I’ll never forget one of my employees, Gretchen. She certainly was a spark plug in the office; always laughing and enjoying her time with fellow co-workers. However, one mention of her birthday always ticked her off because she hated to think about getting older. She already dyed her hair to keep the grays at bay, and loved her spa days to minimize wrinkling. Gretchen even claimed that her birthday was February 29 just so she didn’t have to deal with it every single year! As the good boss that I am, I knew her little trick and I let it slide, not trying to blow her cover. However, I was planning on going through my slew of business birthday cards in order to find the perfect one for her. That of course, was just the beginning.
As a boss, I do like to keep things very professional. However, I don’t want my employees to feel like they are in prison. I let them chat amongst themselves during downtime, and I like to surprise them with little gestures from time to time, such as corporate greeting cards congratulating them on a job well done, or free lunch or dessert. My grandmother always made my birthday feel special, and I like to convey those same feelings to everyone, including my colleagues.
Now you know why I was somewhat upset for Gretchen’s lack of enthusiasm toward her own special day. I knew I had some work cut out for me, so I did some investigating and found out she could never pass up a piece of scrumptious red velvet cake. My friend, Bobby, owned an award winning bakery. I walked over, told my buddy about my dilemma and pulled out my camera. I took a picture of Bobby holding a piece of red velvet cake with Gretchen’s name on it- literally. I printed out the picture at my desk (thank you technology, or else I would’ve needed by 1980’s Polaroid), placed it within the birthday card, explained that she had a treat waiting for her, and signed my name.
I slyly gave Gretchen the card on her birthday (April 14, NOT February 29), and she glared at me while I grinned. Later that day, she surprised me with a lovely thank you card written with pretty gold foil. I started laughing hysterically when I opened the card- inside was a picture with Gretchen devouring her cake. Underneath she had written, “Don’t worry- I ate a piece for you too!”