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Madeleine Begun Kane,
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Madeleine Begun Kane


Dear Employee:

Congratulations on your ___ (fill in the blank) anniversary at ("SPIES"). We hope you have enjoyed your ___ (fill in the blank) years at SPIES as much as we have.

It's time, as you know, for your annual review, which we have decided to do this year by email. In the past, we made every effort to conduct employee reviews face to face. Frankly, however, in person interviews are very time consuming. Plus we had far too many fatalities.

Moreover, now that SPIES' headquarters have been sold and we are all telecommuting, we have no central place for a friendly tete a tete. We briefly considered using a mutually convenient Starbucks. But we couldn't come to terms -- those Seattle guys are really wired. So unless you'd like to invite me over to your house (hahaha), this email will have to do.

A few comments before we get to the bottom line:

1. All of us at SPIES were happy to learn that you've recovered from that embarrassing ailment. We were also pleased that your wife didn't kick you out of the house when she found out about it. (Just for the record, SPIES has a one home office hookup per employee policy, so being evicted by your spouse is generally a bad idea.)

2. That resume you sent to three of our competitors was quite impressive. However, you might want to review it for accuracy. Additionally, you should probably rethink your reference list.

3. We commend you on the creativity of last year's tax return. Fortunately, there is still time to file an amended return, should you prefer to avoid prison.

4. During the past year you have displayed an extraordinary literary ability -- one that suggests your talents have been wasted in Accounting. I am referring, of course, to your postings on the BBS.

5. SPIES is proud to be "people company." Moreover, its executives take a personal interest in staff members like you and enjoy learning about their hobbies and interests. And while none of them has ever actually met you, be assured that each has taken time out of his busy schedule to visit your personal Web site. Indeed, can there be any better way to get to know the real you?

Speaking for management, we were impressed by your site's design and ease of use. We also appreciate the fact that it makes no reference to your employment by SPIES. (If I had to state the qualities we most value in our employees, discretion would certainly sit atop that list.) And on a personal note, let me say that you cut quite the figure in your wife's lingerie.

6. You're fired.


SPIES Human Resources

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