Can We Not With the Birthdays At Work?


Jayla Sun
2 min readJun 10, 2022


Yes, really.

I’m still caught up over a Starbucks gift card, 6 months after the fact. That’s after I get over the giddy excitement that comes with getting anything for free.

See, I don’t expect anything, not from anyone. So, definitely not from the boss.

Birthdays just aren’t my thing.

But it’s so on par with her style to leave a bad taste in your mouth by doing something when it would have been perfectly acceptable and unquestionably better to do nothing at all.

Twenty bucks, by the way. That’s how much the gift card was for. Cause let’s not with the, “it’s not about the money, it’s about the intention, or the principle, or the thought”.

It’s about the money.

And the intention and the principle and the thought.

But when it comes to work and your boss and you can only pick one, it is about the money.

Twenty bucks is lazy. And doubly dirty when she knows you’re a tea person, not a coffee person. That you’re a book person, not an overpriced mainstream coffee joint person. That’s you’re a work (and strictly work) person, not a we’re one-big-happy-family-at-work person.

And don’t get me started on the virtual cards with iterations of the same lukewarm note from each of your co-workers proclaiming how great it is to work with you. They wish you good health. Hope you have a great day.


It’s hard not to contribute when the boss messages you directly asking if you want to add a message.

What’s the right answer here, miss?

“Please, copy and paste the message I sent you last time a teammate had a birthday and swap out the name?”

Can we not?

If we must, can I have twenty bucks to spend at the bookstore instead?

Or better yet, you can direct deposit it. And, save the virtual card. Time is precious so let’s not waste it on frivolous nonsense anymore.



Jayla Sun

sometimes it comes off funny, but i’m always being serious.