Tuesday, January 25, 2005

POISON-PEN LETTER WRITING


Or, is there a future in this odd form entertainment?

By Theolonius McTavish, (an eccentric yet intrepid roving reporter with an interest in disparaging or dumb things that may satisfy the curiosity of people who have nothing better to do than read this column)

In the age of positive feedback, potentates (often the ‘grande’ and ‘vente’ variety) are frequently called upon to evaluate the performance of plebes who report to them.

Perhaps glancing at a few employee files may offer a clue as to why these powerful people spend their precious time here on planet earth flogging an assortment of fools or flash-in-the-pan types.

This sad state of affairs in corporate life today begs a few questions.

Why are some testy titans worth trillions bored with life anyway? Are these ornery overlords perhaps woefully lacking in opportunities to express their naysaying abilities? Did they have a bad hair day or are the cantankerous clots simply infatuated with their own caustic form of creativity?

The answer most assuredly is, "Only time will tell". (Enough pondering about who let them into the gene pool in the first place; let's return to the twaddle topic of of the day).

The following little gems have been meticulously pieced together by this reporter from shredded shards of paper found in refuse bins conveniently marked, "Recycled Materials Only".

NOTE 1: For those of you who may be interested, this delicate matter was undertaken during a casual covert operation of low-profile, non-descript dumpster sites of little consequence in the great scheme of things.

NOTE 2: While names have been changed to protect the identity of the peons concerned, the cryptic notes left behind by a smattering of high muck-a-mucks reveal why some firmly believe that these head honchos of hubris deserve a place of honor in a “Poison-Pen Letter Museum”**.

  • “Let’s just say Yoakum is not the sharpest crayon in the box or the sharpest knife in the pantry.” -- A Cutting-Edge Pencil-Pusher --

  • "In the great barnyard of life, Harold excels in ruling the roost which would be fine if we needed more chicken coop managers. Since he has expressed a reluctance to work cooperatively with pigs and cows, his future here is uncertain unless he's willing to consider enrolling in a leadership course at 'Farmer Brown's Behavior Modification Institute'." -- Manager of Much Ado About Nothing --

  • “If there was an award for “the most productive bag of hammers” in our enterprise, this employee would qualify as the best “tingle-nail” we’ve got. -- Director of Hard-time Labor & Tough-as-Nails Training --

  • “While we appreciate air-heads in our organization, this employee spends far too much time in the Wild-Blue-Yonder or on Cloud Nine. This is not good for morale as it has been shown to have a deleterious effect on our first-class hot air clients and Mile-High-Club frequent-flyers. She also has great difficulty fastening her seat belt and putting her tray in the upright position for early-morning take-offs. Besides reading salacious material like "What Color is Your Parachute", she has consistently refused to don her life-jacket in the prescribed manner for emergency landings. Prospects for promotion are: Nil, Nada, Not-In-This-Lifetime, Zero or Zilch -- take your pick." -- Supervisor of Flight Operations at Thin Air --

  • “Bob is a dedicated worker, although from time to time, he admits to having been led astray by a troll or two…and lately he’s been guided down the garden path by a purple pixie (whom he says always appears on his computer screen whenever he eats cookies at his desk or tries to press the “pause/break” button located at the top right hand-side of his keyboard in order to request permission to leave his assigned place for the purpose of relieving himself as efficiently and quickly as possible in a nearby place of ease).
    -- Trojan Horse, Tricky Pixie & Troll Eradication Team Leader --

  • “Ms. Fox-Warren has been seen jumping through wooden hoops, although few of her colleagues or mentors can even venture a guess as to what prompted her unconventional behavior since her career path plan clearly indicates that a progression to a game of “snakes and ladders” followed by throwing rocks in “The Tournament of Hearts” was supposed to have been successfully completed before April Fool’s Day (corporate year end).
    -- Vice President of Fluffy Statements & Cold Comfort --

  • “George contributes regularly to our company suggestion box. He never fails to recommend his promotion to Chief Cook (of the Books) and Bottleneck Watcher. In light of his insistence about wearing only a smiley face on Casual Fridays, we are recommending that he receive a pink slip fashion statement with our best wishes for a rewarding new career change as a runway model …on Mars where we're certain he will be welcomed as an official Wal-Mart greeter”.
    -- Superintendent of the Snap, Crackle, Pop & Game Over Department --

So next time you receive a poison-pen letter, just send a copy along to the Museum. They’d love to add it to their “Blessed Big Book of Bunkum” on display featuring a rather fine collection of curmudgeon correspondence from the desk of prominent poison-pen pals.

Just remember what Shakespeare said, “all the world's a stage”. And, your boss or ‘big cheese’ is but a bit player in the daily soap opera of life …while you on the other hand have the starring role as a “Roguish Romeo” or perhaps a “Rosy Rivetter” if you please!

Life Lesson 83: There’s no future in poison-pen letter writing unless the author enjoys being a trophy on the wall in the “Museum of Mangled Misfits”, (but that’s another life lesson for another day).

__________

**Anyone interested in making a contribution to the establishment and/or operation of a "Poison-Pen Letter Museum" would be well-advised to consult with a barrister or solicitor prior to divulging the color of any dirty laundry in public ... lest the Tide cometh and leave them standing like Emporers in their birthday suits.

By the way, if having the very "last word" is important to you, and you're looking for someone with a wicked sense of humor to create and deliver a greeting card to your naughty Nemesis ...perhaps you should check out the services of this site: http://www.harriscom.com/Poison%20Pen%202-03-04.htm or the playful pranksters at Poison-Pen http://www.poisonpen.com

And for those who haven't been blown away by the Spirit of Spam and the jinx of jaded optimism, you might want to take in a few well-chosen words that appear to have bitten the dust in a rather ignoble manner. See "A Collection of Clangers" http://www.writersservices.com/mag/m_clangers.htm


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