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About this work birthday collection.....

(56 Posts)
maddiemookins16mum Mon 18-Feb-19 19:18:50

I work in an office of about 65 people.
There are various teams who sit together (6 teams in total) and there is me and another lady who are our own team but we work very closely with the other teams in a support role. Without us, their roles would be much harder but we are all on the same level, just different aspects of our business.
When it’s someones birthday, the team that the birthday person is on do a collection for them, decorate their desk and get some gifts. The average collection is £30/£40.
It’s the first birthday of my colleague (let’s call her L) on our ‘team of two’ since I’ve been there and she mentioned last week she was going out on this Saturday night just gone for her birthday (this was yesterday btw).
So last week I put the feelers out about ‘what is done’ re collections and nobody really seemed interested. For full disclosure, I tolerate my colleague and we’ll never be good friends but we work ok together.
Our Line Manager also mentioned it was L’s birthday and I said I’d got a card and had passed it to the teams for those who wanted to sign it.
The card made it’s way back with about 16 signatures. No money was forthcoming whatsoever from a single person.
So I had two choices, get L decent presents (like everyone else gets) or stick the card and a £2 bar of Galaxy on her desk.

I’ve ended up spending about £25 on presents, mentioned it to those who signed the card and was met with ‘oh lovely, she’ll like that’ etc etc.

I just feel a bit hard done by and really don’t want to have to repeat this next year.

I didn’t even spend £25 on my own DP’s birthday last year!

AuntMarch Mon 18-Feb-19 19:20:39

I wouldn't have done it. I'd have given the group card, and a small gift with a separate card that showed it was from me.

Funkyslippers Mon 18-Feb-19 19:24:55

That's crazy that the teams have a collection for everyone's birthday! We don't even do a card for birthdays anymore as trying to get everyone to sign became a right pain in the arse as we don't really have a 'base' as such. Someone tried to do a collection for a birthday recently and didn't really get anywhere as it wasn't fair on everyone else as noone else gets a gift

Namechangeforthiscancershit Mon 18-Feb-19 19:26:46

We do a collection on birthdays, though only a couple of quid each. It is a faff but it’s nice for team building, and we wouldn’t let anyone be left out.

Do you know what happened before you joined?

Seniorcitizen1 Mon 18-Feb-19 19:55:41

You should have posted before you spent £25 rather than after so you could act on the advice. For future I wouldn’t do anything about colleagues’ b/days

MakeItRain Mon 18-Feb-19 19:59:42

Well you've done it now so just enjoy giving it to her. I wouldn't worry about next year yet. See what happens on your birthday. You might well get a card and a bar of chocolate then you can do that next year too!

Pinkyyy Mon 18-Feb-19 20:08:57

There's too many of you to be doing birthday collections, I'd opt out. That's more than one birthday a week. If you gave £1 to each collection, you'd be paying more than £60 a year on presents for colleagues who don't even work in your department.

maddiemookins16mum Mon 18-Feb-19 20:25:54

I just need to clarify, only the team that the birthday person is in puts in for their collection on the main teams. So Red team with 8 people only do the birthdays in that team throughout the year.
Blue team with 10 people etc etc.
Red team doesn’t also put in or sign cards for the other teams.
There are only two in our team, but we are the only ‘support’ staff in the dept.
So basically I’m thinking I should have just got her a card/small gift from me 😳😳

SB1013 Mon 18-Feb-19 20:34:14

Have you given the gift already? Otherwise is it something you can take back? It was a really lovely thing for you to do but i think some chocs or a bottle of prosecco would have been enough.

Millimollimandi Mon 18-Feb-19 20:39:53

Weird. In our organisation it is the line manager who organises the card and present - you should have not have felt responsible for this.

ViolaD77 Mon 18-Feb-19 22:17:24

We have this all the time at work. Might Aswell set up a direct debit cos its always someone's birthday, someone's ill, baby, wedding, funeral etc. I'd of got her a small gesture from yourself. If she was expecting something from the whole office and doesn't she'll get the hint. Not nice I know but these things get out of hand 😐

talktoo Mon 18-Feb-19 22:35:01

So every team looks after their own team members. And you are a small team of 2. But you felt that one of the other teams should contribute to your team because you are a small support team? Is that it? Do you contribute to that team's collections? If not then YABU.

Guineapiglet345 Mon 18-Feb-19 22:48:46

I stopped putting into these because it was just too much, when the collection comes around now I just ‘don’t have any cash on me’.

I always make sure my manager knows I don’t want a collection for my birthday either, I go to work to earn money, not spend it.

JustTwoMoreSecs Tue 19-Feb-19 00:01:49

Do you contribute to that team's collections? If not then YABU
Good point

NotANotMan Tue 19-Feb-19 00:17:49

Do you and other lady contribute to other teams' birthday collections? Because if you do then stop. Return the £25 of gifts and buy her a fancy cupcake. Set the expectations low now so you don't set yourself up!

CSIblonde Tue 19-Feb-19 00:36:22

I've temped all over the place on maternity cover contracts for years & birthday presents have never been the norm. Anywhere. Cards only. What muppet thought that one up. It's a minefield if you have personality clashes or backstabbing office culture.

Ihavealwaysknown Tue 19-Feb-19 01:18:43

We work in a team of 8 and each year you draw a person to be in charge of birthday present (I guess a bit like secret Santa) for £20 max. You then buy the card and get everyone to sign it, and hand gift over. It just meant people weren’t forever being hounded to give money over (there’s 5 of us all born in May/June)

maddiemookins16mum Tue 19-Feb-19 06:26:07

Yes we do contribute to the other teams collections, otherwise I’d have never sent the card over to the teams in the first place.

Parky04 Tue 19-Feb-19 06:34:11

Collections are a pain in the arse. We do it for major birthdays, marriage, maternity and leaving.

Justgivemesomepeace Tue 19-Feb-19 06:35:12

We have a birthday club. We £3 a month in. It means on your birthday you get gifts to the value of £36. not all the team chose to be in it so it means if you dont want to be contributing to collections all the time you dont have to without looking like scrooge, and if you like a bit of a fuss on your birthday you get one. Works really well for us.

Aridane Tue 19-Feb-19 06:43:02

I wouldn't like let that enforced present giv No

Horsemenoftheaclopalypse Tue 19-Feb-19 06:43:46

I hate that I am dating this but

you did the smart/right thing - yes it’s bullshit but it keeps the status quo.
Honestly if you like your job, The last thing you need is a weird grudge being held against you (and this sort of thing does happen because offices are weird).

Your birthday will come and she’ll either do the same (which is fine?), nothing or something small (in which case a new precedent is set)

Purplecatshopaholic Tue 19-Feb-19 06:45:30

We stopped doing cards and birthday things last year as it was just getting silly, there were cards and collections constantly!

topcat2014 Tue 19-Feb-19 06:54:19

We do cards for 'milestones' - recently had 3 60ths, but nothing else.

No children have cropped up see age of teams above

I personally buy the whole office an Easter egg, but that is one of my quirks smile, and is £30 once a year.

AlwaysCheddar Tue 19-Feb-19 06:55:47

Sorry but you’re a fool. Get get the galaxy. Why do you spend more on the colleague you barely tolerate than your husband?! That’s just nuts

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