From: Walter Horr, Director of Human Resources
Date: March 1, 2008
Subject: My Soul Is About to Die
This memorandum addresses (again) the company’s policy concerning the use of the “Reply To All” function in our e-mail software when responding to company-wide e-mail. As you know, we have described this policy on three other occasions in the past week.
Yet the issue has not been resolved. For instance, the first memorandum, entitled “Appropriate Usage of the ‘Reply To All’ Function in E-mail Software,” provoked no fewer than fifteen responses that were sent using the “Reply To All” function. These responses included the following messages, each of which violates the company’s policy and was transmitted to all 1,300 employees of the company:
–“”rofl why do i work in such a stupid plase”
— “Does this e-mail violate the policy?”
— “Please deactivate the thought transmission feature of my e-mail software, as I recently learned that I have inadvertently been broadcasting my thoughts to the entire company. I have reason to believe that Jack Paloumis in accounts payable is compiling them for use against me in the audience of our almighty lord and savior (who really has no need to know about any of them, including the ones about my cousin Beth) on judgment day.”
After receiving these responses, which displayed a lack of comprehension as to the scope and application of our policy, we sent out another memorandum, entitled “Reminder: Important Policy Concerning E-mail Usage That Must Be Followed in the Workplace.” Again, several individuals used the “Reply To All” feature inappropriately. Examples included:
— “he is so stupid he spelled workplase workplace!!1!”
— “Walter Horr’s mother is a Horr.”
— “As I have repeatedly told everyone in prior e-mails, I completely agree that the Reply to All function should be used only when absolutely necessary.”
— “The IT department just received a request to reformat Jack Paloumis’s flash disk, hard drive, and brain. Do we have the software for that?”
We then distributed our third memorandum concerning this important policy, entitled, “Read This E-mail And Do What It Says.” It noted that “Anyone who fails to adhere to the policy in this e-mail will be fired immediately and all personal belongings on company premises will be presumed contaminated by whatever virus or bacterium has caused such stupidity, and burned in the building’s furnace.” This memorandum then laid out our policy again. Amazingly, further violative e-mails to the entire company ensued. Among them:
— “i am the ceo and i demand rispect no one can speak to me like that in the workplase”
— “Am I allowed to burn anything I want in the building’s furnace? If so, would the opening to the furnace accommodate something about six feet long and as wide as, say, a man’s shoulders?”
— “Al: Every time I click the button for replying to you, one of these dumb memos comes around. By the way, your name is misspelled on the computer.”
— “All I know is my underwear has Jack Paloumis written inside. I don’t know what it means. Can anyone help me? Please?”
In light of these repeated transgressions, we have adjusted the company’s e-mail policy. Our new policy is: Do not use e-mail. For anything. Ever. From now on, if you have something to say, please move the butt in which your brain apparently resides and go talk to the person with whom you need to speak. (This policy assumes you have sufficient dominion over language to convey whatever elementary concept is keeping the low-wattage bulb in your skull flickering. If you do not, as is quite possible, then remain at your desk and rock back and forth gently while consoling yourself with a comforting nursery rhyme until the urge to communicate passes.)
If anyone ever sends another e-mail at any time about anything, I or a brawnier individual with borderline personality disorder deputized for this purpose will go to that person’s office, cubicle, or alternative worksite (as the case may be) and bludgeon said person with the nearest piece of heavy electronic equipment. Said person shall be responsible for reimbursing the company for the cost of said heavy electronic equipment. Said person shall also be deemed to have waived any right to invoke the dispute resolution procedures otherwise mandated by the collective bargaining agreement.
If you have any questions about this policy, please don’t hesitate to shoot yourself.