Alright, team. Thank you for making time for this highly important meeting. I cannot stress enough how highly important this meeting is. To give you some context, according to the Costco Alert Chart, we are now a code pink. Pink, as in the color my cheeks turn when I get excited or agitated.

As you know, the world was projected to end on December 21st, 2012. This prediction was the best thing to happen to Costco’s sales in some time. We here at Costco thrive under duress. We love national disasters, threats of terrorism and anything which requires people to stock up on bottled water for undisclosed amounts of time. We haven’t seen sales like this since people started pimping out their bomb shelters and panic rooms back in the winter of ’99. Boy, do I miss those days. Those were the days when managers of warehouse club chains were treated like kings. I got wholesale amounts of tail that year.

But that’s not the point. The point is what was supposed to be a banner year for us all is slowly becoming the worst thing that’s ever happened to me in my entire life. I don’t know how to put this delicately, but the Mayans screwed up. I don’t know exactly which specific Mayan is to blame, but somebody miscalculated and the long and the short of it is that the world is not ending. Not this year and maybe not ever. I can’t tell you how messed up I am over all this.

Now, I’ve talked to the higher ups and there seems to be only one logical solution to recoup our losses. We are changing our return policy. No longer will people be granted full refunds within reasonable amounts of time upon proof of receipt. Henceforth, any Costco product that looks as though it was purchased with the intent of self-preservation in a dystopian future will not be eligible for return.

I realize that these policies leave much room for interpretation. Thankfully, you are all highly intelligent high school students and dropouts, and I trust your decision making implicitly. I truly believe that anyone in this room is capable of identifying which Heinz ketchup bottles were purchased for use now and which Heinz ketchup bottles were purchased with the intent of defending oneself against an unforeseen enemy.

Let me be frank with all of you. These new policies will not be popular. You will be the subject of much ridicule and abuse. You will be on the front lines, up close and personal with the enemy. Bulk supplies of plastic cutlery may be thrown directly at your faces; I really can’t say. All I can do is implore you to stand strong. I need you. Costco needs you. And in ten or so years when some archaeologist uncovers another calendar with another date for the apocalypse, Costco will remember your bravery. And when the throngs of people crowd through our automatic doors, intent on stocking up on plastic goods and toilet paper, we will all reap the benefits. We will be gods and our wrath will be terrible to behold. ALL HAIL JEREMY WINTERS, FIRST OF HIS NAME, REGIONAL MANAGER OF COSTCO AND LEADER OF MEN. BEND TO HIS WILL OR PERISH AMIDST THE UNPERISHABLE ITEMS IN THE CANNED FOOD AISLE.

Meeting adjourned.

Ilana Gordon is an actress/improviser/procrastinator living and playing in Chicago. Her work has been featured on McSweeney’s and Thought Catalog. If you like long periods of silence, followed by short bursts of white noise, follow her on twitter.

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