I work for a company that sells employee birthday cards, so it is only appropriate that its workers would get a birthday card from those who employ them. The cards we receive are very familiar to us since they come from our own line of birthday greeting cards. It is what is written inside that makes these cards unique. In our situation, four key people in the company sign the birthday cards every year: the owner, the president, the department manager and one’s direct supervisor. In the beginning, the comments were nice, but basically, generic. Expressions such as “Have a great day,” “All the best,” or just “Happy Birthday” are common on most of these employee birthday cards. During the course of my 13 years of employment here, the once generic sentiments have changed somewhat in recent years.
Perhaps I have been working here too long, but the words I now receive seem to be a lot more personal and not always so “nice.” Some examples include: “You are looking fabulous at 60!” (I was only in my 40s); “Eat some cake, you are making the rest of us look bad” (after having lost a few pounds); “Enjoy, but no gloating over the Yankee defeats” (after my favorite Red Sox team won their second World Series). Am I upset by these comments? Not at all, because not only do I have thick skin, I like to dish it out as well. The people I work with have become my family over the years, sharing all my ups and downs. It makes me feel good knowing that they feel comfortable giving me the business. But keep in mind, when their birthdays roll around, I also can send out birthday cards to my fellow employees. So watch out!