Let Them Eat Cake

20 Oct

A coworker recently commented to me on the strangeness of a common office ritual. Why is it that offices so frequently use an employee’s departure as an excuse to eat cake? I don’t know if had ever occurred to me before how backwards this is. Doesn’t it make more sense to throw a party for your new employees to say “Hey! Welcome to the family! We’re so glad you’re here!” rather than throwing a party for people who are leaving you for someone else? It’s almost like saying “Thanks for going; obviously we didn’t appreciate you enough before or you probably wouldn’t have left. Honestly we’re all just glad to have an excuse to eat cake.”

While I have partaken in many a goodbye cake, I have never seen an office bring in a “first day” cake to celebrate new employees. I even had one job where I arrived for my first day and no one even knew who I was or why I was there (the person who had hired me was on vacation and had apparently forgotten to inform the staff about me). In contrast, when I left that job I got cupcakes and a goodbye card.

I think it’s time we start a new trend: the first-day cake. Who’s with me?


Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Life in General


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Let Them Eat Cake

  1. Jenel

    October 20, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Actually, I’ve started several jobs where there wasn’t a party on my first day, but the boss takes me out for a very nice lunch 🙂 better than the cake.

    As for the going away party, it’s a way of wishing someone well and telling them they’ll be missed. And the better the party, the more you were appreciated 😉 (When I left US Bank, I actually almost felt guilty because my going away gifts were so kick ass… )

    • karifur

      October 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      I don’t think I have ever gotten a welcome lunch either. And though I have had received several going away things, I have never gotten anything that could be qualified as a “kick-ass” gift. Mostly just cake. and usually crappy marble sheet-cakes with tons of that extra-sugary frosting that I hate.

  2. Mary

    October 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Wow – when I left US Bank, I’m not sure the door could have hit me fast enough as far as the “mgmt” was concerned. Good for you Jenel.


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