Birthdays-religion-miscommunication

So, this was the last email I saw to wrap up the year 2018:

“Praying that everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!!

 We want to start things off with a bang and I am requesting everyone’s birthdays.  Just the month and the day please. 

 This way we can combine several birthdays together and celebrate with a cake and well wishes, cause we are a Family and we are all very proud and happy to have each and every one of you here!

 IF you do not celebrate birthdays because of your religion, we will respect that and you do not have to send me the info.  We still appreciate you, and happily respect you and your religion! 

 Hope to celebrate with you soon!”

My first inclination was to Reply All with a snarky note of “This is a prime example of why access to email lists should require 2-person integrity!” Mostly because I have been requesting for months (from anyone I could) to be removed from the emails groups this message came across. I haven’t supported this organization in years and their emails were clogging my inbox with absurdity.

Also, its apparent that this new contractor-office manager was just over-eager to reach out to people and should have some kind of firewall prior to mass transmission. I did a quick Google of “Which religions don’t celebrate birthdays” and it seems that the primary religion (recognizable to me at least) which doesn’t celebrate birthdays is Jehovah’s Witnesses. So, is there a LARGE contingent of JW employees at this organization which required a specific mention to religious tolerance toward birthday notifications???

WTH?

I don’t like my birthday celebrated at work for MULTIPLE reasons – none of which have an IOTA to do with religion.

  1. It’s personal and some things at work just seem ‘walked through’.
  2. It’s none of anyone’s damn business – the people I am close with at work know when my birthday is. Why do we feel the need to BROADCAST birthdays across an enterprise? Are people going to buy me a gift? Take me out for a drink? I would probably despise the person that went out of their way to memorialize my birthday because of a corporate notification.
  3. I’m getting older – I’m tired of being reminded I’m that much closer to dying! I really only care about the decades at this point. I’m not a child that needs to be celebrated for living another 365 days just cuz.

Overall, the religious tone of this person creates a resentment that I have trouble verbalizing. She starts the message off with a prayer, thereby indicating her religious leanings and then ends with the whole tolerant of other viewpoints thing. Like, it’s not already inferred??? She had to spell it out?

I mean, the message could have easily been truncated to:

” Happy New Year everyone! I’d like to collect everyone’s birthday so we can celebrate you in 2019. IF YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH IT, please send me the month and day of you special day so we can group a bunch together…..”

See??? No mention of religiousness of any kind. The ‘if you’re comfortable’ covers a wide stretch.

Am I anti-religion? Yeah, kind of. Mostly, I’m anti-communication-ignorance. And this people, is a textbook example of someone with no clue HOW to communicate. Yet, there they are, reaching out to masses and angering me enough to draft up this diatribe one afternoon.

Birthdays!! Yay!!

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