Employee Depreciation.

“What’s this?” Kevin was standing at the doorway to his office, staring at a large Mylar balloon tied to a stapler on top of his desk. Printed on the balloon were the colorful words “THANK YOU”.

Charles was sitting nearby at his desk and watching Kevin admire the balloon. “That’s in appreciation for all your hard work and persistence in finally resolving all our problems with the network,” Charles said.

Kevin just stood there, smiling and shaking his head in confusion. After a long pause, he entered his office and closed the door behind him to start his shift.

Robert was seated at the desk next to Charles. “What was that all about?” he asked. “Kevin hasn’t done a thing!”

“You’ll see,” Charles replied.

Robert shrugged and resumed working.

A few minutes passed before Charles spoke up.

“Robert,” Charles said. “it’s time.”

“Time for what?”

“You’ll see.” Charles reached into his pocket and pulled out a small transmitter with a single white button. Pointing it at Kevin’s closed door, he pressed the button and instantly there was a loud explosion, a terrified yelp and the sound of something heavy hitting the floor, all coming from inside Kevin’s office.

“What was that!” Robert shouted, startled.

“Let’s go see,” Charles grinned as he got up from his seat to join Robert in investigating the aftermath of the mysterious explosion.

Charles pushed opened the door to Kevin’s office and there sat Kevin on the floor behind his desk appearing stunned while watching small pieces of balloon drift gently down to the floor.

“Are you all right?” Robert asked. “What happened?”

“I’m fine,” Kevin snapped, “I have no idea what just happened, maybe Charles does!”

“Yes, I do know what happened,” Charles explained, “Your balloon was filled with hydrogen. All I needed to do was use my transmitter to send the signal to the spark-emitting diode I hid inside the balloon to trigger the explosion.”

“But why!” Kevin yelled. “I thought you got me the balloon in appreciation of my hard work!”

Charles replied, “I was being sarcastic.”

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