Take-Charge, Can-Do Guy Makes Horrible Decisions

In This Section

Issue 3935

45-Year-Old Fails To Make Someone Very Happy One Day

NEW MEADOWS, ID—In spite of predictions to the contrary, Larry Naering, a 45-year-old research scientist, has failed to make someone very happy one day, his mother Nancy reported Monday. "He's always been such a handsome, responsible boy," said Nancy, who used to look forward to having grandchildren. "I always told him that some girl was going to discover a real hidden treasure if she took the time to look at him. I guess I was wrong." Nancy said her son's chances of finding that one-in-a-million love have dwindled to one in 50 billion.

New Desk Chair A Boring Dream Come True

BUCKLIN, KS—The arrival of a royal-blue Global Armless Task Chair at Allstate Insurance Monday marked an extremely mundane "dream come true" for human-resources aide Patty Keely. "I so love my life," said a giddy Keely, 31, without a shred of irony. "I've been wanting a chair with wheels for so long, but I never thought [office manager] Don [Frissel] would get me one. Now my chair won't make that horrible scraping sound every time I stand up to file something. Yes!" Now that she has a new desk chair, Keely said she fantasizes about one day buying a Chevrolet Cavalier or visiting her cousin in Branson, MO.

Woman Assures You She's Not Mad

CASPER, WY—Your girlfriend of four months, University Xerox employee Rebecca Kohler, assured you Monday that she was "not mad" about being unable to reach you on the phone Saturday night, even though you said you would probably be home. "For the last time, I'm not angry at you, goddamnit!" a furious Kohler said. "Christ, are you trying to make me mad?" The perfectly fine Kohler then proceeded to violently three-hole-punch stacks of photocopies and explain to her coworker, Annabelle Agneau, that the only person she was mad at was herself, for having thought you might be different.

Obituary Cites Teen's Love Of Music, Cars

PHOENIX—Patrick Pryde, beloved 17-year-old son of Charles and Elizabeth, loved music and cars, the Phoenix Gazette reported on page D-18 Monday. "Patrick's enthusiasm and passion for life touched all who knew him," the obituary read. "Whether waiting in line overnight for Kid Rock tickets or checking his car's oil level, Patrick showed an unshakable determination and insatiable curiosity, both of which will forever live on in our hearts and minds." Other items mentioned as being loved by Pryde included video games, the Internet, and cable television.

White House Denied Third Mortgage

WASHINGTON, DC—In light of recent budget concerns, President and Mrs. Bush attempted to take out a third mortgage on the White House Monday, but were denied. "Unfortunately, we're unable to serve the president's needs at this time," Washington Mutual loan officer Judy Schamanski told reporters. "Within the next 30 days, Mr. Bush will receive an adverse-action notice in the mail, which will outline the specific reasons for the denial. But, for starters, I would suggest that he get current on his second mortgage before he even considers a third." Schamanski added that Bush is more than welcome to reapply in the future, should his credit profile improve.

U.S. Seeks Help In Iraq

In a U.N. resolution last week, the U.S. sought troops and money from all nations to aide in Iraq's postwar reconstruction. What do you think?

Daddy H. Day Care

Yo, this is foe tha day-care peeps who tend to mah shortie, Baby Prince H Tha Stone Col' Dopest Biz-ook-kizeepin' Muthafuckin' Badass Supastar Kornfeld Tha Second. (His mama call him Tanner, but she a bitch.)

FBI Discontinues Witness Protection Parade

WASHINGTON, DC—FBI director Robert S. Mueller III announced Monday that, due to logistical complications and a lack of interest among participants, the annual Witness Protection Parade will be cancelled "for the foreseeable future."
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Sleep

Healthy Living

  • The Onion’s Guide To Gym Etiquette

    Every new year brings a surge in gym membership from new members nicknamed “resolutionists,” many of whom may be unaware that there are unspoken rules everyone must observe when working out.

Take-Charge, Can-Do Guy Makes Horrible Decisions

BOSTON—Matthew Stuart, an enthusiastic 33-year-old junior executive at Boston Tea Market, Inc., gets things done quickly, confidently, and terribly, sources at the tea supplier said Monday.

Stuart in his office, which he calls "mission control."

"Matt is always willing to take on new responsibilities," said Nellie Jordan, Stuart's direct supervisor. "In fact, just this week he was responsible for the boneheaded move of reorganizing the 500 items in our new catalog alphabetically, instead of by product group. Really screwed it up good."

Boston Tea Market distributes high-end teas and tea-brewing accouterments to coffee shops, restaurants, and retail stores. Stuart decided that an alphabetical listing would make the company's catalog easier to use and took the initiative to redesign the winter issue.

"See, if you work here you'd want to be able to go right to 'S' to find the order number for Sunshine Organic Green Tea," said Jordan, scowling as she paged through the catalog printout. "On the other hand, Matt, if you're a customer, you might wish to find it by looking at a page of green teas."

"At least he got it done before deadline," Jordan added. "I know that when I make him change it, he won't complain."

Because of his positive attitude and boundless energy, Stuart's frequent errors in judgment are generally overlooked.

"Everyone here really likes Matt," Jordan said. "You never really notice what an idiot he is until you're cleaning up his mess. He loves to roll his sleeves up, get in there, and fuck all sorts of things up."

"Matt is usually the first one here in the morning," coworker Karla Groff said. "There's always a fresh pot of nasty, weak coffee brewing when the rest of us get in."

A graduate of Boston College's Carroll School of Management, Stuart said he has always enjoyed the "game of business."

"I love to get out there on the court and take the bull by the horns," Stuart said. "I'm not afraid of hard work, never have been. Leadership is in my blood."

Stuart, who has called himself the "king of multi-tasking," has shown himself to be a highly motivated employee ever since starting with the company four years ago.

"We're a small business, so a take-charge person can really wear a lot of hats," sales manager Ronnie King said. "That means there's plenty of work for which Matt is completely unqualified, like overhauling the company database or developing new teas in the test kitchen."

"He's wonderful at getting everyone going, often in the wrong direction," King continued. "Last week, he pulled a team of stockers off the warehouse floor and set them up in a conference room in order to come up with 10 ways to streamline product unloading. At 20 employees and four hours of discussion, it cost us about 80 combined hours of labor."

Jordan admitted that she was initially impressed by Stuart's enthusiasm.

"It's great to have someone who always volunteers to spearhead a project," Jordan said. "I thought it was great how he was excited to bounce ideas around. Very bad ideas, I soon noticed."

While many of Stuart's ideas are never used, some occasionally pass as "original," due to the strength and force of his hopelessly misapplied personal energy. Promotions coordinator Jane Eckerly detailed one of Stuart's recent projects.

"[Stuart] did this thing called the Tea & Toast mailer, where we mailed prospective clients samples of our tea along with toasters and a loaf of bread," Eckerly said. "I'm guessing everyone voted for the idea pretty much to give Matt something to do."

"Not my fault," Eckerly added. "I was on vacation."

Ultimately, the mailers cost the company approximately $10,000 and resulted in only two new clients. The connection between high-quality teas and warm toast, while strong in Stuart's mind, didn't seem to translate to product-buyers at coffee shops, restaurants, and retail stores. Most thought the toasters were sent by accident.

"From a distance, Matt seems to be shaking things up," Eckerly said. "He's always briskly walking through the office, on his way to an important meeting. But when he stops and tells you how he wants to market sun-dried-tomato tea, the speed-walking seems less impressive."

Despite the failure of many of his campaigns, employees at the company still perceive Stuart as an ambitious go-getter.

"I don't know Matt very well, but it seems like he's really on the ball," president Gil Schneider said. "I always notice him signed up to use the boardroom, and I get a lot of emails from him. I'll have to keep him in mind next time I need a go-to guy."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More