My first great miscalculation was switching over the entire office to those triangular, three-color highlighter markers. The promotional kind, with Real Estate Agency logos on the side.

I did so without telling anyone my plans and had the switch carried out by a foreign work crew brought in overnight.

I thought it would increase efficiency. Three colors opens up a lot more options. You can rank different passages. You can draw things besides bananas.

The triangle shape is (somehow) related to the pyramids, which, I was told (by the sales guy), are powerful symbols of immortality. I also thought we’d able to connect all the highlighters and build our own pyramid.

The backlash from staff and clientele was harsh and immediate. Documents were ruined, wrists sprained, customers alarmed at the appearance of pink highlighting in their bibles. A few staffers began spontaneously speaking Portuguese and have yet to recover.

The bulk of our business is (was) highlighting passages in books and magazines that do not belong to the clients that bring them in. They steal them from doctor’s offices and neighbor’s mailboxes and fully intend to return them, with seemingly random words and phrases highlighted, whose true meaning is only revealed once a reader gathers them from the length of the book, writes them down in reverse and solves the resulting riddle.

Foolproof! (I bought a franchise out of a back of a Professional Sitters magazine and it just took off. We now control the highlighting business of three counties.)

Well I guess I am the fool. I’ve spent the last two days issuing letters of apology and offering refunds and discounts.

I don’t know. Sometimes I just wish I had taken Dad’s advice and become a cardboard box after college.

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About Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn’t. He can’t stand that shit.

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