Look at the Zoom square to the left of yours. Then to the square on your right. All three of you, along with everyone else on your screen, are no longer employed here.

Yes, unfortunately everyone on this call is part of the 42% of the company being laid off, effective immediately. Finance insisted we only needed a 33% reduction in headcount, but I’m a big Hitchhiker’s Guide fan so I rounded up.

This was not a decision the company arrived at lightly. I’m intentionally citing “the company” in order to make this seem like an action made by a nebulous entity without any autonomy and not a move that I myself voraciously advocated for to appease investors after guaranteeing that quarterly revenue would increase by “infinity” dollars.

Individuals were selected for termination to ensure our current team aligns with our future strategy. If you are confused as to why you may have been let go, it was likely due to some combination of underperformance, overcompensation, or you being named Brian—we just have too many Brians.

To ensure your future success, we will be offering you all two weeks’ worth of severance pay, pending your acceptance of our non-disclosure agreement that prevents you from suing us for any reason or writing a Glassdoor review that uses any prohibited phrases such as “toxic work environment,” “wage theft,” or “CEO is so unqualified and sad and evil that I almost feel bad for him.”

Regarding healthcare, we’ll continue your coverage through the end of the year through SNAKE. Think COBRA, except privatized and run by my college fraternity brother and 100% a scam.

To aid you in your imminent job search, we are allowing you to keep your company-issued MacBook Pro computer. However, we will not be uninstalling the employee webcam monitoring software. And to further support you during this career transition, I will personally endorse you on LinkedIn for Microsoft Word proficiency.

You may be wondering why we were hiring at such an aggressive rate, handing out job offers like they were fliers for a free comedy show. Shouldn’t a competent C-suite have enough foresight to not blindly steer us directly into assured bankruptcy? Probably! But fortunately, we are course-correcting to a more sustainable path, which unfortunately means doing some handwaving about market conditions while axing a significant portion of our staff.

Those of you who were lucky enough to survive our early pandemic purge might ask how we’re in this situation again. There are many people you might want to hold responsible for putting us in this economic predicament by negligently burning through our cash runway, but as someone playing a key leadership role in this organization who knows when to take responsibility for their actions, it’s fair to say that the blame falls squarely on Joe Biden.

Some may recall my contentious divorce a few years ago in which I voluntarily relinquished custody of my two sons in order to pay less in alimony. I mention this because I’ve always viewed everyone here at this company as family, which is why you’re all equally expendable to me.

While unfortunately you did not make the cut to continue on with us, you may take some solace in knowing that your now former coworkers will be taking on all of your original duties. Their workloads doubled, their salaries stagnant, and my little remaining patience for them halved.

And if you happen to know anyone looking for a job, besides yourself of course, please have them get in touch with our head of talent acquisition. We have a bunch of freed-up capital and lots of seats to fill!