Tuesday, 3 September 2013


Hi!  I’m Buddy, your corporate and spiritual guru.  I’ve been assigned to you by HR after last week’s little… incident?  Perhaps we could charitably call it an accident.
Of course you have a choice.  The email from HR is sat in your Inbox, where you’ve been ignoring it for the last three days.  Well, haven’t you heard of read-receipts?  Yes, well the system we use doesn’t require a mail to be sent back, it recognises that you’ve opened the mail in another way.  Then it uses the built-in camera to monitor your eye movements and work out how much of the email you read and how carefully you paid attention to it.  No, the laptop is company issue and you’re required to use it for all company activities.  It does say so in your contract.  HR are aware that you didn’t read that either.
Actually yes, the NSA has been reading all of your mail.  We were more intrigued by the people who’s mail it turned out they weren’t reading.  But you’ve not got security clearance to know any more than that.  And you’re not to talk to Jishra in Accounting any more either.
Ok, breathing is a good start.  You should work on unclenching your fists too, and grinding your teeth, while popular, will probably upset your dentist.  That’s right, breathe in.  More slowly.  More slowly.  Well most people can manage quite a lot more slowly than that, it sounds like you’re channelling a steam train on a steep incline.  I can provide a mantra for you to recite in your – well, generally if you’re going to speak them out loud they should be less offensive.
Actually that is exactly why HR felt that you could use a little guidance.
Well, my first task is to perform a tofectomy.  Um, could you put that down please?  It’s clearly not what you think it is.  A tofectomy is simply the removal of tofu from your food.  We’ve noticed that you eat it rather a lot, and it’s causing a number of problems.
Enumerating people’s faults rarel – ok.  OK.  Put that down please.  Yes, in the drawer is good.  Can you close the drawer now?  That’s even better.
Fine, the problems form a trinity: first your body does not react well to tofu.  The smells you create are unpleasant, persistent, and allegedly require dry-cleaning to eradicate.  Second, you’re making tofu in the kitchen, which shows a healthy independent streak, a concern for your health, and some admirable innovation, but it’s a fermented product and it stinks.  Worse than you.  And third, tofu is known to contain aromatising substances, and it’s reaching the point where customers don’t know how to address you.  Well, a hair-cut would possibly help, but cutting down on the tofu would help more.  And maybe a short course of steroids.
Illegal is a tricky word.  It’s only illegal if you get caught, after all.  Yes, that does look very much like a prescription pad, doesn’t it?  How coincidental!  In fact, the company has a small R&D arm in the chemicals division and they could use some volunteers.  That gets round the illegality issue, and makes you look like a team player in one fell swoop.
Well, last week’s little accident….  No, no you definitely don’t look like a team player at the moment.  No.  No.  Upper management currently think you’re like the guy who stabbed the tennis player who grunted a lot.  Well, maybe guy.  I think she grunted a lot before she was stabbed, now you ask, but I realise I might have to check that to be certain.
Wikipedia??  And you were wondering why the NSA was reading your mail….
So, the tofectomy.  What?  No, I don’t believe that you’re allergic to everything else.  Considering what you put on the tofu to mask the lack of flavour in the first place, I don’t think there’s much you can be allergic to.  Possibly just tofu, in fact.
That hot sauce contains fifty different ingredients, three of which aren’t listed because you wouldn’t eat it if you knew about them.  And by the way, the permitted level of insect parts for that sauce definitely exceeds your RDA for spider legs and fly wings.  Well no, there’s no guarantee that they’re in there, but given how cheap they are, the manufacturer would be mad not to have them in the base already.
Why would I be vegan?  No, I’m Buddy.  I eat what I please, but I make sure I’m suitably sorry about it.  No, I don’t eat tofu, and I’m not sorry about that either.  Now hand over that tofacon sandwich and let’s get this intervention started!

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