One morning last week, I was sitting in my office when someone on my staff came to my door. “It’s time for cake,” she whispered. I peered at the clock on my computer… 10:30 a.m. OK, I thought to myself, such is life in the Bursar’s Office. So I joined my colleagues, sang “Happy Birthday” to one of them, and ate chocolate cake (in this case, with chocolate ice cream to boot) – all at around 10:30 in the morning.
The timing isn’t always the same – usually it’s closer to lunchtime – but this is how we celebrate the birthday of every Bursar employee who wishes to be celebrated. It’s part of what makes working in the Bursar’s Office such an enjoyable experience. We certainly have our fair share of stressful moments; speaking with students and their parents about financial matters can often prove quite challenging. But we try to balance that with some fun times that give us at least a few minutes to relax and come together as a group.
In addition to the birthday celebrations, our office coordinates Purple Fridays, Black and Gold Fridays, and even the occasional Orange and Black Friday, in the hopes that a certain local sports team finally snaps out of its 14-year doldrums. We also have seasonal lunch parties such as an “Unofficial Start of Summer” party in late May, a “Welcome to Fall/Start of Football Season” party in September, a holiday party in December, and coming very soon, a “Welcome to Spring/Start of Baseball Season” party.
I’m sure our office is not unique in our desire to occasionally blow off some steam and build some camaraderie. But our approach is sometimes a little unorthodox.
By the way, as I type this it’s approaching 10:30am on my birthday. I wonder when someone will be coming to my door this morning…