3 Emails I Sent at Work

I am an Administrative Analyst—wherein the word anal resides like some etymological hemorrhoid deep within my seat. Keep telling myself Kafka had a day job, an effect with diminishing returns as the years roll by and I still haven’t turned into an insect. Part of my job, among various humiliating clerical tasks, is moderating our departmental “all” list-serve, to which I fancy sending didactic and somewhat passive-aggressive emails regarding the minutiae of the day. My co-workers, or (as I like to think of them) my “involuntary readership,” receives these messages with a mixture of confusion and dismay, as conveyed with lowered eyes in the hallway. Here are three examples of emails I sent:

I. Re: weird copier noise

Those of you within earshot will notice an ominous and aggressive sound coming from the copier, with just enough fluctuating frequencies to not be monotone, but still characterized as an “aggravating drone.” This sound has induced a kind of aural vertigo in this administrator, who is imagining a Corona commercial at this point in the day. The copier has been inspected, and the noise is not mechanical (i.e. jam, gears) but rather “virtual,” as it seems to be coming from within the copier, an attribute of its inherent embodiment, or dare I say, soul. Completely functional, it hasn’t been turned off. This, arguably, is an aesthetic issue: an idea of what a “sane decibel level” is. If and when the copier is turned off, please know it was in preservation of one’s sanity. The tech should arrive in the morrow, and a balm of silence, previously taken for granted, shall be observed.

II. Re: hole puncher tray

The hole-puncher is missing its lower plastic tray, such that the residual “physical holes” (i.e. confetti) propagate directly on the counter, a course destined for entropy if one were to lift the hole-puncher. Prior to this, the hole-puncher was missing for ~24 hrs., leading this administrator to suspect that the variables are related, as in: someone took the hole-puncher for their own intense use, an administrative tryst of sorts which incurred the stripping of critical plastic tray. Please, if you can, we won’t ask any questions. Just make the hole-puncher whole again.

III. Re: found fleece

A “Patagonia” fleece (Black, Men’s Medium) was found in the conference room this morning. In hopes of offering a more detailed description, this administrator has cautiously smelled it, and has come to this conclusion: the person with the missing fleece uses fabric softener redolent of “Bounce,” however masked in mild body odor (not unpleasant, but simply “human”; I do not judge) which may implicate that this person has worn said fleece ~3 – 4x without laundering it. There is also the faintest burnt smell, either from a malfunctioning dryer, or from falling asleep next to a bonfire. Let us assume this person is forgetful, and enjoys the outdoors.

No one ever replies to any of my emails (I consider reticence the best compliment). I rarely get laid, so owing to that logic, I doubt I’ll ever get laid off. When somebody does have something to say, it usually concerns the lunches I forget in the communal microwave. I tell them don’t worry, I’ll be there the next day, and the next, etc. TC mark

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3 Emails I Sent at Work is cataloged in , , , , , , , ,
  • Brandon Scott Gorrell

    i love you

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      feeling this bromance bro

  • Brittany

    that picture is really gross… not saying yr ugly…just a bad angle and facial expression

    • Richard of LA

      The face of a man in the maw of capitalism, the maw of capitalism indeed

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      damn, sucks to be gross

      • Brittany

        dude doesn't matter if u look gross in the pic, has nothing to do with your writing ability and the success of the future great american novel that your prolly working on

  • Makena Walsh

    Nice.

  • @srslydrew

    I really really love this.

  • http://popserial.tumblr.com stephen

    “In hopes of offering a more detailed description, this administrator has cautiously smelled it, and has come to this conclusion: the person with the missing fleece uses fabric softener redolent of “Bounce,” however masked in mild body odor (not unpleasant, but simply “human”; I do not judge) which may implicate that this person has worn said fleece ~3 – 4x without laundering it.”

    lol…

  • http://twitter.com/Erikhaspresence Erik Stinson

    sublime

  • Carles Junior

    BREAKING NEWS: Thought Catalog is officially better than Hipster Runoff.

  • Gucci Mane

    Please write more

  • http://www.facebook.com/wholefoodsCEO Marty McAndrews

    this is fantastic. the passive “this administrator” especially.

  • mario

    the picture is good.

  • http://twitter.com/jamesyeh James Yeh

    “Those of you within earshot will notice an ominous and aggressive sound coming from the copier, with just enough fluctuating frequencies to not be monotone, but still characterized as an 'aggravating drone.'”

    This pretty much, in a sentence, sums up my feelings of our modern existence, most of the time, particularly when working in an office.

    Q: Do any of your coworkers (or supervisors) ever read your writing? What is their reaction to it?

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      the people at work have yet to google, or ogle, me

      • http://twitter.com/jamesyeh James Yeh

        You're leading a double life, my friend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jordangillespie Jordan Gillespie

    This is so good. Wish I worked with Jimmy Chen.

  • elaine

    read this and grinned

  • http://twitter.com/rislynsey christopher lynsey

    Great

  • http://b4hc.tumblr.com/ shannon

    read this out loud to my dad, he especially appreciated the use of 'minutiae' and we laughed out loud together at each email. post more… how can i get on this list-serve…

  • Caitlin

    Sniffing the jacket? This marks you as deeply investigative. A promotion is bound to happen any minute.

  • a polar bear

    jimmy, this is incredible.

  • http://madisonl.tumblr.com/ Madison Langston

    This is simply amazing: The copier has been inspected, and the noise is not mechanical (i.e. jam, gears) but rather “virtual,” as it seems to be coming from within the copier, an attribute of its inherent embodiment, or dare I say, soul.

  • gr

    YES

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