Want to Give Our Boss a Surprise 50th Birthday Party at the Office

by Isabel
(Gauteng, RSA)

I would like to arrange a surprise 50th birthday party at work for our male boss’s 50th birthday, it will only last for 30 minutes however, there are some “snags” such as:

It is only I that knows of this surprise party as I’ve not mentioned or discussed it with anyone as yet.
We work in a factory environment with some 480 staff members, however, my boss has only around 10 Managers who reports to him directly and I, the secretary.

We also have a lot of Admin Staff, around 30 who reports to their own managers in different departments.

Who should i invite and who not; how should i word the invitation – each person who receives an invite will be asked to bring a plate of snacks and a soft drink and they will also have to contribute towards a gift for him.

Ideas for the party decorations: My boss is a very quite person who does not walk around announcing his arrival, his presence etc. He allows everyone to get on with their jobs and to report back to him on a daily basis.

Ideas for gifts for our boss: What to buy…. he loves biltong, nuts etc.

Head Office: Although our boss is in charge of the whole site, he reports directly in to the COO (Chief Operations Officer), how can i ask this person if I can arrange this “party” without us or our boss getting “into trouble” by head office.

We all love working for this boss and I really thinks he deserves to know how happy we all are that he is our BOSS!!

Please help.

—– Reply ——

Hi Isabel,

Considering that your boss is a private person, I think the best approach would be to just include his direct reports for a short celebration.

Perhaps you are on friendly terms with one of those people and can get them to assist you with planning and input on corporate involvement or not?

Would you send invitations by email? You could word the invitation like this:

“Let’s get together to wish (boss name) a very special happy birthday! We will be providing a gift from the group, with each person contributing $x towards a gift assortment of his favorite snack, (whatever you choose to give).

Please stop by my desk to share your thoughts and sign the card.”

For decorations, since it will be such a short celebration, maybe just table decorations would work for easy and quick setup and take down.

If you want to include others in some way you could pass around one or more large cards that everyone can sign and present the card(s) during your smaller gathering.

I don’t think anyone would get into trouble over a short gathering of his direct reports, but of course you would be a better judge of that.

I hope this helps, and best of luck with honoring your boss on his special day!

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