Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Workplaces have policies for everything: dress codes, office space allocation, raises, hires, and what you can and cannot talk about it. My office is pretty informal about most of these things. The flexibility of a small company is underrated. But the one policy that has caused some controversy lately is the Birthday Policy.

That's right. There's actually a policy about what to do for someone's birthday. And I'm not talking about some unspoken, unofficial commitment to take people out to lunch (we have one of those, too). I'm talking about a procedure for buying a card, having certain people sign it, and delivering said card. Right after Chris's birthday in May, they started sending cards around the whole office for everyone to sign and hide from the recipient until the big day. As you can imagine, Chris is just the tiniest bit bitter (no sarcasm intended).

Some people got big 3D pop-up cards covered in jewels and crap—Lisa got one with all kinds of pretty puffy stuff. Other people got boring flat cards with pictures of cars on them (sorry, Gav). For the people I didn't really know, I always ended up trying to say something cute, but actually saying something really bizarre or awkward. (If you're thinking of making some comment about how that could describe my entire blog, you're a huge jerk.) And I wasn't the only one unsure of just what to say on the stream of cards that crossed my desk. When this had been going on for a while, a couple of guys had stamps made to generically sign anyone's card that happened to come around—birthday, wedding, or otherwise.

So reception decided that it would be more appropriate to have cards signed by only those who worked directly with the card recipient. After a brief foray into socially mapping the office, they decided to quit having cards signed altogether. And they changed the Birthday Policy once again only weeks before my birthday.

So now I'm the slightest bit bitter myself about what is sure to be a reduced-greeting birthday (which is barely better than reduced-fat cheddar). I have considered my options:
  1. Live with no card.

  2. Buy a greeting card for myself (one with all kinds of cute crap glued to it) and send it around the office.

  3. Buy a greeting card and ask reception (nicely) to send it to a list of people from whom I would like to request birthday greetings.
So none of the options are particular attractive. In fact, they feel a little bit like planning your own surprise party (man, I've always wanted to do that).

This just reminds me of the time that the young women in my ward came over for my brother's birthday and sneaked in to decorate his room and leave him a nice note and a treat. They also decorated his car. Two weeks and one day later, on my birthday, nothing happened.

Yeah, forget it. I'm buying my own card, and on top of that, I'm going to write myself really nice notes in it from everyone I know and wish liked me.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Man, policies like that bug me. Why must there be a rule for everything? Whenever anything goes wrong, a policy has to be made to fix all wrongs.

Etch this into your card from yours truly:

Hey Amy! You rock! I hope you have a great birthday. Go eat cake and watch a good comedy. The world would suck without your honesty and wit.