Skip to main content

Workplace Trends: Smash Cakes In the Break Room

Another day, another birthday party for a Millennial at work. They want their smash cake, and they're going to eat it, too!

Smash cake? Yes. A "smash cake" is a mini whole cake (about the size of a Costco cupcake and averaging around $10 in cost) that's presented to the highchair-bound birthday boy or girl at their first birthday party so they can "smash" the cake all over their face (get it?) while everyone takes pictures. Because serving a simple slice of cake is so 2012.


Apparently, the somewhat cloying "smash cake" phenomenon isn't confined to the toddler set anymore; it's a thing with grown Millennials, too! Today's 20-somethings (and those turning 30) are donning tiaras and sashes and smashing their faces into small cakes as professional photographers preserve the moment for social media posterity.

The Millennials aren't ready to put away childish things just yet. As The Washington Post reports today:

That's the underlying message in most of these photos: They're turning 30, and they are totally fine with it, no really. People have done smashes for other monumental birthdays, like 25 or 50, but it's 30 that seems to trigger the most tutu-wearing and buttercream frosting angst.

Angst? At turning 30? Wow, the Millennials are going to love 50.

What is driving this "trend"? The new thinking is that modern "adulthood" starts at age 30, and so why not have a little preschooler fun when you're turning 25? It's a last hurrah before getting "old" at 30. Sure it's silly and more than a little bit narcissistic, but it's also a testament to the passage of time, the youth-oriented demographics of the workforce, and the impending encroachment of adult responsibilities facing the late-20-something working professional.

You laugh now, but the Millennials out-populate all other generations on the job. This generational shift means the threat of smash cakes showing up at work is becoming a real, dreadful possibility.

Is it professional, though? We can debate this question all day while smash-like "farewell cakes" trend as something to give employees who are leaving the company. Some Millennials are using their best smash cake photo as their Facebook profile picture, too.

So it's not out of the realm of possibility that you could soon endure a "smash cake" party in the company break room. Let's hope it isn't your 40th birthday, because you will feel quite silly eating cake with your hands. Surprise! We have some Wet Wipes on standby! Just don't act surprised when nobody hands you a fork, or you will look old.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…