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AIBU to think there should have been something for my special birthday

(39 Posts)
stopandstandup123 Wed 23-Mar-16 08:51:14

I have worked for a large organisation for 2.5yrs. I have had so many team managers (if you average it out it works out at one every three months!). Some have not even started but resigned just after being introduced to the team, but before working with us. Not only that, I have changed team several times so now do not know my colleagues very well (just to smile at before we get going) as we are all busy on the phones (call centre). They seem nice but I don't know them.

It was a special birthday for me at the beginning of the month. Not a single card, e-mail, best wishes from anyone, not even my old team or my old team manager. I don't currently have a team manager as they are trying to recruit one, the previous one being in position for less than a week before he went off with stress and then resigned. It is not as if I was unpopular with my colleagues, as I joined in and was invited to several evenings outside work time.

I am really sad. I know it is no one's "fault" but my birthday was up on the wall in my old team area, was told to the team manager who resigned last week and went, and was not a state secret!

KinkyAfro Wed 23-Mar-16 08:53:18

I've been at my company for 15 years and haven't ever received a birthday card, it's just not the done thing and I couldn't really care less smile

MelanieCheeks Wed 23-Mar-16 08:57:11

It isn't the law that work colleagues do something for your birthday. Nice if they do (though not everyone likes the attention), but not a crime if they don't.

Belated Happy Birthday flowers

mommy2ash Wed 23-Mar-16 09:02:05

If you have moved to a new team they were not aware of your birthday and you are no longer part of the old team. It happens in jobs you get moved around a lot it isn't personal

StillDrSethHazlittMD Wed 23-Mar-16 09:02:14

Did you buy them all cakes? I once worked in an office where on your birthday you bought everyone else a cake.

Costacoffeeplease Wed 23-Mar-16 09:04:42

Are all birthdays marked somehow?

MorticiaLiverish Wed 23-Mar-16 09:14:14

If a team manager is so stressed that he resigned then I doubt getting a birthday card for a colleague was high on his agenda. You said yourself that he was there for less than a week anyway.

You also admit that you are on a new team and don't really know your new colleagues so whilst it might feet a bit shit, I wouldn't expect acknowledgement of my birthday.

It's not personal, try not to dwell on it. Hope you had a good one anyway winecakeflowers

curren Wed 23-Mar-16 09:23:01

I assume they do for others?

Personally I think birthdays at work cause more problems than it's worth.

I have some colleagues I really get on with and want to get them a card or something. Some I don't barely know or don't get on with and end up having to do the same for them.

On my last team we brought cakes. If it was your birthday it was upto you to bring cakes. No collections, that usually end up with someone being miffed that someone got a better gift or end up with people not giving because they just don't have any money and feeling shut about it. No card with a 'if you haven't paid in you can't sign'. No 'if you don't put in for everyone else we are doing it for yours'.

The amount of angst over adult birthdays in the work place just ain't worth it.

Zampa Wed 23-Mar-16 09:26:28

Happy Birthday!!!

Please don't take it personally. Circumstances are such that I think it was overlooked rather than you were ignored.

Hope that your family & friends treated you like royalty.

stopandstandup123 Wed 23-Mar-16 09:28:30

I know I am BU. I am being really stupid as this is work and no one really needs to think you are special. I am being a bit of a princess but you can't help your feelings.

Before I moved floors, on my old teams, there were collections (£2 paid in usually), cards to sign, cakes and nibbles to eat.

On this new floor there have been two events (one birthday and one leaving) and cards, collection and cakes were done. I did offer to put in to the collections but both happened on my first day so I was told it was ok just to sign the cards. I offered the usual £2 for each.

I brought in some trays of fruit (I like to be different!) but only shared it with those I knew as I was not even sure who was on my team now. One lady said she felt embarrassed she did not know it had been my birthday but, honestly, it was not a trade secret and was up on the board with the other March birthdays!

Runningupthathill82 Wed 23-Mar-16 09:32:19

The bit about "my birthday was up on the wall" is bizarre. Do some offices really do this? Have people's birthdays listed on some sort of display board?! Crazy.

I think YABU, but only because I've never worked anywhere where you'd have your birthday marked by colleagues, and it seems so odd. And unprofessional, to be honest. Surely you'd be signing cards every week or so?!

In my experience (media, full of grumpy and cynical types) people bring in cake on their own birthdays but certainly don't get cards or pressies. And nobody knows when other people's birthdays are until they turn up with said cake.

stopandstandup123 Wed 23-Mar-16 09:32:36

Thanks for the birthday wishes, Melanie, Mortica, Zampa!! That is starting to heal the hurt xx

I had a wonderful birthday with my family with lots of lovely cards and a meal out. I was terribly spoilt but then we tend to do this in our family.

Bit of a sensitive soul aren't I?!

stopandstandup123 Wed 23-Mar-16 09:37:14

Yup, totally BU Running.

I work in customer services so we tend to be empathic by nature, grumpy is not allowed as we need to be happy, happy, happy!

The birthday up on the wall is probably a part of the happy, clappy, upbeat atmosphere we need to work in to keep our customers on-board with what we offer and can do for them. It seems normal in the environment we work in - probably weird in any other.

pippistrelle Wed 23-Mar-16 09:39:04

Glad to hear you had a nice birthday anyway, OP.

Some offices have organising types who sort these things out, and some don't. Sounds like where you are now doesn't. But it's not personal, so don't give it any more thought. The important thing is you marked the event with those who really matter to you.

MissDuke Wed 23-Mar-16 09:40:00

Ok so it sounds like birthdays are a big deal to you, which is fair enough, but they aren't for everyone. Also there seems to be a lot going on at work, I doubt checking the birthday board is high priority right now. You say you don't even know who is in your team so you didn't share your fruit out widely - this needs sorted asap. Sounds like a very disorganised workplace. Are you looking for a new job?

shoeaddict83 Wed 23-Mar-16 09:40:41

i have to say i have never ever worked anywhere where you get given cards or presents on your bday?!! Is this really a done thing anywhere??
In fact nearly every place ive worked you bring in cakes on your own birthday for everyone else i the office?? So yes sorry i think YABU!

IdealWeather Wed 23-Mar-16 09:48:36

So in effect, this is part of the company culture to celebrate b'days? So everyone else b'day is been celebrated but yours hasn't and it makes you feel like you are not part of the group/ignored?

Am I getting that right?

I thoink yuou have been unfortunate that your b'day happened at a time of transition from one team to another. People aren't sure where you 'belong' (and you aren't either) so they probably didn't check/look/wanted to do something about it.
I suspect taht next year (assuming you are still in that team), there will be a card and a cake etc... as it is with everyone else.
You do need to give yourself time to feel like yoou are part of the team. Andfor people in the team to feel you are part of their team iyswim.

stopandstandup123 Wed 23-Mar-16 09:53:01

MissDuke - no not looking as I have a relative who works nearby. We share lifts and can grab a coffee before work. It cuts the cost of travel and parking so it is good.

It has helped to hear that not all offices acknowledge birthdays. I think I have become conditioned into thinking my workplace is the norm. It sounds like it is more normal to NOT make a fuss and our office is unusual. I am going to take in cakes later today as it will make me feel better about getting the hump (only inside not so it showed).

There are worse things going on at the moment other than my hurt ego!

WorraLiberty Wed 23-Mar-16 09:55:54

I suppose if you're used to birthdays being celebrated, it's natural to be a little bit put out, but at least you know there's a good reason for not really knowing your team yet.

However, I can't help thinking Thanks for the birthday wishes, Melanie, Mortica, Zampa!! That is starting to heal the hurt xx ...Is a tad over dramatic?

'Heal the hurt' really? when you had a wonderful birthday with your family anyway?

Might be time to adjust your expectations a little bit.

HortonWho Wed 23-Mar-16 09:59:20

In my office, you have to buy a mumbled "happy birthday"... Usually by emailing your floor or team that there are sweets/cakes/treats marking your birthday at X. If you want people to make actual small talk, treats must be positioned at your desk/office so they're forced into conversation. Most still grab and run grin

Janecc Wed 23-Mar-16 10:16:10

Glad you had a good birthday I think taking cakes is a really great idea. Please don't assume people are being thoughtless, there seems to be a lot of confusion as to where you belong. And now that it is your birthday, you may feel as though you belong nowhere and it brings out all the old securities like the time when there was no one to play with at school. As other posters have said, this work situation should be addressed asap.

lamiashiro Wed 23-Mar-16 10:20:51

I think it's a bit odd to expect your company and work colleagues to celebrate your birthday. In fact, I'd actively avoid letting my colleagues find out when my birthday is and would massively dislike any kind of fuss, card, cake etc. but then I am a bit of a misanthrope.

thecitydoc Wed 23-Mar-16 11:03:08

I think it is very odd for any adult to get upset about people not celebrating their birthday - that's for young children. There is no such thing as a special birthday. YABVU

2ndSopranosRule Wed 23-Mar-16 11:10:05

All our birthdays are up in the staff room with the next birthday highlighted with a marker. Mine was missed out. Normally we bring in treats by means of thanks for all the birthday wishes, and as I got no greetings (noone even managed to say happy birthday), I brought in no treats. Their loss.

My boss bought me a bottle of wine though which was very much appreciated.

ctjoy103 Wed 23-Mar-16 11:11:06

Yes yabu, they are your colleagues and a bit precious to expect anyone to remember your birthday with all the other important things going on at work.

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