Everyone at my office now hates me. I’m the executive assistant to the president of a very small company and one of my jobs is being the party planner for special events like the holiday party. I also used to do the cakes when an employee had a birthday.
I say used to beacause a couple of weeks I sent out a memo saying that we would no longer be doing birthday cakes because all the different dietary requirements in the office was making it a challenge.
I’m not kidding about this. We’ve got Atkins and Paleo people. Then there’s the gluten and lactose free group and on and on. It was a huge time suck getting cakes that worked with everyone’s diet so I just decided, and my boss agreed, that the whole cake on your birthday thing was over.
Oh my God, the backlash has been intense. How do I make it stop? It’s really hurting my feelings.
Signed, I’m Not a Party Pooper
Dear Not a Party Pooper,
Okay, I’m a little confused here. Do you work in a pre-school or an office with adults? Good Lord, who gets that upset about cakes? I happen to be in a long term relationship with cakes (and cobblers) and not even I would care if I didn’t get a cake on my birthday at my place of work.
I’m thinking there’s more going on here than a lack of buttercream frosting in the break room. Perhaps, the cakes gave everyone a chance to step away from their desk and blow off work for a good 30 minutes. So maybe you can still have a cake free “hey it’s your b’day” get together with something that hits all the office dietary restrictions. (I’m guessing that would be water and a veggie tray.)
I also want to add that if the one thing that gets people ticked off at your company is no birthday cakes than everyone needs to count their blessings because in terms of office gripes that’s going to come in pretty low on the list.