When Morey Leonard arrived at work today, riding high because for once during the year everyone in the office will be nice to him, he found nearly everyone had taken the day off. This seemed strange because just a few weeks ago, Leonard wanted a day off to drive his partner to the airport for an extended trip to see his sick father. His request was denied because, “the office can’t function with more than two people out at a time.”
Later that same day, Leonard went to an afternoon party for two employees where it was customary to enjoy cake and punch and present a gift and card that everyone had pitched in to buy.
Leonard contributed over 60 dollars so far this year for co-worker birthday parties and was sure today’s party for him would be fabulous. He was a model employee and nice to everyone, complementing the ladies and helping others out, even working on weekends to fill in so people could spend time with their kids. So where did everyone go? Mr. Leonard was stumped-and overwhelmed with the additional workload.
Trying to put the best face on the situation and not let his suspicious mind run away with him, Mr. Leonard went down to the corner florist and bought a Mylar balloon that said “Hang in There,” and hung it over his cubicle, securing it with a yellow pushpin. The silvery balloon silently bobbed in the air conditioning current atop its frail length of curly ribbon. Like a sentry it looked over the sea of empty cubicles, the silence broken only by the sound of phones ringing twice before they went to voice mail.