Originals

Even Though the Office Is Still Completely Engulfed in Flames, I’m Gonna Need You All to Come Back in Full Time

Dear Staff,

 

I think you will all agree that I’ve been more than generous in allowing you to perform your work duties remotely these past several months while our offices have been consumed in flames. But enough is enough—it’s time to get back to work.

 

Now, you may be wondering, does this mean that the fire, the exact origin of which has yet to be determined, though I strongly suspect our competitors to the east, has finally been contained? Yes and no.

 

No, as in it has not at all been contained, and in fact has since spread to the third and fourth floors of the building. But yes, in that I am now willing to accept the presence of the fire, which has been upgraded from a “contained blaze” to an “all-out inferno,” as part of our new workplace reality. You’re just going to have to live with a bit of torrid temperatures and some fourth-degree burns going forward. (To prevent skin peeling, we strongly recommend that you lather your bodies head to toe in Vaseline before showing up to work. We are also willing to forego the company policy about not adjusting the office thermostat. How’s that for accommodating?)



 

The good news is, despite now covering nearly every square inch of the building, we’re told by the local fire department that the severity of the fire has actually subsided considerably, from roughly 2,000° Fahrenheit (what’s known as “orange-yellow” fire) to a far less concerning 1,300-1,700° Fahrenheit (or “deep red” fire). At this temperature, the flames are less likely to kill you than they are to leave you permanently scarred and disfigured, which, I think we can all agree, isn’t nearly as bad. I mean, it’s still bad, sure, but it’s not like end-of-the-world bad. Though I suppose technically it could be end-of-your-world bad if you were to succumb to your burns, which is a very real possibility.

 

I understand that these are far from ideal working conditions. But if we only chose to come in to work when everything was exactly how we wanted it—say, when there weren’t balls of fire raging through the hallways like deadly tumbleweeds, or the floors weren’t so hot that they become unbearable to stand on after just a few seconds, so you have to keep hopping from one foot to the other (don’t worry, you’ll get used to it)—then no one would ever show up and we wouldn’t be able to provide customers with a product that they’ve come to love and rely on: novelty-themed toilet plungers (by the way, we’re excited to announce our new line of rainbow plungers for Pride Month).

 

That said, going forward I expect everyone to come in at least 40 hours a week, which, coincidentally, is the exact amount of time that the human body can withstand such temperatures before their internal organs begin to melt. Failure to show up for the full 40 hours will be taken as your resignation.

 

This mandate applies to all employees of the company, including executives. As the CEO, I intend to be here in person every second of the day, roaming the offices in my custom-made thermal-resistant spacesuit in order to help maintain morale and keep tabs on those workers who fail to show up.

 

See you all on Monday!

 

P.S.: Please use the south entrance to the building from now on. The east, west, and north entrances are now completely blocked off by walls of flame, as are most emergency exits.

 

by Graeme Carey

Graeme Carey

Graeme Carey is a writer from Ontario, Canada. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s, New World Writing, and BULL: Men’s Fiction, among other publications.