Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Birthday blues

I work in a helpdesk/call centre and have for quite some time. I've just got into work and received an email from our manager which I would like to share. It's made my blood boil a bit (mind you it is about 1/4 to 6 in the morning, so it doesn't take a lot!)
When someone on our team has a birthday, it is traditional to get them a cake, to make their day a bit special. I know I've always appreciated this, and it is a nice personal touch, a thank you if you will for the work that is put in on a daily basis.
Well, this is what has been sent around:

"Team,

We are going to celebrate birthdays on a monthly basis. Cake for morning tea on the last Friday of each month to acknowledge the birthdays during that month. Also to say thank you to you all for your efforts and hard work."

HOW impersonal is that, just group birthdays! Not only do you not get anything on your "actual" birthday, you get lumped in with whoever else has their birthday that month! Grrr, that makes me angry. How special, NOT. I like how she tacked on the end, oh also to say thank you.. yeah right, thank you, my a$$!! If it was a cost issue (as the team leader usually goes down the shop and picks up a cake from the bakery), we could take turns making cakes at home, usually much yummier and cheaper anyway.

Not a good start to the day....

9 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

Total crap. Total. Crap. Total.

But the advantage is that you get two cakes on the same day, if there are two birthdays during that month. Right?

1:46 pm  
Blogger Amanda said...

They haven't yet disclosed how they are going to do it, but knowing this place, they'll probably still get just the one tiny cake from the bakery.
Bit of background for everyone... There are three teams here, under different team leaders, all under the one manager, the one who sent the email. Previously it was up to the team leader to get stuff for birthdays if they wanted to, now the manager wants to combine it across all teams. It will mean that someone will probably just come around handing out cake, rather than the team stopping to wish an individual a Happy Birthday.
Continuing slide from Help Desk to Call Centre...making us feel like battery hens, being given a small treat!

1:56 pm  
Blogger Gregory said...

For myself, I'd prefer no cakes, but if there must be birthday acknowledgements, the best practice I've encountered in any place I've worked was the first company I worked for after university, where the policy was: your birthday, you bring the cake.

1:55 pm  
Blogger vegemiterules said...

Hi Amanda, I agree thoroughly, they are taking the "human face" out of the working place at times. It is not as if the entire day is put on hold to acknowledge/celebrate a workmates birthday. Where I work, we just take up a collection, $1.00 here, $2.00 here, prior to the birthday, that might be enough to buy a cake and a few extra nibbles. We stop for about 15-20mins, Managers, team leaders, all staff within our department, grab a coffe, have some cake and nibbles, acknowledge the "birthday". It gives some people the chance to say "G'day" properly to their fellow workmates, as sometimes we get so involved in our job, that we at times just have time to say "Hi" "Bye". It bonds people and "gives" the work place a "human face"

12:35 am  
Blogger DaFFy said...

Well thats lousy Amanda... I agree with Greg though. Your birthday, you bring the cake works pretty well.

12:29 pm  
Blogger Amanda said...

Yeah, my hubby's workplace has a your birthday, you bring cake thing too. I don't know, it still seems a bit harsh to bake for your own birthday, but hey at least you get a cake that way. I talked to my team leader about it, and she's decided to go against the grain and keep doing individual cakes... yay!

3:16 pm  
Blogger DaFFy said...

I don't recall saying anything about baking...that's why God invented a place called 'The CheeseCake Shop' :P What is this 'baking' thing, anyway?

11:58 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

Do you really think that's bad? We used to celebrate everyone's birthday on the day. And then the bigger fish bought us and we switched to monthly birthday fests. Those were still ok because the company supplied all the beer we could hold. And then the beer went away. Now we have quarterly birthday fests which I haven't seen in about 6months. Go figure.

4:09 am  
Blogger Brian said...

Jeff: perhaps management has decided to make everyone's life easier, and celebrate birthdays on a yearly basis. "Who had a birthday this year? Everyone??"

7:24 am  

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