Not long ago I was happy to celebrate my birthday – with my friends and family – and I extended an invitation to the place I currently work so we can go out on my treat.
I usually do this in Romania as my friend list is quite small (the number can be counted on one hand) and as their birthdays come around, I get invited out as well on their treat. This is a wonderful way to keep friendships alight and it allows the host of the party to feel happy about sharing their birthday happiness with others. Sharing a meal, sharing a life.
It was my mistake now that I think about it.
I thought that British people were the same.
Last year, I invited my six colleagues out in the town and we had a wonderful time out. They got me a cute cookie monster t-shirt and cake and I treated them to Frank’s Steakhouse.
This year, we were more (8) and It’s still an acceptable number if you think about it.
So I made my invitation again for my birthday – to get the entire department out for a meal at a new Thai place in the middle of Northampton.
All of a sudden, excitement issued from one of the newer colleagues and she invited more people to my party. A guy also decided to bring his girlfriend along. A guy I don’t like showed up as well. There were 10 people. This is only because two of the original team members I invited cancelled out and 2 new ones + 2 more showed up.
I was telling myself – OK, this is not as bad…
Then my boss started berating me on how I did not invite the Account Manager to this party… That I should call him and invite him.
I told him that he might have gone home – and he looked really upset.
Really – I don’t go around planning his birthday party! I don’t go and invite people that I like to his party! I avoided any discussion with him on the matter but I think this should not be done! Am I the only one?!
They beat me to the restaurant and they were already seated by the time I arrived. The only places I could sit were in the corner of the table (the corner usually dedicated for the less important family members at a family dinner).
I sat down and then the party began.
I heard chatter all around me, heard people ordering starters & mains and sides, drinks and beers- almost without a glance at me.
I have never felt so alone and left out at a thing that was supposed to be a celebration in my honour.. They gave me a present – a card signed by all of them, with a small note from each. The guy I didn’t like wrote
“Happy birthday you crazy bitch!”
…. yeah, real classy…
He was like “Oh – did you see my message? It’s funny ’cause you’re such a bitch!”
I didn’t think it was funny.
I replied – “Oh, I knew it was from you – it speaks loads about your character”
Oh – that did not go down well with him! He sulked and tried a retort but it did not come out as he wanted so he decided to just order a bit more…
The food was absolutely amazing! I believe that was the only thing that made the evening bearable!
I had spicy mushroom soup and sea bass. So yummy that I promised myself I will go there again for a meal with my true friends.
For the future – I learned what I need to do:
Do not tell anyone at your work when your birthday is. It is a personal event in your lifetime and you would not want to share it with the wrong people.
The more you share with people, the more ammunition you give them to hurt you.
I decided the morning after that I do not wish to be in the company of these people next year come.
I’ll start my search for a new place where I can work and hopefully the people would be of better quality and not just sheep.