Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Staff communication, the email

Dear Staff:

Communication is the backbone of our institution. It has come to my attention that some of you are not properly using our communication protocols. Please allow me to outline our procedures for any problems you might have with your co-workers.

Let us say Elaine is using a hand lotion that makes you sneeze convulsively. Do not tell Elaine that her hand lotion is killing you!

In fact, don't approach Elaine at all. Go to your manager. Tell your manager the problem. But because you're no stoolie, don't name names. Say "Someone is using a hand lotion that I think I'm allergic to."

Your manager will commence data gathering. "What does it smell like?" She will ask.

"Grass, lavender, and, I don't know, peach? Sort of. With mandarin, sage, and cucumber."

Then she will ask "Do you know who it is that's wearing it?"

Because you are no stoolie you will say "Excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom."

Your manager will know exactly who you're talking about, but not wanting to leap to conclusions will continue that data gathering process by asking Louise, who she enjoys chatting with, who is using the grass, lavender, peach, mandarin, cucumber, sage hand lotion.

Sensing a trap Louise will reply "I have to go to the bathroom."

"It's occupied." The manager will respond.

"Oh no. Is Elaine in trouble?"

"No." The manager will respond reassuringly. "It's just her hand lotion is making people ill."

Louise will now go spread the information carefully. "I guess people have been complaining about Elaine's hand lotion." She will say to her work buddy Miguel.

"I like that lotion!" Miguel will cry.

"Me too." Louise says, adding in a hushed voice "I've borrowed a little of that lotion a couple times when my hands were dry."

Miguel will say to Anthony "I can't believe people aren't even allowed to wear the hand lotion they like around here! Maybe if they didn't keep the building so ridiculously dry!"

Anthony, knowing all about the controversy already, will feel ambivalent because he doesn't have very dry hands and finds the smell a bit strong, but rather likes Elaine, who sometimes gives him gum.

So Anthony says to Elaine "I guess some people have a big problem with your hand lotion and talked to the manager about it. I didn't tell the manager it was you."

So Elaine will then go to see the manager. "I use the lime, lavender, cucumber hand lotion because my hands get dry. Is it causing someone a problem?"

Your manager will say "Oh, well someone was saying it makes them sneeze. I hardly knew what to say. These people! It's crazy around here. What's a person to do?"

"Uh, I could try using a different hand lotion." Elaine will say.

"Great." Your manager will say.

Problem solved.

Is that so difficult?

Please follow these procedures in the future. Thank you.

Your Supervisor



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