TO: All Employees
FROM: The President
RE: Our Facilities

All of us here at the Schenectady Small Arms & Biscuit Co., Inc., share the goal of making our Company a pleasant and fulfilling place to work. If we have been able to reach that goal, it is in large part because of the excellence of our facilities. Good facilities are essential to a productive workplace. They create synergy, and I am sure you all know that synergy is a very good thing for a business to have, even if you do not know what it means, which of course I do, but I would much rather you develop your own minds by looking up the word yourselves.

Our Erie Boulevard campus has long been the envy of all other manufacturers in the small-armaments and processed-snack-foods industries. In particular, whenever administrative facilities are mentioned at industry conventions and trade shows, our Building 3 is always singled out for especial praise. My father J. Cyrus Pinckney hired the fourth-best industrial architect in the Capital District to design a building that, by the standards of its time, was both functional and aesthetically unobjectionable. For more than forty-five years, Building 3 has continued to serve our administrative needs, and many of us have decades of fond memories invested in it. I myself remember sitting in this very office when I was a mere lad of twenty-three, and my father allowed me to announce my very first round of layoffs. A mist of nostalgia descends over my eyes as those fond recollections rise up before me, and I dab a tear with a tissue from a tastefully designed ceramic nose-shaped tissue dispenser that was given to me by my late secretary just days before I had to fire her for a chronic heart condition.

Nevertheless, it sometimes becomes necessary to adapt to changing conditions, even in the best facilities. When my grandfather J. Hasdrubal Pinckney took over this company from his father before him, all our synergies were steam-powered. But Grandpa Hasdrubal had the foresight to foresee that mule-powered synergy was the way of the future. Times and conditions change, and the facilities that served us well yesterday may not meet our needs adequately today.

The immediate intent of this memorandum, therefore, is to inform you that the north end of Building 3 is on fire. If you have a meeting scheduled in Building 3 today, you should regard it as postponed indefinitely. If you are currently in Building 3, may I suggest that you finish whatever task you are currently engaged in, and then calmly walk (do not run) to the nearest marked exit? And do not forget to record any idle time spent standing around in the parking lot watching the flames on your timesheet. Use code 183, “Vacation.”

Yours sincerely,
J. Rutherford Pinckney,


  1. Sean says:

    This would be funnier had it not happened twice at my place of employment. Once when an exploding acetelyne tank caused a fire in one end of a building; a fire which workers on the other end were not made aware of until the hook and ladder arrived. (Apparently it never crossed anyone’s mind that workers wearing newly-required ear protection would be unable to hear fire alarms.) Then, again, when a high-pressure, asbestos-jacketed steam line exploded on the roof of my office building. As we evacuated, our department head stood on the front stoop, (a fine mist of ancient insulation raining down on him) and invited us all to return. We politely declined.

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