A fine idea gone wrong
Sunday, April 26, 1998
BY PETER BRONSON of The Cincinnati Enquirer
April 1, 1992
TO: Amalgamated Widget Workers
It has come to our attention that some employees want to participate in
something called "Take Your Daughters To Work Day." Amalgamated
Widget values families, including daughters, but human resources policy
(Employee Handbook Section IV, part 17) prohibits the presence of
unsupervised children in and around work stations, including but not
limited to smelters, stampers, saws and high speed drills. Amalgamated
is the nation's top widget manufacturing company, not a day-care center.
Those who wish to introduce their daughters to exciting career
opportunities assembling and packing widgets may sign up for the annual
factory tour on Amalgamated Family Day.
April 1, 1993
TO: Our Valued Employees
Many of our valued Amalgamated employees were dissatisfied with our
policy on Take Our Daughters to Work Day. After the protest work
stoppage last year, Amalgamated has reconsidered and will welcome the
opportunity to introduce daughters to the exciting world of Widget
production. Smelters, stampers and other restricted equipment will be
shut down for a one-hour tour.
April 1, 1994
TO: All Employee Persons
After the successful Take Our Daughters to Work Day last year, human
resources conducted a series of workshops to explore possible gender
bias in the event. Upon the recommendation of the Gender Equity
Committee, Amalgamated this year will also welcome sons on Take Our
Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
April 1, 1995
TO: Our Amalgamated Family
The Gender Equity Committee has been expanded to include issues of
age discrimination, after some employees protested that last year's Take
Our Children to Work Day excluded grandparents. Management has
agreed to rename the event Take Our Children and Grandparents to
Work Day -- but that is not intended to exclude siblings, aunts, uncles,
cousins and other relatives. Production will be shut down for two days to
accommodate all visitors who wish to explore exciting careers at
Amalgamated . . .
April 1, 1996
The Committee on Gender, Diversity, Alternative Lifestyles, Age and
Other Disorders has recommended the following changes: Childless
orphans can bring anyone they want to Take Our Whatever to Work Day.
For those lacking convenient neighbors or friends, human resources has
made arrangements with the local homeless shelter to provide substitute
companions. Also, parents are advised to keep their daughters and sons
away from the cafeteria from 8-5, when employees who have
ADA-certified alcoholism and drug disorders will gather for a keg party
and limbo contest . . .
April 1, 1997
TO: Employee Pet Owners
FROM: Human Resources
A year-long study of the Amalgamated Employee Handbook has found
no specific language regarding non-humans. After obtaining legal advice,
Amalgamated will no longer exclude pets . . .
April 1, 1998
TO: All Whiners, Malcontents and Victims of Amalgamated Job
FROM: Former management
There will be no open house this year to allow daughters, sons,
grandparents, neighbors, in-laws, homeless people, undocumented
aliens, Internet-addicted exotic dancers, dogs, cats and tropical fish to
explore exciting careers at Amalgamated Widget because WE HAVE NO
MORE EXCITING CAREERS.
Repeated production losses in April, corresponding to Take Our
Watchamacallit To Work Day, left us unable to fill orders. Our
competitor, Conglomerated Widget, has monopolized the market. Our
plan for early retirement and downsizing must be abandoned; instead, all
assets are being sold to pay liability awards from last year's event. The
homeless man who was attacked by a Doberman belonging to our night
foreman's brother-in-law has settled for $11.4 million; we are still
litigating an emotional trauma lawsuit on behalf of children who
witnessed the unfortunate attack and the resulting limbo-party brawl.
Good news: The hamster missing since last year has been found --
jammed in the gears of No. 1 Widget Stamper, which will not be repaired
because the entire plant will close at the end of this week.
To commemorate 79 years of Widget-making tradition, management has
declared that Friday will be: Take Our Whole Famn Damily to the
Unemployment Office Day.
Peter Bronson is editorial page editor of The Enquirer. If you
have questions or comments, call 768-8301, or write to 312 Elm
Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.