By: Simon Tessmer
CHICAGO, IL—Accounting manager Mark Stevens arrived fifteen minutes late to his company’s Tuesday morning staff meeting and is still delaying its agenda with his excessive apology. Though Stevens’ fellow Razor Marketing employees generally agreed his lateness was not a big deal, the 47 year-old team member’s marathon apology has stretched into its second day, resulting in a continued colossal dive in company productivity and morale.
Stevens’ initial excuse for being tardy was “perfectly reasonable” according to sales associate Lisa Beasley. “He said ‘traffic was bad,’ we all shrugged, and our boss Jen started her quarterly earnings presentation. But before she finished her first slide Mark piped up to reiterate his apology and started listing all the other ways he thought he was failing the company.”
CEO Jen Hagelman never finished her PowerPoint as Stevens barreled into a deep rabbit hole of apologies, ranging from taking excessively long bathroom breaks to heating smelly foods in the company microwave.
“The snake started eating its tail once Mark realized apologizing for twenty minutes straight is, in itself, something to apologize for,” recounted Sam Beaker from IT. “I casually interjected that Mark was taking up a lot of company time, he said ‘sorry,’ and a lightbulb went off in his head. He’d discovered a perpetual-apology machine, and that’s when he really revved his engines.”
At hour three of his delirious screed Stevens ordered pizza for the group and began winding down, sparking hope that the company’s pseudo-hostage situation was finally coming to a close. Unfortunately, Stevens forgot to request a non-meat option for Jessica Richards in graphic design, causing an apology that rippled into an impossibly reinvigorated torrent of forgiveness-begging.
By 5pm all twelve Razor employees exhaustedly shuffled out of their conference room, now deeply behind on most of their deadlines. “Mark’s inability to get over himself made me physically ill, but I figured I could at least make up for lost work time at home,” said Beasley. “But then I got Mark’s voicemails. And Facebook messages. And edible arrangements. I realized there was no hope. I was never going to get any work done, and Mark’s insecurity had transcended into another plane of existence.”
The marketing team solemnly returned to work Wednesday morning, quietly counting down the minutes until Stevens’ late arrival. Upon the inevitable re-ignition of his apology lecture, this time replete with cardboard visual aides and sloppily handmade puppets, the rest of the team wondered what sins they’d committed in previous lives to deserve such endless torture.
Razor Marketing has continued to hemorrhage clients, as absolutely no work is getting done, destining the company for total ruin.