Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Marshmallow Castle

Omigod! Today is an office birthday! So. Stoked.

Except by stoked, I mean the opposite.

Its not that I don't like birthdays. I love birthdays (in fact I think mine is in 51 days. Give or take). But office birthdays...well those are special.

Especially lame.

An office birthday is similar to my very favourite office institution, the Potluck.

Now let me be clear. I do not (always) object to the birthday person. In fact today's celebrant is kind of awesome. She's sweet and adorable and nice to everyone, and of course, completely overworked and underappreciated. I'm happy to celebrate her special day (this is not always true).

I also enjoy cake.There is a lady in the office that makes delicious and pretty spectacular cakes. Like one time she made a Finding Nemo cake covered in chocolate shells. Today's is a castle made of marshmallows. A castle. Out of marshmallows. Sitting on cake.

But I digress.

I'm getting all muddled and by now you are all probably asking what big problem I have with these seemingly harmless and fun office birthdays.

Its the forced, communal break that I have issue with.

I live for my first break. I enjoy spending my lunch chatting with Anna and whoever else (not lame) might be in the lunchroom. My last break of the day is much the same. But the first one? The first one is all mine. For 15 glorious minutes, I can tune out the office, sit in my corner of the couch and read my book.

I love that time.

Occasionally I don't mind giving it up, if there is an interesting conversation going on in the lunchroom, perhaps.

But I do not enjoy being rounded up like a herd of cattle, carraled in the lunchroom while the birthday person slices up the cake and hands it round and then being forced to look like I am enjoying myself. Usually surrounded by John and all his minions. Listening to John's hilarious jokes is enough to turn even the most die-hard cake fans off.

For instance.

Today the birthday girl is asian. This is relative, I promise. On the weekend she and Veronica went to Build-A-Bear. The birthday girl got a Hello Kitty bear. I know, the cliche. I haven't seen it yet, I'm sure its adorable. She brought it in today to show us. John comes by. Looks at the bear. And says "Oh, is that for your car?"

*Open mouthed smiley!*

(For those that maybe aren't familiar, asians tend to put a lot of stuffed animals in their car, and obviously Hello Kitty is a favourite)

I can't quite believe that he said it though. I mean, he's the "boss". Bad John. I think the girls gathered at the time made him feel bad. As he should.

But back to the forced break. Everyone stands around awkwardly, there might be a rendition of Happy Birthday (where not everyone knows the birthday honouree's name), and then some half-hearted jokes about how old the person is now. Then everyone breaks into their own "groups" and talk about football, or how their friends suck, or what their parents did to them. And all I can think is I hope that John doesn't touch my cake and when can I leave without looking like a b*tch.

I mean, how much do I like cake? Do I need cake (no, but I like it)? Is it worth it?

Probably- like I said. Marshmallow castle. On cake.

In other birthday news, the birthday girl was late today. Five whole minutes. And you know what that means. Oh yes, just because it's your birthday does not exempt you from making up lateness. They are totally making her stay 5 minutes after she is supposed to leave.

I don't come to work on my birthday. I did it once, the first year I worked here and it was the most depressing birthday ever. So now I don't. For obvious reasons I think.

And Brian- apparently you aren't too keen on your special day, but even at work, I hope you have a happy birthday.

**UPDATE: John outdid himself at the cake break. Someone thanked the birthday girl for being born and John said "you should thank her parents for doing it". Wow **


  1. You have an actual designated lunch room? We have to rent out conference rooms if we want to eat away from our desks. Which is why I spend nearly fifty dollars a week eating out.

    I'm totally saving eat out money and caloric intake when I quit.

    P.s. I don't really know if "caloric" is a word...but you get the point. And it just sounds better. Right?

  2. It does sound good. Real educated-like.
    I think it actually is a word.
    If it isn't, you think so, and I think so--it must be on its way to becoming one no?

  3. You just described why I hate working in an office, like, my largest hate ever. Our office does a "lunch out" for the honoree, so we have to buy them lunch. UGH. The only decent part is our 1.5 hr lunch, is only documented as 1 hr; the rest is "team bonding". That part makes me want to puke.

  4. Well at least I don't have to shell out money for this. Team bonding is a joke, the whole thing makes me want to vomit. I lose a break and gained a pound while subjected to inane office chatter and inappropriateness from John.
    Anna told me to take my break anyway, just secretly at my desk.