Severance package

The Knee seeks new career opportunities in biohazards


Dear The Knee (“TK”);

It is with great regret that we inform you that your position as Left Knee for Cynthia Morgan, Human Organism has been made redundant. Beginning Monday, July 13, 2015, all left knee functionality will be managed by a Zimmer Biomet NextGen machine and so your services will no longer be required.

TK, the leadership at Cynthia Morgan wishes to sincerely thank you for your many years of service. We deeply regret the recent performance issues that forced us to seek mechanization and hope you understand that this was not a step we entered into lightly.

As you are well aware, bipedal locomotion is an important part of operations at Cynthia Morgan, and a critical function of our award-winning Leg Teams. It requires strong, reliable performances from the pivotal Left Knee and Right Knee positions at all times.

Yet despite repeated warnings, TK, your performance has steadily declined over the past five years. Increasingly, you have failed to provide the flexion and support necessary for Left Leg Team to step even short distances. As a result, Right Leg Team has been forced to take on a disproportionate share of the walking workload, at a significant opportunity cost to the organization.

We have tried to be understanding. We realize that we share some of the blame for this–an unfortunate scuba accident, an overenthusiastic arthroscopy, poorly chosen running surfaces and certain dietary overloads–that contributed to your flagging mobility.

However, we have also provided substantial compensation, including medical assistance, drugs, an assistive brace, fashionable cane, therapy sessions–at considerable cost, we might add–to no avail. Your performance has continued to deteriorate.

It has now reached the point that Right Knee can no longer compensate. His attorneys have informed us that, unless measures are taken to alleviate his workload soon, they may be forced to seek redress through litigation.

Accordingly, we have engaged the services of a competent surgical team to remove you from our premises. We are not without compassion; the surgical team has promised to make your removal as painless as possible. Please consider July 12 to be your last full day of employment, as the new knee will be in position by close of business on July 13.

As you did not sign an employment agreement when you joined the firm, we have taken the liberty of putting together a severance package for you, contracting with the placement firm Challenger Gray, & Christmas to help you find a new position.

CG&C tells us that employment opportunities for osteoarthritic former Left Knees are currently rather limited, so they have obtained a temporary position for you in a Biohazard capacity. They have promised to be in touch as soon as a spot in a retraining program opens up at the local community college.

Again, thanks for your many years of faithful service. If it helps, we suspect that your severance is gonna hurt us a helluva lot more than it hurts you.

Bon voyage, TK,

Your former colleagues at Cynthia Morgan, Human Organism

OK, so for those of you sending me private notes asking what the HECK am I talking about here (six so far)…on Monday I’m finally having total knee replacement surgery. Given the angst I feel about filling a cavity, getting up the nerve to say goodbye to a whole knee has been, well, interesting. Then it struck me that there’s sort of a parallel in the corporate world…



  1. SB Anthony July 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Hi, I hope it all went well and you are on the road to recovery! Loved the humor!

    • SB Anthony July 17, 2015 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      Can you cast the knee into something artistic? or too bio-hazardous? or want to have nothing more to do with him?

      • cynthia August 16, 2015 at 1:59 pm - Reply

        That’s a thought, but the doc didn’t offer the castoff bits as a souvenir and–judging from what Mom said about his characterization of the three-point mess The Knee had made of my leg when he got inside to witness the damage–I’m not sure I wanted to see it anyway. So nope, I didn’t even ask.

        Right at the moment most of the rest of my body seems to be mad at Elmo for something or other, so it’s probably just as well…

  2. leathersmithe July 16, 2015 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    I go in for a double August 4. Twice the fun! What the heck is in your illustration for this post?

  3. Jen July 13, 2015 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Excellent farewell commentary! We recently evicted a metal-on-metal monstrosity that wasn’t contributing anything positive, just leaching chromium and cobalt into the rest of the organization. It’s still hanging around in a bedside table drawer while the organization tries to think of a suitable, prolonged, retaliatory torture to inflict on it. All the very best, Cynthia! Thinking of you.

  4. Julia Smoak July 13, 2015 at 10:11 am - Reply

    As you begin your new assignment Zimmer Biomet NextGen I hope that your trial period goes by without a hitch. Your new position will be very demanding but hopefully you will be up to the task and enjoy many years of service.

    Cynthia, I hope everything goes smoothly and you are walking painfree soon.

  5. Sally Ishikawa July 13, 2015 at 7:28 am - Reply

    You’ll be good to go before you know.
    Take your meds
    Do your treds
    Up and running is how you’ll go

  6. Ellen Abbott July 13, 2015 at 6:34 am - Reply

    your knees are male?

    • cynthia July 13, 2015 at 7:15 am - Reply

      Apparently, or at least the ones that require termination appear to be. I noticed awhile back that, without really thinking about it, the car that kept breaking down, the computer that eternally crashed, the bum knee…those anthromorphimized as male without a second thought. Meanwhile, stuff that works without much fuss is named SherryBaby, iMelda, Lois…go figure.

  7. Valerie Adams July 12, 2015 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    We’ll all be looking forward to hearing how well you’re doing mid-week or so. Sending hugs and positive energy, and hoping you indulge in a giant portion of whatever floats your boat before the NPO deadline.

    • cynthia July 12, 2015 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Val. NPO for fun stuff, unfortunately, was awhile back. So was shaving (of anything), as well as just about anything involved in good grooming or fun. Tonight is pretty much clear liquids and sticky weird cleaning cloths after a shower. These guys are crazy serious about MRSA and such.

  8. Dee July 12, 2015 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    absolutely hilarious write up and wishing you all the best on the surgery tomorrow!

  9. Joi Tfipp July 12, 2015 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    Your humor and pain meds will get you through . May you have a speedy recovery

  10. bobjheathBob Heath July 12, 2015 at 11:20 am - Reply

    That is some of the best writing I’ve seen in a long time. Very well done. Thanks for the laugh and best of luck tomorrow. I’ll be thinking about you and TK and wishing the best for both of you.

  11. tbachblog July 12, 2015 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Man … you have a wicked sense of humor … and I love that! Best of luck to you … and keep the humor shield working. I could hardly exist if it weren’t for mine. Makes it possible to get through the day.

  12. Rinee July 12, 2015 at 7:28 am - Reply

    You are a fabulous storyteller. I will be thinking good thoughts for you tomorrow.

  13. Patricia Denny July 12, 2015 at 6:59 am - Reply

    Love it! I’ve kicked out 3!

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