I hate to pull you away from your work with something as trivial as a personnel issue, but I find the matter at hand rather troubling. Over the course of several months we've received a number of internal complaints about one of our agents, Erin Esurance. While none of the reported incidents seem particularly noteworthy on their own, a pattern of inexcusable behavior becomes evident when they are viewed in context.
The troubles began innocently enough with this first complaint from Agent Chowder, our field ops communication officer.
As you know, my job is to monitor Erin's activities through the agency's standard micronic earpiece and provide her with information or dispatch backup units should she need them. I feel awkward reporting this, but her communications have begun to stray from the task at hand.
I ask her for a mic check and she tells me that I can check competitors' insurance rates online without hassle. I request confirmation on the completion of an objective and she confirms that her insurance brand has terrific customer service. I maintain radio silence and she tells me that she knows I'm there, that I cannot hide from her, and that she knows a great website I can visit if I need car insurance.
I don't want to get Erin in trouble at all. I'm simply afraid that this fixation on insurance will affect her job performance. She's always been a terrible agent, but if this keeps up someone might get hurt.
- Agent Chowder
Next we have this complaint from Agent Roscoe, a field operative who has worked with Erin on a number of missions.
This happened a few weeks back, during the rodeo operation. You know, where we attempted to stop that evil mechanical bull from bucking all those cowboys who kept climbing on his back?
There I was, dressed up like a rodeo clown, sitting inside a barrel that was going to be dropped onto the bull from a helicopter. Only I wasn't alone. Erin was in the barrel with me. She struck a match to illuminate her face and said something to the effect of:
"Hope this barrel has insurance! When you need insurance at a great price, just log in! Quote, buy, print!"
It struck me as a very strange thing to do when she was supposed to be piloting the helicopter.
- Agent Roscoe
Unfortunately, it gets worse. This comes to us from one of our security guards.
So it's Friday night. I'm off-duty, sitting at the bar with a buddy of mine having a beer. We're talking about that TV show Samurai Jack, remarking how familiar its style is. It totally reminds us of something but we can't pinpoint it.
While we're sitting there trying to figure it out, my buddy Gordon says "Whoa, check out the pink haired babe!", and before I can turn my head Erin Esurance is right there telling him "Why don't you check out the competitor's rates online instead?"
Gordon thinks he has a chance with Erin (completely ignoring my elaborate pantomimes indicating that it's not a good idea) so he pretends to listen to her talk about car insurance for the next two hours as he gets progressively sloshed. Somewhere around 1:30 A.M. he starts to argue with her about the relative convenience of buying insurance online.
Big mistake. Erin pulls out her service pistol and shoots him in the kneecap.
"I was never here," she says as she backs out of the bar all wild-eyed. "I was never here and buying automotive insurance was never easier or more affordable."
This one comes from Agent Wingo.
Erin threw a small child in the lava.
- Agent Wingo
Here we have a complaint from Agent Erik, Erin's hapless supervisor. The two have known each other for years and may be romantically involved. It doesn't make much sense to keep them working together (or for Erik to be in a position of power when "hapless" is the first descriptor that comes to mind when talking about him), but we're curious to see whether they'll kiss or not. They've got a Pam & Jim / Moonlighting thing going on and that shit's fascinating. Anyway, here's what Erik had to say.
Erin and I were on a mission that involved watching a baseball game and eating hot dogs. Very important stuff. The whole time, she talked about auto insurance. Nothing else. She only paused once, and that was to daydream about playing baseball.
It was perplexing to say the least. I mean, women can't play baseball. They have to use those grapefruit-sized softballs because their hands can't catch or throw a real ball.
Someone needs to talk some sense into her.
- Agent Erik
Finally we have this letter from the agency's resident psychiatrist, Dr. Dume.
My bookshelf has toppled over, coming to a rest against the office door. I cannot force the door open and I cannot move the bookshelf, as hard as I try. Please, you must send help.
I have managed to sustain myself thus far on half a pack of breath mints and the bindings from my considerable book collection. I am working under the supposition that the glue contains some nutritional value, although the protests of my stomach say otherwise.
With no water, I have resorted to pressing my fingers against the surface of my eye then licking them greedily. The time may come when I must approach my office refrigerator and open the case of Zima that one of my patients gave me, but I pray it doesn't come to that.
I can't die in this office. Tonight I rest, and tomorrow I attempt to dig through the carpet to the floor below with my bare hands. I suspect that none of my fingernails will be left when the day is through, but that's the least of my worries.
- Dr. Dume
Hardly a ringing endorsement for Ms. Esurance's mental health.
What should we do about all this? The ultimate decision lies with you, but if I may be so bold I would like to recommend that Erin change her hair color to something less conspicuous and more appropriate for a secret agent, like dayglo orange or some sort of silver that's actually reflective like a hundred thousand mirrors.
After years of being misunderstood, I had hoped we finally had "our" story. I was wrong.
He had a yellow inflatable tube around his waist, the kind with a comical duck head. There was a tiny fish in one of his hands, and a trident in the other. In the background a squirrel wearing shades was water skiing.
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