For the first time in its history, the International Center for Questionable Disease Control has issued a Red Flag warning. Such warnings are used in only the worst case scenarios where a disease has, through its ability to hide in plain sight, become so pervasive as to be almost ineradicable. The warning was issued because of the widespread incidence of the Auditing Flu Virus.
The Center has indicated that the disease's identification was hampered because the symptoms so closely mimicked the natural behavior of the host. These symptoms start with the host exhibiting a general lack of initiative and an inability to do original work. Over time, the host will no longer make statements; instead only asking questions. This lack of initiative finally translates into the host's inability to ask any questions other than those contained in previously prepared control questionnaires.
Next, the host exhibits a general resistance to change that eventually translates into an inability to adapt to new forms of technology. (The Center indicated that one major reason they were unable to detect the disease was that none of the carriers made any posts to social media about the symptoms they were experiencing.)
In the diseases later stages, the host exhibits a slavish adherence to any written prescriptive doctrine. If changes in these doctrines are proposed (for example, the adding of such simple phrases as "consulting" or "value add") the host withdraws even further. This withdrawal continues until the host shuns all phone and face-to-face interaction. They will only communicate through emails or voice messages. A symptom specific to managers is the tendency to finalize reports prior to asking for the recipient's input or corrective action.
In the final stages, the victims reach their ultimate state of seclusion by constantly rewriting reports and refusing to finalize them – always feeling that it will be ready with just one more change. At this stage, the Center warns there is no cure and the only solution is to keep the individual sequestered in their cubicle, not releasing them until retirement.
When asked why the Center took so long to recognize that an outbreak had occurred, representatives responded, "The primary symptoms are a fear of change, passiveness, and an inability to socialize. How were we supposed to recognize this was any different than normal auditor activity?"