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Mortal Kombat: Office Edition   Hits the Kansas City Star

Mortal Kombat, Francois Petit and Robin Shou, 1995

Photograph by Everett Collection

Mortal Kombat, Francois Petit and Robin Shou, 1995

Earlier this week, local news site KCConfidential reported that the Kansas City Star told two newsroom staffers, Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormann, that one of them had to leave her job, and it was up to them to decide who would go.

“Karen Dillon has seniority, so she has the option of taking it or not taking it,” a source told the site. “And if she does, Dawn gets laid off. Dawn’s a great person, but I think Karen will vote in favor of herself because she’s got teenage kids at home.”

Media reporter Jim Romenesko confirmed the story with Dillon and is now reporting that Bormann is out of a job.

This practice is, by all accounts, ill advised (and harmful to employee sanity). So we came up with five even better ways to conduct layoffs, which at the very least give both staffers a fighting chance:

1. Have the employees race in a 50-yard dash. Whichever employee looks better in her running shorts get to keep her job.

2. Send both employees on a weekend trip to Miami. Whichever employee comes back with the evenest, most golden tan gets to stay.

3. Shut both employees in an empty room with no food or water. Pipe in My Heart Will Go On at full blast on loop. Whichever employee comes running out screaming first gets fired.

4. Sneak both employees into a taping of The Voice. Whichever employee is able to win a staring contest with Cee Lo Green while he’s intently stroking his cat gets to stay at her job.

5. Send both employees on a journey to retrieve treasure from a fire-breathing dragon named Smaug. Whichever employee gets burned to death gets fired.

Rosenblum is the Etc. editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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