October 31, 2000
While You Were Out



TO:            Franz

FROM:       SecraTerri
        Oct. 31, 2000
            Updated Calendar/Misc. Items

Hello Franz.

Welcome back from vacation.

I think I speak for the entire Totem Pole Company when I say that we all hope you've enjoyed your vacation as much as WE have enjoyed your vacation.

By now you've probably already heard that your Right-Hand-Guy in Southern CA suddenly resigned. So did your Office Manager in San Diego. So did the Corporate MIS Director. (So did the receptionist, here in Oakland ... although that's more a case of somebody calling in "sick" for twenty-one days in a row.)

There have, however, been a handful of corporate developments I feel you should be made aware of right away. Below I have outlined some of the more critical issues, as *I* see them:

  • While you were gone we had the lobby painted, per your request.

    The color we finally settled on is called "Slate Blue."  I realize that it's probably a little more blue-gray than the gray-blue you requested ... but it was the closest match to the swizzle stick you left for us to use as a "color sample."

    (Just to be on the safe side, however, we have also purchased twenty gallons each of "Dove Gray," "Sky Blue," "Sky-Dove Blue-Gray," "Blue Doves in Gray Sky at Dawn," and "White." The painters have already been told to come back on Saturday.)

  • The company newsletter went out yesterday.

    We think it looks pretty terrific: lots of New Employee Profiles, lots of interesting project articles, lots of *Don't Forget To Vote!* reminders.

    Sadly, we were not able to incorporate your exciting feature on 'Offset Barrier Type-Y Crossings With Signalized Crosswalk Indicators' in this edition. Also, without you here to provide your usual crackerjack editorial and proofreading support, we've probably used more actual punctuation than you are comfy with.

    (What can I tell you? When the cat's away ... the mice will semi-colon.)

  • The Totem Pole Company Picnic was cancelled.

    That's the bad news.

    The official reason was "weather." The unofficial reason was a lack of employee response: we weren't sure whether to buy hot dogs for sixty, or filet mignon for three.

    (The good news is that we're already getting an AMAZING response on the Christmas party invitations!! At this rate, you're gonna have enough people for Twister!)

  • We have officially switched from Peet's to a generic brand of coffee in the Totem Pole Company lunchroom.

    This was an Accounting Department decision, apparently. It was not routed through proper corporate channels (read this: they didn't ask *me* first); clearly was a decision based on economics, not employee preference (read this: they didn't ask *me* first). While I can understand Stan's reluctance to continue spending $600 a month on coffee, this new stuff looks -- and tastes -- like potting soil.

    I would like to respectfully request a re-vote when you get back.

  • We have officially switched from Puff's-Plus Incredibly-Soft Aloe-Enhanced Facial Tissue, to 100% Recycled/Stock White Facial Sandpaper.

    Another Accounting Department decision.

    (Can we talk before the Accounting Department makes a "decision" on toilet paper? Please??)

  • I may have accidentally been a teeny-tiny bit rude to the Mayor of Oakland on the phone last week.

    I figure you'd probably better hear about this one from me directly.

    In my own defense, I would like to point out that I usually talk to one of the Mayor's snotty young assistants, not to the actual Mayor himself. (They always call me "Ma'am." Grrrrrr.)  I would further like to point out that once I realized who I was speaking to -- that I was talking to His Royal Grooviness himself, and not one of his unctuous underlings -- I resisted the urge to beg him to reconcile with Linda.

    I also did not call him "Jer-Bear."

    (I also did not ask him what the fudk is up with those white collarless shirts. He looks like PASTOR WHEATLEY, forcryingoutloud.)

  • Per your request, I have placed doctor/dental appointments on your calendar as follows:
    • Flex Sigmoid Guy (consultation)
    • Internal Medicine Guy (basic going-over)
    • "Skin Doctor" (mole)
    • Podiatrist
    • Neurologist (sleep disorder)
    • Orthopedic Surgeon (check-up/shoulder)
    • Allergist (prescription review/morning appointment)
    • Dentist (cleaning/afternoon appointment)
    • Opthalmologist (a.m.)
    • Dental Implant (follow-up/p.m.)
    • Chiropractor
    • "Scalp Doctor"
    • Endodontist (just for fun)

    That should take care of your first week back.

    Let me know if you've brought home any interesting diseases from Australia, OK?

  • My office has been transformed into a *hub* for effective corporate communication.

    While you were gone I completely restructured my office, beginning with the creation of a new and improved central filing system. Using my existing file cabinets, plus extra filing space allocated to me in the corporate library next door to my office, I designed and built a system to track, collate, archive and efficiently store all project files, correspondence, reports, and business and personal records. In addition, my existing files were updated: documents and records dated prior to 1998 were carefully outsourced to the Totem Pole Company storage facility downstairs, while documents dated prior to 1990 were minimized and remoleculed. My office furniture was rearranged to provide optimum efficiency, safety and ergonomic comfort ... my desktop was streamlined ... my computer files were compacted ... my carpet was shampooed ... AND I have a groovy new mousepad with little smiley faces all over it.

    Your office, on the other hand, looks exactly the way it did when you left. Plus I think your dwarf schleffera is dead. Sorry.

Again ... welcome back, Franz. I can truthfully say that everyone here at the Totem Pole Company is just as excited about your return as *I* am.

P.S. On a personal note ... I'm fine. Thank you for asking. No, I'm not married yet. No, I'm not engaged yet, either. (I sort of thought I might be by now, with the two-year anniversary and all ... but you know how it goes.) Yes, I received your condolence voicemail: thank you. My daughter is fine, and we appreciate the fact that you were thinking of us. No, I did not receive your postcard from Sydney. (Although if you put a stamp on it this time, it might get here before Christmas.)

cc: Stan
     The VP of BFD
     The Human Resources Director Person
     Matt Lauer
     Linda Ronstadt
     Jo Ann Valdez
     Peter Cave

throw a rock