Business Humor and Parody: An office memo we'll never see (originally entitled "Administrative Changes in the Stuart Silk Architects Office Effective April 1st")

Effective April 1st, 2002 the following changes are taking place at Stuart Silk, Famous Seattle Architects:

1. I have sent the a letter to all the clients (of Stuart Silk Architects) informing them that we are raising our rates 100% to cover the 20% cost of living increases given to all of you effective today. Hey, they're rich. They can afford it. I decided to implement this after my near-death experience with a falling light fixture during the 2001 earthquake. I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. I've decided that "greed is good" after all.

2. In an effort to reduce pollution, traffic, and parking congestion in the neighborhood and generate more income by selling parking spaces to other tenants in the building, parking in any one of the nine (9) Stuart Silk Architects spots will no longer be free for Stuart Silk Architects employees, even for "El Jefe", [the Boss in Spanish] (Stuart Silk).

Instead, we will be selling a monthly parking pass which will cost the equivalent of a two zone Metro bus pass (currently $63.00). The proceeds will be used to buy any employee who does have a car or does not buy a monthly parking pass a bus pass instead or a bicycle (and related expenses) to commute to work.

3. After meeting Jerry Brown at a retreat, Stuart (Silk) has decided that he really doesn't need very much to live on so we are all getting additional 10% nice guy raises. He also would like to know which of the interns, assistants, and job captains will need help in buying a house in north Seattle. He told me that he would like to 'help' by loaning us the money for a down payment to keep us close to work so he can work you more hours (we are, after all, a sweatshop) or in the event of a natural disaster.

4. Monica Lewinsky has been hired to help out at the front desk. She formerly worked at the White House. Stuart felt that we needed another pretty face. She promises not to answer the phone, "Stuart Silk, famous Seattle Architects and sweatshop".

5. Due to a sex discrimination complaint filed with the Seattle Office of unCivil Rights by one of the male employees and a determination by that department that having separate bathrooms created a disparate impact against one gender since more than 65% of the staff are genetic males, both bathrooms will now be unisex. Gentlemen are requested to leave the seat down and all genders are instructed to clean up any misses, err messes. Supplies will be kept in each bathroom to accomplish this goal.

In addition, much like the long distance and fax billing codes, you will need to enter an access code to the new lock to gain access. The time you spend will be compared and added to your office time portion of your timesheet. You access code will be your extension. Please do not enter each other's extensions.

6. Per Lisa's suggestion and use, the digital camera will now be available for rent at $10.00 a day. Proceeds will go to a scholarship at the UW to increase the number of Martians and Venusians in the profession.

7. Stuart (Silk) has raised the minimum number of billable hours to 160 a month for 2002 since so many of you made his goal of 150 hours a month in the short month of February. On the good side, your salaries will be calculated on a 40 hour workweek. So go out there and be productive!

8. Per employees requests, all pizzas for our monthly employee bonding lunch will be ordered with anchovies, feta cheese, jalapenos, lute fish or gelfite fish, garlic, and Spence's favorite hot sauce.

9. Zaphora (well-known Seattle belly dance teacher) and my cousin Alfredo (Gormezano) will perform at next week's office meeting. We will expense it as a training expense as you can gain architectural inspiration in design by Alfredo's famous sword dance on his head and stomach. Just watch those muscles rip and think "slide, earthquakes, deck, design, balance, stability."

10. Effective the end of this month, all timesheets have to be completed in quadruplicate. One copy for the client, one for Ellen and I, one for the project manager, and one for you. Wheee! We're a government agency.

11. On April 1st, I will be gone. Please accept my apologies. So I am insincere if I say that I am sorry that there will be no paychecks. That's life. Get used to it. Eat dessert first. Get a credit line for such emergencies.

12. Also, per a discussion with Stuart (Silk), he has decided to start charging for coffee (the caffeine causes many of your to have shaky hands which makes it difficult to draw quickly and accurately), air conditioning (this is a sweat shop, after all), drawing paper, and Costco snacks (what are we, pets?). More details to follow.

13. Starting next year, Stuart (Silk) will pay for your first tattoo or piercing. He wants to be "cool and hip". We will also be advertising in the Stranger as well.

14. Effective this month as well, we will be requiring deaths like vacation to be scheduled. There are to be no more than 2 deaths a week. I know it is hard but it is not fair to have your co-workers work 'overtime' because you were unable to decently plan your own or loved one's demise. Bereavement pay will continue as usual for the remaining staff. It will not be available to your estate as you will no longer be working here.

15. Starting March 8, we began deploying a new monitoring software called "Big Brother". The purpose of this software is to monitor our individual and collective incoming and outgoing e-mail, type of Web page visits, streaming media and music downloads, hidden programs, and instant messaging use and alert Rob and I on our usage and ways we can save money by identifying non-business related e-mail, Web page visits, downloads, and IM use. Look for it on your desktop!

16. Starting July 1, we will be moving to the 80th floor of the Columbia Tower. Stuart (Silk) decided that order to attract all those high end clients and pay for those new, higher, bigger salaries of yours, we needed an expensive, over-priced, high-end address with views to wow and dazzle them and a place for them to jump from when they get our new bills.

I have secured a lease at twice what we are paying the current landlord from Gold's Gym to replace us and help pay for the lease at the new place. Of course, the thumping and music from the aerobics classes will probably bother the downstairs tenants so I have made arrangements from them to enroll in aerobics at no charge. Hey, if you can't beat them, join them.

Keith "Catbert the Tiger" Gormèzano,
I'm some kind of Manager, but don't ask me what I am, I don't know either because Stuart (Silk) makes all the micromanaged decisions
Stuart Silk Architects, Limited in Authority, B.S.
2400 N. 45th St., #666
Seattle, Washington 98103-1313
(206) 728-9500 x13
(206) 448-1337 fax


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