When it’s your birthday in ‘Schland and you realize you have to make your own cake to bring to work
But… it’s my own bday…
Birthday Cake etiquette is quite different in Germany vs. US/UK/IE.
In Germany, it’s on you to bring in the cake to the office, or to provide the majority of alcohol at your party; I’ve even been to birthday dinners where the birthday kid paid for the whole tab.
In US/UK/IE, it’s on (nice) colleagues to bring in a cake for you, and in the case of a birthday dinner, the bill for the birthday person’s dinner is usually split between the other guests there, so little to no expense falls upon the birthday person.
Interestingly, both of these approaches to birthday fanfare have to do with views of egos–in Germany, the thinking is “It’s my birthday, and I am asking people to go out of their routine because of me, therefore it is polite and on me to make a cake or provide beer or pay for this dinner. Expecting someone else to do it would be egotistical.”
In the US, on the other hand, bringing in your own cake would seem, paradoxically, somewhat narcissistic ( à la “It is my birthday and now you must celebrate it.”) The thinking is that it is your day, and your friends/family should be treating you extra special–if you come in announcing with cakes etc it is your birthday, it is like you are forcibly reminding everyone that they must treat you extra special that day, whether they planned to or not.
HAVING SAID THAT, everyone loves cake. So whether it’s your birthday or your friend’s birthday or no one’s birthday at all…