Thursday, 10 June 2010

"Dear Andrew Wakefield, from Science" (No. 20)

Whoop whoop, here we go again. Admittedly, I had the idea for this a while ago, but only now gotten round to writing it.

"Dear Mr Andrew Wakefield

This is a letter to inform you that, regrettably, we will no longer be requiring your services here at Science. Although we do not have a policy of criticising or suppressing individuals with controversial or unusual theories and ideas, we do insist that they follow company procedure and provide evidence via experimentation for said theories before releasing them to the public. We cannot tolerate those who do things in reverse. Although I'm willing to believe you may have had extenuating circumstances (judging by your performance I'm prepared to concede that you may have read the employee orientation handbook backwards), I'm afraid that your overall actions have led me to decide that you are no longer welcome here at Science.

I assure you Mr Wakefield that this decision was not arrived to lightly

(and just to clarify, the term 'mister' is used in the sense of 'someone who is most definitely NOT allowed to do medicine on a professional basis', not 'someone who is such a good doctor they get promoted to consultant', I'm sorry if you find this clarification patronising but you do seem to have a habit of arriving at conclusions based on evidence which says the exact opposite to what you claim)

However, in the interests of fairness, what follows are the primary reasons for your dismissal, which are issues you may want to address when seeking further employment (if it helps, I hear the chiropractors are looking for people, and I'm sure you'd feel right at home there).

- Over the last decade, your actions have brought considerable negative publicity to Science. Despite the fact that you claimed to have used 'science' to prove your theories, the use of the same 'science' (properly, this time) has constantly disproved your claims. Your recalcitrant attitude to your colleagues has caused disruption, ill feeling and has damaged moral. We always ask for good teamwork skills when interviewing applicants, and you assured us you had these qualities. Now we discover that you do not.
It's possible that you felt you were in some way helping the company, under the axiom 'all publicity is good publicity'. However, we here at Science do not subscribe to that belief, in much the same way that I imagine BP no longer does. Your actions have caused considerable damage and disrupted the long term goals of the medicine division (in brief, these can be summarised as 'Where Possible, Stop People Dying!'). Though whether through self-aggrandisement or a misguided attempt to be helpful, your actions have had the same effect. To clarify, those signs in the lobby that say 'Please do not feed the Media'? They are there for a purpose.

- It has come to our attention that you have been moonlighting with law firms and other rivals of Science? According to our records, you were paid in advance to find a link between the MMR vaccine (one of our most useful innovations, I might add) and autism? Although there is also evidence to suggest that you weren't asked to associate MMR with a specific disease, but chose autism due to it's poorly understood nature? A simple request to upper management and it should have been simple to transfer you to the autism research division if you were that curious. But if you chose to exploit the health of children for your own ends, than that is simply against the values and ethics of Science, and as such your services are not desired.

- Speaking of which, your methods are not tolerated here. You may argue that there was no form or instruction ruling out 'stabbing children in the spine without their consent and the relevant training to do so', but we here at Science try to think well of our employees, and until now it was believed unnecessary for such a policy to be put in place. If you feel that was an oversight on our part and you are thus blameless, then please feel free to take your grievances to the ombudsman, I would very much like to hear how he responds to your argument.

- You continue to allow celebrities onto the premises. You are fully aware that this is against company policy, ever since the incident where Fiona Phillips was found rummaging in the company bins for 'dirt'. It was only disappointing good fortune on her part that prevented her from getting a serious infection and trying to treat herself with homeopathy or crystals, would have saved us a lot of bother. But celebrities have a sense of value of their own opinions that is massively disproportionate to their actual knowledge, and your antics have only made them worse.

There are other reasons for your dismissal, and you will not shoulder the full burden of responsibility.I shall be talking to your supervisors who let your actions go unchecked for so long. But from this point on, you are no longer welcome at Science. Please hand in your keys, badge and gun at the front desk (I don't know why you'd have a gun, but am not prepared it rule it out based on your past behaviour).

If you are spotted on the premises again, I have the security guard under instruction to drag you to the nearest ditch after shooting you with tranquillizer darts (in the spine preferably, for the irony)

Yours sincerely

The anthropomorphic personification of Science (C.E.O. of 'Science')'

email: humourology (at)
twitter: @garwboy

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