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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Green Gone Wrong: A Satire

Green Gone Wrong . . .

Memo to the Staff from the CEO:

It has recently come to my attention that several gross violations of our company's policy for a greener planet have taken place. So as not to embarrass the guilty parties, I will refrain from citing specific names. However, I will address the infractions in detail in the hope they will serve as a cautionary reminder that each and every employee is responsible for upholding the values and reputation of this company as a sustainable investor in the future. In concise terms, I feel it is my duty to bring your attention to the specific examples below:

Exhibit A: A member of the cleaning staff, who wishes to remain anonymous, recently witnessed an employee pressing the low-flow timed water button three times in the course of one hand-washing. To add insult to injury, this same individual served him/herself to two pre-measured glycerin-based soap servings from the wall dispenser. This is a flagrant trespass of responsible lavatory practices and will not be tolerated. Not only is this information clearly noted in your employee handbook under "Self-serve low-flow water and glycerin-based soap portioning," but is further reinforced with neutral-gender stick figure illustrations indicating one low-flow water press to moisten, followed by a single soap application and one additional low-flow water press as a final rinse. Please avail yourselves of this visual aid each and every time you visit the lavatories.

Exhibit B: Yesterday, an individually packaged, half-eaten Hostess Twinkie was found in the back of the company refrigerator, further concealed in a non-recyclable plastic grocery bag. The presence of the offending snack cake in fact violates three company regulations, all of which are clearly stated in your handbook. The first is our ban on chemical food additives in the workplace. Just because Jimmy Carter (former U.S. President, 1977-1981) put one in a time capsule doesn't make it a healthy food choice. The second being our ban on plastic bags in general and the third being our strict policy of no individually wrapped food items. While I hate to pour proverbial lemon juice on an already open wound, the Twinkie was three weeks past it's due date. Need I say more?

Exhibit C: I have it on good authority that a red Honda Prius (wouldn't white be a better choice in creating a comfortable mobile micro-climate people?) was seen pulling into the employee parking lot with only two passengers inside. This violates our carpooling policy (Section F, Sub-Section II, paragraph 565) stipulating three or more occupants. The missing third occupant was seen arriving several hours late in her own car, her excuse being a "medical procedure." Please organize car-pooling more efficiently and please take care to schedule all "medical procedures", (including home births) during weekend, evening and scheduled vacation time. This brings me to the next infraction.

Exhibit D: Two months ago, I personally approved a two-week eco-vacation for one of you in Mongolia to help build a school for Buddhist children. I later learned that not only did this individual neglect to purchase the required carbon offset credits for the CO2 emissions given off during plane travel, but rode a camel on several occasions during his stay. While camels are not specifically noted in your handbook, we all know that they are rude ruminants who belch and flatulate methane into the environment at an astonishing rate, contributing an approximate 14% of global warming emissions. The unfortunate fact that these cud-chewing, saliva slobbering animals are the only means of transporting materials in the Gobi dessert is no excuse. A comfortable pair of walking shoes with good arch support should be every green citizen's staple while on vacation.

As a general note, when planning your eco-vacations, shopping or eating, I would advise you all to be wary of widely overused marketing techniques that in most cases have no substance behind them. Research your purchases diligently. Don't hesitate to request a company profile on the manufacturer of those "organic" socks you've been considering. Check in on that "eco-charity" you're contributing to. Is part of your hard-earned paycheck really going towards "aid" in Africa or "reforestation" in the Amazon? Most importantly, when at work (where you spend most of your time) follow your company handbook to the letter. Why not spend your lunch hour today revisiting company regulations? Think about how your actions can have consequences that reach above and beyond the walls of your cubicle. And when you walk through the doors of this building at the end of the day, you can feel proud that you work for a company who watches your back.


Jack Emalloff, CEO ACME Toxic Waste Management

This memo was electronically sent. Save a tree.