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How to Throw an Awesome Office Birthday Party

How to Throw an Awesome Office Birthday Party

Vicki Santillano | Divine Caroline

Make it a cake free-for-all.
At my first office job, I was the receptionist and therefore almost always the cake cutter. It was my responsibility to hand out slices to coworkers, though I never understood why. If I simply put them on the table instead, people would be free to pick up a plate if they wanted to. This approach also eliminates the awkwardness of declining a piece and having someone ask loudly, “You don’t want cake?!” Just arrange the plates on the table, and the people will come—albeit hesitantly, since no one wants to be the first to go for cake.

Think of it as a nice break from work.
I still can’t figure out why office workers’ gathering to enjoy afternoon dessert is so synonymous with awkward chats. I suspect events like these create a sense of forced intimacy because they center on people’s birthdays (people we don’t necessarily know that well). But if you focus on what birthday gatherings really are—a reason to leave your cubicle for a few minutes and catch up with office mates—then it seems a lot less uncomfortable. And when you act more at ease, people around you will, too.

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