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While you were out - Will Durst

Besides needing a vacation from your vacation, the worst part of returning to work after a traditional summer holiday is the realization that you're going to need a minimum of two days for every day gone, just to get back into the swim of things. And the mound of memos piled on your desk is just the tip of the iceberg:

· Monday. 8:00 a.m. The custodian came by and changed the locks on all the employee restrooms and left everyone a key except you. Sorry. Martha.

· Monday. 10:30-ish. Thought you should know some guy from accounting pawed through your trash. He took some. Not much. Bobby.

· Monday. 1:07 p.m. The new management consultant wants everyone to start wearing red suspenders as a morale-building exercise. Don't blame me, I just work here. For now. Mrs. Scott.

· Monday. 3 p.m. I have been informed that the layoff wheel has been set up in the lunch room. All employees will spin it once a week. Mitchell in N.Y.

· Monday? I.O.U. one middle desk drawer. Thanks, dude. Ali.

· Tuesday. 8:00 a.m. We've saved all our safety updates and will start printing memos on the reverse side. Like this one. Ignore swine-flu warning on back. Or don't. Thank you. Martha.

· Tuesday. Some ridiculous single-digit hour in the a.m. Your suggestion about cutting executive bonuses was forwarded to New York. Smoooth move. Ali.

· Tuesday. 8:47 a.m. The new seniority system is now in place. Pick up your information packet in the lunch room at your convenience. Between 1:00 and 2:00. Mrs. Scott.

· Tuesday. 3 p.m. I have been informed that the new janitorial crew will service each floor one day a week. Your floor is scheduled for Monday. Mitchell in N.Y.

· Tuesday. 4:14 p.m. The new management consultant forgot at which Hyatt he is staying. Anybody who knows, please visit the East conference room. Do not call. The phones are broken. Mrs. Scott.

· Wednesday. 8:00 a.m. Tonight's transitioning workshop has been relocated to the Denny's off Exit 7. Martha.

· Wednesday. Noonish. That guy from accounting brought back your trash. And somebody else's trash too. It's all on your desk. Should I call Bailbonds Without Borders? Bobby.

· Wednesday. 3 p.m. I have been informed Mitchell in N.Y. has been laid off. He had a bad spin on the layoff wheel. Ali.

· I hate these pink memos. Why don't we use e-mail? Can't you talk to Martha? Anyhow, Ticketmaster called. They mistakenly listed your number to call for Springsteen tickets and want you to forward people to the new number. I wrote it down on your filing cabinet in lipstick. Bridget. In reception. P.S. I like Springsteen.

· Thursday. 11:14 a.m. New York has determined that every other Casual Friday is now a Furlough Friday. Typical. Mrs. Scott.

· Thursday morning. Some idiot visited an Albanian porn site and now there's a virus eating all the hard drives. You might want to reboot your computers. Now. Mister Roberson, VP of HR. By the way, whoever is shredding the layoff wheel every night, cut it out. It won't help.

· Thursday. 4:17 p.m. The health care co-pay is now 100 percent. Not sure what that means, but it doesn't sound good. Mrs. Scott.

· Some guy from the IRS wants to see your trash. You're s'posed to call him when you get in, but I lost the number. Sorry. Bridget. In reception. Any news on Springsteen?

· Friday. 8:00 a.m. Personnel called. They want to know your job description. Martha.

· Friday afternoon. I have been informed that on Monday, we will be measuring inseams for the smaller cubicles. Mr. Roberson. VP of HR.

· Friday. Don't know time. Oprah's on. The custodian removed the rollers from your chair to make skates for the dolly. Bobby.

· Monday? Again? How can that be? Dude, why is your car parked in the "Employees Only" lot? Kidding. I think. Welcome back. Just in time to spin the wheel. Ali.

Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at durst@caglecartoons.com.