Author Topic: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust *Update Post 11, 12 & 20  (Read 6663 times)

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Judah

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2013, 03:55:22 PM »
I'm surprised by those that don't think telling people it's your birthday is a bid for attention. If the response was "oh" or "ok" or nothing, the same as I would respond to someone telling me they are having lunch, or the sun is shining, would you be happy with that?

I'm still not understanding what attention, exactly, you think we expect.  It's just the same as if I were to mention anything else in my life: "I'm going out to dinner tonight" without "because it's my birthday" would still be met with "Have fun!" or "Where are you dining?" or something similar.  A person saying "Oh" or "Ok" dismissively would be a little odd, if we were in the middle of conversation.  There's no need to acknowledge the birthday specifically, though.  Why would there be?

I agree. I'm not really understanding where the attention seeking is coming from. The most I would expect is a "happy birthday".
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SleepyKitty

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2013, 04:03:38 PM »
[quote author=LazyDaisy link=topic=126075.msg2912937#msg2912937
I'm surprised by those that don't think telling people it's your birthday is a bid for attention. If the response was "oh" or "ok" or nothing, the same as I would respond to someone telling me they are having lunch, or the sun is shining, would you be happy with that? If not, and you expect more, then in fact you do want attention for your special occasion, but you can't dictate to others what their acceptable reaction or offering is.
[/quote]

I do want to point out that special occasions are not a free pass for people to react or offer anything they feel like. Just as the person having the occasion has certain etiquette boundaries, so too does the person giving a gift or a reaction. That means not overstepping the relationship and giving someone a gift or reaction they feel uncomfortable with. The person receiving a gift *does* have some rights within etiquette - there are multiple situations in which a response other than 'Thank You' is allowed when receiving an unwanted gift.

This is particularly the case, I believe, in a business relationship as opposed to a social relationship. The OP gave the gift in the context of a business relationship - to make a client feel appreciated. Despite her intentions it did the opposite, and the client responded accordingly. I don't think the client was rude, although he could have been nicer about it.

FWIW, if I told someone it was my birthday and they responded with "Oh, okay," I'd be fine with that. I see telling someone it's my birthday as along the same lines as "I'm going to FavoriteBand's concert tonight" or "I'm going on vacation". I mean, at what point does something stop being part of making casual conversation and become a bid for attention?

LazyDaisy

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2013, 04:38:55 PM »
I'm surprised by those that don't think telling people it's your birthday is a bid for attention. If the response was "oh" or "ok" or nothing, the same as I would respond to someone telling me they are having lunch, or the sun is shining, would you be happy with that?

I'm still not understanding what attention, exactly, you think we expect.  It's just the same as if I were to mention anything else in my life: "I'm going out to dinner tonight" without "because it's my birthday" would still be met with "Have fun!" or "Where are you dining?" or something similar.  A person saying "Oh" or "Ok" dismissively would be a little odd, if we were in the middle of conversation.  There's no need to acknowledge the birthday specifically, though.  Why would there be?
Wishing someone "Happy Birthday" or "Congratulations" is attention. If you didn't want at least that much, OK or Oh as a conversational response wouldn't be odd or dismissive at all. I'm not saying it's wrong to want that sort of attention on your birthday, in which case tell whomever you want to and enjoy the response, but to tell someone it's your birthday, and then get annoyed when you receive attention, is ridiculous. Oopsie didn't sleuth out info he was trying to keep quiet and spill his secret to everyone against his wishes; he shared the information. A single balloon and cupcake given quietly and directly to the client is not an over-the-top gift for a birthday, especially in light of what she has presented as her history of giving little gifts for even trivial holidays like St. Pat's. Giving something personal like jewelry, cologne, or a new car, would certainly be OTT, and he would be well within his rights to decline. If the client didn't want any response, he should have kept the information to himself. That's why I say the fail in the original post is entirely on the client, not on Oopsie.
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YummyMummy66

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2013, 04:52:12 PM »
Could he have taken it the wrong way?   Client or not, a female buying a male a cupcake and a balloon might have come across to him as in, "Uh oh, is she interested in me?".   

This would depend on the type of working relationship you have.

But, I am thinking that this guy thinks you are interested in him other than just business.

CreteGirl

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2013, 05:25:43 PM »
I'm thinking it is more of a status within the company kind of thing.  I think it is more typical to see administrative personnel with balloons at their desk.  You do not usually see company executives with balloons or cupcakes.  He may have been uncomfortable for that reason.

oopsie

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2013, 05:43:37 PM »
Well, I was there on business for a third time this afternoon and I did not address the balloon/cupcake incident at all nor did he. It was business as usual. We are working on a potential deal and he did say "if you can make this happen on my birthday, that would be awesome!"

I couldn't help but think to myself "wow, for someone who doesn't like any fuss being made, he sure does mention it enough."  ::)


Could he have taken it the wrong way?   Client or not, a female buying a male a cupcake and a balloon might have come across to him as in, "Uh oh, is she interested in me?".   

This would depend on the type of working relationship you have.

But, I am thinking that this guy thinks you are interested in him other than just business.

I guess it's possible. He has met my husband and children though and there has never been anything the least inappropriate said or done in the past.

I'm thinking it is more of a status within the company kind of thing.  I think it is more typical to see administrative personnel with balloons at their desk.  You do not usually see company executives with balloons or cupcakes.  He may have been uncomfortable for that reason.

Not an executive. He was the only one working and it's a small retail business. He was working the cash register.


CreteGirl

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2013, 06:12:54 PM »
Well, I was there on business for a third time this afternoon and I did not address the balloon/cupcake incident at all nor did he. It was business as usual. We are working on a potential deal and he did say "if you can make this happen on my birthday, that would be awesome!"

I couldn't help but think to myself "wow, for someone who doesn't like any fuss being made, he sure does mention it enough."  ::)


Could he have taken it the wrong way?   Client or not, a female buying a male a cupcake and a balloon might have come across to him as in, "Uh oh, is she interested in me?".   

This would depend on the type of working relationship you have.

But, I am thinking that this guy thinks you are interested in him other than just business.

I guess it's possible. He has met my husband and children though and there has never been anything the least inappropriate said or done in the past.

I'm thinking it is more of a status within the company kind of thing.  I think it is more typical to see administrative personnel with balloons at their desk.  You do not usually see company executives with balloons or cupcakes.  He may have been uncomfortable for that reason.

Not an executive. He was the only one working and it's a small retail business. He was working the cash register.

Given all that information, I think he was rude. 

katycoo

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust *Update Post 11, 12 & 20
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2013, 06:33:28 PM »
I think the cupcake was a nice gesture.  The balloonm was over the top.

I don't think he was fishing for attention when he mentioned it was his birthday.  While he might not be private about that info, he may also not wish to broadcast it everywhere.  Carrying a balloon around for the rest of the day is broadcasting.  BNot carrying it around is publicly rejecting your gift.  The cupcake can be eaten, and then its gone.  I think the ballon may have made him uncomfortable.

doodlemor

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust *Update Post 11, 12 & 20
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2013, 07:16:59 PM »
I think the cupcake was a nice gesture.  The balloonm was over the top.

I don't think he was fishing for attention when he mentioned it was his birthday.  While he might not be private about that info, he may also not wish to broadcast it everywhere.  Carrying a balloon around for the rest of the day is broadcasting.  BNot carrying it around is publicly rejecting your gift.  The cupcake can be eaten, and then its gone.  I think the ballon may have made him uncomfortable.

My thoughts, too.  I think that he wouldn't have minded a whole box of cupcakes, because they are yummy and can be put out of sight.  I think that the balloon was a bit flashy for this particular guy.

oopsie

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust *Update Post 11, 12 & 20
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2013, 07:31:55 PM »
I think the cupcake was a nice gesture.  The balloonm was over the top.

I don't think he was fishing for attention when he mentioned it was his birthday.  While he might not be private about that info, he may also not wish to broadcast it everywhere.  Carrying a balloon around for the rest of the day is broadcasting.  BNot carrying it around is publicly rejecting your gift.  The cupcake can be eaten, and then its gone.  I think the ballon may have made him uncomfortable.

My thoughts, too.  I think that he wouldn't have minded a whole box of cupcakes, because they are yummy and can be put out of sight.  I think that the balloon was a bit flashy for this particular guy.

True enough. Although he has a back room and a private office that he could have safely hidden it from sight if that was the problem. He could have simply popped it after I had left (he may very well have too) and he wouldn't have had to take it with him when he left. I would be none the wiser.


mw8242

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust *Update Post 11, 12 & 20
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2013, 02:54:32 PM »
Sorry your gesture didn't go over well. I personally love my birthday, I get to celebrate me and I'm pretty awesome :)
I would have appreciated the gesture but my guess is he may feel guilty that he told you it was his birthday and you got him a cupcake & balloon. Not sure if he is the boss but he may be worried his boss will think he's fishing for gifts from the vendor and it could be uncomfortable.

Regardless it was nice of you to be thoughtful.

Lynn2000

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust *Update Post 11, 12 & 20
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2013, 11:12:21 AM »
To me it sounds like a nice gesture that just turned awkward, as some things do in life. No need to apologize or draw more attention to it. He could have been more gracious in accepting the gift but it seems like he was taken aback. Since you obviously picked up the cupcake and balloon at the last minute after going out, maybe he thought the attention on him was too much--for St. Patrick's Day you could have been giving a scratch-off ticket to all of your clients as you visited them, so no one was singled out and that's why he was okay with it. Maybe he doesn't realize that you like to give extra gifts for personal occasions, or that you do it for all your clients.

You are right though, if he was uncomfortable with the attention, he definitely shouldn't have mentioned his birthday a second time.  ::) Personally I don't always mention when it's my birthday, because I don't want someone to think I'm fishing for attention. The most I usually do for other people is say warmly, "Oh, happy birthday!" because when it's sincere I think it makes people feel good; and that's the most *I* would want. But, I've had other people react to my casual birthday mention in weird ways--like, suddenly they feel obligated to insist on taking me out to lunch (and you can tell they just feel obligated), or guilty that they didn't get me something, or enthusiastically take it as an excuse to make a fuss, or something like that. It's actually an interesting sociological experiment, I think, to mention to random people that it's your birthday and see what happens.

Maybe in two or three weeks you could casually mention that you get personal occasion gifts for other clients all the time. Like, "Oh, those flowers are beautiful, they remind me of the ones I got for Other Client's housewarming a couple months ago." In some contexts that might seem braggy, but it this case it might point out to him that you do this kind of thing all the time, and mean it well.

One more thought: Some people see birthday gifts as a reciprocal thing, because everybody has a birthday. So when you did something special for his birthday, maybe his first thought was, "Crud, now I have to figure out when her birthday is and remember to do something for it!"
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peaches

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust *Update Post 11, 12 & 20
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2013, 11:27:54 AM »
I don't see recognizing a client's birthday as being odd or out of place. For many years, DH worked with a company that had insurance agents as their clients, and he typically took an agent out to lunch on the agent's birthday (or at least offered to). 

In my experience, balloons and men don't mix. Perhaps that was the reason for his reaction. Or maybe this person is all-business all of the time (making a deal on his birthday is his idea of fun).

It's just one of those awkward things that happen sometimes. He could have been nicer about it, though.

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust *Update Post 11, 12 & 20
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2013, 12:05:12 PM »
You made a kind gesture to wish someone a happy b-day; something you wouldn't have known about had he not told you. You were fine; he was quite rude, imho. Even if he didn't particularly like the balloon & cupcake, he should have been gracious in accepting them as an act of goodwill and kindness. You did nothing inappropriate and I hope his oafish behavior doesn't deter you from continuing as you have been in the future.

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Re: Birthday Balloon Goes Bust *Update Post 11, 12 & 20
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2013, 04:42:48 PM »
This is speculation of course, but I wonder if Client responded the way he did not because he disliked the gesture, but because he was really touched and surprised by it and didn't know how to appropriately express that. I ran into that situation when some co-workers and I gave our new boss a birthday gift and got a similar reaction from her. We thought she either hated the gift or thought it was inappropriate, but later she wrote us a lovely e-mail thanking us for it and saying how much she liked it. I think she was just caught off-guard because it was unexpected and she had a hard time coming up with words at the time it was given.

Even if that's not the case in the OP's story, I certainly don't think OP did anything wrong.
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