By karmas a kunt - 22/09/2012 00:28 - United States

Today, I was at work, when an elderly lady casually mentioned it was her birthday. I motioned two of my coworkers over, and we sang a little happy birthday to her over the phone. Our boss stormed in mid-song and suspended all three of us on the spot for "unprofessional behavior." FML
I agree, your life sucks 28 241
You deserved it 2 783

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Your boss is a prick . He should've at least let you finish the song .

Forget your boss, but that was really sweet of you especially since it was an elderly lady :)

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Your boss is a prick . He should've at least let you finish the song .

Actually he technically did the right thing... You would have had to pay the guy who made the song

Then how come they make waiters sing happy bday to customers then? They don't have to pay..

14 - you only have to pay the writers if you're using the song in a commercial

14- "Oh hang on I'm about to sing Purple Haze lemme write Mr. Hendrix a check. Ooohh shit he's dead now what do I do.." Great logic ya got there.

Where do you work--a morgue? That's the only place I could think of where singing "happy birthday" would be inappropriate.

Happy birthday is one of the many songs out there with universal licensing, so you don't have to pay the guy who wrote it...

30- Even if the writer is dead, you have to pay loyalties to the record company and/or family of the writer... You can't just use somebody's song without permission, it's considered plagiarism.

46- finally someone that's smart is here

What a mean fucking bitch. Being a jackass isn't part of being the boss of some company or business.

14- Did OP claim the song was his? Or did he try to sell it?

So I guess I have to pay their family because I sing happy birthday to my kids.... Yeah let me get right on that! Hmmm I guess I'll tell the waitress boss that singed happy bday to me that he needs to fire her because she doesn't have the right to sing it!

Sang* he suspended them because it was unprofessional on his cold hearted level not because of copy right

I think the boss was very rude. But, i gotta say even if I get buried. What if the workplace was busy and customers have been waiting. It is

Unproffesional to have 3 employees singing while customers are waiting.

This is like saying you have to pay every radio artist because you decide to sing along in the car.

Actually #39, you're wrong. The "Happy Birthday To You" song is copyrighted and the copyright is enforced. Royalties would go to the current copyright holders. Research it. It wouldn't apply to OP because they weren't performing it publicly or for profit. I'm sure that's not why their boss suspended them though. Their boss just sounds like an ass.

46 - Happy Birthday was copyrighted as a work for hire; you can sing it but you can't use it for profit without paying loyalties. I'd imagine these guys weren't asking for payment from this old lady, so they weren't doing anything wrong in that aspect.

It's freaking happy birthday? The boss is prick quit trying to make him sound as if he isn't.

#46 & 48- I know this has been said, but honestly you guys sound like idiots. It's only a copyright infringement if you sing someone else's song for recording purposes. My father sings and plays in an 80s cover band and I'm pretty positive he's never contacted a single band member or rights owner to any of the songs they've sung. Also, I've never once been to a birthday party where some guys in black suits burst in, demanding payment for "plagiarism."

Most restaurants have their own version of the Happy Birthday song. And they Happy Birthday song is copyrighted, so a person just can't make money off of the song.

The word you guys are looking for is royalties. You do not have to pay loyalties for a song but you do have to pay royalties for using copyrighted material for commercial purposes.

For those of you saying you don't have to pay to sing happy birthday, just watch a movie. Many movies don't sing the traditional happy birthday song because of this and if they do, just watch the credits.

They do that because they make money off the movies

95 - That's what happens when your phone is programmed like a heap of shit and doesn't understand real words. I know it's royalties; my phone doesn't.

It's just the damn happy birthday song..

actually the song is copywrited to "Warner Music" till the year 2030. any time it is sung in a public setting or in a movie, radio, tv, etc. they make revenue off it. about 2 million per year. resturants or any public setting are allowed to song it with a changed tune or different words. read up on your facts. but I'm sorry op, ur boss was just trying not to get sued. u did a good thing today though.

Or we you sing at a karaoke bar for that matter...

Even if Mr.Hendrix is dead someone still owns the rights to Mr. Hendrix's songs. Just like Michael Jackson's Estate owns the rights to his songs and thus are the ones who make a profit when one of his songs are used for profit. However, like others said it wasn't used for profit...

You are correct. That is why many restaurants sing their own versions of happy birthday songs. There has been at least one lawsuit over a restaurant singing the happy birthday song to customers (thus publicly performing it) Google it, it's crazy but true.

46, singing someone happy birthday at work is not plagiarism. Plagiarism would be claiming it as your own song.

Unhappy birthday.

Wow you should have punched him in the face....

Yea. Nothing like a little unemployment to show em.

Bad advice cat has spoken.

I'm sure punching their boss in the face would make him un-suspend them. You retard.

so you're saying that if you were in this situation, you would punch your boss in the face? I'd love to see how that turns out.

15 just should've said "look at my picture"

Good advice, punch the boss and get sued. Good luck in life.

This is one reason why I hate my generation. Ugh.

15) Bad Advice Cat...We should make that into a meme.

36 just should've said "look at my picture"

Maybe your singing voice is worse than you think.

Lol Shame on OP for assembling the hooligans into a frenzy. The boss did the right thing.

Shut the fuck up, 51. How is a bunch of people trying to be nice and wish someone a happy birthday hooliganism? It was hardly a frenzy either. The boss is clearly as uptight as you, and you both need to pull the stick out of your asses.

I'm pretty sure 51 was making use of the non-existent sarcasm font. You can't take someone who uses "hooligans" in a sentence seriously.

In my opinion it is unprofessional but still, the boss shouldn't have freaked out like that.

87- If so, my bad. Sarcasm is difficult to convey online.

Hi I'm 51. Um I was just playing 13 people who thumbed me down. Come on. You may not know me but I'm the girl in the back who makes shaker noises during the birthday songs. I am the assembler. I am the hooligan. I am beyonce.

1215116a 14

God damn what's up his ass today?

tweetbaby14 18

Lit candles.

Justin Bieber's sparkly pink dildo.

Forget your boss, but that was really sweet of you especially since it was an elderly lady :)

your boss sounds like an arsehole-.-

It was a conspiracy man! The old lady and the boss are working together! Get out while you can op. You don't know what else they could be doing.

the boss should let you sing! who knows how many more birthdays the elderly will have

Wow at one time that would have been considered going above and beyond, modern companies are striving to make business so impersonal, didn't used to be just about the money

What an asshole