It came from the cubicle

What's the work e-mail you wish you could send? Members of Salon's reader community Table Talk give their imaginary internal memos this week.

Published February 23, 2007 10:38AM (EST)

Work Life

Secret Send Button: Professionalism Be Damned

Theresa - 06:50 pm Pacific Time - Feb 8, 2007 - #1 of 26

To: client

From: me

Subject: our anniversary

We've been together a year now. Why didn't you send flowers? Oh, hush, darling--you don't need to answer. I know, I know: you're busy, you're stressed, you've just been under so much pressure lately. Ever stop to add up all the extra hours I put in because I just can't stand to send you an inferior product, no matter how much you piss me off? By the way, has it ever occurred to you that I work for the vendor you hired and not you, and that your organization does everything in such a consummately backasswards manner that I would not work there in a milllion trillion years? So, um, please stop acting like I'm your employee.

We don't have much in common, you and I, but we do both care about doing good work and you're goddamn lucky to have me.

If you do decide to send flowers, I like irises.

cjgriffin - 03:38 pm Pacific Time - Feb 14, 2007 - #5 of 26

To: Boss

From: Us

No, it is not really appropriate for you to tell your team that you're having a vasectomy. Boundaries, remember?

BurstOfLethargy - 01:31 pm Pacific Time - Feb 16, 2007 - #10 of 26

To: People who use the "priority" header in their outgoing email

From: Me

When you set "priority" to "high" or "highest," please do so only on the basis of the message's likely priority to its recipient(s), not its priority to you. Taking your best guess is OK.

la maga - 02:35 pm Pacific Time - Feb 16, 2007 - #11 of 26

Dear Project Manager,

Shuffle shuffle shuffle. Shuffle shuffleshuffleshuffle. SHUFFLE. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. Shuffle shuffle. Shuffle shuffle shuffle shuffle shuffleshuffleshuffleshuffle shuffle shuffle shuffle shuflle. Shuffle shuffle shuffle. Shuffle shuffle. SHUFFLE. SHUFFLE. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle.

Shuffle shuffle shuffle. Shuffle shuffleshuffleshuffle. SHUFFLE. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. Shuffle shuffle. Shuffle shuffle shuffle shuffle SHUFFLE. SHUFFLE. shuffleshuffleshuffleshuffle shuffle shuffle shuffle shuffle. Shuffle shuffle shuffle. Shuffle shuffle. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. Shuffle.


Are you tired of shuffling yet? So is everyone else in this long, industrial-tiled room. Pick up your damn feet!


La "Your clogs are the bane of my long-hallwayed existence" Maga.

nyoprinces - 08:53 pm Pacific Time - Feb 18, 2007 - #20 of 26

To: Officemate

From: Me

Re: I like you, I really do, but...

Dear Recently-Promoted-to-Supervisor,

I like you. I really, actually do like you. I enjoy when we go grab lunch and when I actually have someone to hang out with at the much-too-frequent, high-school-like afternoon socials (I mean, did we really need a Valentine King and Queen?). I don't feel weird about occasionally calling you outside of office hours, since usually I'm calling to see which bagel you want me to pick up for you, and I've even invited you to my birthday party.

But? Stop. Talking. I mean, really... hourlong retellings of the same four stories about your nieces, nephews, and cat? They were funny/cute the first time - you do have a way with storytelling. But anyone would get tired of them after the hundredth time, especially when we can never get into a conversation without it taking a good hour out of our workdays. You are a nice person - I hate for you to become That Person Who Tells Long Stories. So, you know... don't.

Sincerely, Your lunch buddy

Theresa - 06:05 am Pacific Time - Feb 19, 2007 - #22 of 26

To: All Staff

From: Me

Re: Mandatory etiquette training

Dear Staff,

There will be a mandatory all-day etiquette-training session Tuesday in the breakroom. The following skills will be covered:

1. Acknowledging coworkers who greet you in passing. Techniques include: "Hey," "Hi," or eye-contact + nod. Advanced technique: smile + nod.

2. Using the bathroom or other private areas when you must clear your throat repeatedly, cough at length, snort mucus, or make other unpleasant bodily noises.

3. Staying home when you have an illness that might cause you to cough at length, snort mucus, or make other unpleasant bodily noises.

4. Escorting your children out of the building as quickly and quietly as possible after picking them up from the convenient on-site daycare center after work. We assure you that as cute as your offspring may be, no one who is working past 6:00 wants to hear them.

Encouraging mouse-like silence on the part of your child on the rare (and they should be rare) occasions when he/she must accompany you to work and hang out in your cube. We are not unreasonable. We understand that sometimes this is your only option. You should nonetheless attempt to ensure minimal noise and distraction.

7. Speaking/laughing softly during conversations. Please note that most of your coworkers write or edit stuff all day long, tasks that are often more easily completed in a relatively quiet environment. Relatedly: Turn your damn cellphones to "vibrate," please.

8. Making more coffee instead of leaving the last sludgy, burnt half-cup stewing in the pot. Exactly who do you expect to drink that?

Be there.

Best, Me

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