It just becomes a done thing, you give whatever is asked for. <sigh>
faithfool, gee, I wish I could attend Harry the Hamster’s birthday party, but unfortunately that is the day I’m scheduled to have my kidneys rotated. Perhaps I can send my cat in my place? She’s very large and fast and a renowned huntress. She not much of a one for cake, but don’t worry: I’m sure she could find something to eat at the party.

Jodi, it sounds like being a Jehovah’s Witness gets one a pass from these forced celebrations? I’ve never heard anything about that before. Maybe I should let the next pair that show up convert me.

What I meant is that I think I’D put my distaste aside, sign those cards, chip in a few bucks when I had to, and eat the hell out of that birthday cake

[quoteJodi, it sounds like being a Jehovah’s Witness gets one a pass from these forced celebrations? I’ve never heard anything about that before. Maybe I should let the next pair that show up convert me.[/quote]

Yeah, JWs do not celebrate birthdays or any major “pagan” holiday, which for them includes Christmas and Easter, obviously the two biggest holidays to mainstream Christians. I’m not sure how the baby showers and going-away parties are pagan, but IME they don’t participate in those, either.

One rule I implemented at my job was to have two meetings a month: one on Saturday morning, with bagels & doughnuts, and one during the week at lunchtime, with some kind of sandwiches. People can bring food if they want. That is IT as far as office celebrations go.

If anyone wants to celebrate outside the office, fine.

Not that this happens in Your office Dept:

Two jobs back, I worked at a place where the secretaries/administrative assistants would put out an envelope every 2-3 days also. It was getting expensive, as that company didn’t pay that well to begin with. So I got out my calculator and made some notes.

The cake was from bakery X, so I called them and asked how much a cake like that cost (in case I wanted to get another). It was $15.00. I looked at the back of the card and read off the Hallmark code: $3:50. I then counted all the names on the card (16) and multiplied by $5.00, the minimum one could ‘donate’.

Lo-And-Behold, there was a tidy little profit being made by these little Scamsters!!! :eek:

I opted out and said ‘no’ to every envelope from then out. Whenever anyone tried to make a ‘stink’ about me not participating, I asked her point blank if she’d like me to go to HR and tell them about her little scam: i.e. her little profit gauge from collecting for all the birthdays, weddings, showers, engagements, graduations, confirmations, bar mitzvahs, etc.

Strangely enough, I was never bothered again. :smiley: :smiley:

Boy howdy, am I a lucky sumbitch.

We do the birthday thing, but the company pays for the cake. And it ain’t sheet cake, either - I’m talking German chocolate, amaretto-whatever, etc from a premium bakery.

The company also pays for the blow-off-work-a-couple-of-hours-early-&-hoist-a-few at the local watering hole when we push out our major semi-annual release.

And the “holiday” dinner with free booze for employees and spouses at a relatively upscale family Italian place.

And lunch from Panera or whatever when we need to have a meeting about insurance or our 401k’s or some shit.

When someone’s loved one dies, they get an extra few days to a couple of weeks of paid leave, depending on the closeness of the relationship.

There are downsides to working here - relatively low pay for the industry, a killer commute (at the moment), and the shitty insurance deal that comes with working for a small company - but I’ve worked at places that required the employees to pony up for the Mandatory Office Fun Time, and I never want to go back. Ugh.

Some days it can be four or five different collections.

Someone needs a big hug. A work hug!

On a sadder note, it’s actually because they’re not allowed to have parties. My girlfriend usually has one in her class every year, and when they’re doing anything party-ish she has to send the kid to another room.

Nothing like making a third grader leave their friends because they’re having fun.


She puts up signs?! If someone put up signs asking people to buy me presents, that would embarass the hell out of me. It’s one thing to get a gift from those who know you well and work with you every day. It’s quite another to for someone to solicit gifts from employees who don’t even know you exist.

If I was pregnant / getting married & found out somebody was doing that, I’d be pulling down signs left and right.

Before she worked there, nobody ever put up signs. She demonstrated an affinity for little posters with clip-art and girly fonts, to announce upcoming events. When the signs about her baby appeared, they were worded in the third person, as though somebody else wrote the copy, but we all know it was her. In addition to the signs taped up in places where they would be seen, we all got a copy in our mailboxes, too.

The thing my old boss (emphasis on old, as in, not here anymore) used to do that bugged the ever-living tar out of me was decorate cubes for birthdays.

I’m not talking a streamer and balloons. I’m talking streamers, balloons, confetti, and any other birthday-themed crap she could find. I hated coming in and having to vacuum my keyboard and clear off my desk just so I could work.

Look, I can drink liquor and vote. After that, it’s just getting older. A cake is nice, but really, I’d rather have dinner with my family. It’s not that big a deal that I want to make a big TO DO at work.