Birthdays. It seems to all go down hill after a certain age. Rather than celebrating your day of birth, it is the recognition that you are another year older, or another year that you have survived another day.
As you get older, you may as well start to enjoy your day. Even the Facebook "Happy Birthdays", though Facebook reminds everyone it is your birthday, if you are like me, you do not log on for almost the entire day, and finally, you navigate to Facebook, and you have received dozens to hundreds of notifications. Whether you are sitting at home alone or just spending time with your family on your birthday, there is still something special about receiving so many birthday wishes on your birthday. You do get the honor, as you should, of thanking everyone for recognizing you on your day of birth, your birthday! Enjoy it! It is the only time that all of your friends, family, and acquaintances will see that you are still alive and doing alright. Other than that, you might go out for a drink or two, you might stay in, you might just do nothing, and that is an awesome birthday.
When it comes to the workplace, this is the primary group of people, the most direct group of people, that you have contact with throughout your days, months, and years, who may or may not know it is your birthday. Instead of always feeling like co-workers, birthdays should be the day that everyone really feels like family, and gathers around to celebrate their co-workers' birthday.
Recently, my birthday passed, as it does every year, but the last year or two have been different. My co-workers actually knew it was my birthday, said happy birthday, and actually threw a party for me with a birthday card. Of course, one person bought the card, made everyone sign it, and everyone chipped in a few bucks for pizza, cake, and some chips. It also helped that I shared a birthday with my manager, so my co-workers threw us both a party the day after our birthdays. The truth is though, both the manager and I took off for our birthdays, got paid for it, enjoyed the day (not together), and then we both returned to work the day after our birthdays.
I can only remember one previous birthday before it at another job, in which the secretary/go-to girl/"Mom" of the place made sure that everyone got a birthday card signed by everyone and a small cake. Before this, however, I remember maybe getting a "happy birthday" or "oh, it's your birthday today? Happy Birthday!" It's a nice gesture, but having your boss, your supervisor, manager, or co-workers do something on your birthday without you having to remind them, even though you hinted it was going to be your birthday "next week" last week, makes all the difference. Before that, I used to just show up and work, as if it were another day.
As I'm getting older though, I have come to realize that I need to cherish each year of my life, especially my birthday, because though there seem to be plenty, it only happens once a year, and you never know how many birthdays you will get, especially birthday moments to cherish and share with other people.
Whatever you do in the company and it is someone's birthday, especially if you are the owner of the company or the manager, there is something special about any corporation that takes a few minutes out of the day, 15 minutes or a half hour during a lunch break, to honor and make an employee feel special on their birthday.
The small gesture goes a long way in making someone feel good, loved, cherished, and unique on their special day, their birthday. Whether someone or everyone chips in for a card and some cake or pizza, it makes the day better for everyone, and it makes employees even more loyal to the company, because those who remember birthdays are not just co-workers anymore, but are family.
Every company should adopt the policy to celebrate the birthday of their employees. Whether the company is small or large, there is always time to celebrate a birthday. If you are an employee or a group of employees of a company and nothing seems to happen on anyone's birthday, than take a stand and start celebrating birthdays!
The cost of everyone contributing some money for a pizza, a cake, a card, a lottery ticket, or a lunch shared among everyone can go a long way and ends up being very cheap if everyone gives a few dollars. Trust me, it will break no ones bank and the favor will be returned each and every birthday. It is also a great surprise for everyone to feel younger again for a few minutes, no matter how old everyone is, to celebrate a birthday party.
It's not just another day, it's someone's birthday! Happy Birthday to my readers, visitors, co-workers, friends, and family!
Today is your day!
Matthew Gates is a freelance web developer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.