Dear all,

First off, I genuinely have no idea what’s going on with any of you. But I have to start this note by saying I hope you’re doing well during this difficult time.

Many, many months into quarantine, I’d like to ask, how are you? I am also obligated to wonder, how is your mental and physical health?

We, the team at Henry’s Traditional Mustard Inc., are in this fight together. We want to do everything we can to protect your well-being. To do our part we’ve recently developed a special email address for all employees, where you can tell us about any critical issues you may still be facing during this challenging period. We’ve received hundreds, maybe even thousands, of messages. Many of you have asked who is reading them. Please know we’re still working on that piece of the puzzle. In the meantime, we ask that you do not send us anything in writing that requires immediate attention. Someone wrote to the email address four weeks ago asking for time off to care for their husband and several children who were very, very sick with the Coronavirus. That was never answered, for example.

Here’s where I’m going to just start talking about race with no segue. Let me be clear that all of us at Henry’s Traditional Mustard Inc. care about diversity. Let me be even more clear by saying that I would never have written anything, or put any thought into, having a diverse workforce unless I was forced to, which is what is happening to me right now. To that end I’ve hired one non-white person to oversee our hiring process for the next six months and will make sure we hire at least one non-white person for a big role (bonus points if they’re part of the LGBTQ community or “different” in some way) in the coming months. I’m also going to schedule one more companywide discussion on race, so that people can voice their concerns. That’s it though. This is kind of exhausting and frankly it’s taking precious time away from doing what we do best, which is making a traditional yellow mustard that is breaking down boundaries and satisfying taste buds nationwide.

This is an unsettling moment in our nation’s history. Because of the uncertainty of our company’s revenue, we’re asking a majority of our employees to continue to work a four-day work week. We hope that you see this reduced schedule as a way to get some much-needed rest! We also hope that you’re still open to working from 7 AM-11 PM on the four days that you are working and are available to answer all emails on the days that you are off. If you have any questions about when we plan to physically go back to the office, feel free to use that same email address I referenced in the beginning of this email. Please note it will be voluntary yet also expected.

I had my intern put together a rudimentary PDF which shows you how to take care of your mind and body while working remote. In between working double the hours you’re used to, with less pay, I do hope you find time to consider these helpful tips for de-stressing.

This transformational time in our nation’s history has taught me so much, mainly that people *do* care about having traditional yellow mustard. We always knew that, but it took a civil rights revolution and a deadly virus to prove it. When you’re sitting down with your families, whether it be in person or over Zoom, remember to ask them, aren’t you sick of all of these new mustards on the market? What happened to the traditional, no-frills yellow variety?

In the coming weeks, we will be rolling out a new marketing campaign. We are currently working on a time where all staff can meet to share their ideas for a new #traditionalyellowmustard hashtag. As you know, time is tight, so we’re looking to shave off 30 minutes from our discussion on race to discuss new hashtags. Come with your ideas on racial equality and hashtags!

Be well,

CEO Larry Steedlebaum


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