Okay, I let me explain the cake thing at my work. Supervisor buys for employee, and it apparently very serious business. I didn't even want to be a part of it, but they LOVE their cake so whatever. I got away with doing cake but not having to do lunch on my birthday which was nice. And I'm going to continue to avoid lunch even though my supervisor keeps asking since we didn't go and my PT assistant demanded it on my birthday. But if you understood the extreme awkwardness of both my assistants AND my supervisor and how deadening spending an hour in a social situation with them would be, you'd forgive my meanness. I'm trying to avoid situations where I want to stab myself with a fork. That is why I quit my old job.
So my PT assistant's birthday is at the end of the month. He has apparently already demanded of MY supervisor a cake and a lunch. I was just asked if I was going to do either or neither or one. I said I'd do the cake but not lunch. We don't have the cash to be flinging around on a lunch (which I've been told might cost a lot since last year he got lunch for himself + dessert + dinner for both he and his mom + dessert for the two of them (he has NO social skills and doesn't understand that it's not right to do stuff like that)) and the horror of lunch with them is just ... NO... just NO.
I like a workplace that doesn't force birthdays down everyone's throat. It's nice to do stuff like that with people you like and because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to. My old job had three really good friends and we did cakes, but rarely lunches or anything like that. But it was nice and I know that they did it from the heart and not because they felt forced.
I worry actually about the cake obsession at this place. It is not healthy to stress that much about cake.