Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Punishment File Chronicles: No "hot drinks" for you!

As I've previously mentioned, we're in the middle of a hiring blitz for our new branch. The other day, I asked the HR manager to clear out some of the old file cabinets so we could organize all the applications we've received over the last few days. Before tossing the old files, he brought them to my office so I could make sure we weren't throwing out anything important.

Buried in the pile of old papers was a tattered manila folder ominously labeled "PUNISHMENT." I rubbed my palms together and cackled devilishly. Then I grabbed a fresh cup of coffee and locked my door so I could savor the contents undisturbed.

The Punishment File has proved to be a veritable treasure trove of stories about bad employees gone worse, recreational drug use gone awry and workplace assault. Discovering the Punishment File has badly hampered my productivity over the last few days. You see, the Punishment File is a tease. Her contents coyly hint at stories of epic misbehavior, but the letters of reprimand (penned by a former administrator) are so badly written that you can't quite make out what the hell happened from reading them alone - but there's usually enough detail to jog the old timers' memories.

Today's installment of the Punishment Chronicles features the story of "Skylar." Here's a verbatim transcription of the administrator's investigation of Skylar's infraction:

Dear Skylar,

The management herby needs a full detailed explanation for the misbehavior which you had done at the annual staff meet on 9/1/20XX at the owner's Residence. You had done this misbehavior because the best accounts staff award was not awarded to your brother. You had made bulling, ranged telephone and shouted at the conductors with the local bad words and hitting some employees of our organization.

We need your explanation within 30 minutes in the hand written.

By Order,

The Administrator

Ok, got that? Yeah, me neither. So, here's the straight dope on Skylar in plainer English:

Skylar worked as an administrative assistant, while his brother was a junior accountant. During the annual holiday party at the company owner's house, awards were conferred on high performing employees from various departments. This awards ceremony took place late in the evening, by which time Skylar was shit faced off of screwdrivers [which at our company parties are made of Tang and vodka]. Skylar was confident that his brother would win the best accountant award, but his hopes were dashed when it was given to a more senior member of the department.

Skylar and his (equally drunk) lady friend decided there was a conspiracy against his brother because the brother was away on annual leave. As the best accountant winner accepted his award, Skylar rushed the podium and slapped the award out of his hands. He then grabbed the microphone Kanye-style and launched into a profanity laced diatribe about how his brother had been hosed. As he was shit-faced, this diatribe was given in his mother tongue - which left the majority of party goers baffled as to what was going on.

Upon finishing his speech, Skylar threw his Tang screwdriver in the winner's face and got on his mobile to tell his brother about the perceived slight. The facility manager stepped in and attempted to escort him out of the party. Skylar removed a ball point pen from his pocket and stabbed the man's thigh before escaping to the owner's back garden where he proceeded to rip up petunias and marigolds from the flower bed in retaliation for his brother's slighting.

Eventually, Skylar was overpowered by several men from the office - but not before he'd given out a few black eyes and busted lips.

So, let's get to the punishment. Now what do you think would be an appropriate punishment for such actions? Maybe you'd fire Skylar? Bar him from coming to the office with immediate effect so as to not expose your employees to an unstable lunatic? See to it that he's deported so that you, the sponsor, aren't liable for any bar brawls or assaults he might commit?

Well, if you agreed with any of that, you'd be wrong. Straight from the punishment file, here is the official verdict of the ever articulate administrator:

Dear Skylar,

As a disciplinary action taken by the management you are under suspension from 10/1/20XX (Saturday) to 24/1/20XX (Saturday) a total number of 15 days. During these period you should be in work and salary will not be paid to you for these 15 days.

Also this memo states that you should not drink any hot drinks* in any of our party or in company premises.

If found in any of the occassions stated above or any misbehavior or breech the rules of the company you will be handed over to the police and deported within 24 hours time without excuse.

By Order,

The Administrator

*Hot drinks = A south Asian term for "alcoholic beverages"....not coffee and tea.


  1. Funniest blog I've read in a while!! Please keep it up... I love it. (From somewhere in SandLand)

  2. I just came across your blog and your stories are eerily like the dinner debriefs I have with my other 1/2 - they literally made me laugh out loud, smile and shake my head at the same time!!!

    You gotta love working in "hoomin resource" in Sand Land :)

  3. Oh thank you for making me laugh so hard - I found my way here via Terry above who left a comment on my own blog.

    Oh I feel like I just discovered an awesome new toy!

    Keep it up!!!!

  4. Awww. Thanks everyone! I was worried that this stuff would be too off the wall for anyone to appreciate. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

  5. do they normally allow 'hot drinks ' in company premises ?? - you have a company to soooort out .

  6. Ynotoman, you are absolutely right. I definitely have my work cut out for me...culture change is sloooooow

    "Hot drinks" are most definitely not allowed on the premises. A future installment of The Punishment Chronicles will shed some light on why Mr. By Order might have felt the need to say no drinking on the premises.

  7. Oh I am dying of laughter! Thanks so much!