Emotions ran high at Washington Nationals Inc. this Sunday night as a violent physical altercation broke out on the workroom floor. Jonathan Papelbon, a ten-year veteran of the industry, took particular offense to his coworker Bryce Harper’s perceived lack of effort on the job.
Harper, a 22-year-old junior college dropout, is a highly-touted employee within the company, boasting an impressive record of efficiency and production since joining the organization as an intern in 2010. In fact, sources say that he is likely to be named Employee of the Month for the fifth consecutive month. Past colleagues have observed, though, that he has a history of letting his early success provide him with a false sense of confidence, occasionally resulting in episodes of laziness.
This incident, according to eye-witnesses, occured when Papelbon observed Harper sluggishly saunter back to his cubicle following a bathroom break. Papelbon immediately confronted Harper, urging him to “run that out.” Harper, whose job is more physically demanding than Papelbon’s, responded to the comment by staring his elder in the eye and mouthing “let’s go.”
Papelbon then quickly reached for the youngster’s neck, pushing him against a wall. Harper defensively grabbed at Papelbon’s button-down while the two wrestled along the wall until nearby coworkers stepped in to quell the tensions.
Branch Manager Matt Williams, issued a short statement to the media following the incident, stating that it was an internal matter, and would be resolved “in-house.”
“This is a family issue, and we’ll deal with it that way,” said Williams. “There was an altercation…and we’ll leave it at that.”
Harper, continuing the oddly-timed ‘family’ metaphor, explained that he and Papelbon had reconciled, downplaying the troubling incident.
“He apologized, so whatever,” said the mature 22-year-old, who will receive a salary of $5 million this fiscal year. “I don’t really care. It’s like brothers fighting…I’m usually fighting the competition.”
The altercation was not a welcomed sight for the 35,421 customers who visited the office for the company’s annual Customer Appreciation Day. Many witnessed the clash live, some of whom filmed the fight and uploaded their videos to social media – a PR nightmare for the high-visibility organization. This only has exacerbated calls for Williams’s firing, coupled with the company’s unmet expectations over the past three quarters.
Asked if he and Harper were good and would get better from this, Papelbon responded, “There’s better ways to do it. But it happened. I can’t take anything back. Bryce and I are good, and we will be good. We’ll be good, and we’ll get better from this. I truly do think that we’ll get better from this.”
As of press time, Papelbon had been suspended without pay for one week by corporate headquarters, and he and Harper were reportedly still good and getting better.