My last full-time job was working as an accountant in the basement of our local hospital. It was a small office of about 10 women and our male boss. Most of the ladies had degrees in accounting while mine was in business management. I was one of the youngest in the department, so I was the low-girl on the totem pole in lots of ways. The ladies were all very nice, but they kept to themselves. They didn't want to share any of the fun accounting work, so I got to do lots of grunt work, as my friend Natalie called it; think Cinderella forced to work for the IRS. One of my actual jobs was the laundry statistic for the Medicare cost report. Most of the other girls were your stereotypical accountants and were not really outgoing. One of my first ventures in my new department was to learn everyone's birthdays, which were not usually recognized or celebrated.
I started buying birthday cards and passed the card around for everyone to sign. I was quickly given the task of social director for the department, which meant birthday cards and holiday food days. I started working in the office in August, and my birthday was in May. The first year I worked there, someone was kind enough to buy me a card in return - not that it's all about that. By my second birthday in the office, I was in the middle of numerous failed infertility treatments, and I recently had braces put on my teeth. I get canker sores a lot, and my mouth was freaking out about all of the metal inside it. It was a severe allergic reaction to say the least. On my actual birthday, all of my coworkers forgot what day it was, and I ended up at my doctor's office getting my canker sores burnt over with silver nitrate sticks. It was so painful that I had tears running down my cheeks.
I was so mad at all of my coworkers. Short of quiting, I didn't know what to do, so I called my Aunt Barb for advice. She has always been my rock. I remember once when I was a teenager she took me out to eat just to spend time with me. She told me that no one at her office ever remembered her birthday either, so she sent herself an anonymous cake. She even gave me the number of her baker. I called and had a strawberry cake with butter cream icing delivered the very next day. It was decorated with pretty roses and read, "Happy Belated Birthday! You're the Best!" It was kind of an inside joke because they all thought I was the boss's favorite, which I was not, BTW. Would he forget his favorite employee's birthday, after all? When the cake was delivered, I acted so surprised. I thanked them profusely and begged them to tell me who sent it. It was hilarious, and I never told them I sent it.
The next year for my birthday, they surprised me with a food day in my honor cake and all.