The welfare committee at my workplace broadcasts a "Happy Birthday" mail to all the coworkers on each employee's birthday. My problem with this is my coworkers would ask me for a birthday party. I don't have the money to spend on a party as I have already allocated it for my education.

I need to tell the committee not to send that email on my birthday. How could I ask that in an email? Is the below email okay?


Request not to multicast my happy birthday email

Hi , I would like to keep my birthday as private and like to avoid colleagues knowing that this time. So if not against rules and regulations, can I ask not to sent that multicast email for my birthday this time?

Thanks In Advance,
M S D Perera.

Would that hurt? Is there a better polite way to say that?

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  • 2
    Is the problem actually that you don't want people to know your birthday, or that you don't want to have a party? – Philip Kendall Aug 29 '16 at 5:27
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    Both, I don't like to have a party, and I don't want my friends to know that I was have a birthday and not given them a party. – sandun dhammika Aug 29 '16 at 5:42
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    You need to be clear that in your culture the birthday person pays for the party – paparazzo Aug 29 '16 at 7:12
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    There are people who don't celebrate their birthday for religious reasons. So forcing them to do so could be considered religious discrimination. – Philipp Aug 29 '16 at 9:12
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    Very related: Dealing with expensive office traditions – David K Aug 29 '16 at 12:30

I would advise against doing this over email. This kind of semi-official requests are best handled face to face (or over phone/Skype, if face to face is not feasible). Talk to one of the welfare committee members about your situation.

The problem with email communication in this case is that its terseness (or the "to the point"ness) could lead to misunderstanding. Since non-verbal cues are lost, you could be perceived as a bit of a "spoilsport", a person who doesn't like to "socialize", or some such.

In the worst case, it could lead to you getting excluded from future "informal" communication, because obviously you are seen as the person who prefers to keep to himself.

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