Mark Colomb

Videos, Podcasts, and Junk

Date: April 23, 2013

A Letter to Human Resources re: Later, Jerks.

Dear Human Resources,

My names is Phillip Latroid and I am employee number 14568722145728474922. I am in the analytics department of our overseas banking department on the northwest corner of the southeast building in our Westown campus. I have been an employee here for the 10 years and rarely have voiced a complaint. However it is with a heavy heart that I must resign from the company immediately. Though I enjoy our work and appreciate the anonymity provided by my job I feel it is time for me to move on. On my way out the door I wanted to share some thoughts about our current working conditions.

My desk mate Davis smells like the litter box of a cat suffering from some sort of intestinal parasite. It really cannot be overstated. Yes, some of the smell is obviously Davis’ own shit but he smells like kitty litter. Davis also seems to subsist on a diet of prune juice and slim jims. I would maybe have someone from our health and wellness team speak to him. Over the course of the last ten years I have spent day after day smelling him rot from the inside out. No one ever says anything because Davis is blind in one eye and most people think he has it hard enough. I don’t believe that one’s vision should excuse them from maintaining proper hygiene.

Over the course of the last 10 years I have seen our lunch break go from a very generous 90 minutes to one hour to half an hour to nothing. Although I have never seen it written as an official policy it seems like anyone taking 30 minutes to step away from their desk is considered a malcontent and not a “Top Ten Percent Team Member” or whatever the current needless buzzword you have created to instill some sort of fake esprit de corps. I base this only on the wikipedia searching I do to kill time (as wikipedia is the only website you haven’t blocked us from using) but it seems that even murders serving life sentences get a lunch break. So I have to thank whoever came up with this unspoken working lunch policy for allowing us to have it worse than criminals.

Speaking to the previous mention of “Top Ten Percent Team Member” every year our bonus keeps decreasing. Could this possibly be related to the amount of money you are spending to bring in consultants to create needless corporate phrases like “Top Ten Percent Team Member” or last year’s “Reach For The Rings” program that amounted to a power point lecture and a banner in the break room? How much did you spend to have someone create our “Ten Points of Light?” I couldn’t help but notice that in that list of vague company ideals you never mentioned making sure our pay kept up with the cost of living. You know what really makes people feel like part of the team? Paying them enough to cover rent each month. Maybe save some of the money you spent on dynamic lectures and team building exercises and just make sure our wage keeps up with inflation. If I have to hear one more lecture from some asshole that listened to a Malcom Gladwell audio book I will, uh, fuck, who cares?

I have also seen my sick days and vacation rolled into a nebulous thing called PTO. When I started I had two weeks off and 5 sick days a year. Now I have two weeks of PTO. I know it can seem like staying home and vomiting all over myself is a vacation from this place. But I don’t agree that they are the same thing. I shouldn’t have to pick between diarrhea and a trip to Denver to see my in laws at Christmas. Though shitting myself does sometimes seem preferable to eating my mother in laws green bean casserole. Would it kill you to give us three weeks off? Maybe some sick days? To balance out the scales as it were I have spent the last year doing nothing but playing angry birds in the shitter.

During my time here my pay has effectively stayed the same, my vacation time has gone down, I have lost my lunch break, and we stopped receiving a bonus. In that same time our profits have gone up, our CEO has purchased a minor league hockey team, and my office mate Davis has put on 125 pounds of jerky weight. So it is with a sense of relief and absolutely no regret that I leave this place and hope that someday you realize the kind of company you are running. I am sure this letter is being read by one of our HR specialists in India. I am so glad you moved our jobs over seas so you could save even more money. Hello my Indian friend are you well? I hope you can understand the kind of company you are working for.

What’s The Point,

Phillip Latroid

A Letter to Matthew Weiner re: Passing on Mad Men

Dear Mr. Weiner,

Good Day. My name is Jeremy Pendleton. I am Junior Vice President of Development and Production at The American Broadcasting Company. I recently received a copy of your script about the advertising executives in the late 50’s. First of all let me say how much I enjoy your work on the CBS program Becker. It looks to be one of the real true success stories this fall. Reading your script I can’t help but think of one word. FAILURE.

Mr. Weiner do you honestly think America wants to look backwards? We here at ABC did have luck with The Wonder Years but we would be fools to try something like that again. We are nearing the end of a century and the country is all about looking forward. We need shows about the future not the past. We want things that deal with the information superhighway. We want shows that are about good looking twenty somethings drinking fancy coffee and complaining about how much money they make.

Mr. Weiner do you honestly think we want to remind people of a point in American history where the postwar boom gives way to the turbulent 60’s? The economy is booming, we aren’t at war, people are able to buy two, hell, four homes if they want. Do you think they want to turn on their TV and be reminded of a time where that all went away? I mean, Matt, can I call you Matt? What makes you think anyone would be interested in a show about people selling things?

Isn’t the point of television to make people forget all about the advertisements? Now you want to go and remind them not only of the ads but also of the people that make them? What next Matt a show that takes place in a hot dog factory? If we start reminding people about the ads they may start wondering why they need to watch them. Could you imagine a world where people didn’t watch the ads? It would be the death of everything we hold dear. You write about these ad men as if they are the worst thing that happened our country. Why must you bite the hand that feeds you so well, Mr. Weiner? It’s like watching a remora fish mock a shark.

If you were smart you would start coming up with pitches for reality programs. They are cheap and completely forgettable. We almost bought a version of a Swedish show where people live on an island together and eat bugs. I wish we could have shown it. Now that is television. Tan people, swimming around and spending their time on the beach? That is must see TV. We are taking a pitch next week on a show where people eat bugs and get covered in snakes. This is what America wants. We need more people eating bugs. We are not in the business of telling stories Matt, we are in the business of selling ad time, pure and simple.

Before you go pitching this somewhere else let me give you some notes. First off this Don fella needs to be something else. Maybe he is a spy? You know sells ads by day is James Bond by night You could have him working to change the history we know. Oh boy. Here is an idea. Don foils the Kennedy assassination. You have him going to Dallas to pitch some oil company but secretly he is there to kick the shit out of that pinko Oswald. Now that is story telling. Don could then go on to Cuba and punch Castro right in his stupid beard. Matt the possibilities are endless. You need to stop thinking so small if you ever want to get this show on the air.

Also let’s talk about the cast. I would take that mild mannered secretary Peggy and make her sexy. Maybe she works at the Playboy Club at night and is also a spy. Actually you know what we should do? You should scrap all this shit and write an Austin Powers TV show. That is something that would work. I got a look at the upcoming sequel and let me tell you H-I-T. Big time. You have a feel for the period but you have to get away from this grounded boring nonsense and give the people what they want. Fat Bastard eating bugs.

All the best with your career Matt. I mean that. But if you really want to stay in this business you have to work harder to please the viewers. I have to go, we are expanding Who Wants To Be A Millionaire to six nights a week. I get to help pick out Mr. Philbin’s ties each night. I got a real eye for fashion. Before my uncle hired me here I worked at The Gap.

All The Best,

Jeremy Pendleton


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