It’s pizza day.
Or at least that’s what the calendar reminder that just popped up on my screen says. What began as a semi-successful attempt from corporate to boost morale has become yet another outlet for everyone’s grievances.
“Why don’t we ever get ranch dressing anymore?” says Janice from Accounting.
“They only got one pepperoni pizza and it’s already gone. I guess I’ll just go with meat lover’s again even though I find the fennel seeds in the sausage overpowering,” opines Jeff from sales.
Nothing is good enough for these people. Maybe we wouldn’t have a morale problem if Donna from HR would stop hiring sad people. No one asked me to contribute my insights in this regard. However, I have found somewhere else to contribute. Somewhere I find much more meaningful.
You see, I’m a bit of an artist. I wasn’t hired for my creativity, nor am I paid for it. But you’re downright barmy if you think I’m one of those workers who punches in and out, unwilling to take on extra responsibilities just because they might fall outside the scope of the job description. I bring joy to an otherwise joyless workplace, and I do so out of the kindness of my heart. I am the Office-Wide Email Meme Guy.
In my opinion, there is no all-hands email you can’t reply to with a meme. My go-tos rotate between Ron Burgundy, minions, and the cute baby who looks like he’s fist pumping. But that’s not all I got. Employee of the Month? Leo in Great Gatsby raising a glass with the caption “Congratulations, You’re Awesome!” Bam. Monthly staff meeting? Gotta go with “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” all day. Occasional reminders to submit timesheets on time? Two words: Office Space. But none of the above compare to my true passion. There is no match for the occasion from which the gold standard of office memes are born: pizza day.
I dig through my pictures folder to find the one I have stashed for this very moment. It took me hours to find the right meme to become my “AugustPizzaDay.jpg”, but every second became worth it as my vision began to manifest. At the end of it all, I found the one. Topical, hilarious, and even a little provocative given the backlash its subject received upon its release. In white Impact font outlined in black, and superimposed on a screen grab of Borat giving the thumbs up, read “Pizza?! VERY NICE!!!!”
I wait dutifully, like a soldier crouched and waiting on the go ahead from his captain, for the email letting us know the pizza is in the conference room. The selected image is on my clipboard, chomping at the bit to be Ctrl+V’ed onto the reply box as soon as the email comes. I’m waiting. 11:58. 11:59. Noon. Nothing.
I hit the send/receive button twice. It’s 12:02. Still nothing. I can smell the pizza in the conference room. I hear voices gathering around it. I hear the nasally affected Bruce from Marketing declare that they didn’t give us enough parmesan packets. But I see no email.
I leap from my desk to find Donna from HR, from whom I expected the email to come. I asked if she had forgotten, or if perhaps the problem was on my end and I needed to get Mark from IT involved.
Deep down, I already knew the answer. But that didn’t stop it from sending white hot shockwaves deep into my core when Donna from HR said, “It’s on your calendar.”
The paper plate in her hand might as well have been an iron shield pulled fresh from the forge and pressed into my face when she clarified, calmly:
“I don’t send emails for pizza day anymore.”
I turn around silently and walk back to my desk in a haze. I don’t even have the stomach for pizza now. In fact, I feel like my stomach has been ripped out entirely. I sit back down to see my meme folder still open, and a wave of sadness rushes over me. The collection I have curated throughout the years; the faces of Ron Burgundy, the Minions, fist pump baby, Borat, all stare back at me in disappointment.
Or could it be encouragement? After all, pizza day is not the alpha and omega of office memes. Maybe I have the new challenge of doing more with less. And what kind of Office-Wide Email Meme Guy would I be if I started turning down new challenges now?
For as long as I have the self-appointed duty to boost morale, I must fulfill it. Donna from HR may have temporarily hindered me, but she will not defeat me. For I am the Office-Wide Email Meme Guy, and I will return with a force unlike anything Donna from HR has ever seen. It’s time to do what I was put on this earth to do. It’s time to meme. .