As I was dawdling on another new hire, the following letter was delivered to me by the Executive Director dated 30 days ago.
Dear Ms. Lingerman:
This letter is to inform you that your employees’ lack of follow through has been noted. This time-consuming behavior must stop and will be met with varying grades of discipline. Therefore, you must eventually end your employees’ procrastination by implementing the following punishments within the next day or so:
First Offense – Paper clips will slowly disappear, until one day, when your employees desperately need that paper clip to keep their documents together, they will no longer find one available.
Second Offense – Tape will be adhered to the headset of the employee’s telephone. Each conversation will be received in a sluggish muffled tone that they are to decipher in the proper dialect while the employee’s loud drawn-out responses will be made clearly audible to the receiver.
Third Offense – All leisurely activities, such as watching television, reading, playing video games, and talking will no longer be permitted and will gradually be removed from the premises.
Fourth Offense – All bathroom privileges will eventually be revoked until project completion. By this time, we expect that with the urgency to pee will encourage an urgency to complete the project at hand; within a reasonable amount of time.
Fifth Offense – The coffee pot will have a remote shut-off switch, in which case the supervisor may or may not choose to use, resulting in an agonizing wait to see if the brown liquid will, indeed, spew from the filter; giving the supervisor the power to exercise the fourth offense repeatedly for the dedicated coffee drinkers.
If the lack of caffeine does not lead to your employees’ effective timeliness, be forewarned that their current employ with Procrastination ‘R Us will be seriously considered under review and may take up to 90 days for completion.
Needless to say, I was mortified that the employees would deliberately extend project deadlines. What would they do if their jobs were up for review? How would they be able to support their loved ones without their delayed paychecks? How would I support myself without their time-consuming activities?
I had realized that I should notify my employees of these offenses. As I dragged my feet to the cubicle hub, I was met with sad, long drawn-out eyes. Within the hour, I learned that my employees were mourning the fact that I was under review for not implementing the above offenses in a timely fashion. The opportunity to hide all of the paper clips or tape the telephone receiver slipped through my fingers like green slime. Revoking leisure activities and bathroom privileges were stolen right from under my nose, and most of all, I could not exercise my gradual decision of the coffee pot!
With my head hung low, I sluggishly made my way to Mr. Longwinded’s office. Then, I realized that Procrastination ‘R Us is all about procrastination. If not for our dawdleness, we would not be a business. I held my head high and deliberately marched into his office with slow and calculated high steps. After a lengthily conversation that lasted three weeks, Mr. Longwinded admitted that he was in the wrong for the memo and praised me for my measured thought processes. He decided to revoke the review and gave me a raise for my lack of follow through. He indicated that the gradual raise will appear in my delayed paycheck after he completed the 1,000 page paperwork for Human Resources. This was truly a win, not just for me and my employees, but as a model to follow for future procrastinating interns.