I’m not sure how best to initiate a conversation of this kind, so I apologize in advance if this missive comes across as overly blunt.
We’ve had some complaints about your face.
I am not at liberty to divulge the nature or origin of these complaints, but I can say that they had reached such a volume and intensity that they could no longer be ignored.
While I cannot share with you the specifics of any of these complaints about your face — nor which aspects of your face have drawn the most heated invective — I do believe we can work together to achieve some sort of common ground. Whereas some on my committee simply waved their hands in a semi-circle and scoffed to me “Just tell him to do something about it,” I believe you are entitled to more specific advice.
I propose a three-point plan regarding your face:
Step 1: By written agreement (responding in any way to this email will be considered as such), you will agree that your face has caused an unacceptable level of discomfort among your coworkers.
Step 2: To demonstrate that you understand the gravity of this situation, you will work with members of the assembled committee at a designated time to be determined no later than April 1, 2009, to implement a proposal for total rectification of the issue of your face.
Step 3: The committee will review the progress of your face at regular intervals of 17 business days.
Obviously, if the terms of this plan are not met by you, there would have to be some sort of punitive action taken by the committee. Some have proposed cutting off your face and burning it at the nearest altar, though I think that is unduly harsh. At most, I would suggest that you paint your face with an acrylic paint of a suitably dark hue in order to protect against future complaints.
I hope you understand that I, and the committee, have only the best intentions for dealing with the problem that is your face. Please direct any questions you have to the committee. But not in person.