40th birthday ideas for IT co-worker
April 2, 2014 7:13 AM   Subscribe

IT-manager friend turns 40 later this year. How can we show our appreciation?

What are some creative, cool, funky, IT/tech related things (work-appropriate) we can do to make his 40th birthday fun? Ideally, play off the number 40, technology, etc. Nothing like, have 40 pizzas delivered, but that sort of thing? We have some time to plan, so "long-con" options are still possible.
posted by I_Love_Bananas to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What about 40 of something that makes up something else - like components to one of those soda can bug things or a Lego set. People could drop off the items in order with the next step in the instructions so that by the end of the day, the set is complete.
posted by dawkins_7 at 7:26 AM on April 2, 2014

Take him out to lunch and drink some 40's.
posted by Rob Rockets at 7:42 AM on April 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: How about a letting him know you've got a new piece of legacy equipment on order for a client and you thought appropriate that he should lead the implementation team to get the install set properly, given his seniority (of position of course). Get him an official team. Make it so the upper ups take an interest in the client's project. Put the pressure on him to know that the kickoff for this has to go over smoothly. Then have the package delayed on delivery. Ratchet up the importance a bit and have people say that they want to sit in on the meeting. At the meeting give him a printed and bound copy of the Wang 2200 reference manual. He should know he was conned at that point. Then serve cake, preferably from a cake server. and yes... I do mean server.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:50 AM on April 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

I like the above idea, and you could have some proposals and slides that ultimately amount to a plan to raise the manager's office, convert it into a mainframe room, and he gets to stay in there with all the other legacy IT hardware.

Mainframe rooms -- old-school server rooms -- didn't have racks and hanging ceilings, but they had elevated floors-- elevated by a foot or more with removable tiles, to allow room for cabling and A/C ductwork. Such a structure is now known as a dinosaur pen, because they're still used here and there for obsolete, nearly extinct machines. These days they aren't workspaces, because it's easier to displace the terminals like the Wang 2200 outside them, but the original ones had a workspace inside the room.

So, if someone can fab together some renderings of the manager's office with a raised floor, some extra A/C and cabling down there, and maybe some kind of giant reel-to-reel tape-memory banks in there as well. Whether you make it his workspace, or whether you make him part of the infrastructure in there is up to you.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:43 AM on April 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Everybody can bring in 40 things - 40 crackers, 40 hershey's kisses, 40 jelly beans, 40 floppy disks, 40 pin jumpers, 40 sticks of old RAM, etc. Find a 5 1/4 floppy and make it into a key chain. Consider bringing in a copy of Office Space and playing it in the office, and maybe find an old printer and a few baseball bats - if you do this, wear eye protection. If you have an oooold server, a nice big one to deconstruct, gut it and make it into an ice bucket for beers.
posted by theora55 at 11:40 AM on April 2, 2014

Find some old tech item(s) for them. Windows 3.1 box, floppy disks, a serial cable, etc...

Shop at Think Geek or similar.

(Our LAN admin received an old 486 server for his 40th. He took it took the mountains, shot it with his rifle and sold the bullet hole ridden hard drives on eBay and made more than $100 on them. I am sure they are hanging on a cube wall somewhere.)
posted by Leenie at 12:19 PM on April 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

God, plz nothing like black balloons or depends diapers or any of the rest of that jive. I know that people mean well but it's so stupid, it's so lame, and, frankly, it's pretty goddamned insulting. 40 is the new 25, best I can see. Nothing but positives, I like the idea of everyone bringing 40 of something, as long as it's forward looking and could in no way be seen as scorning a person because of their age.

I say this because it was what was done in an office I worked in for five years. It was completely cornball, completely stupid, often insulting, and totally accepted. It was just part of turning 40 there. Why give this person Windows 3.1 or whatever, when this person is alive and well and kicking out the projects, getting the job done, whipping asses and taking names, etc and etc. Why focus on things that aren't really relevant? Focus instead on things that your friend will be made happy by, things that show him/her that he is contributing and you're damn glad that he/she is doing so.

So I dunno what it might be. But plz, keep any "Ha ha you're so old now!" jive to a minimum, if at all, be more forward facing, which is what I'd bet this person things about themselves Maybe I'm too touchy about it but damn, it was something to see, it was not a positive at all.

Let your friend know he's valued, that his leaderships keeps that bus on the road.
posted by dancestoblue at 2:40 AM on April 3, 2014

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