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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

And Now, A Word from your Human Resource Department

Hello, and welcome to the Quarterly State of the Business Meeting of Acme Napkins and Grommets, a wholly owned subsidiary of the World-Wide Octopus Corporation.

We here at Acme Grommets and Napkins appreciate the dedication and loyalty you’ve shown lo these past five years. The current economic downturn has been hard on all of us; and we value both your commitment to the firm and your willingness to embrace pay rates first considered “livable” during the Industrial Revolution. I, personally, have been forced to not only cut the delivery of fresh flowers for the executive lavatories to once a week but to limit the champagne at the executive box seats at the opera to domestic brands only.

But we all make sacrifices, don’t we?

And frankly, that’s what today’s meeting is all about: sacrifices. Because if you’re like me – and I can see by the intense looks of unrestrained interest on your faces that you are – you will want to know how you fit in, how you can help keep this particular boat afloat as we navigate the rapids of rising costs and falling wages and how you can ensure that you and your loved ones keep a roof over your head and shoes on your feet.

It is at this point that I turn the microphone over to Dirk Hardly, VP of HR. Dirk?

Thanks, Bob. I’m here today to talk to our team members about the importance of staying positive and staying employed. As many of you know, there are plenty of opportunities available outside of Acme Grommets and Napkins for those interested in such diverse categories as curbside drug distribution, the adult entertainment industry, and whatever they’re calling those guys that stand at intersections holding the “Going Out of Business, Everything 70% Off” signs we see so often these days.

The truth is that we’re just one big family here at Acme Napkins and Grommets. Why, I started here at the same time as Pearl over there. As a matter of fact, we sat next to each other in orientation. And yet look at us! We don’t speak, we've never had a meal together. And that’s because we’re a family; and I am the one with the good job, the one with a child in a private school and six weeks of vacation while Pearl? Pearl is the one you call when you need something typed quickly, isn’t that right, Pearl? Ha ha. That Pearl. You can just tell by the look on her face what a sense of humor she has.

So where does that leave us? Frankly, I’m not sure. And that’s because families often don’t know what will happen next, do they? The world is a mystery. And yet you love your family, you stick with them, no matter what. Through the easy times and the hard times – but especially the hard times – we stick together, because how would we replace you? Would we put an ad in Monster? Or would we contract out to temps?

As I said, the world is a mystery.

And with that flippant and thinly veiled threat, we’ll close this meeting with HR’s motto: Who Ya Gonna Complain To?

Thanks for attending, everyone.

Now let’s get out there and be productive.


Shelly said...

Every family has their dysfunctionals, and I'm convinced HR departments top that list in every family.

Indigo Roth said...

Dirk used to work for us in the staff canteen; remember that? But it was discovered that he was small-minded, unprincipled cad. And they immediately promoted him into a senior HR role. Acme Grommets and Napkins was a step up. With obvious boot-prints on those below him.

Delores said...

At least they 'thinly veil' their threats. I've worked in places where the threats would be explained in detail to you.

Lisa Golden said...

The perfect send up. It's funny and it's funny because it's true.

joeh said...

Originally called "Hiring and Firing," then "Personnel" Then "Employee Enrichment" then "Human Resources" in my company it went to "Development, enrichment and optimal allocation of non-mechanical resources."

Pretty much all are just "Hiring and Firing!"

Simply Suthern said...

Dirk could have just shown the VMA's video of Mily Cyrus and Robin Thicke to demo what y'all are getting in the end.

Douglas said...

I no longer worry about keeping a job now that I am retired. I just worry about where I am going to get the money to pay for my yacht. Or rowboat... or rubber, blow-up, raft... One of those floating things anyway. Never mind. It doesn't matter.

vanilla said...

He omitted the line, "Workers such as you are a dime-a-dozen." I've heard that line. Not making it up. So, yeah: thinly veiled.

jenny_o said...

Worse still is when the Dirks of the world are young enough to be your child (or grandchild, as the case may be). Life experience and common sense sadly lacking, book-larnin' optional.

Geo. said...

In California, you can be excused from HR presentations with a somnologist's note stating you've already lain awake all night quivering with dread.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

We have had a lot of "restructuring" here at my workplace of late so we have had a lot of interaction with HR...not a good thing usually lol.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

This brings back chilling memories of the mass corporate layoff I was part of back in '02. At least I can laugh about it now.

Mitchell is Moving said...

I think I've commented before that I really did work for this company (although it went by another name). It nearly killed me and these posts used to give me seizures. But I actually laughed while reading this one. I also finished off a bottle of sherry.

Rosemarie Blackthorn said...

I would laugh, I really would, except I attended this meeting.

Susan Kane said...

How productive should I be? Would picking up the newspaper and such be enough?

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om

FLASHBACKS. I need a lie down.


Jinksy said...

Ouch! Too close to the truth for comfort!

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

I often wonder who sacks the HR guy?

Elliot MacLeod-Michael said...

Eerily reminscent of my own work life.

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

So am I getting a raise or what?

Timothy Hecht said...

Not funny.

I've been "downsized" the past 2 years right before the Holidays.

Being unemployed at Christmas truly sucks.

Not funny.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Ah yes, those company-wide meetings where all the little people are invited. No, they are not hiding anything and they truly want to listen to your ideas and concerns. After all, it is not a company, it is a family. So sincere, so open, so transparent.

You interpretation was right on!

River said...

My workplace was called a big happy family too.....then they shut us down and moved away....as families do.

the walking man said...

Dirk Hardley
Acme Grommets and Napkins
RE: Instructions Needed
CC: All Executive Suite VP's and grander titles

Dear Dirk,

As a loyal employee and family member of Acme Grommets and Napkins and in the interest of correct corporate policy understanding.

Did I understand you correctly at the last annual staff meeting that as a family that sticks together we should all remain informed?

If so I offer my apology for not making your phone connection last Thursday with your mistress Jessica Biguns a conference call when your wife, of 34 years, called while you were attending the phone "meeting" with Ms. Biguns.

Please instruct me on two things sir:

A) Should I arrange all calls from Ms. Biguns to conference mode with Mrs. Hardly?

B) In the interest of keeping a roof over my head and shoes (Converse All Stars-green) on my feet are you ready to discuss that 20% raise and extra vacation time now?

Your Humble Quick as a bullet typist