Dear Lifehacker, I recently joined a company where every team member's birthday is celebrated with cake and the singing of Happy Birthday. I hate celebrating my birthday at work as it feels like nothing more than a HR tick-a-box requirement for managers and to be honest I find it cringe-worthy. How do I tactfully tell my manager I don't want to celebrate my birthday without looking grumpy? Cheers, Cakehole Shut
Office party picture from Shutterstock
To put it bluntly, you do seem a bit grumpy. You're basically willing to deny everyone a miniature party due to a personal bugbear -- is it really too much for you to endure for the sake of your colleagues? Even if the whole exercise is as cynical as you claim, there's no reason why you can't focus on the positives; namely free cake and a few minutes of socialising on company time.
That said, if you're flat-out against celebrating your birthday at work, a friendly email to your manager a week or so beforehand should be all that's required. The trick is to keep the explanation brief and casual. Alternatively, you could always take the day off and throw a proper celebration!
If any readers have suggestions of their own, let CS know in the comments section below.
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