Best Of 2021

Gregor Samsa Returns to Work


To: All staff

Re: Personal developments

Hey team,


Greg here. Hope everyone’s enjoying their last few days of remote work. If you’re anything like me you’ve been getting in some last-minute binge-watching (how great is Martin Short in Only Murders in the Building?). Looking forward to seeing you all in person next week.


Speaking of “in person,” there’s something I wanted to address before we got back together. No big deal. Just wanted to give you all a heads up that you might notice something a little different about me from the last time we saw each other. I’m not talking personality-wise, though I did start meditating three times a day at the start of the pandemic and I can honestly say that it’s had a huge impact on my overall mood.


No, I’m talking something a little more… physical. I don’t just mean that I’ve packed on a few lbs, though, let’s be honest, who hasn’t, am I right? Over the past year and a half I’ve, well, changed. Transformed, I guess you could say. To put it plainly, I’ve turned into a giant insect.


I’m not sure how exactly it happened, though I’m not ruling out the possibility that it has something to do with the vaccine. Regardless, I just sort of woke up one morning and, wham, I’m a human-sized cockroach.


The why isn’t important. What is important is that I’ve come to accept the new me (after many failed reconstructive surgeries, which, unfortunately, have only left me looking even more grotesque, like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly when he was still semi-human-looking). I hope that, in time, you will all accept the new me, too. I mean, hey, we were all willing to accept Tom’s story about how his hair miraculously grew back over the Christmas break last year, even though you could clearly see the giant hair transplant scar on the back of his head.


I want you all to know that, despite the fact that I now take the form of a monstrous vermin, I’m still the same old Gregor, who listens to yacht rock at his desk and loves the Mets (even though they’re killing me, haha). The only difference is I now have six legs and a hard exoskeleton covering my entire body. Still, I don’t expect any special treatment from anyone.


That said, given my new situation, I will be requiring a few minor, nearly imperceptible accommodations. For starters, I will no longer be working out of my cubicle. Instead, corporate has granted me permission to set up shop in the conference room, where I will be working underneath a massive custom-made sofa. I find the confined space much more conducive to my current condition. I will also ask that the office remain in total darkness throughout the day, and that all trash – especially pungent, rotten food – be discarded of immediately, otherwise I will eat it, and it will not be a pretty sight.


Unfortunately, I also won’t be able to wear a mask around the office, on account of the fact that I can’t find one to fit over my antennae. Rest assured, however, that I was fully vaccinated before my transformation, and I’m fairly confident that the antibodies I developed as a human have carried over into my insect form.


Before anyone goes complaining about how unfair it is that I should receive such accommodations, need I remind you that no one objected to Hank getting a standing desk because of his sciatica, or Lisa being allowed to take 10-minute “decompression breaks” whenever she wants because of her nervous breakdown? More importantly, failure to meet my unique requirements may be considered discrimination under the Disabilities Act and therefore grounds for lawsuit, so you kind of just have to deal with it.


Hopefully this won’t be too big an issue and we can all get back to doing our jobs. I look forward to seeing everyone face-to-face again. Or, in my case, face-to-frons (that’s the upper anterior portion of the head of an insect). Just a bit of bug humor. I’m also kind of a jokester now.