A Tale Of Two Memos

The following is a real inter-office communication.


From: Scott, John (SF)

Sent: Wednesday, February 28

To: SF – ALL


Today, we find out what we’re made of.

Our character will be tested, friendships and alliances will be formed as we work together to solve a shared problem.

There are no paper coffee cups in the building.

I have witnessed our fellow team members dispensing brew into their trembling hands, removing pens from the ceramic cups on their desks and desperately filling up. I think I saw Josie from IT sucking coffee out of a styrofoam bowl. There have been isolated cases of withdrawal, and some scattered convulsions, but the building has suffered no permanent damage. I want to assure you an order was submitted to our vendor yesterday, and we expect delivery of cups and other crucial coffee supplies within the next two hours. I call on all SF employees to be brave and vigilant. These are the times when we need each other the most. Let us summon the fortitude that the universe endowed in all of us to remain strong, under control, and I urge you to work together to help see us through one of the darkest days we’ve experienced since… oh, last month at about this time. Thank you for your support of Clear Channel Coffee.


There were two possible ways to communicate this tragic news to your team; a painfully dry missive like

From: Building Operations

Sent: Wednesday, February 28

To: SF – ALL

Subject: Coffee Cups

We have been made aware that we are out of paper coffee cups. The vendor has been called.

…or my way.

A workplace can be a completely ordinary place, or a fun, tolerable place to spend your day.

What are you doing to make your team engaged and feeling fully human?


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