The Laundry HR competition is now closed, and I have some winners to announce!
I make no apologies for this announcement being a couple of days late. There were a lot of entries, and while some of them were easily eliminated, others were much harder to wrap my head around. How, for example, do I judge the epic multi-author thread, amounting to a story in its own right, that started here and sucked in half the next 200-odd comments?
Administrative note: I am still waiting to receive a postal address for:
Nils Bruckner, Grant Privett, Mark Draughn, and the entities known as rk.radiohill, BigJay2K
(I can't mail you prizes if I don't know where to send them! Please email me!)
Also, there's just one of me and after reading 500+ entries my brain kind of melted. Trying to pick ten winners out of that many entries is hard work. So I used my initiative to throw a bunch of what I considered noteworthy entries—about 30-50 in all—at my long-suffering editor and marketing person at Orbit to see if they could help, especially in light of their experiences of meetings with HR being much more recent than mine. What follows is therefore mostly my fault, but with an [in-]sanity check by others (who shall remain nameless, both to spare the guilty and to reduce the risk of gibbering apprehension and dread among the readers of this announcement). I'm also favouring those who got their entries in first: it's always hardest to come up with an idea when working in a partial vacuum, so I'm rewarding the folks who shouted into the void first.
Note: Publishing folks aren't generally software startup veterans, so Haskell type system jokes tend to fall flat. I have therefore exercised my whim of steel to pick a couple of hardcore techie-only entries.
What follows is an unadorned list of 12 (rather than the original planned 10) winning entries. The first five will get signed copies of "The Rhesus Chart" by mail; the others will get ... something or other, via Zazzle. (I'll work it out when I recover from judging the entries.) If you're the author of one of these squibs, please send me an email via this link with the subject "competition" (and your username on this blog) so I can get in touch about where to send your prize!
[CENSORED]'s manager failed to realize that the employee in question took a day off from work for their grandmother's funeral on 13 different occasions.
Grandmother finally neutralized after a pitched battle with [CENSORED].
Unacceptable number of bees.
Upon review of security footage, former mainframe technician Galvin Galbraith was discovered to in fact be a chicken under a Class 4 Glamour. Mr. Galbraith was instructed to report to the commissary for debriefing.
"Two Girls One Cup" is NOT surveillance video of a demonic entity exchange between possessed persons. Please stop telling the new employees that they have to watch it as "training." It wasn't funny the first time.
The "Abyss Staring Contest" posted in the break room last week has been cancelled. Any attempt to reschedule it will result in offender(s) being reassigned to "Human Resources" staffing.
And now for some runners-up who I judged to be just slightly too meta, technically involute, recondite, or just downright squid-in-mouth to hit the same laugh-out-loud sweet spot, but whose sterling service to Human Resources horror stories will be memorialized in the shape of an official Laundry health and safety (or Magic Circle of Safety public information awareness) mug:
Stored a small but inconveniently curious extradimensional entity in the bitcoin blockchain.
At this point (159 comments so far) the management would like to remind staff, that copying one's own or co-worker's workplace disciplinary problems, then posting it on a public accessible blog in order to win trivial merchandise in a competition organized by a so-called author, who seems to know just a little bit too much, is not an appropriate use of time and resources.
BILLION CORPSES is not an acceptable project codename. Please choose a less accurate one.
Proposed a variant of Roko's Basilisk on LessWrong which induced a number of members to knowingly form a cult. Said cult attempted to perform a summoning to engage in acausal computing. All known members have subsequently been institutionalised after their ritual merely left a mysterious glyph behind that appears to read "YHBT".
- Ian Mackenzie
The tribunal strongly reaffirms its previous ruling that screaming "Fuck! Nyarlathotep! Run!" at a departmental SportsBall game without an objectively valid reason to do so is in violation of laundry policy not only due to Naming an Old One, but also inciting unnecessary panic. Even if your side is losing.
The Auditors want it emphasised that anyone found responsible for causing an objectively valid reason to scream "Fuck! Nyarlathotep! Run!" - whether or not at a SportsBall game - will receive their intense and hostile attention.
[REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED]. [REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED], [REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED].
This is your final formal warning.
- Randolph Carter
Strategically arranging Residual Human Resources on sidewalks so the Google Street View vehicle mounted cameras pass by and record "the world's largest lemon party" is unacceptable.
Additionally, the Liaison Officer from the Black Chamber reports that Google has purged the related images from all of their servers and backups.