Whereas most people look forward to celebrating their birthdays and be surprised as a way of being shown love and appreciation for their presence, a man in the US state of Kentucky is one of the few who didn't like celebrating his birthday.
Kevin Berling a former employee at Gravity Diagnostics, was rewarded 450,000 dollars in a lawsuit against his former workplace that deliberately threw him a surprise birthday party against his will.
Berling had asked his manager not to celebrate his birthday as this would cause him a series of panic attacks and disturb his mental health. However, when the office manager was away, his co-workers went on to organise the birthday as it was a norm for the company.
While in a meeting the following day, he got panic attacks when he was confronted about his “somber behaviour.” Three days later, Berling received an email firing him. It cited that his behaviour posed a threat to the safety of his coworkers hence he sued the company. Berling was awarded 300,000 dollars for emotional distress and 150,000 dollars for lost wages following a two day trial at the end of March.
RX Radio and Fatboy Show presenter James Onen commonly known as Fatboy said that as an introvert, he related with why Berling might have not wanted to celebrate his birthday.
“Not everyone is super social and a part of me can relate with him because I'm famous for being introverted. In the presence of many people, I feel very drained and uneasy, especially when it's a party and all the attention is on you, no wonder he suffered from an anxiety attack,” Fatboy said.
“I can see how that can happen, though not in my case. I think if someone threw me a birthday party, I’d probably be thankful and accept it graciously but I'd be thinking, when is this getting over? I wanna just go somewhere quiet,’'' he added.
Nevertheless, he thought that such extents would be avoided if there is clear communication and clear understanding between the two parties. Fatboy surmised that Berling might have not sufficiently communicated that the company went ahead to throw him a surprise birthday party.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.