Friday, February 12, 2016

Flashback Friday: This Just In

Mid-Level Accountant Bemoans Office Card "Sameness"

HAMMOND, IN -- Frank Smelman, an accountant at Lardlakes Industrial Supplies, has complained to his fellow employees for what he calls "the lackluster and half-hearted" efforts they put in to his recent birthday card that circulated around the office for their signatures.

"I swear they put exactly the same stuff in there they did last year, almost like they just xeroxed it," said Smelman, who has been at Lardy's for a little over 14 years. "At first, I was really touched by their sentiments: 'Best wishes for a good year...nice working with you...happy birthday and many more to a nice guy.' I thought, 'what a great place to work, with people who really care about you.' But then I started comparing it to what they'd written last year, and there was practically no difference. C'mon, you think there'd be something else to say, something original, after all these years of working with these people. It's all so impersonal, like they hardly know me.

"There's such a sameness to the whole thing, you almost wonder if it's worth the effort," continued Smelman, who is considering going to his firm's Human Resources Department to report his complaint. "Why do they even go to the trouble of buying a card?"

Smelman sees it as a part of a bigger trend. "You see it in the other cards people sign, too," he says. "The funeral cards, the congratulations for promotions, things like that. People just seem to be going through the motions when they sign these things, and it gets very depressing. Almost makes you want to go work in another office somewhere."

Originally published July 19, 2007

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