The vibe at one of New Hampshire’s fastest growing companies, Vital Design, died this Monday, and it’s all Steven Buzzell’s fault. After years of careful culture cultivation and expert workplace vibe enhancement, everything came crashing down after Vital hired the recent UNH grad, and it is unclear if the design company will ever recover.
Vital Design, a digital marketing company specializing in the color orange, was recently named one of the fastest growing companies in New Hampshire. Known for its professional but laid-back vibe, the company was a powerful attractant for young hip talent, at least until Buzzell.
“I don’t know how this happened,” said Douglas Ridley, Director of Content Marketing and Social Media. “We did at least three social interviews with this guy and we thought he understood our carefully cultivated professional but laid-back vibe. Then he comes in and tries to start a bowling team? We’ve had bad culture fits before but this guy is a culture killer.”
Buzzell, was hired due to his expert knowledge of WordPress, knowledge which came at a high cost. Vital staff had multiple complaints about Buzzell: His enjoyment of offputting practical jokes, the weird way he holds his hand straight up and down when high-fiving, his tendency to invite himself along to get-togethers, his annoying fucking laugh, his tendency to interrupt conversations, the stupid gold chain he wears around his neck, his dumb punchable face, his repetition of the words “Bubble Dump” as some sort of catchphrase that he yells loudly all the fucking time, his preference for domestic beers, his sickening overuse of ketchup, and the Dave Matthews Band “Under The Table and Dreaming” poster that he hung in his cubicle.
“He said liked Pavement and early Weezer, so he didn’t really set off any red flags initially,” said Director of Operations Jess Kenney in an emergency awkward circle formed during Buzzell’s lunch hour. “Now I think he was definitely coached by someone who is actually cool. I should have seen it, I’m sorry you guys.”
“We grew too fast. This is the price of hubris,” said Chuck McMahon, Director of Communications. “Now he’s arranging a meetup so we can watch the America’s Got Talent Finale at the Rusty Hammer. He’s going to order us all Bud Light Limes. I can’t choke down another one of those, you guys, I’m out.”
Many Vital staff members admitted to updating their resumés. The team reports they haven’t gone out in weeks for fear of running into Steven.
“I just go home and sit in my dark apartment,” one said. “I worry that if I go online or make my apartment too bright he’ll find me and ask me to come over and watch Boondock Saints or something.”
“It’s so crazy,” said Vital Design principle Zac Gregg drinking in his empty office at the IOS center, aesthetically turning to face the window in a way that appropriately cast him in silhouette. “You try like hell to build something beautiful and orange, and one guy tears it all down by accident.”
“Bubble Dump,” he added, brokenheartedly.