Saturday, August 29, 2009

Layoff Cake

I was recently put in charge of planning a going away party for a colleague who moved away, Jess. I pride myself on my hostessing skills, so I arranged for music, food, drinks, wine and a fancy cake, which was to be delivered to the office this afternoon.

The cake was delivered around 1:15pm, two hours ahead of schedule, while I was in the middle of a conference call. My colleague, Monica, ran out to get the cake and tip the delivery guy. She was gone for awhile. She came back with a worried look on her face, just as I was finishing my call.

"Okay, don't freak out, I fixed it," she assured me.

"Fixed what?" I asked.

Apparently the cake was delivered and read "We'll miss you, Jeff" instead of "JeSS." To make matters worse, the guy covering reception when the cake was named Jeff, so when he opened the box to peek, he thought he was getting fired. A layoff cake. Here, eat your sorrow.

Monica immediately took the cake to the kitchen to do damage control. She lifted the bottom two swoops of the (luckily cursive) f's off. It looked more Jess-like.

As we were in the kitchen admiring her skills, the CEO and another high-ranking staff member walked in. The CEO peeked over my shoulder and said "That's a beautiful cake! Who's it for?"

"Thanks," I replied, "It's for Jess. We're having a going away party for her at 4... you should come!" (I hadn't previously invited the CEO because I work in a pretty big office and, frankly, I'm nervous about sending an email to the CEO.)

"I'd love to! I'll definitely be there!" the CEO affirmed. "...I could have sworn the cake said Jeff, though...!"

Monica and I stand there stupidly for a good ten seconds before responding, dryly, "It did."

Way to appear competent.

Luckily, the cake was delicious. Jess was sent off with a bang, and Jeff is still happily employed.

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