The office door closed silently as the last public relations specialist entered, closing the door behind them. Then moving to the empty chair in front of the boss’s desk and sitting down.
“I called you all in today because of a discussion I had with some of my peers at the get-together last night at Phil’s place. It looks like this thing in China may turn into something serious, so we need to start thinking about diversifying our holding. We will need a public relations push to remind the workforce of their place if it gets bad. You know the kind of thing we have done it before, how lucky they are to have a job, how great our benefits are compared to some imaginary company with no benefits at all. You all know the drill. Now, any ideas of what we can do before people in this country start getting sick?”
One of the new vice presidents spoke up, “Um, we could get ahead of the curve and start requiring illness precautions. You know like they recommended for SARS, masks, social distancing, hand washing? That would keep our workforce healthy.”
“Don’t be stupid, kid. That will cut productivity. We can’t have that.” Answered one of the senior presidents. “We need good ideas, not things that will slow us down. What about pushing news and governmental sources to report this as an Asian problem. Focus on the China connection. After all, if it is in Asia, then we don’t have to worry about it here. In fact, it may help our economy.”
The same new VP spoke up again, “not to disagree, but there are already cases in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, and here in the United States. I think this is going to be a severe health issue that we need to be proactive with.”
The big boss spoke up, “get this, idiot, out of here. He is completely missing the point of this meeting. In fact, kid, you are fired. Nacy, get me security, escort this stupid bastard out of the building with his personal belongings. If you will never work in this field again. “
The kid stood up, “You know what. I wouldn’t want to work here anyway. You people are all morons and so short-sighted that you deserve everything that will happen to you. Good luck, you stupid bastards.”
He walked out with that, and the company proceeded to handle COVID-19 like a public relations issue…welcome to 2021.