Dear Employee #11682,

Congratulations on your promotion! What a great American accomplishment. This salary bump at our corporate institution will give you every opportunity to grow accustomed to the slow but steady lifestyle increase, subsequently trapping yourself in a hamster wheel of your own doing. Congratulations again! All that hard work is finally paying off.

Pretty soon, the very last childhood dream you actually remember will fade away into the abyss, leaving you with nothing but a wistful longing for something you can’t recall, and a future filled with middle-management politics and more weekends spent in a dark cubicle. Hurray! This is what you’ve been dropping hints about to us all year now! After all, you wouldn’t want to be running around with things like “free time” anyways. Would you really discover your true passion for illustration, or would you binge watch three straight seasons of House instead? Who needs that kind of guilt?

When a young, hopeful child asks, “what did you want to be when you were little?” your eyes will glaze over, and you’ll search for a glimmer of who you once were. Was it a… firefighter? Yeah, that sounds like a good answer. All kids want to be firefighters, right? Thank goodness Bring Your Child to Work Day was last month, or you wouldn’t remember what child was! What a generous workplace your company provides for its employees. No wonder you accepted that promotion!

And anyhow, who needs self-fulfillment and a published “graphic novel” when you can have incremental salary increases! Annual rewards so you can work longer hours until you become a shell of who you once were. The American dream is ripe for the taking, and you have a basket full of it! Or at least, you did once.

So congratulations again, you really deserve this. And you’ll deserve the next one, too. And the next one. And the one after that, until you realize that there’s no one else you’d rather be than the person you are right now, mainly because you can’t really remember the person you were before.

Now get out there and celebrate like you have an insignificantly larger budget and a month’s less mortgage to pay! Hurray!

Yours truly,
Upper Management