Please Stop Putting Teeth in the Suggestion Box
That’s what we have a Tooth Box for
Dearest Prisoners of the Dungeon of a Thousand Sorrows,
It hath been brought to mine attention that many of thee have been putting teeth in the Suggestion Box again, in strict violation of the “no teeth in the Suggestion Box” policy we established a fortnight heretofore. I must implore thee: please stop.
I established our dungeon’s Suggestion Box in order to collect feedback and ideas from the bottom up on how we can better torture thee, maim thee, and generally make thy lives more of a living hell. I did it because I care about our prisoners, and I trust thee to submit goode ideas, ideas that could make this dungeon the most unpleasant place in all the Realm.
By consistently putting teeth, hair, fingernails, and other loose body parts in the Suggestion Box, thou betrays that trust.
What’s the point of having a Tooth Box if every prisoner just puts his teeth in the Suggestion Box? In case there is any misunderstanding on this point: the Suggestion Box is for suggestions, the Tooth Box is for teeth.
Now, I understand if the intent was to suggest that my torturers shouldn’t knock thy teeth out as much, or that they should knock them out more. But neither of those things is necessarily implied by loose, rotten teeth just sitting in the bottom of the Suggestion Box. I heartily welcome tooth-related suggestions, just please include a note or something along with the teeth next time.
I shouldn’t have to reiterate this point, but continued non-compliance with this policy will lead to disciplinary action, as will compliance and just about anything else you do.
Gramercy, and I hope the Dungeon of a Thousand Sorrows can continue to provide thee the most vile and painful existence thou hast ever known.
Uldrick Dœrnerstone, Chief Executioner and Pain Warden of the Dungeon of a Thousand Sorrows
P.S. Remember to leave thy contact information so we can test out any new torment ideas on thee first.
Addendum: Ye Olde Suggestion Box
While the suggestion box is known as a mainstay of corporate America, its history goes back quite a bit further.
The first ever suggestion box may have started collecting feedback in 1721, when Tokugawa Yoshimune, the eighth shōgun of Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate, had one placed outside of his Supreme Court of Justice in Edo three times a month, “thereby confirming and institutionalizing his personal approachability.”1
If a suggestion box could make an 18th century shōgun appear approachable, just imagine what it could do for you!
But it wasn’t all about approachability. His motives for installing the meyasubako — as the box was called — were twofold:
First, it injected new ideas into the system, and second, it offered an avenue through which dishonesty and incompetence might be exposed.2
So it was an early way to snitch on your neighbors to the shōgun.
The Japanese Wikipedia page on meyasubako says the earliest suggestion box may have been established even earlier, in 1645 by a daimyō named Mitsuakira Asano. Alas, the link to the source it cites is broken.
Not much is known about the types of suggestions that were received in Yoshimune’s suggestion box or whether anything came of them. This site says the creation of Edo fire brigades has been traced to a suggestion box. In 1721 Yoshimune hosted a famous swordsmithing contest in which four great masters were crowned as champions, so maybe that idea came out of it? The Japanese meyasubako Wikipedia page claims a complaint letter from the Tokugawa shogunate era was discovered in 2008, but doesn’t link to a source.
Apparently Yoshimune is considered among the best Tokugawa shōguns. I’d like to think the suggestion box contributed to his success.
Further reading on suggestion boxes:
Tsuji, Kyōhō, pages 119-126. Quoted in The Cambridge History of Japan.