Letter of termination

Excellence, Success, & Hubris, Inc.

We know best

Dear Mr. Bing-Chumply:

It has come to our notice that employees have been visiting your website and laughing. While there are some namby-pamby, employee-coddling businesses who think that laughter and enjoyment lead to a more productive and healthy workforce, we are not of that opinion. We do not appreciate your spreading erroneous memes about slowing down.

We work in a fast-paced, high-stress environment. Our recruiting literature is clear that employees must have a sense of humor. This does not mean that they should be relaxed and witty. A sense of humor means that no matter how onerous the task, they should grin and bear it.

For some time, I have noticed a disturbing lack of fear in the workforce. Only yesterday, I visited the training department on the 35th floor. As you well know, they brought you in as a Slow Consultant to set up a series of languid workshops (LWs). Frankly, I have never heard of such nonsense. Why employees need training on afternoon tea etiquette, resting, and staring out of the window I shall never know. And another thing – the receptionist may not keep the jacuzzi installed for her behind her desk in the lobby. I found her sitting in it with Jacobson from accounts.

This slow down thing has to stop. We are terminating your contract with Excellence, Success, and Hubris Inc., effective immediately.

Yours sincerely,

Brian F. U. Grump,
Vice President of Employee Misery



Dear Sir:

I am afraid it never occurred to any of us to ask you why you were in the Mirror Room last Wednesday. Preliminary Pouting is a popular class and Ms. Foghorn does love to hear herself talk. I must apologize for not letting you get a word in edgewise. I’m sure you understand how preoccupied one can be when one is in love—particularly with oneself. But we are proud of our Ms. Foghorn. She was one of the first Neo-Narcissists to marry herself.

I understand now about the front office mix-up. Staff members expect others to be just as enthusiastic as they are. And yes, I suppose you were ‘set upon,’ if that is how you still want to view it. It was an act of love and initiation. I thought the black boots and jodhpurs looked scintillating on you.

We do now realize you meant to go across the street. Please find your clothes enclosed. May we have our uniform back? Please disregard the appointment we made for you at the cloning clinic.

Yours gushingly,

Gertrude Puffery
School of Self-Absorption
It’s all about me


Lady Frump Writes to International Institute of Not Doing Much

Dear Ms. Gladly:

I am outraged! I am outraged at you, your ludicrous website, your lack of moral fiber, your counter-urgency Bolshie politics, and your ridiculous idea that slowing down is somehow a good thing. Let me tell you, slowing down is dangerous. Idle hands do the devil’s work.

Once you start to slow down, you start thinking. And I didn’t become an aristocrat by thinking. No, slow down and the next thing you start doing is to ask awkward questions. I’ve never asked a question in my life, and it hasn’t done me any harm. Asking questions is just one step away from reading books. And we all know where ‘that’ can lead.

No, keep busy, I say. It’s a well-known fact that hard work never did anyone any harm. I suggest you save yourself from the depths of depravity by stopping all this slow nonsense. Speed up, don’t think, and get on with some kind of activity. Batty Mansion needs painting. You can start there.

Yours tenderly,

Lady Penelope Frump
Batty Mansion

Titanic-Huge Industries

Arthur Bing-Chumply, Slow Consultant
International Institute of Not Doing Much
Department of Slow Outreach
Crumptworthy Hall

Dear Art:

Thank you for your recent visit to  Titanic-Huge Industries. The Relax-O-Meter™ is working fine. But the anti-grump button takes some getting used to. I used it on my assistant, Ms. Grouse, and even she is calmer. It may be your corporate lying-down-after-lunch class that helped. Either way, Ms. Grouse is altogether less like a Rottweiler. You know, she hasn’t barked at anyone in a week!

On Tuesday she even suggested I use her first name, Catastrophe.

As you advised, the open-door policy for upper management project is under way. You’ll be glad to know we have already removed the steel plate door from the executive suite.

I am making progress with that feet-up-on-the-desk thing you were showing me. I still have to think about whether it is left ankle over right, or the other way around.

We’re turning Titanic-Huge around. And we’re doing it slowly. Thanks to you and the good people at the IINDM.


Bill “Balloon” Belcher, Jr., President
Titanic-Huge Industries Inc.
Colossal City
Big State, 40404

Slow office

Activity Insurance

Picture of bird

To Whom It May Concern:

Your address was forwarded to us by Why Bother Magazine. The staff here salute you. The International Institute of Not Doing Much is the best organization in the world. You people know how to avoid unnecessary activity! We loved your previous article: One Hundred and One Ways to Say No.

We followed your article’s Slow Office recommendations to the letter. First, we replaced all our communication devices with carrier pigeons. Simply removing alerts, beeps and bells, and replacing them with the pleasant cooing of bird life is having a remarkable effect on everyone. But it’s not just a more relaxed workplace, we have to think of the bottom line. Office phone service is more expensive than the birds. As a side benefit, our carrier pigeons fertilize the lawn beyond the new employee sauna.

Next, we sold the computers off to Stab, Grab, Grit, and Nasty, a firm of lawyers downstairs. Our electricity bill went way down. Big savings! The boss is impressed.

We have completely embraced paper technology. Now that we all use pencils, doodling is on the increase, and the quality of the pencilwomanship is impressive─ as you can tell from this letter. Please send it back to us. We’ll erase the message and reuse the paper.  Just tie it to Maggie’s leg. She’ll know where to take it.

It’s quiet here. You can notice the difference. All we hear is the scratching of pencil on paper; the sound of pigeons, and the whoosh of inter-office correspondence by paper airplane.

I’ve always wanted to work for an insurance company ever since I was a little girl. Now it’s perfect.

Yours truly,

Eleanor Lightly
Spokeswoman and Company Hair Stylist

Activity Insurance

Activity Insurance: Insure against overdoing it

Sign our “never claim” waiver for a lower premium.

Dave’s Autobody

DaveAutobodyDear Arthur:

I ain’t used a typewriter in a while. The computer is bust up and don’t work none on account of it keeps gettin’ wet. Anyhow, here at Dave’s Autobody the guys were no problemo with the suggestions you made for workplace improvement.

When I told ‘em we was gettin’ a clawfoot tub installed out back, they was all for it. They even volunteered to put it in themselves.

I been foreman here for the past twenty year, an’ I never did see ‘em volunteer for nothin’ before. Ken wanted to spray that tub. But Ken always wants to spray every vehicle that comes in here. He has a thing about sprayin’. We said no.

It became pretty clear we needed at least another tub by Tuesday. With each fella spendin’ the full hour in the tub, we weren’t no how gonna get everyone in that tub before we shut up shop and went home.

Wednesday, we install three more of ‘em. Your advice makes sense, and let me tell, you, it’s payin’ dividends. I see the quality of the work go up.
When Frank first came to work with us, oh, that would be about three year ago now, he could beat out a hood pretty good. But he was wild with the hammer. It was costin’ us plenty to replace the widows on the customers’ cars. All he really needed to do was slow down some. It never dawned on us to think of it ourselves. We’re mighty grateful.

With this new hour-in-the-bathtub-at-work plan things have been goin’ pretty well. But I ain’t so sure about the coffee. We been coffee drinkers here at Dave’s Autobody for some twenty-five year, and I don’t care who hears me say it! It’s a thing we been proud of, until now. I don’t know about that tea drink. It’s girly if you ask me.

Dan came back from the store on Thursday (that’s our slow day). He had a large packet of pure Assam tea. Once the fellas tasted it they didn’t want coffee no more.

Apart from that, we got a lot more relaxons in the place. Ted can’t stop playin’ with that Relax-o-meter 9 you sold us. Some of the customers are asking if they can get in the tub if they have to wait. And the paperwork for the International Institute of Not Doing Much seal of approval came through as you said it would. We’re thinkin’ of where to hang it on the wall.

Come on by, we’ll give you a discount. And we’ll keep the water hot for ya!

Slow regards,
Bill, Service Manager
Dave’s Auto Body Shop and Spa

Major Smythe-Blunder

Dear Sir or Madam,

You asked about my day. I’ve been writing a biography of my uncle General Blunder. While searching under my desk for a missing part of the manuscript,  I found your letter quite by chance. Enclosed is my response. It’s in British English of course.

06:00 Get up as usual.

06:15 Have cup of tea and realise it’s Slow Down Week. Go back to bed. Start day off with nap, just the ticket!

08:00 Daphne bangs on door to see if her dad is still alive. He is. Had a strange dream I was addressing the troops. I’m wearing a tutu and they are all dressed as chickens. Odd, don’t usually have dreams. Look for glasses.

08:30 Found glasses, but not before knocking over false teeth in glass on bedside table.

09:00 Daphne concerned I’m ill. But makes hearty breakfast with kidneys (my favourite) with lashings of tea.

09:45 Read Slow Down Week instruction manual and take bath. Sergeant Quack-Quack, or duck number two, develops a malfunction and sinks. Hum the Last Post as he goes down: all very proper.

10:30 Geranium inspection in the greenhouse. All present and correct. Get nasty attack from standing on booby-trapped rake. Rather bruised. Probably left there by little Cassandra Smythe-Blunder-Barkington-Pips. She is a born warrior.

11:00 In the bath again. Better for bruises. Read in paper about new study on relaxons. Apparently particles in air can make personnel more relaxed and impart a sense of wellbeing. Thought this was all military hush-hush. Slow Down Week headline news of course.

11:45 Sit in living room with me pipe for a good smoke. Daphne complains she can hardly see. Go to pub for lunch (and a smoke).

12:30 Eric (Mad-Dog) Madden tells me that in the United States every garage repair shop also provides hot baths for their customers.  Nonsense of course!

15:00 Just walked back from the pub. Had rather too much Newcastle Brown Ale. The policeman was understanding about the urinating in public incident. The police are a decent bunch of chaps.

16:00 Must have dozed off. Daphne, sweet girl, brings me a cuppa and a jam tart.

16:30 Work on me book “Tank Battles for Tots” but must be aware of the time. Don’t want to miss the cricket from Australia.

18:40 Daphne wakes me up. Missed cricket. Have supper and do football pools.

19:30 Have another bath, this time with me pipe. Sad about duck number two. Duck number one lonely.

21:00 Turn in early with me new issue of “Big Girls of the British Army.”

Yours faithfully,

Major (Blast-it-to-Smithereens) Smythe-Blunder



Dear Ms Braithwaite:

I am writing this letter of my own free will. I was not influenced by my captors your representatives. I had no idea that the International Institute of Not Doing Much (IINDM) had a list of workaholics. I have learned a lot in the last three weeks. I have seen the light, and I am well on my way to recovery.

I wasn’t aware that anyone had entered my office on the night of the abduction invitation to visit the IINDM. As usual, I was working on the Johnson account long after everyone had gone home. The first thing I felt was two firm hands on my shoulders. I looked up to see a group from the Secret Society of Undercover Massage Therapists (SSUMT) with a portable table already unfolded in the corner.

At first, I resisted, but the Shiatsu technique rendered me helpless. And they didn’t stop there! Then there was deep tissue, Lomilomi, and Thai massage. Once I was noodled (their term, not mine), I was given acupressure in the back of the van until I arrived at the local branch of the IINDM. I don’t remember much more. I must have dozed off.

Your program of reeducation relaxation is wonderful. I could never have done it by myself. I admit that the art classes were difficult. And, as I later learned, only those people who have made significant progress can stomach appreciate the Watching Paint Dry classes.

As you can see, I have signed the papers, and now look forward to my release return as I am a slower and more pleasant human being.

Yours insincerely,

B. J. Driven

Horrible and Grimm, LLC