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The Office Birthday Card

I don’t do well with office politics. I don’t attend pot lucks, or Christmas parties. I’m not a jerk or anything but, I just keep it all about business, and don’t want to fall into any gossip traps or feel like I am in a high school cafeteria. Recently, our unit has been under attack ever since people started filling grievances, and now we are told we are going to be dismantled. I am supposed to get a letter by the end by the month informing me of where I will be transferred if in fact they decide to move me. Even though they are dismantling the unit, that doesn’t mean all of us will be reassigned but, you never know.

I never filled a grievance. I’ve always done superb work helping families dealing with their loved once with mental illness so, I am pissed. I love my job, I love helping people, and there is a need for the work that I do, and now the future is unclear.

Having said that, I know the people that filled grievances. I know the ring leaders and those that spear headed the operation to take down our unit, and now the other coworkers that didn’t file a grievance walk on egg shells around them. It’s terrible. Every morning I walk into work and one of the ringleaders says, “Good morning.” And should I not respond, she could file a grievance and say I am not cordial in the workplace. Who knows. So every morning I swallow my abhorrence for the situation and quickly respond, “Good morning.” It is so fake, lame, annoying, and stupid but, that is the culture that has been established since all these grievances were filled with Human Resources.

But now that we’ve been told we’re being dismantled, I don’t want to play nice. I don’t want to fake a good morning. What’s the point? But, I also just don’t need any further drama in the situation. I’ve done a good job at distancing myself so, I should probably just lay low and try to get along. Whatever that means.

Yesterday, a birthday card was circulated for the main leader of the grievance cabal. One of the co-workers who didn’t file a grievance handed it to me to sign and I was like great. I simply wrote, “Happy Birthday Teresa, Erica.” All the other signatures were extended notes about having a great year, and you’re still young and fabulous and your such a diva etc. I wanted to barf. So I handed back the card and my co-worker took a pen and tagged onto my note and wrote, “and Doug.” Then he took it to another co-worker outside of the cabal that was always at odds with the person who started this whole mess and wrote, “and Simon.” So the note ended up being from all three of us, “Happy Birthday, Erica and Doug and Simon.”

A slight jab but, after all the fake good mornings, the pending dismantle, I played “nice,” and signed the card, and played along, but, not really.

It blows my mind that I look at a situation where there are good people doing good work and somehow someone so unhappy with their existence has to bring an entire department under observation, and everyone pays a price for it when they didn’t have a hand in any of it.

The sad irony is that the birthday card went to someone that is somehow untouchable now, for all this, meanwhile doing zero work yet, caused such havoc cause, HR doesn’t want any problems with someone that’s a problem.

THAT’S a problem.

The Office Birthday Card

Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough , Undressed, and I'm Not Playing.

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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2019). The Office Birthday Card. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 27 Aug 2019
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