I was going to post this last night, but I got sidetracked in an IM bitching fest with some friends, so this never got written.
If there's one thing I've learned about my current job, it's that we celebrate EVERYTHING. Having a baby? We celebrate. Getting a promotion? We celebrate. Having a birthday? We celebrate. It's Tuesday? We celebrate. There's always food around for whatever we're celebrating. For birthdays, there's usually a couple of cakes (because we're ravenous fuckers) and no leftovers.
Yesterday I went in early for some overtime. About an hour after I got in, my co-worker (we'll call her FK) showed up carrying a cake. I figured she was up to something, but I couldn't figure out what. No matter what she does and no matter who she does it for, it's really all about her. Attention whore is probably an apt description. Anyway, she brings this cake in and plops it down on top of a file cabinet for all the world to see, with no explanation. She plops a can of frosting down next to it and that's that. People come by and ask me what the cake is and I just shrug. Sometime around 11 am I get an email from my boss. It's a forwarded copy of the email FK sent to all the immediate area supervisors saying that at 11:15 we were going to be having cake to celebrate her birthday. Oh, and we can celebrate any other January birthdays, too. But, like always, it's all about FK. I got up from my desk and went to talk to some of my friends who sit nearby, but just far enough away. We were all laughing hysterically about this. Who throws themself a birthday party? It's an office first. 11:15 comes along and a small handful of people gather and then I hear FK start singing. "Happy birthday to me..." For real. So not only is she throwing her own birthday party, but she's singing her own birthday song. It was really pathetic. She cut the cake and started handing out pieces. Not very many people had cake. You see, as much as she thinks everyone loves her, FK is not very popular at all. She tried handing cake out to people, and I know of at least four people who took the cake to get her off thier back, only for them to throw the cake away. I learned a new trick yesterday. You take the cake and when no one is looking, you wrap most of it up in a napkin and throw it away. Leave the crumb covered plate on your desk and no one will ever know you didn't eat it. I'm going to have to try that.
I think I know where the idea for the cake came from. The day before we had an ambush celebration for another co-worker. Her son was injured over in Iraq. He's not with the military, though his job is military support. Because he's not technically military, his family does not get the same perks when it comes to visiting injured him. Donna, the co-worker, is going to have to pay for lodging and stuff when she goes to see him next week, and she can't really afford it. We took up a collection behind her back and Thursday was the day we ambushed her with it. We raised just over $1000 for her. She was really touched and completely caught off guard. So because there was such a big spotlight on Donna, FK couldn't have that. So she arranged her own party.
What kills me is even the least popular people on the floor are given parties. But in the couple of years I've been there, no one has lifted a finger to celebrate FK's birthday. Last year, when no one bothered to acknowledge it, she brought in the birthday card her son gave her along with the 50% off Christmas ornament he bought her for her birthday. She put them on display without saying a word. Again, people would come by my desk, which was right next to the display, to ask me what was that. I would shrug. It was her way of telling everyone that we missed her birthday again. I do think there's a difference between missing and passing on a particular birthday.
At the end of the day, FK scrambled to get rid of the rest of the cake. She did, but it took her a while. I'm sure most of the cake ended up in the trash. Just my opinion.