When I first joined this office, I noticed “free willy fridays!!!!” written in bold on our calendar. I knew that other workplaces made Fridays special with casual dress code, but this office’s special Fridays seemed too good to be true. A day where we’d get to sit back and celebrate free willy, open and proud? That was all I’d ever wanted to do at work!
Immediately, of course, I Slacked HR to confirm. “Hey karen,” I wrote, “R free willy fridays our offices spin on casual fridays? bc I luv the idea! Total step up!!!!”
Karen replied, “Yes!!! U better get excited steven. We luv a good free willy around here. :-)”
Friday came around, and I was more than pumped. I put on my dress shirt, tie, and fun nacho socks that say “Nacho Socks.” I gelled my hair and chose my shiniest patent leather shoes. No pants, no underwear, no belt. Just shirt, shoes, and most importantly, free willy.
It was a chilly October morning, so I wrapped myself in my trenchcoat to stay warm during my commute. As I stepped into the office, I made a show out of dropping my coat to the ground and twirling around for the whole office to see how spirited I could get on Fridays. That’s because as a new employee, you want to show everyone you can gel with the company.
“Free willy, guys! Am I right?!” I said, adding jazz hands for flair. But when I looked up, everyone around me seemed shocked. Karen from HR looked like she’d seen the devil. No one was free willy. Not a single soul.
I suddenly felt super self-conscious about my own free willy.
Confused and flustered, I managed to ask, “S-s-so like, where’s all your free willies guys?”
Karen looked at me straight in the eye and slowly lifted her right hand to show me a DVD. It was the 1995 blockbuster Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home.