For the first time in my life, I’m feeling sorry for the people in the human resources department. I’m not talking about the challenges of finding workers in a rebounding economy, though. Really, I’m feeling their pain as they plan to bring workers back from their couches to their cubicles.
Companies large and small are demanding that employees return to the Mother Ship, possibly now and definitely by September, and you can measure the grumbling on the Richter Scale. People will be showing up angry and resentful, and it’s going to be the HR department’s job to rebuild cohesive teams.
Good luck on that one.
After 18 months of remote control, America’s workforce is about to be reintroduced to traffic jams, parking fees and doing laundry more than once a month. They’ll suddenly remember why they hated Eleanor from accounting and why everyone was in a big hurry to use the restroom before Fred arrived at the office. It won’t be pretty.
At the very least, HR departments can alleviate the pain by installing Keurig machines at every desk and keeping the lights as dim as possible. Beyond that minimum, it would be an excellent idea to avoid “team building exercises” and “social interactions” for at least a couple of months.
Meanwhile, returning workers should do their best to adjust their own expectations and behaviors in this brave old world. For example:
Welcome back to the office, everyone. What could possibly go wrong?
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My mom gave me a bunch of mail to look over and I was very, very impressed. Little did I realize that she is one of the most influential people in the country.
It must be true, though, and the United States Postal Service has delivered the proof. Every day, she gets a package with “Official Documents Enclosed” and an urgent request for her views on matters of national importance. And it’s all be hugely confidential, as evidenced by the warning that, “It is a FEDERAL OFFENSE for anyone other than the person listed below to open this letter.”
Clearly, she is so influential that companies are willing to offer her big bucks to give them her advice. Here’s an offer of a $100 gift certificate if she merely stops by for lunch--free!!--and shares her opinion about the newest in hearing-aid technology. I’m not sure why they need to ask, since the letter says 100% of patients are approved for these new devices, but clearly my mom’s opinion is just that important.
And so many checks, she must be in the 148% tax bracket by now. Here’s an envelope with “retirement benefits documents enclosed,” and you can see the check right through the address window. It turns out it’s just a picture of what a check might look like if she signs the petition and returns it before the deadline, but when her signature sways Congress, it’s raining Benjamins at her place.
Actually, there are a ton of letters like this, alerting her to the urgent crisis that could lead the federal government to reduce her Social Security check or fail to increase her Social Security check or delay sending her Social Security check. All is not lost, though. If only she signs the petition and returns it with seven bucks, or $25, or agrees to have her credit card dinged for a monthly contribution, or puts me into an apprenticeship program.
Here’s an urgent plea for a response and a donation of at least $15, “because some people in Washington are talking about cutting your Social Security benefits.” Well, I don’t know who those “some people” are, but they are a clear and present danger to say the least. Golly, I wonder if these fine organizations are reaching out to other elderly Americans, or if they are just relying on my mom to handle the burden?
Either way, I have nothing but admiration for all the groups protecting my mom from the financial catastrophe that awaits if she fails to sign the petitions, and I know it comes at a great financial cost to those organizations. One guy is courting bankruptcy, apparently, by springing for the postage-paid reply envelopes that accompanied his letter.
I really felt bad for him when I read, “The extra postage is an expense I really can’t afford right now,” In fact, he continues for several paragraphs about the burden of paying for return postage. Later on, though, he says a donation of $14.55 will enable him to send another 26 petitions to 26 other seniors. So, that’s 56 cents per envelope? Well, no wonder he’s going broke on this crusade. Some other guy sent a survey and he says he can send out more petitions for only 45 cents each. Maybe they could compare notes.
It’s heartwarming to know these selfless individuals and organizations are working tirelessly to take care of my mom and, I suppose, millions of other retired people. Obviously, they are in it for the public good, not profit, as shown by their willingness to lavish her with gift certificates and postage-paid reply envelopes. Anyone who doesn’t believe in guardian angels should just read my mom’s mail and they will see the light.
Please forgive us for spending so much time bragging about how popular mom is. We promise not to do it again if you’ll just click here to subscribe for future, less boastful posts.
Ignoring the rest of the world, a break for working stiffs, and our surprise when normal things happen…
It’s Independence Day and, like all loyal patriots, I will spend the day at a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, followed by a reenactment of the signing.
Hah! You fell for that? No way, Joseph. Like all my fellow countryfolks, I’ll spend the holiday at a barbecue, consuming huge amounts of food and way too much beer. Then I’ll look for the closest fireworks display and spend the night watching stuff go boom.
Even in our polarized nation, great holidays like Independence Day bring us closer together. I once argued with my neighbor about the relative merits of Maker’s Mark versus (boo, hiss) Crown Royal, but it’s really hard to keep up the rancor when you’re stuffing your face...and in a stupor.
That’s why we need more holidays in America and not just “historical” holidays like Independence Day, Juneteenth and Mother's Day. We need new holidays that celebrate all that makes our nation special today and every day. At the Holiday Viability Assessment Laboratory at Dad Writes, our research team has identified the ten holidays most worthy of celebration in coming years, including:
Have we missed anyone? Let us know your recommendations for new holidays and we will add them to the list that we deliver to Congress by way of our lobbyist friends on K Street. We can’t wait for the parties in 2022.
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Who writes this stuff?
Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.