As Departmental Manager, I Vow To Learn Each Of Your Names

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Vol 40 Issue 09

Kerry Volunteer Gets Some Kerry-Primary Victory Sex

ST. PAUL, MN—Following U.S. Sen. John Kerry's win in the Minnesota Democratic primary, campaign volunteer Ron Pelles, 24, got a little Kerry-primary victory sex off of fellow volunteer Dawn Beecher Monday. "Dawn and I were on such a high after Kerry took the state," Pelles said Tuesday morning. "She gave me a congratulatory hug while we were loading up the van, and there was just so much energy in the air that—bam!" Pelles said that he and Beecher, a political-science major at the University of St. Thomas, went back to his apartment and had intercourse twice, once with Beecher on top and once in the spoon position.

Texan Feels Emotionally Empty After Chili Cook-off

EL PASO, TX—Native Texan and chili chef Jerry Gerber, 41, said he has been suffering a palpable sense of melancholy ever since the 17th Annual Five-Alarm Chili Cook-Off on Feb. 28 ended. "Spend all year gittin' together the hottest, rootin'-tootinest, mule-kickinest chili this side of the Rio Grande, and whadya git fer yer troubles?" Gerber said Tuesday. "Shucks, you eat it and then you're all hat and no horse." In lieu of seeking professional help, Gerber said he plans to force himself back into the saddle by beginning work on his entry for the Texas Beef Council Steak-A-Thon in June.

Masters In Writing Fails To Create Master Of Writing

PALO ALTO, CA—Despite completing all the requirements for a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from Stanford University in January, Jeremy Craig Kessler somehow failed to become a master of creative writing, sources reported Monday. "Mr. Kessler's short stories, all written in the style of T.C. Boyle, show little more than excellence in spelling and grammar," said literary agent David Conrad. "Somehow, Kessler advanced to the very highest level of the academic program and has only an average body of work to show for it." Photocopies of Kessler's short-story collection can be purchased at jckessler.com.

Crank Caller Keeps Jerking Local News Team Around

PLATTSBURGH, NY—The Channel 5 Action News Team was duped once again by a crank call to the WPTZ breaking-news hotline Monday. "I should have known it was too good to be true that Jared [Fogle] would be filming a commercial at the Subway on Campus Drive," reporter Graham Johnson announced from the scene of the restaurant. "I knew that British accent seemed familiar, but it wasn't until we'd all jumped out of the van and rushed into the Subway that I figured it out. The same guy called about the escaped ape last week." Johnson vowed never to ignore his journalistic instincts again.

The New CPR

In a major shift in the emergency care of cardiac arrest, doctors are recommending a simpler form of CPR that eliminates mouth-to-mouth breathing. What are the other changes to CPR?

You Are The Most Beautiful Woman In The World Who Will Sleep With Me

Darling, I love you. You are truly the most amazing woman I'll ever lay my hands on. Could it be true, I ask myself? Is this gorgeous woman actually willing to let me have sex with her? A woman more lovely than any other woman I've ever met and been allowed to touch? The answer is yes! Of all the women on this earth, you are the single most beautiful one who is willing to let me sleep with her.

Virulent Strain Of Soy Flu Traced To Single Tofurkey

SAN FRANCISCO—A virulent strain of soy flu has been traced to a single tofurkey at a Bay Area food-processing factory. "An investigation of Green Earth Foods has located the bird-shaped loaf of firm bean curd from which the infection originated," said Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "To prevent further spreading of the disease, all tofurkeys in Northern California are being quarantined and destroyed." Gerberding said it appears that the soy virus was not transmitted to the factory's Spaghetti & Wheatballs Microwaveable Entree division.
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  • Night Out Consecrated With Opening Exchange Of High-Fives

    CHARLOTTE, NC—Kicking off the evening with their customary expression of excitement and camaraderie, a group of friends reportedly consecrated their night out on the town Friday with a ceremonial opening exchange of high-fives.

As Departmental Manager, I Vow To Learn Each Of Your Names

Okay, just grab a seat, Karl, and we'll get going. Okay! Good morning, everyone. Thanks for being on time. Just pull up a chair, uh, Tim. Tom? Tom. Pull up a chair, Tom. Well! I think this is a new record, right? Everyone here on time? Right, Judy? Ha ha, Ming's nodding. She knows what I mean. Okay, I wanted to assemble everyone to announce my brand-new departmental initiative. I know I've only been here a month, so you're probably all thinking, "Where does this guy get off making changes around here?" But I think you'll be on board once you hear me out. Here's the proposal: I plan to learn each and every one of your names.

That's quite a task, since there are an awful lot of you, and I am very, very busy. I am departmental manager, after all. So I hope you'll bear with me during the difficult days ahead.

Here's how I plan to go about my ambitious endeavor: I will make up mnemonic devices. For example, I will look at Ed over there and picture Ed as a sled. Why? Because "Ed" and "sled" rhyme. It's easier for me to remember a name if I can make up that little bit of wordplay that connects the name with some sort of fun image. Many of you will know the mnemonic device I've assigned you, because I'll be referring to you by it from here on out. Got that, Ed The Sled?

Yes, this will be a lot of work, but I'm willing to go that extra mile. That's the kind of guy I am. There's nothing worse than a boss who doesn't seem to care enough to learn your name, especially when he's going to have to dress you down from time to time.

Failure to learn employee names is humiliating for the employee and embarrassing for the boss. I'm not here to humiliate you or embarrass myself. I'm here to foster a good working environment for you, the employee, through the use of your proper names. Isn't that right, Ming Wing? When you get dressed down by me, you'll know it's by someone who respects you enough to remember your name.

Once I know your name, I'll make you feel welcome, or I'll intimidate you, by using it every time I see you. I won't start working on learning your jobs until about a year from now, but I'll be able to acknowledge you the moment I enter a room. I'll say something like "Hey, Mean Jean, what's the score?" Then I'll ask you a question about your weekend. I'll be careful to listen to your response, which I assume you'll keep brief out of respect for my time. If you're a team player, you'll appreciate the effort on my part.

Each one of you should realize that you won't be able to hide in the shadows anymore. From here on out, you're all going to be held accountable. Not like with my predecessor. He didn't learn your names, look where he is now: some other company. Okay, he may have known your names, but he was here for years. Besides, I'm learning them, too. With mnemonics. I'll try to incorporate a vague idea of what you do here into my mnemonic device, if I can.

Some of you look incredulous. Well, fear not. It can be done. I'm talking to you, with the flag tie. I don't know your name now, but don't you worry. I will soon.

What is it, anyway? Huh? Karzi... Karzikonski? Karzonski? Karzonski. What is that, Polish? I'm going to have trouble with that one. I'm not too good with ethnic names. I'll just have to play a little game I call Ellis Island. In an affectionate way, I'll call you Zonski. Or Kar-Kar, if you'd prefer. That way, I can play off of "car." Slow down, Kar-Kar! Put the brakes on it, Kar-Kar. Kar-Kar it is.

In order to ease the transition, I'm asking each of you to write down your name, a description of yourself—please be sure to describe any marks or pronounced features that might help me pick you out of the herd—and a few of your favorite activities, especially ones that rhyme with your name. I would love it if you'd include a photo, but if you feel that would be intrusive, especially with the heightened terror alert and so forth, then I honor your privacy. Just be very specific in your description, and we should do fine.

Also, from now on, when you come into my office or address me, I want you to say your name at the outset. Only for a month or so. After that, I should have a pretty good idea of who you are, unless you're not visiting me as much as you should be.

Anyway, Judy is handing out the ID forms right now. I'll need them back by the end of the week at the latest. Then, on Monday, I'll begin the daunting task of memorization. It's going to be a bumpy road at first, full of mistakes and awkward silences, but it'll get much better as time goes by. Okay? Ming Wing? Pat Logvitch the—we'll get you something. Good. Now, everyone get back to work. Thank you, Judy.

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