• Dave Orlansky

The Coma

Doug Kercher, a 40-year-old financial analyst, recently awoke from a 2-year coma, and is welcomed back to work by Robert, his company’s HR rep.


Robert the HR Rep

Doug, we are so happy to have you back! Things around the office haven’t been the same without you.


Doug

It’s definitely been a long road to recovery.


Robert the HR Rep

Yeah, well, 2 years. I mean, wow. It was touch and go there for a while.


Doug

I’m just glad I could finally return to work and start getting back to normal.


Robert the HR Rep

Yes, well that’s what I came to talk to you about. I wanted to make sure I caught you on your first day back to go over some of the minor changes within the company.


Doug

Minor changes?


Robert the HR Rep

2 years is a long time Robert. A lot has happened since 2016. We’ve had to revamp our entire sexual harassment policy, and the powers that be want me to review it with you.


Doug

What do you mean? Did something happen?


Robert the HR Rep

It’s not really one specific thing. It’s just...things are different now. Like take your winking for example.


Doug

My winking? I wink at everybody. I’ve always done that. It’s my thing.


Robert the HR Rep

I know it is, but I’d hate for a harmless wink to get misconstrued as something more. You might want to just cut back on the winking for a while, that’s all.


Doug

Of course. I’d hate for anybody to get the wrong idea. You know I’m not that type of guy.


Robert the HR Rep

I understand completely Doug. And while we’re on the subject, let’s discuss the kiss on the cheek at work functions. I know you’re a big kiss hello guy. But when you’re at work, I think you should really try to avoid it.


Doug

Absolutely. I would never want someone to feel uncomfortable. Consider it done.


Robert the HR Rep

And your hugs. You know how you used to hug all the female interns as they entered the building each morning?


Doug

I wanted them to feel welcome. I thought people loved my famous Doug Hugs.


Robert the HR Rep

Everyone loves a good Doug Hug, don’t get me wrong. But apparently some women didn’t feel comfortable receiving a 2-minute long bear hug from their male boss every morning.


Doug

Robert, I’ve got to say, I’m a bit shocked by this news. I had no idea people were taking my hugs the wrong way.


Robert the HR Rep

Believe me, we were as surprised as you are. But unfortunately it’s not just the hugs. Do you know how you used to comment on Karen’s outfits every day and whistle whenever she walked by to make a copy?


Doug

I thought she liked that.


Robert the HR Rep

We all did. But apparently she found it quite demeaning.


Doug

Oh my God. I had no idea. I feel terrible. I thought she took it as a compliment.


Robert the HR Rep

Don’t beat yourself up, Doug. It’s a learning process for all of us. It turns out women don’t like to be objectified in the workplace. If any of us has had known at the time we surely would have told you. It’s on all of us.


Doug

Wow. This is a ton of new information to process.


Robert the HR Rep

Well that’s not quite all of it. You know your “Doug’s Dong of the Day” pics?


Doug

Don’t tell me. Those are inappropriate too? Everyone thought they were so funny!


Robert the HR Rep

This one really caught us off guard. But the secretaries all came forward and said they actually felt quite violated by your daily dick pic emails.


Doug

Violated? Did they give any reason why?


Robert the HR Rep

Apparently women don’t love when unsolicited pictures of penises pop up on their work computers.


Doug

I’ve gotta be honest Robert. I am completely thrown through a loop with this. If I had even the slightest inkling that anyone in the office felt uncomfortable by pictures of my penis, I would never have sent them out in the first place.


Robert the HR Rep

I know Doug. I know. And I understand this is a lot to take in. Do you want a break before we continue? Maybe we could finish up tomorrow? I don’t want to overwhelm you.


Doug

No, I’m okay. You can keep going. I really appreciate this.


Robert the HR Rep

Well I guess that brings us to back rubs then. Our company has decided that they are strictly prohibited from now on.


Doug

Even my famous “Doug Rub?”


Robert The HR Rep

Especially the “Doug Rub.” In fact, we’re really trying to crack down on inappropriate touching of any kind.


Doug

Now when you say inappropriate touching, do you mean physical contact from one person to another? Because what if, say, I were to touch myself, but happened to do so in the presence of a female colleague? Would that be okay?


Robert the HR Rep

That’s a great follow-up question Doug. I see you haven’t missed a beat since your coma. But unfortunately inappropriate touching on yourself or others is prohibited in this office now.


Doug

Wow, I can’t believe how much has changed since 2016.


Robert the HR Rep

I know it’s a lot Doug. No one expects to you adjust overnight. We’ll try to get you up to speed as quickly as possible. 2 years is a lot of ground to make up.


Doug

Just out of curiosity, will I still get the benefit of the doubt in any situation because I’m a white male? Or has that changed too?


Robert the HR Rep

Nope, that’s the same.

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