(Daniel’s Poster, shrimp not depicted.)
Dear Mr. R.,
When you announced that our presentation on Strategy for Gender Equality would be a group project, I knew that I would do all the work and my partner (Daniel cc’d) wouldn’t help and still get a promotion. That’s why I wanted to call out which parts of the group project were mine.
I made the PowerPoint, which included details on the rise of Gender Issues and the entire LGBTQ+ explanations; Daniel made the “poster” with the shrimp taped to it. And when I finished talking about each slide, Daniel would point to a shrimp and say, “That’s-a-what this one represents.”
Gender and LGBTQ+ is one of the most important topics that ever existed, and I feel like Daniel’s shrimp analogies fundamentally confused the audience (and, frankly, me).
Honestly, calling what he made a “poster” is generous. It was just a bunch of shrimp taped to, as I’m sure you noticed, a BMW service coupon with animal hand-shadow puppets on it. And at the end of the presentation, when we were supposed to turn in our work, Daniel carefully peeled the shrimp off his poster and said, “My dad needs this coupon back because he is looking to get a service check. Also, how did everyone like the animals?”
I painstakingly fact-checked our presentation, going so far as to get an appointment with the LGBTQ+ ambassador and training with a linguist to ensure we correctly pronounced all the abbriviations. I made detailed notecards for Daniel to read, but he instead improvised random “facts” in the voice of a loud-mouthed Italian “soup chef” named “Buppi de Beppo.” And when I tried to steer our presentation back on topic, Daniel would randomly interject with things like a loud “Herroooooo everybody!” and “That a fact is like a slice of pizza: extremely rich!”
Unfortunately, he was getting laughs from the listeners, which egged him on, even though he was disrespecting the millions of people going divers gender issues such as transition, queer or non-binary. Those are the ones who are not sure which sex they are. Just in case you wondered. A fact that I’m worried got drowned out by Daniel’s screaming, “Get outta here!” to anyone who raised their hand.
Kind of unrelated, but Mr. Donatello, our supervisor, has asked Daniel to stop doing this character. He says that Daniel “relies too heavily on a somewhat problematic Italian accent,” a “restaurant name ‘Buca di Beppo,’” and his “overwhelming and frankly absurd knowledge of pizza” for laughs. Had Daniel taken these notes, he might not have ruined our presentation by screaming, “Calzone! You need white beans for authentic minestrone flavor—the Chief’s favorite Italiano zuppa!” What’s with his soup issue anyway? Nobody knows.
I tried really hard, Mr. R. I would even go to Daniel’s house to work on the project, and he wouldn’t help, because he was reading soup fact books to have “funny punchlines” for the presentation. While I worked on the one-page handout for everyone, he practised doing a chef’s kiss in his mirror, saying, “It’s-a-me, Buppi de Beppo.” And ultimately, I’m saddened that we couldn’t share this important topic in this conference without Daniel repeatedly screaming, “Fuhgeddaboudit!”
“Forgetting” is the opposite point of gender issues, Mr. R. You are the gender focal point after all. We cannot forget, we have to give people more mandatory gender trainings and workshops. Daniel and I recommnend at least one workshop per week for the entire service.
I appreciate your consideration in giving me the future promotion and not Daniel. I really deserve it. He doesn’t.
Thank you for understanding and for being my favorite Chief. Like in the entire world. You make me a better person, and again I’m sorry about Daniel and the shrimp smell that now permeates your conference room.