In Memorandum: A Corporate Eulogy

Dear colleagues, underlings, and other wage slaves,

We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of Dave’s job. For fifteen years, Dave processed our accounts payable with grace, empathy, and a thorough understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Today, we say goodbye to our beloved coworker as he packs up his belongings under the watchful eye of an HR representative and is escorted out by security.

Dave’s job of A/P Processing, Senior Specialist Level II was taken from us far too soon. I remember the role when it was just a humble Accounts Payable Clerk, requiring only a bachelor’s degree and a strong attention to detail. Over the years, we watched the role blossom into maturity, picking up a host of other qualifications along the way: a minimum 3.5 GPA, a CPA certification, and 3+ years’ experience of processing accounts payable, preferably at a top-tier accounting firm or Fortune 500 corporation. As the role’s qualifications grew, so did its responsibilities. Who could forget how, during last year’s audit, our A/P Processing, Senior Specialist Level II so effectively communicated with various internal and external stakeholders? Or worked under tight timelines to deliver reports on vendor payments, credits, taxes, and other metrics as needed? And as I think back on the times we shared with our accounts payables processor, it’s hard to believe I’ll never see him/her/them/it demonstrating proficiency in Excel, Access, and/or QuickBooks again.

We all thought that A/P Processing, Senior Specialist Level II, affectionately known as APPSSL2 by our HR database, would be with us forever. Some of us even thought it would someday be upgraded to A/P Processing, Senior Specialist Level III. But, as many of you now know, a team of management consultants recently diagnosed APPSSL2, along with 1,700 other roles in our company, with a terminal case of redundancy. A malignant growth in automation, on top of a severe bout of outsourcing, meant that APPSSL2 only had a 5% chance of surviving the most recent round of layoffs. The senior leadership team tried everything in their power to save the position, but short of revising this year’s earnings forecast down by a penny per share, there was nothing they could do.

But in our grief, let us not dwell on the loss of our beloved coworker as a case of “headcount reduction,” “involuntary attrition,” or “why we need to overthrow this corrupt system of exploitative capitalism.” Instead, let us take a page from the PowerPoint deck that summarized these downsizing recommendations, and celebrate APPSSL2‘s passing as “the life-changing magic of tidying up our org chart.” APPSSL2 may have been permanently deleted from our Accounting department’s reporting structure, but its legacy will live on in the form of our previous years’ 10-K SEC filings. Going forward, the duties formerly performed by APPSSL2 will be taken up by our new accounting software, AccuPay Enterprise Solutions 7.0 with Transaction WizardTM.

APPSSL2 is survived by colleagues Payroll Coordinator (Janet) and Financial Reporting Analyst, Junior (other Dave). In lieu of flowers, please send timesheets to what remains of the Accounting team by 10am EST Monday.

Ruyi Wen‘s humor writing has appeared in The Lowestoft ChroniclePoints in CaseLittle Old Lady Comedy, her diary, and texts to her mother. She currently resides in Texas, to the dismay of all her neighbors.

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