Comedy, Contest Entries

Strategic Happiness Initiative Toward Safety, Health, and Onsite Work (Flash Fiction)

FOURTH PLACE, NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge, September 2020. Genre: Political Satire; Prompts: “basketball court” (location) and “buttercream” (object). These prompts gave me an immediate headache when I received them, but I ended up having so much fun writing this epistolary-style story!

As the pandemic drags into its second year, management wants everyone back at the office. They find a clever way to make it happen…but will it be a slam dunk or a SHITSHOW?

MEMORANDUM

To: AgriDash Employees

From: Senior Management

Date: March 12, 2021

Subject: Back to Work

Dear Valued Team Members,

During these unprecedented times, your well-being is our highest priority. As such, AgriDash is pleased to announce our Strategic Happiness Initiative Toward Safety, Health, and Onsite Work.

While we appreciate your efforts to remain productive at home, it’s time to resume in-person work, pursuant to CDC “guidelines” (subject to change).

As part of our SHITSHOW, we’ve negotiated with Hamletsburg High School to utilize their gymnasium, allowing more room for employees to socially distance. We are pleased to repurpose this space, vacant now that schools have gone permanently virtual.

We’re confident that, as the innovative company who disrupted the agricultural delivery space to become the “Postmates of crop corn,” this SHITSHOW will revive our dynamic culture, which earned us 397th place on Rural Indiana Magazine’s “Best Local Workplaces 2019” list.

Please report to Hamletsburg High School starting Monday.

P.S. Wear a mask! It’s the law!

*****

MEMORANDUM

To: AgriDash Employees

From: Senior Management

Date: March 13, 2021

Subject: Clarification

All mid-level employees (and below) have been assigned gymnasium desk stations. However, to maximize spacing, Senior Management will continue working from home.

Also, it has come to our attention that, due to school district layoffs, the basketball hoops cannot be removed at this time. While we apologize for the inconvenience, we look forward to hearing about your lunchtime pickup games.

See you Monday. (We’ll Zoom in!)

*****

NOTICE 

Tacked to gymnasium wall

Please WASH HANDS after TOUCHING BALLS! 

*****

MEMORANDUM

To: AgriDash Employees

From: Senior Management

Date: March 19

Subject: New Policy

Effective immediately, all sporting projectiles will be removed from the workplace. This follows several unfortunate reports: a shattered computer server, a minor brain injury (please join us in sending thoughts to Darcy from Marketing, may she kick that coma soon), and a spilled Pumpkin Spice Latte (although this has been flagged for review. How does anyone get a PSL in March? Are they available year-round now? Is nothing sacred?)

These incidents aside, we are pleased with the SHITSHOW so far. Keep it up, folks!

*****

FLYER 

Taped to the mirror, Women’s Restroom

Attention, Ladies! 

Tired of hearing about THAT VIRUS?

Did you know there’s a CURE that the mainstream media WILL NOT report?

VITAL VIGOR essential oils are PROVEN to eradicate everything from measles to cancer. Money-back guarantee!

Our oils are HAND HARVESTED from Bermudan Miracle Snakes. (Cage-free, organic-fed, and NEVER genetically modified!) 

With Vital Vigor, you can banish disease NATURALLY while earning SIX FIGURES!

To order your Introductory Distributor Kit (only $299!) see Sherry from Accounts Payable. 

*****

AGRIDASH INTERCOMPANY MESSENGER 

<HRGal87> Who smeared buttercream frosting on the copier buttons? 

<that_guy_from_sales> That’s not buttercream

<HRGal87> …what?

<that_guy_from_sales> *eggplant emoji*

HRGal87 has left the chat.

*****

EMAIL

Thursday, 26-March-2021, 10:37AM

To: Sherry (Accounts Payable)

From: Chase (IT)

Subject: Interested

Hey. Saw your sign in the ladies room (don’t ask) and realized we had common ground. This excuse for an “office” is absurd! It smells like boiled jockstraps and the vending machines don’t work! All for some overhyped flu!

Meet behind the bleachers at noon to discuss? 

P.S. Ditch the mask. I wanna see your smile.

*****

EMAIL

Thursday, 26-March-2021, 10:41AM

To: Chase (IT)

From: Sherry (Accounts Payable)

Re: Interested

It’s insanity, right? People are SHEEP. See you at noon!

P.S. Did you hear about that girl from HR who found jizz on the copier?

*****

AGRIDASH INTERCOMPANY MESSENGER

<that_guy_from_sales> U there?

<HRGal87> What do you want, pervert?

<that_guy_from_sales> Actually, it WAS buttercream.

<HRGal87> Huh?

<that_guy_from_sales> No really. I bake! 

<HRGal87> Yeah, right

<that_guy_from_sales> I made cupcakes! Look in that equipment closet they’re trying to call a break room. 

*****

MEMORANDUM

To: Employees

From: Management

Date: April 2

Subject: Opportunity

Valued Team,

How wonderful to see your smiling faces (well, eyes) when we popped in this morning (surprise!) 

We’re pleased to announce a new opportunity. Ever wished you had time for a hobby? Crocheting, learning French? Volunteer for a salary-free sabbatical! Your position might be guaranteed upon return. If interested, please reply.

P.S. Whoever left the buttercream cupcakes: A+ work!

*****

ADVERTISEMENT

Posted in the closet-slash-break-room

A Virtual Film Premiere!

“My Bubble Year” 

Written, Directed, Produced By, and Starring: Dan (Software Development)

My reflections on twelve months (and counting!) in a self-built, bubble-wrap, antiviral suit. Hit me up for the Zoom link! 

*****

FRIENDLY REMINDER

To: Dan (Software Development) and select others

From: Human Resources

Please make sure your office attire includes…attire.  If you opt to wear “bubble wrap,” note that you must wear clothing underneath. Pants/shorts/skirt, in particular, are mandatory per our “pandemic casual” dress code.

Let’s do better. Especially in light of the recent incident with the copier.

*****

MEMORANDUM

To: All Employees

From: Senior Management

Date: April 5, 2021

Subject: URGENT – Mandatory Quarantine!

We regret to inform you that seven AgriDash team members have tested positive for COVID-19.

After consulting with the Hamletsburg Department of Health, we must proceed as if everyone on site has been exposed. 

Don’t panic! We’re aware of the rumor that “bodily fluid” on the copier is the cause of our “outbreak.” This is unlikely, as COVID-19 is typically transmitted by aerosol, but the Health Department requires we take this situation seriously. 

Therefore, we are imposing a universal quarantine. All team members shall resume work from home.

As always, your well-being is our highest priority. Together, we’ll make this SHITSHOW stronger.

P.S. On the copier? Seriously? 

*****

EMAIL

Saturday, 03-April-2021, 8:04 PM

To: Sherry (Accounts Payable)

From: Chase (IT)

Subject: Plans tonight?

Meeting folks for drinks…nothing big, a few dozen people. But keep it HUSH…the bar doesn’t wanna get shut down again by that FREEDOM-HATING health dept!

You in?

*****

EMAIL

Saturday, 03-April-2021, 8:09 PM

To: Chase (IT)

From: Sherry (Accounts Payable)

Re: Plans tonight?

Just popped a Benadryl. Allergies! But I’ll rally if you don’t mind my hacking cough (darn pollen). First round is on me. Snake-oil biz is crushing it!

Gotta get outta this apartment anyway. It’s weirdly hot in here tonight. See you soon!

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