Jan/Feb 2019 Humor/Satire

The New Hire

by Steven Julson

Image salvaged from public domain

"Mark, welcome to the team, man. I'm Scott, your Orientation Buddy. You in the middle of anything?"

"Just the Code of Conduct train—"

"Boring! Come with me.

"So, this hallway you're sitting in, it's called the 'the Lot.' It's for trying-before-we-buy, like a car lot, you get it? We want to take you for a spin, see how you do before we commit. Man, it's not well ventilated in here, is it? Christ, it stinks. Is that you? No, it's probably that guy. Jesus, look at him.

"Listen, my advice off the bat: do whatever it takes to get out of the Lot. If Maritha in Digital Services asks you to babysit her shitty kids so she can go get Sauvignon Blanc drunk at Applebee's, you do it. If Pete in Brand Management tells you to put your finger in his butthole, you do it. Anything to get people on your side. Let's introduce you around, huh?

"Hey, everyone, this is Mark. He just started."

"Hi, nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you, Mark."

"Hi Mark, welcome to the team. Don't listen to this guy, eh?"

"Says the guy who licks his coffee. Brad literally licks through a cup of coffee. Won't sip it. Mad man. Oh, this is Maritha, who I was telling you about."

"Hi, I'm Maritha, glad to have you onboard. Wow, you've got a confident grip. You any good with kids?"

"Uh, well I have two niece—"

"What is it you'll be doing here, Mark?"

"Data entry, actually. I just graduated fr—"

"God, thank you. It's criminal for me to be doing data entry at my level. It's so menial."

"What was the name of the data entry guy who just left?"

"I think it was Lou?"

"I think his name was Drew. I'm pretty sure."

"Didn't we start calling him Big Loaf at one point?"

"It was definitely an 'ew' sound."

"Yeah, but we nicknamed him Big Loaf after what he did at that buffet, remember?"

"What were we celebrating that day?"

"It was supposed to be Brancine's birthday lunch, but she went missing the day before. We all still went, though. Remember, the cops were there interviewing people?"

"Right, right. But what was that kid's name?"

"His last day was just last week, wasn't it?"

"I think that's what all the crying was Friday."

"I just found his last email. It was from Friday. His name was Stuart."


"FUCK, RIGHT, STEW. Anyways, good to have you on board."

"Yeah, welcome to the team."

"Alright, back to work, chuckleheads. Mark, if you will...

"Ah, real quick, this is the office supplies cabinet. Pens, paper, pads, all that is in here. Staplers, hole punchers. Basically, it's shit no one uses anymore because we have computers. Notice that it's locked. That's because DONOVAN CAN'T KEEP SUPPLIES FOR MORE THAN A SINGLE DAY. HOW WEIRD, DONOVAN."

"I can hear you, Scott."

"If you need something, you go directly to Berry, the facilities coordinator. He locked it up for real once Drunk Carla started using it as her lunchbox. You'll meet her later. She's real loud after five. Berry's judgmental, though, so just bring your own shit from home. Alright, the kitchen is this way.

"Oh, bathrooms are here. And not saying you would by the look of you, but don't have your phone out at the stall, man. If you want to snap a picture of a guy's rocket, do it on your own time."

"No, I wouldn't—"

"Alright, this is our kitchen. Shit, Burt Manhoagie in the flesh! Your pitch killed yesterday, man."

"Hey, thanks. I hope you guys let me live a little longer."

"Yeah, we'll see. Oh, this is Mark, he just started today."


"Alright, where was I? Right, the kitchen. Free coffee and tea. That's the ice maker. It's loud, though, so be sure you really want ice before you use it. People will scream. Fridge is there. We clean it out at the end of the month, and the janitors give no fucks as to what they toss out, so be warned. We hid someone's glass eye in there one Friday, for laughs, you know, then forgot about it. Now it's in a landfill somewhere. Hah, that poor fucker Jerry had to wear a post-it note over his eye hole. We drew an eye on it for him, too.

"Oh, and look, there's not a lot of rules here, but never microwave fish. You can fuck a chicken at a business review, but never microwave fish."

"I should get back to the Code of Conduct training."

"Sure. Oh, one last thing. If you are ever here late at night and see an old man in a newsie hat shuffling through the hallways, get the fuck out."

"Why, is he a ghost or something?"

"No, Leonard's just an asshole. Wait, is he a ghost? Holy shit, didn't he just die a year ago? Alright, I'll send you an email with my contact info. Ping me if you need something. Good luck."

Mark returns to his small table in the Lot, a table wedged between many others where contractors sit with their Orientation Buddies.

Mark opens his email. There's a single message waiting for him, titled, "Welcome Aboard!" It contains orientation information: desktop setup instructions, helpful links, a seating chart to get acquainted with names and conference rooms, and even a shortcut to the café's daily menu. At the start, the sender has written, "Hi, running late, so sorry! I am your Orientation Buddy. I'm heading up to meet you now." It's signed, "Leonard."

"What the hell?!"

Then another email appears, titled, "[No subject]." It reads, "Turns out I'm not your Orientation Buddy, I was just supposed to approve your data clearance. WHOOPS. I'm so fucking high right now. Maritha is already asking about you, so get ready, boy-o." The signature says, "Senior Product Manager, Scott Peevens."


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