Shut It All Down

“Alright everyone. Take a seat. Kelly, we still have some seats up here at the front, if you’d rather not stand. C’mon and take a seat up…

“Are you sure? No? Guys there’s still plenty of seats up here. If we just want to go ahead and fill in where we can, we can get this meeting started and over.

“No takers? Alright, well I’ll just go ahead and get started then. You’re probably all wondering why we’re here. Well…you’re probably not wondering at all. There have been a lot of rumors going around the building about what’s going to happen to the company. I know we’ve been on kind of rocky soil for the last year, and it’s made a lot of you nervous. The last week certainly hasn’t helped.

“Well, I’m not going to beat around the bush. It’s not pretty. I’ve decided to shut down the company for the time being. But only the non-essentials.

**The crowd begins mumbling amongst themselves**

“Hey, hey now, can we keep it down, please? I said we’re only going to be postponing employment of non-essential personnel. All essential personnel will continue with their work as they had before.

“Now I know this is coming as a real shock to some of you, and it was a really difficult decision to make, but the CFO and I just couldn’t come to an agreement on department budgets. Some of you may have heard otherwise – that this budget shutdown was actually about a recent decision to quit stocking Snickers bars in the office vending machines. I will tell you that this, although a true statement, only played a small role in our decision to close our doors.

“It really is difficult. I know that some of you have children to feed, you all have bills to pay, and no, I can’t give you any definite time table on when the company will be opening its doors again, but we’re going to be trying our hardest over the upcoming days to come to an agreement.

“‘Scuse me, sir, but who exactly are essential personnel?”

“Ah, that’s a great question, David. All essential personnel can be found in our company bylaws that we revisit each year.”

Yes, but it looks like the only two essential personnel are you and the CFO. So both of you, who caused the shutdown in the first place, will continue to have jobs, while the rest of us have to sit at home?” 

“Well, that’s not the way I’d look at it, David, but yes, that’s about right. I’d look at it as time to pick up a new hobby, start a new book or two. You’ll have plenty of time to kill after you leave when the meeting’s over.”

“But sir, how is that right? How is it okay that you’re the ones that shut down the company, but you’re still at work getting paid while the rest of us sit at home doing nothing when we had absolutely nothing to do with the shutdown in the first place?” 

“Once again, David, that’s very poorly worded. We’re the ones that actually need to pass the budget, correct? Without us, there would be no budget. So, in order for the shutdown to end, we need to be here, on the clock, to try to get some sort of budget deal through. Do you understand?

“No, sir.”

“Good. Alright, now if there are any more concerns or questions, we’ll be happy to answer them once the budget shutdown has ended, but as of right now, we’re going to have to ask the non-essential personnel to leave. Thank you very much for your time, and if we all stick together, I just know we can get through this difficult time.

“No no, not you, Karen, I need someone here to get my coffee.

“No Steve. You stay as well. I need an assistant to go and pick up my laundry. But all the rest of you, yes, that includes you, David, will need to leave the premises. Thank you.

“Now, let’s work on getting those Snickers back into the vending machines.”

“After lunch, though?”


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