Broker’s and the envelope opening machine

This was a follow-up I did to the original “Dearest Cousin” letter…

Dearest Cousin,

Again, I have been delinquent in writing, and I thoroughly apologize, especially given the favor you did for me that short time ago. Fortunately, Mr. Drekson & Ms. Peterson realized that if they were to press charges against me it would mean revealing the entire story in court, and that they were unwilling to endure. The charges were dropped, and enclosed you shall find a check to cover the loan you gave me.

They have hired a new security guard, and now it is impossible for me to bring the cattleman into the office – not that I would probably do so, but still the loss of freedom bothers me. I was so concerned; I engaged a membership with the National Rifleman’s Association. Can you believe it is actually against some silly law to bring a child’s toy into the workplace? What rubbish

But this is irrelevant. I have some news regarding my plight and my new campaign against what I now call the Dirty Duo. I know it is childish to call them this, but it gives me satisfaction. The D.D. and I have reached a tentative agreement. Since they would prefer that the managing directors of our little company did not know about their intimate activities, and since I would prefer not to be arrested again, we have had an uneasy truce.

I have also finally received the job transfer that I have waited so long for. I no longer work in sales, which was never where I felt I belonged. I am sure you agree that such a strong and thorough planner as myself could not be imprisoned in an environment such as sales. So, after some careful persuasion on my part of Mr. Drekson’s boss, Mr. Hartman, I have now been moved to my new position. I am now the Assistant Planning Coordinator for Marketing Development, and now work for the Head of Marketing Coordination Planning and Coordination, Mr. Bruhd (it is apparently German, and is pronounced as ‘brood’) who I must say is a breath of fresh air. Where Mr. Drekson abhorred the idea of enjoying my beloved Broker’s Friend, Mr. Bruhd often joins me when I need some synoptic lubricant. He also uses the same comfortable posture when tackling the extremely difficult problems we are given to solve.

For example, we recently created a new series of highly personalized advertisements that were to be mailed to our customers. Unfortunately, when these advertisements were commissioned there was distinct lack of planning and coordination, with the result that the wrong advertisements were placed in the wrong envelopes. Mr. Hartman came to us looking like a dog who’d lost his bone, and gave us the problem of removing the advertisements from the old envelopes and putting them into the new ones. He told us that there was no one else in the company who he could entrust with this task. I can assure you that my new boss, and his trusty comrade (that would be me!) leapt to the task with fervor – and no small amount of Broker’s!

After a short time, we realized that tearing the envelopes open by hand was unnecessarily bothersome. As we deliberated over this problem, I suddenly realized I had the answer. Ms. Peterson had a machine that could be used to open the envelopes. We could borrow the machine, complete our work faster than expected, and then be praised for finding a swift solution to a very serious problem.

So off we tottered to Ms. Peterson’s desk. Mr. Bruhd and I found her straight away tapping at her computer. He asked for a moment of her time, and she immediately began her annoying habit of fanning the air in front of her face with whatever paper she had in hand. I told you this woman was despicable, and she is annoying as well. Mr. Bruhd explained our predicament several times, and the silly woman still insisted she couldn’t understand what he was saying. So with a little pointing, mime, and sound effects we managed to express our plan.

I have often told you that Ms. Peterson is a difficult, despicable woman, and she maintained that same air with us. Can you believe the woman had the temerity to deny us the use of her envelope opening machine? She actually had the audacity to tell us that she feared it would never be returned and even went so far over the top as to tell us she was unwilling to take the responsibility in the event we were to injure ourselves with it! The gall! The nerve!

As if we had not been insulted enough, she went further to explain that in her mind the task with which we were assigned, the very task that Mr. Hartman told us no one else could do, was too unimportant to be bothered with.

Mr. Bruhd and I were so stunned we simply turned and left to return to our desks. Mr. Bruhd and I discussed these horrible events, and finally came to the conclusion that Mr. Hartman obviously knew the difficulties we would encounter, and that is why he entrusted us with this project. We were his last chance, his final defense! We must not let him down!

We decided that we would not give up on the machine. We simply had to have one in order to complete the project. We discussed, we planned, we coordinated. Then we went to Ms. Franklin, in purchasing, to besiege her with our request to requisition a new machine of our own. Again, we were thwarted. She carefully explained, after quickly putting out her cigarette, and muttering something about a fire hazard, that she could not authorize such a purchase without Mr. Hartman’s signature, which would be impossible to obtain without Mr. Hartman, who was away on important company business. She further stated, with a serious look to each of us, that even if Mr. Hartman were present, it would be doubtful he would approve it since, as she put it, we’re carrying so much dead wood in this company. Mr. Bruhd and I then realized the real reason why we had been given this important task – there was no one else with the work ethic to get it done in time.

Again we adjouned to our desks to solve the envelope machine problem. It was clear to us now. What we need, we must take. I accompanied Mr. Bruhd to luncheon, where we crafted a plan that was so ingenious that it impressed even me. We would stay late at the office, and when Ms. Peterson and her cronies had left we would sneak into her office and ‘requisition’ the machine ourselves, complete the work, and return the machine with no one the wiser. It was perfect!

Since we would be working late into the night, we felt no obligation to be in a hurry to return to the office after luncheon. After all, important company officers such as ourselves are expected to operate outside the usual rules of the workplace.

When we returned we made good show so as not to let on to our plan. We worked on the envelopes as before, opening them by hand so no one would be the wiser. The hour of the close of business finally came, and before long we had the entire office to ourselves. We waited a few minutes longer to be sure, and then went directly to Ms. Peterson’s desk to take the machine.

It was gone! In its place was a note:

Dear Idiots,

I have locked the machine in my file cabinet, because I knew you would be coming for it. Why can’t you just do your busy work like normal idiots?

The text was written in Ms. Peterson’s usual sloppy hand, which made it very difficult to read, but then Mr. Bruhd pointed out I was holding it upside down. So, she thought we were idiots, eh? We shared a look, and knew our goal was even more important than before!

But how could we unlock the file cabinet? We had no key, and we certainly weren’t locksmiths. Then Mr. Bruhd had a brainstorm – that’s why he’s the boss you know. He had learned long ago from a colleague that a file cabinet lock works on the principle of gravity. If you up end the cabinet, so that it is upside down, the lock fails to function any further and the drawers could be opened.

After clearing Ms. Peterson’s precious trinkets away from the top of the cabinet, we slowly moved it away from the wall. When it was in the middle of the office, we lowered it onto one side, and then slowly upended it – this was extremely difficult as powerful thinkers such as Mr. Bruhd and myself are not built for physical labor. Once we had the cabinet upside down came the moment of truth. We tried the now top (formerly bottom) drawer. It opened! Of course, the contents promptly spilled onto the floor, as the drawer was not of a design to hold its contents while upside down. No matter, we would tidy up later, after the prize was ours.

The next two drawers proved to open just as easily, and to be just as full of files and such, but no envelope opening machine. That left the last drawer. Unfortunately, the drawer was now so close to the floor that even when opened the contents – including the machine – would not be released as they would not fit between the drawer and the floor. I suggested that we put the cabinet onto Ms. Peterson’s desk, in such a way as to allow the drawer to open over the edge of the desk, which would give ample clearance for the items to be removed. We set to work.

It was more difficult than we expected. First of all, it is one thing to up end a cabinet. It is another to lift it, and it was very heavy. After some heaving and ho-ing we finally did get it off the floor, and then discovered that we had broken the chandelier hanging from the ceiling – but we did get the cabinet onto the desk.

The drawer opened, and the machine fell out! It was ours! Now to set about cleaning up. We moved the cabinet back to its original location and started filling the drawers. We could not figure out which files had been in which drawers, but we decided that perhaps it was time for Ms. Peterson to do some ‘busy work’ and put things back the way they were. As for the chandelier, it couldn’t be helped. After all, what reason did Ms. Peterson have to lock up company property?

With the machine in hand we went back to work. Bruhd would feed the evelopes into the machine and I would take the opened envelopes and remove the contents. Then, we placed the correct contents in the correct envelopes to complete the job. Untold hours were saved by the use of the machine. As it was, we worked until the sun had again risen over the horizon and were just finishing when our coworkers began to repopulate the office.

Mr. Hartmann was delighted to see that we had completed the job. He told us that he had never imagined that we would work all night to complete such a task. Ms. Peterson was less amused, and was quite vocal about the damage to her office. We explained to Mr. Hartmann about the machine, and how we had needed it, and how we in fact had worked tirelessly to get it by other means but were unable to. He was tight lipped, but did tell us that we should be more careful in the future. Given that we had devoted ourselves to our work through the entire night, Hartmann told us both to take the rest of the day off to recuperate and to keep us from ‘causing any more trouble’ – that last was added with a chuckle.

So, off we went to our respective abodes to enjoy our triumph. Now that I have begun to do real work, cousin, you can understand why I feel my future is brighter than ever. I can hardly wait for my next assignment.

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