Get back in the office or you're fired and fill in your satisfaction survey positively: five contradictory statements from human resources

HUMAN resources want to fully exploit their humans as a resource and for them to be happy about it. These are the contradictory messages you will get this week:

Return to the office full-time and give your work-life balance a thumbs-up

The CEO has had enough. Return to the office five days a week or face disciplinary action. And when back at your desk, on time because you’re not lying on your sofa now, can you complete this employee engagement survey glowingly? We’ll bludgeon you with emails about something called a ‘net promoter score’ until you do.

We really care about your wellbeing, work harder or else

Take regular breaks and look after your mental health because we really care about you as an individual, as long as it doesn’t impinge on a moment of your working hours. We have aggressive quarterly targets to hit. You can manage your so-called wellness on a Sunday, like Victorian mill workers.

Bond as a team over drinks but do not bond too much or get drunk

Effective teams work, rest and play together in an atmosphere of psychological safety. Alcohol is provided at work events but if you fail to draw the line at exactly the right point – before getting your cock out – you will be fired. Enjoy negotiating all that while shitfaced.

We are always here for you and never contact us directly

We are dedicated to meeting your needs, it is the reason we exist, and we refuse to directly interact with you. Emails will not be answered. Our phone number is for senior managers only. To report a serious grievance or get answers to crucial legal questions, complete our intranet form with a ten-day response time.

We’re dedicated to your personal improvement and here’s your devastatingly low performance rating

Requires Development may seem like a punch in the stomach, given all your unpaid overtime while your mum was ill, but we are laser-focused on bringing you to your full potential. Your Performance Improvement Plan certainly isn’t the beginning of manoeuvring you out of the business without paying notice. That would make us monsters.

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'I tried my first pumpkin spice latte aged 80. Now I'm wearing Uggs, listening to Taylor Swift and I've got a man bun'

‘WHAT harm can it do?’ I asked myself. ‘It’s just a drink.’ If I knew then what I know now, I would never have taken that first fatal sip. 

Truth is, I’d always been PSL-curious. I’d grown pumpkins on my allotment and it intrigued me to see them flavouring a beverage. I’d secretly fantasised about ordering one while knowing I’d never have the courage.

But when our local greasy spoon was closed for health violations, Albert and I dropped into a Starbucks. Albert had tea because he’s lame. I found myself saying those dreamed-of, forbidden words ‘A pumpkin spice latte please.’

The taste! The thrill of it. ‘This is dope,’ I said, using words I’d never allowed myself to admit I knew.

And now? Now I roll through my retirement village in fresh Uggs when I’m not in my sliders or Crocs. Albert doesn’t like them, but the ‘Gram does. I had 300 likes by the time I was bottomless brunching with my bae Mary from the bowls club.

I’ve been counting the days until the red cups come out, I’m manifesting Taylor tickets and blasting Midnights even though it’s kinda mid, and my bridge club biatches all know I’m a stan.

The man bun? Don’t even talk to me about my man bun. It goes with my drip and my four-eyed cat ink, which I’m building up to a sleeve. I’m pansexual and my partner Ethel’s non-binary. And it’s all thanks to the sweet kiss of PSL.