You Say It’s Your Birthday?

Next Friday I won’t be anywhere near my desk or my computer. Will I be taking a vacation day? No. Am I taking a personal day? Nope. I won’t be at my desk or near my computer next Friday because next Friday – July 8th, 2011 – is my 43rd birthday. At Skeleton Key, no matter how hard we’re working to keep our business growing and our services innovative, we have at least one, set-in-stone, crystal-clear, it-will-never-change policy, and it’s about birthdays:

Your birthday is a mandatory paid day off every year – don’t show up for work or we’ll turn you away. If your birthday doesn’t fall on a business day within a particular calendar year, you can take the preceding or following business day off instead.

Now this may not seem like much of a perk, but I’ve been truly surprised by how few people deliberately take off their own birthday, and I’ve yet to run into another company that automatically extends this benefit to their employees. In fact, as you can see from the picture below I’m not the only Skeleton Key team member celebrating next week:

Happy Birthday Alan! I started this tradition in my own life many years ago, when I realized the very last thing I wanted to do on my birthday was get anything constructive done. Don’t get me wrong – I love my job, my team is second-to-none, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to say that for the past seven (7) years, but if I had to pick between reading a great book, or having a tickle-fight with my kids, or going for a swim VS. writing one more email, or answering one more phone call, or going to one more (very productive and informative) meeting… well, as you can see, the choice is an easy one to make. So, here’s a pair of unsolicited suggestions for you:

  • Take your birthday off every year. You won’t regret it.
  • If you run your own company, consider adopting this policy. Your people will love it.

… and feel free to send me happy birthday wishes on Twitter, facebook or LinkedIn. It would make my day to see the push notifications coming across my iPhone, especially as I’m sipping a cocktail poolside 😉

is the President of Skeleton Key. Mark Richman is President, FileMaker Certified Developer, FileMaker Authorized Trainer at Skeleton Key. About Skeleton Key Skeleton Key is an accomplished team of technology consultants who solve business problems. We specialize in the rapid development of custom applications, integrating Macs and PCs in the professional workplace, and providing personalized training. Despite our end-to-end technical skills, we are consultant first and technologist second. We know that you don’t just need technology. You need to know that the technology you choose to deploy will provide the results you desire. Skeleton Key is a Platinum Level FileMaker Business Alliance company, an Authorized FileMaker Trainer, a member of the Apple Consultants Network and a Microsoft Registered Partner.