“I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.”
-- Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde
Dear Mr. Wilde,
We have some concerns about your productivity. The management here at Doherty, Evans, Gustafson, Ketchner and Associates prides itself in providing employees with a nurturing and fulfilling workplace. It has been brought to our attention by your supervisor and several colleagues that you are having difficulty assimilating into the culture of our corporation. We value your contributions. We want you to succeed. The following points of clarification are intended to assist you in making minor adjustments to your performance and are in no way intended to impugn your self esteem.
Point 1: Please refrain from referring to invoices and memoranda as “poems.” The villanelle structure of your most recent office supply requisition was impressive. However, the merits of your poetics was lost on the shipping and receiving staff and caused friction among the folks in accounts payable. As a consequence, we received and paid for a porcelain statuette of Vlad the Impaler, rather than a gross of padded mailers. Such mistakes are costly.
Point 2: We honor all faiths and persuasions. When you informed personnel that you had switched faiths from protestant to hip-hop and had changed your name from Barney Hainsfeather to “Run DVD,” we accommodated you. Now that you have embraced an indeterminate stance on the entire question of the existence of a deity and have assumed the name of Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, the personnel department requests that you follow through and register the change with federal and state agencies. Until you do, your paycheck and company records will continue to bear the name “DVD, Run.”
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Point 3: You need to demonstrate more sensitivity to others. Your comment during a recent early-morning planning meeting, that “only dull people are brilliant at breakfast,” offended several members of the planning team. It did not help that you observed, just prior to the vote on the wording of the revised mission statement, that “most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” Such insensitivity compelled two of our junior vice presidents to leave for the day with migraine headaches.
Point 4: To your credit, at the time you were invited to join our team you intimated to management the current circumstances of your employment. At the conclusion of your hiring interview you said, “In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” Your candor went unappreciated at the time. For that, we apologize.
We value all of our employees, even those with a probationary status such as you. We hope that you will give serious consideration to our concerns as articulated above and make the adjustments to your performance necessary. If such adjustments are not forthcoming, further administrative action, up to and including termination, may be necessary.
The Management Team