Carl, Your PowerPoint Presentations are on a Gradual Decline

By Bryan

It used to be that your presentations were the one thing I looked forward to during our Monday meetings. Huddled in that small room, the twelve of us cramped around that long but inadequate table, anytime you had to give a presentation about a recent change in HR policies and practices (which was surprisingly and almost nauseatingly often), it seemed to make the meeting... Magical. That’s the only word that can accurately describe just what it brought to the rest of my day and even the rest of my week. (Do you know that I have a large folder sitting in the bottom drawer of my desk, filled with the printed out copies of your slide decks? And anytime I’m having a down day or just feeling blue in general, I open it up to any random presentation and it brightens my whole outlook? Well I do, and it does!)

But now, gone are the days of your flashy transitions (sometimes it felt like I was REALLY fading into the next slide myself and was about to be enveloped in the warmth of its information and factuality), engrossing sound effects (I don’t know what it is, but when the next bullet point ZOOMED in with the sound of a race-car, suddenly I truly cared that corporate email could no longer be printed out and taken home), and your perfect choices in clipart (when you closed the presentation on the dangers chemicals in the workplace with the picture of the dad holding his son’s hand, it made me really feel like home office actually was worried about us and was going to take care of us the rest of the way). Now, we’re lucky if you bothered to change the default font, and the last presentation ("Updated Internet Policies") didn’t even use a template. How am I supposed to pay attention to when I can and cannot do my online banking if it’s presented to me on a blue background with a white font? The answer is I can’t, and I didn’t. Because of you, and your lack of dedication to your work, I now haphazardly bank online between the hours of 3PM and 5PM. I hope you’re happy.

I remember the good times, the days of “What the IT Service Center Can Do for YOU!” You remember that one, don’t you Carl? It was your creative masterpiece, your Great Gatsby, your Ninth Symphony, your Exile on Main Street. It had it all: transitions were so fast and furious I felt like the Paul Walker to your Vin Diesel; one time it swirled when I thought it was going to slide left, and I nearly fell out of my chair, but it was OK, because I knew you were always guiding my way, steering and hitting the nitrous booster when I just couldn’t. Your points were concise, but informative and engaging: I STILL remember that I don’t call the IT Service Center for printer supplies, but I DO call them for printer maintenance. Don’t even get me started on your backgrounds and borders: a new one for EVERY slide, and all relevant to your points in some way. When it was over, the twelve of us stood up and cheered. Do you remember that feeling, Carl? Do you remember the glory you used to enjoy, the praise that was lavished upon you? All of it was warranted, and all of it was earnest. Every time I have to call the IT Service Center for something, I choke up a little bit: last time I called, I had to tell the representative that I had been eating some cashews while on hold and one had gone down the wrong pipe; but that was an enormous lie, and she knew it. This is the kind of thing you’re capable of, Carl. Why are you wasting it?

Unlike the slides in your best work, this degradation in quality has been a slow transition. I remember when I noticed the lack of enthusiasm in your presentation titles: gone were the titles that grabbed me and made me knew this information was important and beneficial to me; now I was greeted with things like “Updated Vacation Request Protocol” and “Form 56-A Procedure.” It wasn’t too big of a deal, though: the presentations still had that “pop” and the quality overrode the generic titles.

But it wasn’t too long before even more cracks in the veneer began to show through. Soon there was the same background for every slide; after awhile, even a single background was too much to ask for. Sounds began to all but disappear; transitions became merely sliding left or sliding right.

Then this happened:
I remember when I saw it. I had hoped that the title slide was a mere rush-job, an after thought when at 8AM you realized you had forgotten to do one and merely typed a title into whatever presented itself on your screen when you opened up PowerPoint. But then came this slide, and it was just as bad. No, worse, because it confirmed my fears: you just didn’t care anymore. When I saw Arial being used in your bullet points, I almost cried right in the conference room. Just look at it; it’s the antithesis of “ITSC” (that’s what we’ve come to use to refer to “What the IT Service Center Can Do For YOU!”): no clipart, no transitions, no background, NOTHING! You broke my heart on that day, Carl, and since then each proceeding presentation has been like you taking a massive dump on what we used to have, and what made you so special to me, and to everyone.

So Carl, take this as a wake-up call: as HR director for this branch, it’s your job to make sure new and existing HR policies are complied with and followed. With your recent lackadaisical attitude towards your presentations, I can honestly say your messages aren’t getting through, which means your policies aren’t getting followed. So maybe you don’t think it’s worth it to put so much effort into these presentations; but is it worth to keep your job? Because that’s the road you’re heading down, pal. If you need me, I’ll be doing some online shopping between the hours of 10AM and 12PM.


  1. This is literally the only article about Power Point I have ever read.

  2. This is heart wrenching. I feel your relationship with Carl grow large and retract over time like the last palpitation of a heart.

  3. As if I weren't dreading graduating college already and entering a mundane work cycle till the end of my days, I now have more shit like this to look forward to.