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As If Publishing Didn’t Have Enough Problems

bedbug-picture.jpgEmployees at one of New York’s largest publishers were stunned to receive a memo about “an insect issue in certain areas on several of our floors” that is severe enough for the company to deny staffers all access to the premises from 1 p.m. this afternoon until Monday morning. The memo also asks employees to “1) leave your office doors, files and desks unlocked; 2) leave in place any items that have not been recently used, rather than take them home; and 3) make accessible the perimeter of your office/cubicle as much as possible.”

Those specific instructions, combined with the vague description of the situation as an “insect issue,” plus the announcement that “a representative from the pest control company will be here on Monday to answer any further questions you may have,” have led staffers to suspect that what they’re dealing with is bed bugs. “I thought the fact that they’ll have a bug expert there to answer questions was a giveaway,” an anonymous source told us. “You wouldn’t do that for roaches or ants or mice.” Having dealt with bed bugs ourselves, we totally sympathize with their concerns—and if that does turn out to be the problem, staffers may want to throw their backpacks in a washing machine (setting: hot) then put them in the dryer on high heat for an hour, just to be safe. We don’t know what to do about briefcases; maybe you could leave them open on your chair with a post-it note asking the exterminators to spray them. Or maybe our readers have suggestions…

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