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17 August 2017 @ 12:30 pm
LJ Idol Season Ten: "Safety Starts Here!"  
Safety Starts Here!
idol season ten | week 28 | 853 words
Going Forward


To: All Allied Atlantic Employees
From: Stuart Franklin, Asst. Manager
Date: May 8, 2017
Re: Workplace Hygiene

Folks, we've had some reports of people leaving food out overnight in the break room. We don't want to assume the night shift is at fault, but let's just remember the company policy:

All leftover food items are to be put in the refrigerator or in the trash.

While we welcome visitors at Allied Atlantic, we do not extend that courtesy to insects. You know which ones we mean.

So keep it clean, and if you see something sitting out, throw it out.

Thanks, everyone,

To: All Allied Atlantic Employees
From: Stuart Franklin, Asst. Manager
Date: May 22, 2017
Re: Fire Safety

It has come to our attention that there have been problems in the break room again. Namely, people are forgetting to unplug the coffee pots at the end of the day (or the end of the shift, for those working nights).

When coffee pots are left on too long, the liquid cooks off and the pot becomes a fire hazard. This morning, smoke was coming out of one of the coffee machines when the early shift came in. That was a close call for all of us!

So remember, unplug and be safe. And do not, under any circumstances, put anything metal in the microwave.


To: All Allied Atlantic Shipping Employees
From: Stuart Franklin, Asst. Manager
Date: June 8, 2017
Re: Hallway Safety

Note to all employees: boxes, packing materials, and plastic tie-wraps must not be left in aisles and hallways where people need to walk. They create a tripping hazard.

This requirement is clearly stated in the Employee Regulations Handbook. If you need help understanding these rules, I would be happy to assist you.


To: Allied Atlantic Shipping Employees
From: Asst. Manager Stuart Franklin
Date: June 28, 2017
Re: Hazardous Behavior

Warning: roughhousing on the loading dock is strictly forbidden!

Two employees were caught engaging in a shoving match yesterday afternoon, in Loading Area B. Such behavior is dangerous, and clearly constitutes an OSHA violation.

It will not be tolerated.

Said employees have been terminated, per company policy. Any future incidents may incur fines as well as loss of employment.

Stuart Franklin

To: Allied Atlantic Shipping Employees
From: Asst. Manager Stuart Franklin
Date: July 5, 2017
Re: Cease And Desist

From the Employee Regulations Handbook, Section I.4., "Violation of company policy is grounds for immediate termination of employment."

Six employees were fired over the weekend for hazardous and egregious misuse of company equipment. There is no question that "forklift racing" constitutes dangerous and unprofessional behavior, particularly during loading and unloading operations.

If such behavior continues, Allied Atlantic Shipping may be forced to suspend operation until sufficient replacement employees can be hired.

Employment is a privilege, with no guarantees. Those who wish to remain employed must abide by company guidelines and common sense, or face the consequences.

Stuart Franklin

To: Allied Atlantic Shipping Employees
From: Manager Michael Cranston
Date: July 11, 2017
Re: Final Warning

The management of Allied Atlantic Shipping endeavors to support its employees, but cannot and will not do so in the case of willful disobedience.

This is in reference to the personnel caught playing "keepaway" with the crane payload yesterday at the company's shipping dock.

Said employees were dismissed, and incident reports were written up against all bystanders, particularly those participating in the wagering pool. The crane driver and two dockloaders were dismissed, including the employee whose leg was broken when the payload fell on him.

Loading operations are suspended until such time as new workers with the appropriate qualifications can be found.

Should the downtime continue to impact business for too long a period, Allied Atlantic Shipping may be forced to reduce its workforce. This is your final warning.

Michael Cranston

To: Allied Atlantic Shipping Employees
From: CEO Roger Harry
Date: August 10, 2017
Re: The Future of Allied Atlantic

Well, you did it. I can't believe it, but you people managed to sink the shipping company my grandfather built in 1947.

Seventy years of operation and a legacy of company pride, and you killed it all in just six weeks with your stupid shenanigans. I thought those drug tests would have weeded out any potential problem employees, but apparently they don't make a drug test or a Darwin test for morons with a death wish!

For those of you who mentioned the Employee Regulations Handbook, the company policy requires safe and professional behavior. That covers everything, whether every possible example of idiot behavior is listed or not. We aren't going to spell out things like, "Do not play Jenga with the contents of the distribution trucks," for crying out loud.

What were you people thinking?

Allied Atlantic's bright future is gone. Between the OSHA fines and the dock sitting idle for three weeks, we're too far in the red to make it out. The company has filed for bankruptcy, and you are all fired as of now.

Clear out your desks and lockers, and get out of my sight.



If you enjoyed this story, you can vote for it along with other fine entries here. Note that there are two polls!

Murielle: Scrunchedmurielle on August 17th, 2017 06:43 pm (UTC)
Hilarious look at a very serious issue. Brava! Loved how each memo signature gets colder and colder. Forklift racing! Where do you come up with this stuff? :-))
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 18th, 2017 04:18 am (UTC)
Haha-- I'm glad you noticed those details! That cooperative tone becomes more formal and official over time as the employees get worse rather than shaping up. And poor Stuart-- fired over the wacky employee behavior he failed to prevent.

I don't know where forklift racing came from, though if you're going to have a shipping company that gets into ridiculous trouble, that seems like EXACTLY the sort of stupid activity people might turn to
after hours. :D
adoptedwriter: Swallowtail Butterflyadoptedwriter on August 17th, 2017 06:50 pm (UTC)
Funny way to look at work safety issues.
I used to work in a place that seemed to have rules for following the rules.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 18th, 2017 04:22 am (UTC)
Every employer is paranoid about worker safety, thanks to lawsuits, so why not blow that out of the water with the antithesis of "going forward"-- i.e., dying where you stand?

Makes you think there must be something getting into the water at Allied Atlantic, to cause an epic outbreak of Stupidity like this. :)
Lisameridian_rose on August 18th, 2017 06:18 pm (UTC)
LOL! Cleverly done.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 19th, 2017 12:01 am (UTC)
I swear, there is always a point where you run into a situation where people have found a new way to be stupid that you could not possibly have foreseen.

Or in this case, the nexus of people who have some rare talent for that!

Thanks for reading. :D
penpusherpenpusher on August 18th, 2017 07:46 pm (UTC)
Poor Stuart. Caught up in the cogs of a machine that was destined to fall apart because the moving parts weren't moving the right way. He seemed like such a straight arrow, which I guess is why nobody ever listened!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 19th, 2017 12:02 am (UTC)
He started out assuming people would want to do the right thing, if they were just reminded of it, and had no way of knowing how epically stupid this particular bunch of people could possibly be!

Was he luckier to be fired and have time to find new work before the business collapsed? It's hard to say...
penpusher: Eclipsepenpusher on August 19th, 2017 02:10 am (UTC)
We'll have to ask Steve Bannon.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 19th, 2017 01:59 pm (UTC)
Hey, Bannon never wanted to do the right thing. He never should have been a staff member anyway. Not that that mattered to Trump. :(
penpusher: Eclipsepenpusher on August 19th, 2017 02:45 pm (UTC)
True. And Bannon just went back to Breitbart, so he didn't even have to look for work.
cindy: misc fictsuki_no_bara on August 19th, 2017 03:57 am (UTC)
forklift racing! i love it. it is kind of a health hazard, tho.... i also like that the employee shenanigans get worse and worse, and poor stuart gets stiffer and stiffer in his email signoffs.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 19th, 2017 02:04 pm (UTC)
Can't you just see the temptation to do forklift racing? I mean, it's a boring job and those are moving vehicles! :D You've got to expect that there are meter-maid cart races, caddy golf-cart races, and maybe bulldozer jousting tournaments after hours. (Damn, I should save that last part for another story...)

Poor Stuart. It wasn't even his own stupidity that tanked him.
marlawentmadmarlawentmad on August 19th, 2017 08:56 pm (UTC)

I really like the progression of this one!

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 20th, 2017 01:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! This one was fun to write, as compared to the 'relationship drama' and space-log ideas I had that never quite made it off the ground...
i_17bingoi_17bingo on August 21st, 2017 12:54 pm (UTC)
The escalation of this really amused the hell out of me. It started out with food, which is a problem that my retail place of employment struggles with, and then it became Jenga, which is something we wouldn't dream of doing, even though we totally could.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 21st, 2017 06:24 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! The food situation could be and probably IS any workplace, and so are basic safety issues like leaving heating appliances plugged in or blocking the hallways.

But the events after that... who could even anticipate that level of stupidity? Even while there actually ARE people who will do things like that?

My son mentioned an event where a couple of guys got drunk in a pub and decided to play Russian Roulette with an ancient land mine. There can only be one winner in a situation like that, and it won't be either of the players... :O
bleodsweanbleodswean on August 21st, 2017 10:38 pm (UTC)
I love how experimental a writer you are, K! This was the perfect choice for genre and it synced with the prompt nicely! You could be the writer for an Office spin-off! :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 21st, 2017 11:51 pm (UTC)
I rejected a couple of other approaches before settling on a combination of directly using the prompt and inverting it, where each memo is kind of an "in the future, do not X" kind of message, but then the company ultimately has no future... thanks to employees who will not listen and do not learn. And you know they're out there...
alycewilsonalycewilson on August 21st, 2017 10:59 pm (UTC)
I shouldn't be laughing at this, but I can't help it. Well done!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 21st, 2017 11:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I pity the company that winds up hiring such an unlucky set of employees, where they keep escalating the stupidity beyond hope or reason. Writing about those shenanigans, though, was a lot of fun. :)