what glorious all-staff emails/memos/rants have you received at work?

Over the years, this site has been the beneficiary of some amazing all-staff emails and memos …  like this one with the glorious sentence “I will confront you by Wednesday of this week,” sent by the boss after a holiday party went awry, and in which — in the process of chastising others for misbehavior — he acknowledges that he himself physically attacked someone at the party (#2 at the link) … or this 12-paragraph rant about office supplies … or last week’s angry missive titled “ISSUES THAT ARE BOTHERING ME.”

A brilliant commenter suggested soliciting more memos for us to enjoy. So: If you have an email or memo that you’ve been holding on to because you cherish its weirdness, I beg you to share it here. (If you no longer have a copy and it lives on only in your memory, summaries will also be accepted.)

{ 1,614 comments… read them below }

  1. Ask a Manager* Post author

    Also: If you share something here that you do not want me to potentially include in a later “best of” round-up, please note that with your comment. (Such a round-up may or may not happen, but I wanted to include that caveat in case it does.)

    1. samiratou*

      Fetches popcorn. Sits back.

      Checks email to see if I can find the 3am drunk email a sales rep sent to the company many years ago.

      1. I'm A Little Teapot*

        I don’t have the epic smackdown from 2012, never did. Unfortunately. I just read it off a coworker’s screen.

    2. Banana stand*

      Can we stop posting comments like these? They just make the thread longer and add no value

    3. Be Positive*

      Parking at my workplace is horrible if you arrive after 830AM. All employees get a display badge to park in the lot. Lot parking is first come, first served regardless of what position When the lot is full you park on the street. Yes sometimes inconsiderate drivers don’t park close enough and a car takes up 2 spots. VP of Finance must have been in a bad mood mass emailed chastising us the 2 cars parking poorly enough that it took 5 spots. To the entire company, in Canada, USA and Asia.

      1. Girl friday*

        That made me laugh so hard. And like bless you, I only say that when I really mean it. I’m afraid your comment is going to get lost though.

  2. ManyHats*

    From our HR Person a couple years ago:

    Hey Guys,

    If you received a handbook this morning, you need to sign those two pages and get them back to me. I’ve only gotten two back so far.

    Remember, I know who you are. You know what I want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a year-long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people who don’t turn in their paperwork. If you turn it in now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you — I mean, uh, I will badger and annoy you until you bring them to me.

      1. ManyHats*

        This was from a couple years ago when she was a relative newbie to the field. She’s still here and still sending out snarky/clever emails

      1. Airy*

        In the next instalment of the series, Liam Neeson struggles with feeling unappreciated by his family. Taken 4 Granted.

    1. Bea*

      This is how I get all my paperwork signed and returned. But it’s verbal because I’m not a fan of paper trails of threats. Playing around is great and I’m all in but that’s how someone loses a lawsuit one day.

      1. Mimmy*

        That’s a really good point. I actually love that HR person’s memo, but I can see how it can be misconstrued.

        That said, this gives me a good idea next time my fellow staff don’t generate the online forms I need to do my piece of the job….. *evil snicker*

      2. Batty Twerp*

        Know your audience may help here.
        I’m tempted to steal this script for my next report returns…

    2. HRperson*

      As a seasoned HR person this is perfect. Trust me we don’t want to have to constantly track people down for forms but it is a part of the job. We are moving to having stuff more electronic but sometimes its just not possible to avoid paper completely.

      1. Anon Again*

        Some years ago at a previous job, HR said there was a form at the end of a document to acknowledge receipt of the document, and please return it ASAP.

        Apparently several wiseacres returned it completely blank, because the email didn’t actually say to sign it.

        1. Essess*

          That’s the computer programmer brain!
          A wife called her computer-programmer husband at work one day and asked him to pick up a loaf of bread at the store on his way home. And if they have eggs, grab a dozen. He came home with 12 loaves of bread. When she asked why, he said “they had eggs”.

      2. Vertigo*

        You can make the forms electronic but you will always have people who have to be tracked down to sign them. Even if they need to sign it before they get paid. Trust me.

      1. Not A Morning Person*

        In case you don’t know, it’s from Taken, so you know about his distinct set of “wet work” skills. And in this context, it’s a memorable way to remind people to turn in their paperwork!

    3. RJ the Newbie*

      I have almost this exact email to follow up on missing timesheets! Believe me, I feel your HR person’s pain.

    4. Kelsi*

      This sounds like my HR person’s emails. She is also awesome.

      (I’m also a burlesque dancer, which is not a secret from my coworkers. A few years ago my troupe was on the cover of the local “what’s happening in the city” paper, nude but with everything tastefully covered. HR person grabbed me an extra copy when she was out for lunch because she knew I’d want it, but comes over to my cubicle with a deadly serious face, holds it up, and goes “Kelsi, we need to talk about the dress code.” Lollll.)

  3. annejumps*

    God, back in the early 2000s I worked at a very toxic place, and in our department, by and large we were hired depending on how timid and people-pleasing we were, so we could be easily cowed. Those who weren’t like that but were somehow hired anyway ended up leaving, sometimes in spectacular fashion. A coworker ended up quitting, but before doing so, she sent out a mass email explaining in many paragraphs what was wrong with the president of the company, a bullying control freak more interested in micromanaging than in reason. I printed it out just in time, because shortly afterward IT hastily shut down the exchange server to delete it from everyone’s inboxes. I wish I remember what all it said!

    1. Amber T*

      I WISH I did this when I quit my toxic job… I quit in the most professional manner I could, gave my four weeks notice, and when toxic management all of a sudden fawned over me saying how much they would miss me… oh how it was tempting. But it was my first job out of college and I didn’t want anything to come back and bite me in the ass.

      1. mrs__peel*

        I wrote out a letter like that one time when I resigned from a job, but didn’t actually send it. Just getting it all out on paper was very cathartic! (Although I did share it privately with a few friends at work, who heartily agreed with my sentiments).

        My actual resignation letter was very short and professional.

        1. Thlayli*

          I worked in a company that used to do all-staff emails when anyone left (we used to get emails once a week from people in other countries we’d never met saying goodbye and how much they’d miss everyone and they were all so sickeningly sweet and cloying). When I left I wrote a really sarcastic version with everything awful about the department but I chickened out and only sent it to two buddies. Sometimes I wish I had actually sent it to the all-staff list, but I think I might have used that reference for the next job so probably a good thing I didnt.

          1. Ann Onimous*

            saying goodbye and how much they’d miss everyone and they were all so sickeningly sweet and cloying

            Oh GAWD yes! People did that at my first job, and it always looked so weird to me. So I just… didn’t do it, really. 5 minutes before leaving on my last day, I just contacted the two people outside my immediate team to let them know. They were extremely confused about the timing.

            Then a few months later I actually met two other colleagues, from them same office, who all but pounced on me saying that they had no idea I had left. That was embarrassing… and I wrote good-bye e-mails ever since. Even if only to point out that there were snacks to be had. :P

      2. Totally Minnie*

        I know someone who sent a letter like that when they resigned. They regret it now, because they had trouble finding a new job and the old job is now not a total trainwreck anymore, but they can’t go back because they’re on the Do Not Rehire list.

        1. Amber T*

          Yeah, I’m happy that I didn’t for that very reason. I do admit I did (aaaand sometimes still do) occasionally fantasize running into someone from management and having them beg me to come back, and me just laughing in their faces (this was especially true after I was promoted). Again, *probably* not something I’d actually do, but it’s nice to think about.

    2. Manders*

      Oh wow, she was living out the toxic job dream.

      At my husband’s old job (one of those video game companies that looks like a dream job from the outside, but is kind of a mess from the inside), one of the underpaid testers managed to send out an all-staff email about low pay and poor treatment before quitting. It included a link to his kickstarter so he could follow his dreams of starting a band. My husband tried to save it for posterity but unfortunately IT got to it before he could.

    3. DecorativeCacti*

      We had someone similar do that at my job but with actual, physical copies.

      She got there early before anyone else did, put copies all over the building, then stood at the back door handing them out as people arrived at work!

      1. foolofgrace*

        I did something similar but I *was* rather young… It was ToxicJob and I had ToxicSupervisor who was shirking her duties but nobody above seemed to care. So I wrote a memo to all the attorneys and higher-ups detailing what was really happening in the dept. and came in early and left it on their chairs. I expected to get escorted out of the building in shame with a box of my belongings, but … I ended up with the supervisor’s job! Which I did impeccably, I might add.

    4. Jam Today*

      A company I worked at years ago had an application that our operations staff would use to talk to clients. The work itself could be very frustrating, an artifact of having to deal with the American medical insurance industry and the endless and pointless bureaucracy therein. At one point, one of our staff finally hit their limit on these three-way conversations and wrote in the communication widget for everyone to see:


      and posted their resume in the text box.

    5. NotAnotherManager!*

      Ours was from someone who had been on various sorts of leave for 9 months out of the prior year and was upset that their upcoming leave was going to be unpaid. Because they’d used their 4 weeks of vacation, two weeks of sick/personal, and short-term disability but didn’t qualify for long-term. The wrote a screed about their manager, who didn’t consider them for promotion into a management role based on the 3 months of self-described “really god work” that had been smattered throughout the year and that the company was unwilling to make a special exception on unpaid leave for such an “exceptinal” worker such as himself. It was grossly unfair that his coworker (who’d had to pick up his job and supervise the temp the entire year and was just kind of a fabulous person in general) had been promoted and it was demonstrating some real “opposite sexism”, along with the pretty gross insinuation that she exchanged some sort of sexual favor for the promotion.

      It was also sent on a Saturday, so some poor on-call IS person got dragged into to recall it and immediately terminate his user accounts.

        1. Girl friday*

          Well, because it’s the little god work. Said affectionately, because it reminds me of the Screwtape Letters which I love.

    6. annejumps*

      (I’d like to add that some time later, I ended up being fired for insubordination. I’d been emailing back and forth with a coworker about our problems with the way things were run, and one day I was called in to HR to find a stack of our emails had been printed out by said president, and I was being fired to make an example of me while the rest of the department were to continue to live in fear. I only wish I’d quit first, but at the time, people in general were still encouraged to stay in their jobs as long as possible, and my parents didn’t want me to quit; it was my first job out of college.)

      1. Gatomon*

        I’m so sorry, that must have been an awful experience. I used to work at a place with toxic culture and we did the same thing via emails, though I don’t recall anyone being fired for it. By the time I was ready to go I knew it was a bad habit, but I still had to watch myself a bit when transitioning to my next office. It’s easy to slide down that slope when you have a work buddy.

      2. Emelle*

        My emails were going up the chain of command to my boss because I was having issues with a co-worker that thought she was my supervisor. I stupidly wrote the emails because I was so angry that I was in tears and couldn’t talk to my boss. IT owed my coworker a huge favor (she was his witness that some shady shit didn’t go down when it had) IT dude printed the email from me to my boss and gave it to her. She pulled me into a “Meeting” where she went through point by point gaslighting me about why I was wrong.
        She ended the “meeting” by saying, “I guess we know now that IT is reading all of our mail.”

        1. Girl friday*

          That sounds crazy! You mean they printed out your email and gave it to your coworker? I really don’t think I T has time to read all of the emails, so it was probably your boss? I just can’t imagine anybody doing that except the person that it was sent to? Doesn’t really sound like your boss was that upset. Probably just trying to give you a heads up. I always just sing the Sneetches song when that happens, because you’ve entered into office politics La La Land.

      3. Girl friday*

        Mom hugs, because that’s sweet. I’m assuming you don’t have 2 dads. It would still be sweet, I just can’t give those hugs.

    7. Bob Loblaw*

      Awww, the old rage-quit manifesto. We had a rash of those at OldJob, also in the early 2000s. Maybe that was the trend back then. Or maybe that’s just a thing in customer support centers. Anyway, haven’t seen one of those in awhile.

  4. Anon for This*

    After multiple complaints from staff about hours-long 90 decibel b*tch sessions in our breakroom, our boss sent out an email asking staff to be respectful to their coworkers by being cognizant of the volume of their personal conversations. One of the main offenders sent a very upset reply-all accusing our boss of conducting a “witch-hunt” against people who talk loudly. She also informed the office that she has a “severe mental illness” that means she can’t prevent having loud, angry outbursts and her requests for accommodations* have been denied.

    Her conclusion: “emails outlining how horrible people who ‘work differently’ by being loud and talkative are, and indicating that these ‘loud’ individuals get less done is demoralizing and harassing.”

    *Her requested accommodation was to telework full time. We’re archivists who work with paper records; there is literally be no way to do her job from home.

    1. A.N. O'Nyme*

      Jerk reaction: I was not aware “being an entitled douche” was classified as a mental illness.

        1. Agatha_31*

          There’d be an unprecedented rush of people applying on behalf of other co-workers, I bet!

      1. Anon for This*

        She actually had job offers to transfer to another office, but they wouldn’t let her leave…… There was much screaming.

    2. The Cosmic Avenger*

      HOW DARE you not ship boxes of documents back and forth every day to and from her house just to meet her completely undocumented need, you monster!!1!! That falls under a “reasonable accommodation”!

      1. Thlayli*

        Woah! Did you just issue a blanket statement that no one should ever mention a very popular cartoon strip because of your personal politics and opinion of the author? It’s not even a political cartoon! Entitled much?

        1. SarahTheEntwife*

          I appreciate knowing when elements of popular culture turn out to have been created by horrible people so I can avoid giving them any more money or press.

            1. Whit in Ohio*

              Nope. I don’t do that. I don’t think anyone should do that and I will make it hard for anyone to do that by bringing up the artist whenever someone mentions the art.

      2. Wintermute*

        I don’t think that’s a very accurate portrayal of his statements. I read one of his articles more as an explanation, not an endorsement of the current state of affairs, and a rather shrewd explanation at that. He wasn’t really interjecting his personal opinions as much as trying to explain how things got to the point they are.

    3. Indoor Cat*

      See, usually the person being chastised by a mass email doesn’t even recognize themselves in it. But of course, the one time they do…

    4. Damn it, Hardison!*

      I think I worked at the same place! (No kidding, I spent many years working in archives).

      1. Polaris*

        I miss doing archive work – I worked part-time & volunteered for a while because I loved it, but I was never able to parlay it into a full career. Then again, I never had to deal with a coworker like this…

        (Love the username, btw!)

        1. In the provinces*

          Speaking from (sometimes painful) personal experience, I can say that archivists are generally people who envy librarians for their high salaries, great social prestige and scintillating personalities.

          1. mrs__peel*

            I used to volunteer in an archive in my teens, and my supervisor there was making less money than my disabled mother who was living solely on Workers’ Comp. at the time.

          2. Clodagh*

            I work in an archive housed in a library and the archivists and librarians are all the same pay grade, even though the librarians have a supervisory element to their role and the archivists don’t.

    5. Girl friday*

      How endearing, to anticipate 90 decibel uncontrolled b**** sessions delivered randomly via telephone or Skype. I’m laughing because I considered being an archivist, and wasn’t picturing that as the ambiance. That’s on par with a woman that expected people to go outside for her.

  5. MuseumChick*

    Unfortunately, I didn’t save the one all-staff email that sticks out in my mind.

    It was a sales job, the owner of our franchise was a Not Great person. Examples: One day we were talking and I mentioned that if I ever won the lottery I would travel to a long list of historic sites. His response “So your boyfriend is into history?”. I also heard a rumor after I left that he had gotten in trouble for not paying the sales staff appropriate commission.

    Anyway, we were having a sales contest and my teams was doing extremely well. Our team lead was called into the boss’s office where instead of telling her what a good job she/our team was doing he chewed her out for something small. I was out seeing a client when this happened. After finishing my meeting I checked my work email to see that my team lead had sent a all-staff email (she maintains it was an accident and it was intended to go just to our boss) basically calling him out of being an ass.

    1. Leela*

      ugh….I do a lot of stuff that people consider “guy stuff” and it’s constantly resulting in:

      people coming over to my place (before I lived with my husband and it was just my stuff) and seeing my guitar: oh your boyfriend plays guitar?

      seeing my movie collection: wow it’s cool that you let your boyfriend keep so many action movies here!

      seeing my multiple game console set up: your boyfriend’s a huge gamer, huh?

      Rock that history interest!

      1. CupcakeCounter*

        also the following household items are also mine:
        4 burner grill
        hockey memorabilia, jerseys, and dvds of all hockey related movies
        9mm Ruger (in a biometric safe)
        filet, butcher, and carving knives
        disaster, action, comic book, and fantasy movies
        workout equipment

        anytime comments are made, Hubs snorts and points at me “that’s her stuff”

        1. dreamingofthebeach*

          My husband tells everyone he married me because I came with my own power tools and an arsenal :)

      2. Mockingjay*

        My daughter and I have the same model and year car. Hers is white; mine is black. Naturally we named them ‘Thor’ and ‘Loki.’

        I, too, am the comic book movie junkie of the house.

        1. Jadelyn*

          That is beautiful and if my partner and I were the type to ever have similar-enough cars I’d totally borrow this idea.

        2. Teapot Tester*

          We’re all superhero junkies in our house. We’ve been know to have discussions at dinner that break superheroes into categories – mutants, aliens, no real powers just deep pockets, external forces creating powers, etc.

          It’s become tradition to see the April/May release Marvel movie on Mother’s Day – we’ve done it the last 4 or 5 years. We made an exception for Infinity War and saw it the week before because we were all dying to see it (I thought my teenager was going to have a conniption if he didn’t get to see it ASAP).

        3. PersonalJeebus*

          Right now we’re going with a detective theme for our pets’ names (plus the car is Poirot) but in 10-15 years, I want to start collecting my very own set of Avengers.

          Bruce, sit!

      3. General Ginger*

        The thing that drives me absolutely up the wall now that I’ve come out as a trans man, is the cis guys going, oh, that’s why you were a gamer all along! Like somehow me being male negates the existence of female gamers.

        1. Anonny*

          Most of the hardcore gamers I know are trans women. Wonder what these people would make of that.

        2. Rebecca Cribb*

          Female gamers actually outnumbered male gamers in 2016. Right now it’s about 45% to 55% in favor of men but that fluctuates so much that it can’t be considered a “guy thing.” I am a 47 year old woman. I am a successful HRD in a very stressful field. I hike; I got my degree while a single mom; I raised my daughter; I’m a proud grandmother; I take Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu…and I have SEVEN game systems and a healthy love of adventurous and bloody games. I’m an avid gamer and I dare anyone to pigeonhole me. No longer are we the cliched over-30’s stagnating in our mother’s basements.

          1. Andraste's Knicker Weasels*

            They have a really convenient rebuttal to that fact: Those games girls/women play aren’t REAL GAMES, they’re stupid dumb girly games filled with cooties, so they don’t count. In your FACE!

            :: Eye roll ::

          2. mrs__peel*

            My late grandma (a math major and computer programmer) was very into PC games back in the ’70s and ’80s.

          3. Wintermute*

            I just got back from GenCon, the biggest tabletop, roleplaying and wargaming convention in the world– I can conclusively say that the gender representation was basically that of the greater population. Were there areas (like the really old-school naval wargames) that were mostly men? Yeah, that’s fair, but overall, it was pretty much 55/45 as you’d expect from any representative sample of the US population.

      4. NoLongerSleepDeprived*

        My friend and I were getting lunch one day. They asked us for one of our names so we could pick the order up when called. My friend says with perfectly straight face, “Green Arrow.” Ten minutes later a guy comes over the PA system and say “Order for Oliver Queen.” The look on one of the girl’s face working behind the counter when two laughing women came to pick up an order for “Oliver Queen” was priceless.

        1. Chinookwind*

          I am a DC TV fan to the point the DH, who rarely watches tv, had our heart rate monitors at the gym listed as “Green Arrow” and “Felicity.” I consider it his most public display oh his love for me (that and his desire to learn the salmon ladder).

          1. Mustard*

            He should change Felicity to Black Canary. That’s the real love!
            I fully support you reaping the benefits of DH learning salmon ladder, including just getting to watch ;)

      5. shep*

        Right there with you. My boyfriend was decidedly NOT a gamer before we met. Now the staff know us at our regular game stores, but when we first started going, they’d default to asking HIM what he was looking for. Um, HE’s not looking for anything but I would like to preorder Wolfenstein kthx, but now I’m wondering if I should do it on Amazon. Smh.

        1. many bells down*

          Back a dozen or so years ago, Mr. Bells worked on a “Desperate Housewives” game. As per his tradition, when the game released we went to Best Buy to buy a physical copy. The salesguy kept turning to me to ask if it was a real game, what system it was for, etc. We flipped the script on that poor kid!

          1. PersonalJeebus*

            Oh my god, I get so tired of the small talk that comes out of Best Buy clerk dudes’ mouths. Bro, we couldn’t care less about your opinion of my wife’s taste in Xbox games.

      6. Jules the 3rd*

        Yeah, I am definitely the comic geek in our house. Mr. Jules gets the MMPGs or whatever the current ‘multiplayer online game’ acronym is.

      7. Mrs. Smith*

        Haha – a replacement window salesperson came to the door (is that still a thing?) and gave me his spiel, and wound it up by trying to make an appointment FOR WHEN MY HUSBAND WOULD BE HOME. My twelve-year-old son laughed so loud when he heard that part the salesman could hear him from the back of the house.

        We did not buy any windows from this person, and my husband also had a hearty laugh when he heard this preposterous bit of 1960s garbage when he got home.

      8. mcr-red*

        Yeah I’m the comic book fan at home – my husband will ask, “Now who is this person?” when the new movies come out. My mom is also a comic book fan, my dad has no interest.

        Your story reminded me of something that happened to my youngest – she has always played with the boys at recess, her best friend is a boy, etc. In kindergarten, when just meeting her friend, he was playing Star Wars with some other boys, who told her, “You can’t play with us, Star Wars is for boys!” (This was before Rey) I told her, “You tell them your sister is named after a Star Wars character who could kick all of their butts!” She did. They played Star Wars.

    2. MuseumChick*

      Oh and just to underscore how well my teams was doing, there were 4 of use plus the team lead. One of my team members ended the month with a 100% sales rate. No joke. And the rest of us were hitting well above what the acceptable number was for the company. (Like, if they wanted us to have a sales rate of 50% we are all selling at 70% or above).

    3. Danielle*

      Went to Normandy for my birthday a few years ago, and the other couples that were part of our tour group assumed we were there for my Boyfriend. He explained I planned it all for my birthday and that is was a present to myself, cause I love WW2 so much

  6. Cousin Itt*

    Ohhhh, I wish I could share the truly ridiculous OOO messages our MD leaves everytime he goes on a family holiday (basically just complaints about having to spends weeks abroad with his wife and kids in exotic locales, cry me a river). I’ll have to save them for after I leave.

    1. Browser*

      A vacation for the kids maybe, but as a parent that sounds exhausting.

      People get this idea in their heads that vacation means doing nothing and having no responsibilities, but life still happens and so you have to do stuff on your time off. It doesn’t make it NOT time off if you have to parent/do repairs/visit relatives you don’t like/etc.

      1. JoAnna*

        I called them “family trips” instead of vacations, because they’re not vacations when I’m still doing the same amount of work or more that I do at home.

      2. Faith*

        Interestingly enough, many people also seem to think that a maternity leave is a “vacation”. Like you just sit around for days doing nothing. They seem to ignore the fact that it usually involves recovery from a major medical event and taking care of another human being that is completely dependent on you 24/7 for absolutely everything.

      3. Josephine*

        My dream vacation is to take a week off and hang out at home while my daughter is in daycare. And live on frozen dinners and ice cream the whole time. She’s a toddler, and you could not pay me enough money to take her to Disneyworld. It would suck.

        1. CanadaNarwhal*

          Next week my husband is taking our kids to visit his parents, and I’m joining them a week later. I still have to work, but that’s more of a vacation than the “real vacation” when I’m also with the in-laws :)

          1. Harper the Other One*

            Oh, my goodness, so much this. My sister’s tiny one-bedroom apartment that is ALL HERS generates a lot of envy right now.

          2. Robin*

            I have actually taken a night off from my baby and asked Dad to cover him for the night as a THIS IS WHAT I NEED kind of thing. I stayed in an air bnb.

      4. Kid of Chinese Parents*

        As a kid who’s been in that situation, I can assure you it’s just as exhausting on us when we have to be shuttled around for 3 weeks straight seeing family members we never even knew existed.

    2. twig*

      Like when people say “you’ve never been to HAWAII? you should go, it’s only about $X for a hotel package and flight” where $X is more than a month’s pay for me.

      1. kallisti*

        My boss does that all the time. We both go on a lot of vacations, which I achieve through strict budgeting and she achieves by looking for discounts that are still way out of my price range. She goes on a lot of last-minute deals that are “so reasonable, only four thousand dollars for the whole week!” Her salary is more than double mine.

    3. CM*

      I’m sure I’ve done this. I have taken many a trip where I didn’t sleep, spent the entire time chasing after the kids, etc., and came home exhausted. I mean, those details are boring, so I hope I don’t focus on them too much. But if someone asks about your vacation, and it was a very stressful time for you, do you have to pretend you enjoyed it or be positive about it?

      1. Sciencer*

        I think that’s a fair point, but it wouldn’t hurt to keep things light if you’re talking to someone you don’t know well (or who you DO know has less free time/finances for trips). Like, “Oh y’know, it was actually pretty exhausting by the end because the kids were such a hassle, but I’m really glad we got to do/see X!”

        I think (sadly) it’s a pretty common experience to want a recovery/reset period after a vacation, or to feel extra stressed right after getting back and seeing the pile-up of work waiting for you. But after it all fades with time, we generally do remember the good parts more than the bad, and most of us would rather take an exhausting vacation than none at all. So I can definitely empathize with someone who can’t afford vacations during their time off to feel resentful of colleagues who (outwardly) don’t seem to appreciate the experiences they get to have.

        1. Parenthetically*

          This is one of the reasons I’m really grateful that we didn’t *do* much on our vacations when I was a kid. I mean, we couldn’t really afford to do loads of stuff, but it worked out well, because we all came home relaxed, having spent the week reading or driving around the mountains or sitting by a lake or whatever.

    4. fposte*

      Some of that is guilty deflection, I suspect, and some of it the plain truth that it didn’t feel like a break to the speaker.

    5. Chocolate lover*

      They do it because that’s how they felt about the trip? Of course it’s still time off, but frankly it doesn’t always feel like a vacation, which to means time off that involves something enjoyable. Plus, I personally don’t enjoy travel much, so it feels more like a chore.

      When we go visit my in-laws in another state, I don’t consider it a “vacation.” I consider it a family obligation, because I would never go there otherwise, and if I didn’t feel guilty about it, I’d choose to go somewhere else. I’ve already told my husband that this year involves a vacation of my personal choosing, since all vacations have revolved around his interests or family.

      1. Kid of Chinese Parents*

        This exactly. When my parents take me to China it’s a family obligation, not a vacation.

        1. monsters of men*

          Have gone to India for 6 weeks every two years since I was a toddler. It sucks, each and every time. Tensions flare & there’s fighting, the poverty makes you depressed about your status in Canada, there’s nowhere to escape to because the village is 4395045023 miles from a city, and the haul on roads to big cities & the flights are awful. It is not a vacation; it’s an obligation.

    6. MatKnifeNinja*

      The head of cardiology and ICU used to have those on his voice mail messages. Taking one for the team touring Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malta, Switzerland and UK.

      He might have not been so happy. He had multiple friends with benefits, and his wife kept him on a short leash during vaycay.

    7. pleaset*

      Why do people do this? Because they don’t want to go but have to. It’s not a vacation to them – relaxing and/or having fun. It’s an obligation.

      It’s time off from work, so from a work perspective it’s vacation. But it’s not the same as a real vacation.

      And yeah, I’ve spent a week in a part of China not having enjoyment due to family obligation.

    8. University Employee*

      Not to derail the conversation too much further, but to be honest I do get her point. A friend of mine travels abroad for 2 weeks every year to visit her boyfriend’s family and it sounds miserable. The idea sounds nice, and at first I couldn’t possibly understand why she complained about the trips every year. Then I found out what the trips actually were: she gives up the majority of her vacation time and thousands of dollars to have awkward dinners with family friends who ignore her because she is American and doesn’t fluently speak their language (even though she tries), get sick every day because they are constantly driving on the opposite side of windy and rural roads, and do the same stuff every year instead of at least getting to travel to new and interesting places each time. It’s not a trip at that point, it’s an obligation of her relationship that has made her resentful. I’m sure she would rather stay home and do other things with her vacation days and money.

      1. PR Guy*

        In our fam we separate the terms: vacation vs family trip. They are, eh hem, quite different. Not on the PTO count, but otherwise

    9. CaribouInIgloo*

      Speaking of vacation…
      This wasn’t an all-staff email, but a conversation my colleague and I had with our boss. It’s too hilarious not to share.
      Context: Boss is a 50-ish yuppie who fancies himself as Leonardo DiCaprio from The Wolf of Wall Street, but a lot poorer.

      The conversation went like this:
      Boss: Oh by the way, I won’t be available for 2 weeks in late August. I’m going to Burning Man.
      Us: …….OK.
      Boss: Please don’t tell anyone I’m going to Burning Man.

      1. Burner*

        Haha. I’m getting ready to go to Burning Man. Even though I’m excited to go, it’s definitely far from a relaxing vacation. It’s hard work and a huge expense. Also, I told very few people at my office last year that that’s where I was going until after I came back. I was so nervous about the stigma. But now that everyone at work knows, and knows that I’m hard working and professional, it doesn’t bother me to get razzed about it occasionally. Tons of business owners and entrepreneurs go each year, it’s not all college-aged ravers and clueless hippies. That being said, it sounds like your boss is in for quite the treat! Definitely press him for stories when he gets back!

    10. biobotb*

      Just because it’s your dream vacation doesn’t mean it was theirs. Plus, just because they weren’t at work doesn’t mean they were magically free of stress. Visiting family or taking care of family can be very stressful even if you don’t have it compounded with work stress.

      1. WellRed*

        I feel like asking someone how their vacation was is akin to asking “how are you?” I don’t really want to hear anything other than, “great!”

    11. BF50*

      Honestly, I doubt her trip is anything like “an experience may people can only dream about.”

      She’s not really a tourist. She’s visiting in-laws. She’s not seeing sights, she’s seeing busses and living rooms and kitchens.

      My husband grew up in Ireland and everytime we visit his family my coworkers get so excited for my “amazing” trip, but I’ve seen less of Ireland than many coworkers who take actual trips to Ireland. The vast majority of our trip is spent on my mother in law’s couch or in my mother in laws kitchen or on my brother in laws farm. People ask about what I did… Well, we fed the sheep and I watched a lot of the Irish version of Big Brother with my brother in law. Yeah, we went to dinner a couple times with my husbands school friends and on Wednesday we went on a tour because everyone was at work, but that’s all we could do. Plus this trip used up all of my vacation time and all of my money. I also don’t enjoy my mother in law’s cooking and pretty consistently catch something on the plane. The most recent trip involved two toddlers, so throw in screaming on airplanes, trouble finding food they would actually eat, and my daughter throwing up every time we drove anywhere because of the winding roads. That meant I had to wash vomit out of her car seat every day.

      Don’t get me wrong. I love my in laws, my kids adore the farm, and I have fun on the trips, but it’s no more exciting than when Joe in Finance travels to Wisconsin to see his in-laws. It’s the same visit at a more exotic local, but 3x as expensive and you can’t go for just a weekend, so it uses all your vacation time.

      Since I’ve known my husband we haven’t taken a vacation because his visits home use all or money and time off. In 15 years every trip we have taken together was either to Ireland or over a weekend, usually by car. Even our honeymoon, was basically just the weekdays in the middle of a trip to Ireland. We flew in on Thursday to visit family, then on Monday hopped on a cheap flight to Spain, returned the following thursday and stayed for another week. We got 4 days together and 10 days with his family. Now, again, I don’t mind. I like our trips and I loved our honeymoon, but it’s not what people think it is.

      I imagine it’s worse for your coworker. The flights are longer, the bus rides are longer, the kids are less likely to eat the food, and maybe she doesn’t speak Chinese, so sits silently at family dinners. Or maybe she doesn’t like her inlaws. Doing all that to visit people who aren’t kind to you would be absolutely horrible.

      1. A Girl Has No Name*

        All of this. My husband’s family also lives oversees and this is exactly what it’s like when we go to visit. His family happens to live on an island so when I say we’re visiting his family for a week, folks hear “tropical vacation” when really it’s just the normal trappings of everyday life of a family that lives 2-3 hours away from the beach (narrow scary winding road after narrow scary winding road). It’s fine, but it’s not glamorous, and certainly not relaxing now that we also have young children. And expensive (the flights alone can run us thousands of dollars!). And it’s almost always in place of a “real” vacation somewhere else. So yes, it can be nice, and there can be a day here or there when we get to truly “vacation” while visiting the in-laws, but mostly it’s just exhausting and challenging, and full of language and cultural differences (that are fine but still take effort to overcome at times), and you do it because you love your spouse, but that doesn’t mean you consider it a vacation despite having to use “vacation days” off of work to accommodate the trip.

      2. Rookie Biz Chick*

        Can you skip the next trip and send him with the kids for a week or two? That seems completely reasonable!

    12. Oxford Comma*

      I have a friend who does this. Loudly. To anyone who expresses the slightest bit of interest or envy in location in question. I get that business travel is work, but her constant complaints get old fast.

    13. GrossNegligence*

      I get to listen to faculty whine about too many tiresome trips to exotic locales thinly disguised as work-related, or whine about having to cancel the 3rd sabbatical trip to France this year.

      1. Earl Grey Fae*

        YES, and then having to create their paperwork to reimburse their “business/faculty development” mileage to and from another state where their family secretly lives.

    14. Diamond*

      I went on a holiday recently that just seemed to be difficult and stressful the whole time, and nothing turned out as good as we expected… it culminated in getting horrible gastro causing us to miss out on one of the best activities :(

      Sometimes holidays do suck and it’s the worst! I wish I had saved the 2 weeks leave. If people ask how it was though I just say it was good.

    15. Ann Onimous*

      This actually reminds me of a friend, who went to visit her husband’s family in India.

      The first time around, things were great, she got to visit a lot of stuff, hang out with people her age and just… have the time of her life.

      The second time around, she went with her toddler-aged daughter, and was basically having to look after her 24/7. No one offered to help babysit, and by the end of the trip she was much more tired than when she had left.

      I can understand how complaining about overseas trips may seem annoying to people who can’t afford them, but that doesn’t make them any less stressful or tiring for those who had to chase the kids around Disneyworld.

    16. Armchair Analyst*

      When my co-worker complained about his first-ever cruise, a week-long event, I decided then and there to stop listening to anything he ever said, ever.

  7. Zaphod Beeblebrox*

    OldJob was taken over by a new company, and the new admin manager was frustrated at the (perceived) number of errors being made – believing that everything was so straightforward that there was no way anyone should be able to get anything wrong. Ever.

    So, did he arrange for extra training for everyone involved? No.
    Did he ask if anyone needed further support? No.

    He decided the best way to deal with the perceived problem was to send a memo round to everyone (this is before e-mail) along the lines of:

    “Are we checking everything is correct? I SAY NO!”
    “Are we taking care to make sure we are accurate? I SAY NO”

    “I say no” was an office catchphrase for years afterwards.

    1. PB*

      I’m having flashbacks to my last job, where a manager in another department stumbled on a mistake in our database from 15+ years ago, long before any of us were there. Instead of contacting someone in our department to request a correction, she sent an all-staff email about the error and outlining the problems it caused. Like, okay? Sorry?

      1. Asleep or maybe dead*

        This happens at my place as well, and the messages end with “please inform us your account number” so they can charge our department for whatever. So obnoxious.

    2. Jadelyn*

      “They can take our lives. But they’ll never take…OUR ERRORS!”

      “There will come a day, when all errors are caught and everything is correct. But it is not this day!”

      …I’m tempted to go on, but I’ll stop here. Silly grandstanding deserves silliness in turn, though.

  8. JP*

    I received a department-wide email sent out about a coffee maker being broken. The coffee maker was in the UK. Most of the recipients of the email were in Canada.

    1. Marzipan*

      In my old job, they regularly sent round all-staff emails saying things like ‘there’s some cake in the kitchen’, cheerfully forgetting that we existed in our office FIFTY MILES AWAY.
      We definitely thought about doing the same thing back to them…

      1. Amber T*

        I’ve done this… we have two mailing lists – “Teapots (State)” (where a majority of the staff is) and “Teapots (all)” which includes ~3 employees on the other side of the country. When I need to send out company emails, I usually need to include everyone, including our 3 faraway peeps. But once in a blue moon I’ll want to email our local office about something specific and hit the (all) list. I always get a jokingly snarky response from one of the admins (we have a good relationship so I know it’s playful).

        1. Drew*

          People in my office bring in office treats roughly once a week and would email the “all staff in Location” address to let folks know that there were tasty yummies in the break room.

          A few people who were technically working in our location but usually telecommuted complained that they felt left out when those emails came in, and a few other people who were trying to watch what they ate complained that those emails constituted an attractive nuisance, so we created a new “tasty yummies at Location” email account and use that.

          Now people complain when folks bring in treats and they don’t know about them until the treats are picked over or entirely gone. You can’t win.

        2. Glowcat*

          It’s exactly the same for our institute, but sometimes someone gets the wrong mailing list, and sometimes the poor guy who’s alone overseas is forgotten; at least we are sure they are mistakes.

      2. Wendy Darling*

        I think I posted this before but someone sent out an email to the all-employees list at the company I work for, a large multinational corporation, saying “If you are the owner of a gold Honda Civic with the license plate [whatever] please contact the front desk.”

        We have like 20 different offices worldwide and they didn’t even include what state the license plate was from. I still don’t know which office’s front desk they were referring to. Also my whole team works remotely.

        1. starsaphire*

          But I’m sure you diligently looked out your front door into your driveway for a gold Honda Civic, yes? ;)

      3. LGC*

        That sounds like my company. Our office admin and organization president send out the occasional all staff emails about stuff in our HQ building (I work at the HQ, as do they).

        We have satellite offices throughout the state. None of whom care that the parking lot at HQ is being repaved on Thursday.

        (For what it’s worth, I love both of them otherwise, it’s just a minor annoyance!)

      4. Nina*

        I was the only employee in my company working remotely, and in a different country, and on a daily basis, I would get emails about cake/cookies/candy/happy hour/beer/wine fridge in the kitchen. I live on a tropic island, and they were in the UK, so I was always tempted to take a picture of the blue sky/blue water and be like, happy hour at 5pm!, just to get a reaction :))

      5. Diamond*

        Ugh, yes. We get included on emails about things like ‘please put your dishes in the dishwasher’, and over here in the small regional office we don’t even get a break room let alone a dishwasher.

    2. jackers*

      Hee! About 10 years ago, someone in our maintenance department sent out an email asking if anyone had seen the truck keys. But instead of sending it to his department, he sent it to the ENTIRE company. The entire GLOBAL, 200+ locations, 8,000+ employees, company.

      Much chaos ensued from across the globe as people began Replying to All with comments such as “Not in Kansas,” “London hasn’t seen them,” and my personal favorite “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” This of course was interspersed with multiple emails from IT telling people to stop replying to all and to please not use the company-wide email lists for such things.

      1. AthenaC*

        We had a similar mishap recently involving an email list for all the veterans across the country in our company.

        The reply-all’s were really pretty amusing, as was the escalating FIRM COMMANDS TO STOP THE REPLY ALL.

        I eventually had to explain to my team (in the room with me, but not on the email chain) why I was laughing so hard.

      2. Mrs J*

        Best “reply all” I ever saw was in my previous job. I work in advertising, so we have to complete the dreaded timesheets every week. Deadline was Tuesday at 12 or you’d be locked out and have to sit at the FD’s computer until they were done.

        Everyone hates timesheets so there was always a scramble to get them done and at 10am every Tuesday, the finsnce exec would send out the usual warning. Until the week a particularly dippy account exec pressed reply all and said she assumed she could have her usual extension until Wednesday at 12…

        Cue the best “reply all” chain I have ever been privy to!

      3. BF50*

        A year or two ago, we received an email from a customer about compliance on something for government contracts. They sent the email to every contact on their domestic vendor list. There were about 6 people from my company who somehow were on that list. I don’t know why I was on it. I don’t work with that company.

        Something was wrong with their distribution list. You couldn’t see other the recipients, but it quickly became clear that replies to this email went automatically to the entire distribution list. I don’t know for sure So first there were a bunch of replies of “We don’t do X type of business” and “Please take me off your list” followed by literally hundreds of emails telling people to stop replying all. It went on for a couple days as people who were out of office came into work, saw 500 messages from random strangers about compliance and replied to one asking that people please stop replying all.

      4. DrTheLiz*

        “Reply all” kerfuffles make me *so angry*. When I was an undergrad, student societies all had mailing lists. Unless you were specifically authorized, any message sent to the list had to be individually approved by an admin. (I learned this because they were late with my authorization as a club officer one year).

        They implemented it on all student accessible lists after a mistaken message from the Business School went to all students and the “unsubscribe me”s got super out-of-hand.

        Best response? “Re: re: re: please unsubscribe me… And my axe!” Followed by “and my bow” etc etc.

        But if a university could set this up for clubs whose officers change every year then there is absolutely no reason any large organisation can’t do this.

    3. Blue Anne*

      When I worked in corporate audit, the branch of the firm in our country (UK) had an enormous event in London. They booked the O2 arena, had a ton of famous people play music and speak. They brought everyone in from all offices around the UK. Had us all dress in matching t-shirts. It was cult-like.

      The problem was, in the lead up to this event, they sent emails to all the UK teams, including the offshore guys in India who support the UK teams. The Indian teams thought they were coming to. (Which wasn’t crazy, given the expense of this event.) But they were not coming. I thought it was pretty messed up to make such a big oversight.

        1. Lefty*

          A tin wok from the new line at Steele’s, of course!

          Didn’t know I’d find other Be-linkers this way.

      1. Gerta*

        I am pretty sure I know which company and event you are referring to – I worked there too but was on overseas secondment when the O2 event happened. You have just validated my sense that it did all seem rather cult-ish. Feeling sorry for the Indian teams! I can easily see how that would have happened given how the department’s were administered.

        1. Blue Anne*

          Probably! I still can’t believe the lineup they had. And they gave away cars and stuff.

          I can see how it happened too. It was just… ugh. Just from chatting with the Indian team members I worked with the most, I know it would’ve been a big deal for a few of them to get to visit London with the rest of the firm. Crappy to get their hopes up like that.

          I fell asleep in the middle of Bob Geldoff’s speech. We came in from Scotland so I’d had to get up really early for this thing.

          1. Gerta*

            I can well imagine. India was only just becoming an integrated part of the process when I left London for a much smaller and less developed location, so I never had much to do with them, but a trip like that would have been an incredible opportunity for the local staff in my other office too.

          2. Thlayli*

            Woes it sounds like they spent a lot of money on it why didn’t they just bring the Indian team too that’s so mean. I’m guessing if they’d dropped geldof from the list they could have afforded to bring the Indians.

    4. Browser*

      I work for a global company. We have sites in more than a dozen countries, and tens of thousands of employees worldwide.

      Without fail, one particular site will ALWAYS use the global-everyone email list to notify people of things like “there are donuts in the breakroom” or “someone’s lights are on in the parking lot” and other SITE SPECIFIC items. The last one was a notification of a changing safety procedure in their warehouse and so every other site had to clarify to its employees that no, nothing is changing anywhere except Site-That-Cannot-Figure-Out-Local-Email-List.

    5. Jadelyn*

      My favorite example I give new hires for why our CEO is super strict about using BCC for all-staff emails is the Secret Santa Incident. A general “happy holidays, each branch has been given a budget to do something fun for staff, your branch manager will let you know what’s being planned at your branch, have fun and enjoy!” email went out to all staff. The “all staff” email list was not on the BCC line. Someone at one of the southern California branches hit reply-all to talk to their fellow branch staff about their Secret Santa. Another one replied. We were all (staff in northern California and the central valley, in Chicago, in Florida, etc.) treated to back-and-forth about planning for the Secret Santa at this one branch for an entire afternoon before someone came down on them and it stopped.

    6. Pauli*

      People in my large company are forever mixing up the Facilities mailing list (a dozen or so people) and the Operations mailing list (a third of the company including members of the executive team) and sending emails about burnt out light bulbs and stuff to the whole division…

    7. Ingray*

      I used to work as a fee-for-service mental health clinician, and the fee-for-service staff have vastly different benefits from regular hourly staff (pay more for health insurance, no paid holidays, PTO is handled differently, etc.) It always used to upset me when HR would send out an email with some update about benefits I didn’t get to enjoy. Like do you really have to rub my face in the fact that you all are getting a paid day off this week? Oh and thanks for reminding me that the PTO that I don’t get is about to expire at the end of the year. But apparently it didn’t occur to anyone to make a separate mailing list for hourly staff vs. fee-for-service staff. :(

    8. BoB*

      We had one of these, but it was a lost and found email. It was even more ridiculous because it was for a banana found in a stairwell.

      1. Gerta*

        Lol, I can just imagine the conversation to identify the real owner of the banana…. “Before I can return this banana to you, can you tell me what colour it is? Does it have any distinguishing features?”

        1. Jemima Bond*

          Yes, like the (admittedly distasteful) British simile “like chucking a sausage up a close”*

          *look away now if you don’t what to go “ick”

          This uses the term “close” as in a short dead-end residential street. And it refers, meanly, to the experience a gentleman may have whilst playing hide-the-sausage with a lady who has perhaps hidden many sausages in her time (or even been blessed with issue) so the sausage in the current case is, as it were, not restricted in its motion.
          *blushes for whole of UK*

  9. SuperAnon*

    I was on maternity leave earlier this year so wasn’t copied on the actual email but heard about and got to read it later.

    One of our faculty members created a fake gmail account and sent an email to our then-provost. The author stated that the provost was fake, that no one liked the provost, that the author had heard from others that the provost was bad-mouthing them, that the provost would never get selected for a job (he was actively and publicly applying for higher roles at other institutions), etc. It was a pretty spectacular rant. And my favorite part was that the author copied a whole bunch of other people on the email- deans, chairs of departments, and a bunch of non-faculty, non-academic folks from across the university.

    1. DefinitelyAnon*

      We had a very similar experience a few years ago, complete with some very unpleasant and serious accusations of sexual misbehavior.

      Except that it was written in ancient Greek lyric poetry.

      Ah, academia…

      1. Anonny*

        To be fair, Ancient Greek poetry about Zeus is bound to contain “some very unpleasant and serious accusations of sexual misbehavior”, that’s basically all he does.

        1. Liane*

          Yeah, I have been wondering for years why he was king of the gods and not the deity of Lust and All Things NSFW.

    2. Mallory Janis Ian*

      We had some faculty member from another university email one of our faculty members (and copy our department head, the dean of our college, and someone from upper administration) accusing our faculty member of asking his (the other faculty member’s) wife to collaborate on a research paper with him. I never could figure out whether our faculty member really was trying to hit on someone by asking her to collaborate, or if he was legitimately looking for a research partner and the spouse was just bonkers.

    3. Somewhat Anon*

      This wouldn’t be an Illinois institution would it? Another faculty member is doing a very similar thing at my husband’s university.

      1. Oh Academia*

        HA! My ex (and this is exactly why . . .) had a female “colleague” approach him about working on a paper and a TED talk. I read the email. Then the emailS.
        It certainly worked for her . . .

  10. Leela*

    Maybe cheating because this wasn’t intended to be an all-staff but:

    3/4 of my department at a call center was laid off. Our productivity dropped by 3/4. Management was in there berating us, tearing their hair out, freaking out at us going how could our productivity possibly have dropped by so much? We were forced to record the amount of time we were in the bathroom (technically called “personal time” and was also for getting water/whatever but still), and then when they had that data they cut it down to less than 10 minutes a day. They dramatically upped the amount of people we’d need to get to sign up before we could get our bonuses, claiming that there just wasn’t any money and we were going to have to really tighten our belts, and to really do our best to keep up morale.

    We get an e-mail that somehow got forwarded from a manager which clearly was only meant for management:

    “Congrats on our best quarter yet! Can’t wait for cruise to Mexico. Bikini party!” *drink emoji* *sunglasses emoji* *picture of Jake from Adventure Time flailing his arms excitedly*

    If they thought morale was bad before…

    1. [insert witty username here]*

      My jaw literally just dropped open.

      I think this would be one instance where I would consider quitting my job, on the spot, without anything else lined up. This is absolutely appalling!!!!

      1. Leela*

        American held hostage by health insurance:/. I did eventually get out though! The company ended up having to change their name because their glassdoor reviews were astonishingly awful, several recruiters refused to send people there, and they way they did business was so shady that people wouldn’t work with them anymore. Talking to people who were still there after I left, it doesn’t sound like the rebranding fooled anyone.

      2. Hey Nonnie*

        And I’d apply for unemployment and make my case for constructive dismissal. Access to a bathroom is required under OSHA, and I’m pretty sure that “we have bathrooms, but you can’t actually use them” doesn’t qualify.

    2. LSP*

      Yeah, all I ever hear at my company is how business is booming, every year is better than the last, and how we are in a hiring frenzy because we are so short -staffed.

      But when time for raises comes, it’s less than 3% across the board (and we live in on of the most expensive places in the country), and when asked about creating a parental leave program, we were given some song and dance about them looking into it, only to be followed by a quietly released finding that it “doesn’t make sense” for the company at this time. Of course, at the end of the year they love to use all the births of new babies to staff members to help boost morale and make everyone think it’s a family-friendly company. I’m about 5 months pregnant now, and I will be really annoyed if they try to do that with my baby while not working towards a paid leave program.

      1. Leela*

        Blegh:/ I really hope that this does result in a paid leave program but I’m skeptical.

        Also, working employees beyond what’s reasonable and severely underpaying them might *make sense* in a certain way for companies but good ones won’t do it because they know they’ll lose good employees. I hope this company loses its employees to jobs that offer parental leave!

      2. AntsOnMyTable*

        Last November when we got our raises the average for each unit had to be 1.5%. So if anyone deserved more than other people had to get less. Pretty much with inflation we are making less than we did we did before. Although I shouldn’t be shocked seeing how the new hire rate hasn’t changed in the last 3 years either.

      1. Leela*

        Yep! It was appalling. It was partially to offset the fact that letting a huge amount of staff go resulted in our team getting less callers enrolled per month than we had been (duh) and in my opinion, partially because it was very common to see people crying in the bathroom from awful calls (we called smokers who didn’t ask us to call them and tried to get them to sign up, threatening insurance hikes on behalf of their insurance companies if they didn’t. Oh and we sometimes were forced to demand they tell us their social security numbers before we would tell them what our program did when their companies didn’t tell them who we were or that we’d be calling).

        1. Chocolate lover*

          I know this wasn’t the topic, but I’d refuse to give you my social. I had one of my medical-related companies call me, and ask me to confirm my social. I pointed out that they called me, I had no need of them at this time, and refused to give it to them.

          1. Specialk9*

            It’s a pretty classic identity thieves’ move. Legit people should never call you and demand your PII data. Always assume they’re scammers and thieves.

            1. Iris Eyes*

              YES!! I don’t give a damn if I requested that you call me either, the one who does the calling does the identifying.

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        My mom works in a call center, and this seems fairly standard. She has to clock out any time she’s off her desk/away from her phone, regardless of the reason, and she has to get permission to leave her desk apart from her three scheduled breaks. I could not live like that, but she doesn’t seem to mind.

        1. Specialk9*

          I’m sure they make up for that wage-theft with generous pay, benefits, and respectful policies.

          /S of course

          1. monsters of men*

            Of course not. That’s why it’s outsourced, because greedy western countries, with their laws and stuff. Easier to take advantage of the masses who have english as their second language

      3. Baby Fishmouth*

        Call Centres do that. The one I worked at gave 8 minutes ‘personal time’ for an entire 8 hour shift. All other times (except for lunch and a 15 minute break) you were expected to be on the phones.

    3. MLB*

      Wow, just wow. At my last company, I had started in one position and was basically pushed into another one that I really didn’t want, which was 2nd level support. I only begrudgingly agreed because I was told there would be no phone support (I called people back about their issues, but I wasn’t actually answering calls). After the company decided to outsource our help desk and then lay off most of the workers, they pulled all of the System Admins and 2nd level support people to let us know we’d be answering help desk calls. I lost it in the meeting and flat out refused. They added the number to our phones but it never came to fruition. The tickets I dealt with required research and time to resolve, and answering the phone because they decided to get rid of most of the staff would have been counter productive for me.

      1. Leela*

        I seem to remember that after they’d laid us all off, they were pulling people from any random job (accounting, HR, front desk staff, etc) to put on these calls without the proper training. Our system was clunky and complex, and you had to know the ins and outs of multiple insurance companies to know what to do with anyone. Since they didn’t have that, they basically just called super angry people to be yelled at and then when one of us was free, send super angry caller to us so we could get yelled at but actually move the process forward.

        1. Leela*

          clarifying: “us all” meaning all the people from our team that was let go, not literally including me as I was still there as were a small handful of people but most of us were devastated we didn’t get laid off

    4. Friday*

      Why is it the “not intended to be all-staff” emails are always the best all-staff emails. What was the fall-out from this one? Any of the peons dare to ask where their cruise invites were?

      1. Leela*

        I doubt it, but most of us who could leave immediately did, or looked for recruiters, or took anything at all to get out of the job. I do remember hearing that they got *scorched* for this among other things during exit interviews. When I got hired at Teapots Online after leaving, they had stopped doing exit interviews all together, whether that was because the sheer volume of them was too much to keep up with or because of what we were telling them I couldn’t say.

    5. Office Princess*

      Back in my call center days, we would have loved 10 minutes/day of personal time. We theoretically had 7 but would get yelled at if we used it on a regular basis. No wonder we all had UTIs all the time.

  11. Emmy Rae*

    A true beauty from a man who had had enough of the dirty sink but couldn’t help being a nice guy.

    Hello All –

    After arriving early to the office this morning, I was surprised to find in our office full of hard-working, wonderful, conscientious adults that the kitchen sink contained an assortment of food-stained silverware, cups filled with what appeared to be the early attempts at an artisanal sink-water flavored kombucha, and mugs with remnants of coffee grounds (see attached image for a visual representation).

    We can do better at keeping our office a clean space. It only takes 30 seconds to hand-wash a dish after using it. If the dishwasher is full or running and you do not have the time to wash your dish, please bring it back to your desk and wait until the dishwasher is cleared. Alternatively, I invite you to leave your dish in the sink and contact me for assistance. After living in a house without a dishwasher for the past 3 years, I’ve developed excellent hand-washing skills and would be happy to flex my hand-washing muscles around the office.

    Yours in keeping our kitchen happy and warm!

    -[Name withheld]

        1. Specialk9*

          Really really shameless. I wouldn’t be surprised though, I’ve known some shameless people. But dang that was the most polite ream-out I’ve ever read.

    1. Collarbone High*

      It’s early but I’m calling it, “artisanal sink-water flavored kombucha” is going to be one of the five best phrases posted here today.

      1. Liane*

        Only 1 problem: “Sink-water Flavored Kombucha Artisan” is too long a job title to replace Teapot Painter or Rice Sculpturer.

      1. Flash Bristow*

        Must admit I’ve never heard of kombucha and had to look it up. How has it passed me by when I ferment my own pickles / Kraut, have apple cider vinegar containing the mother (for my chickens) and my sourdough starter is in the fridge awaiting feeding…?

        That said – I think I’ll pass. The mother / scoby looks too much like what grew on my unfinished coke as a student. ahem. Don’t think I’ll ever be able to move my head on from that! Still, hey, today I learned… something…

        (meantime, I’m busy hunting for a copy of the email that got a workplace chat list shut down, back in the early 00s. It was epic. The problem was that people sent bitter leaving mails to it, and rather off colour remarks – nothing was off topic because nothing was ON topic, but apparently it’s still possible to go too far… While the list was opt-in only, most people were on it. If you’re part of it, nobody will talk about you on it, right? Seems the Powers That Be were silently reading all along…)

    2. Nita*

      We’ve had several all-staff rants about the state of the kitchen sink. The most memorable one included a picture of everything the plumber got out while clearing a clog. It was so gross. Although, fair enough, if the admin had to look at it, everyone who was dumping solids into the sink should too!

    3. SusanIvanova*

      I’d rather have all the dirty dishes in the sink than at people’s desks where they’ll forget about it and it’ll draw ants!

    4. Mojo*

      This is the nicest note I’ve ever seen asking adults to clean up after themselves. Was he Canadian? They are the king of polite!

          1. Specialk9*

            It was SO SCATHING but in such a genteel, below-the-water kind of way. I’m still giggling.

        1. Pebbles*

          As a Minnesotan, I just love being mistaken for a Canadian. We even have a town named “Little Canada”!

    5. Snickerdoodle*

      Wow, he’s WAY nicer than I was at my old job. I was tasked with keeping the kitchenette clean, and I told everyone that I wouldn’t be washing their dishes for them, so everything left in the fridge, sink, counter, etc. would be thrown out every Friday afternoon, dishes and all. There was a lot of pushback and freakouts, but luckily, management had my back and told them to STFU since it was the natural consequence of not cleaning up after themselves.

    6. lnelson1218*

      There was one guy once who asked me (the lone female in the office) whose responsibility it was to do the dishes (no dishwasher). I said, which was the case, everyone was supposed to be cleaning up their own.
      His response: but there were dirty mugs in the sink.
      I did the HR blink-blink, stare, stare.
      Him: whose going to clean the mugs?
      Me: I have jumped on the same wagon all the men in the office seem to be on and wait for the magic fairies to clean up.
      I can’t remember how long they were there. Probably until we finally got an office manager.

      1. Database Developer Dude*

        See, I’d be torn at that. I’d be tempted to do the dishes myself, but then again, I wouldn’t want it to be expected of me to do everyone else’s dishes….

    7. Snark*

      “artisanal sink-water flavored kombucha”

      I think I had a glass of that in Boulder one time.

      1. Chameleon*

        No, in Boulder you only get organic artisanal gluten-free sink-water flavored kombucha.

          1. Canadian Natasha*

            Is this supposed to be an unpopular opinion? I thought it was a general consensus and the folks who drank it had the “tastes so bad it must be healthy” mindset. Lol

    8. nym*

      A coworker posted this, with a cartoon, in a break room more than 15 years ago. I saved a copy. I wish I’d stolen the original of the cartoon and framed it. The essay was, of course, written in comic sans font.

      Cletus the Disgruntled Dish Fairy would like to request that if you insist on cooking a meal here in the for such absurd purposes as providing sustenance for your nutrient-deprived bodies, that you participate in ALL the exhilarating activities involved with the experience of making your own food by CLEANING THE DISHES YOU USE.
      Don’t deny yourself the excitement of taking responsibility for your messes before heading back off to your representative – however great of a thrill it is for those volunteers left behind to deal with your cuisine remnants to was dishes they had no role in sullying, it would be selfish of them to deprive you of the tactile sensation of a sponge full of dish soap rubbing against the surface of a national dish-encrusted pot. And being a card-carrying member of the Dish Fairy Union (Local Chapter #86), Cletus himself is exempted from any real sort of dishwashing activity, so that means the honor and privilege of keeping a clean kitchen lies with you.
      Godspeed, brave souls.

      1. nym*

        oops, attempting to use brackets resulted in two words left out:

        “…here in the (breakroom) for such absurd purposes…”

        and “…off to your representative (offices) – however…”

    9. Ann Onimous*

      (Lack of) Dishwashing e-mails are so common at every office I’ve worked. The highlight of this was when I received such an e-mail from a client. They were located in a different country! The entire team here was suitable amused that whoever sent the e-mail was angry enough to include the foreign contractors in his cleanliness shaming as well. Heh.

  12. Anon Academic*

    When I was a student, someone managed to send an email to every member of the university mailing system with a message that he was trying to sell a caravan. I have no idea how he did this, but hopefully they have tighter security in place now.

    There was also a philosophy professor who used to regularly email the ‘all students’ email list (that is, the one that they used to send out notifications to the entire student body) with notices relevant only to members of his small class. Really mundane stuff like the reading list or cancelled class messages. Each email would end ‘please don’t email me asking to be taken off the mailing list. There is no mailing list’.

        1. MentalEngineer*

          At universities with philosophy graduate programs, they normally do. Only the richest and fanciest schools can afford to pay their philosophy grad students to do nothing but research. Undergrad TAs don’t know enough to do any grading, which is why you don’t see TAs outside of schools with grad programs.

    1. Vemasi*

      Oh my goodness, I would have hunted him down to solve this. It would have driven me insane to know that he was flooding everyone with emails, being flooded in return, and no one was stepping in to stop it.

      1. Snickerdoodle*

        Seriously. Surely someone on the IT staff could have blocked his email until he sorted it out.

      2. Hey Nonnie*

        I would have had SO much fun with this.

        Each email, every single one, I’d email back with much confusion and consternation as to what class he was talking about, with much alarm as to possibly having missed an assignment or lecture, and begging him not to dock my grade because I didn’t remember this coming up in lecture AT ALL.

        If he responded, I’d write back with increasing confusion and alarm, and basically have an extended freak-out all over his email. Multiple one line emails sent in quick succession come to mind. Along with lengthy discussions of what I remembered happening in the class-that-is-not-his. I’d strive to “confuse” his class with another in a subject that makes the least amount of sense to confuse it with… say, macroeconomics. Then I’d also start sending him questions about discussions that came up in class-that-is-not-his.

        If he continued to send out class notes this way, I’d start recruiting friends into it, and encouraging them to recruit their friends as well.

        Maybe eventually he’d decide that emailing thousands of students not in his class wasn’t particularly worth it. Muahaha.

        1. Specialk9*

          I’m DYING here. I need to find you when I need to punish someone severely, but in a way that leaves me out of jail and not in trouble.

    2. Kittymommy*

      Now I’m super curious if it was a Dodge Caravan (mini van) or an actual caravan….. I would think the latter would be super difficult.

      1. Trout 'Waver*

        Campers and RVs are called caravans in parts of Europe. I’m betting that was the case here.

        1. londonedit*

          A caravan is slightly different from a campervan/RV/motorhome. Those things are all actual vehicles, whereas a caravan is a form of accommodation that is usually towed behind your car. It doesn’t have its own cab/engine/whatever, it’s just a glorified box on wheels with beds and a little kitchen and loo inside. They are beloved by a certain set of holidaymakers but also cause chaos on the roads of the British countryside during the summer.

    3. bookends*

      My college’s email system specifically blocked students from emailing the whole server. (Faculty/staff could, but that function was specifically meant for announcements and we’d all get them in one email as kind of a digital bulletin board twice a day.) I always wonder if something like this happened to prompt it.

    4. Shrugged*

      The irony of the philosophy professor ending an email to the entire student body mailing list with “There is no mailing list” has me in fits of giggles. What an existential crisis to solve!

        1. Someone Else*

          I’d be tempted to reply, “you’re correct; you’re not using a mailing list. You’ve just emailed every address in the system. You SHOULD be using a distribution list of people just in your class. A list would be good here, dude.”

    5. DrTheLiz*

      Was this institution in rural England in about 2013? That might have been my husband, if so :/

  13. Ladyphoenix*

    I feel bad for the Holiday Drink Manager. While he did punch someone, that someone was groping his wife.

    I don’t believe in the “objectification” of wifehood (where the wife is the man’s property), but I would probably get mad if someone tried to violate my loved ones’ space.

    1. Observer*

      Yup. One would hope that if someone groped a guy in his wife’s presence she’d try to do something. Of course, she’d probably get called a “jealous b***”, but sill.

      1. Ladyphoenix*

        I unfortunately would freeze from the sheer audacity.

        My hopeful reaction would be a great big “WTF are you doing?!” And a great big shove or a nasty kick in the side.

        1. GG Two shoes*

          When this happened to me (yes, at a christmas party- how cliche) I basically just stepped away and walked quickly to the restroom. My husband saw the last few seconds of the groping and went to see if I was ok and we didn’t mess with the guy the rest of the time.

          I didn’t bring it up to management until a couple years later as it was around the #metoo time. He had left the company by then but my understanding was he left on good terms so I wanted to have it documented so that he if he was ever looking again, they wouldn’t hire him.

          It was interesting to learn that there was a couple red flags with this kid that I didn’t know about at the time. If I would have said something sooner, it was possible things would have been handled differently.

      2. Indoor Cat*

        I mean, if you read any of Terry Crews’ interviews, where he talks about being groped / sexually harrassed at a party (by another guy), his wife was so shocked she just froze. And she, like, blames herself for not doing anything? But, honestly, he doesn’t blame her, obv, nobody would.

        Standing up for your spouse is great and important, but I think nobody knows how they’re going to react in that kind of situation. Nobody wants to think they’re going to be the bystander who just freezes, but I think, you know, unless you’ve had special training, suddenly being confronted by violence or some attempted sexual assault of some kind can be so jarring it’s hard to think straight. Hence the flight-or-fight (or freeze) responses.

        1. Observer*

          Oh, I’m not claiming that I would definitely do something, nor would I blame ANY spouse that froze in shock. My point is just that, the same way one HOPES that a male spouse will react if his wife were groped in his presence, one should hope that a woman would react. A guy protecting his wife is not “objectifying” wifehood and reacting to someone messing with his “property”, but a person protecting a loved one who he has committed his life to. And that goes in both directions.

      3. Thlayli*

        Honesty id probably laugh my head off. My husband knows Krav Maga and is well capable of fending of fun gropers so i wouldn’t feel the need to intervene. If a guy groped me must husband probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to punch him coz I would have probably done a knifehand strike on them (that’s like a karate chop and I have actually done this on gropers and punched them in the face too).

    2. Magenta Sky*

      Most of the women I knew when I was growing up would have kicked the groper’s butt themselves. A few would have needed to be physically restrained to keep from killing him.

      They made interesting role models.

    3. Tara R.*

      The OP of that thread did say that from what she saw before she left, it looked more like consensual grinding.

    4. Banana stand*

      This is not the place for this discussion. Save it for the open thread! Rants only should be in the comments

    5. Wintermute*

      When you’re talking about sexual assault, which unwanted groping is, I think there’s practicalities to consider about a violent response that make it a little more understandable.

      There is a certain element of ickinesss when a man takes violent offense to his wife being groped, because it is rather patronizing. But there’s also social stuff going on there too, we had a very similar situation happen at a work party back when I was working in door-to-door sales, Ted groped Jake’s wife Tina, well, it was an attempted grope really, he was too wasted to do much more than creepily paw in her direction. Jake proceeded to beat the everloving snot out of Ted, until he was pulled off of him by the rest of the sales staff. Fortunately I’d left early before the fracas started, but it was later relayed in glorious detail because it was all everyone talked about for a week, and there were more than a few videos– one sales manager saw Ted attempting to grab Tina and, being more sober than most, grabbed his phone and filmed the entire event in case Jake needed it to defend himself in court, plus, everyone else grabbed their phones when the fighting started, as meathead-bros do…

      Jake faced no serious consequences because it was a bunch of type-A-personality sales bros and “what was he supposed to do? nothing?” So there was an advantage to Jake being the one to throw the first punch as opposed to Tina, plus there was considerable social pressure on Ted not to make it a police matter, where if Tina had been doing the beating I’m not sure it would have applied and Ted might have gotten police involved (he was the dumbest man I’ve ever met, in practical terms, he was even TOLD not to do shots at the bar…)

      Of course there are also physical considerations, it’s easy to say that Jake should have let Tina handle it, but not many people are going to throw the first punch against someone twice their size that is clearly feeling no pain.

      All in all it’s not a great situation, but frankly, I think this world needs more instant and painful consequences for sexual assaulters, delivered at the hands of whomever of whatever gender is handy and capable…

  14. Wormy*

    My work has a list specifically for people to ask for recommendations/other things not related to work. I saved this thread because it’s emblematic of the kind of exchanges that go down there that escalate very quickly. I mean, I agree with the person in principle, but way to shut down a friendly chat…
    Poster 1: Free Fish Slider with any purchase at White Castle (link). Expires [date]
    Poster 2: Being that it is White Castle, which expires, the offer or the person eating it?
    Poster 3: I didn’t know there are White Castles in [location redacted]. There were lots of them in Louisville when I lived there, but I only ever bought coffee or chocolate shakes; never dared eat the food. White Castle makes Waffle House seem high class.
    Poster 4: There used to be one in [location redacted], but it is now closed. I just checked.
    Poster 5: With the oceans over-fished and dying, no one should still be eating any fish of any kind!! Even the fake stuff that passes for fish at White Castle. Thanks…
    (was in comic sans, with lots of bold and underlines to boot)

      1. Wormy*

        This person was known for shutting down conversations in this manner frequently. I think this was the only one I saved…

        1. EPLawyer*

          but WHY? Did it really accomplish anything — like draw attention to overfishing? Or did everyone go “There goes Fergus again, ranting away” and ignore it?

          1. Wormy*

            More the second one. Her points were usually valid, just delivered in a way that was guaranteed to shut any conversation down and make people roll their eyes. I seem to remember another one involving plastic that was in response to someone bringing cake, I think?

      1. Cat Herder*

        NextDoor, where neighbors can hate on neighbors for the tiniest of non-reasons.

    1. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      Wow, no good deed goes unpunished. Well, I guess getting that fish at White Castle is punishment enough.
      Hehe, good one, Todd.
      Thanks, Nance.

    2. samiratou*

      You could pretty much copy that exact exchange from my neighborhood FB group, without the comic sans (but only because FB doesn’t allow font changes in comments, or at least not easily).

      1. Pebbles*

        White Castle is a fast food place whose signature burgers are basically small meat squares that are steamed on a little white bun with some grilled onion. You can get them individually or by a case (30 I think). They are called “sliders” for a reason as they tend to not stay in your body for long. You either love it or hate it. Either way, it will not love you back.

        Fun fact: White Castle takes reservations for Valentine’s Day where the dining area is turned into a proper sit-down restaurant. There are tablecloths, it’s candlelit, and the menu is printed out and presented to you. Your server asks if you’d like any appetizers (fries, onion chips), and they bring the food out to you and keep your glass filled. My husband took me here once because he knew I really wanted to do this for Valentine’s Day. Still one of the better ones IMO!

    3. LadyCop*

      Some people can’t ever get off their agenda…
      Also White Castle is freaking delicious…I mostly go for the onion chips though. Friendliest fast food people I’ve ever met too!

  15. VermiciousKnid*

    Not an all-staff email, but this is definitely the craziest one I’ve ever seen. The publisher of a magazine I once worked on received the following email from an angry, racist reader. I’ve kept it for many years, I love it so. I have obviously changed some details so as not to dox myself.

    The picture on page 2 of the last issue of Teapots Monthly is very disturbing. The figures present a very arrogant, “in your face,” and hostile demeanor. The article states Hispanics need access to “affordable teapots,” while these subjects exhibit gold jewelry, perfectly coiffed hair, and what appears to be expensive attire. It’s the same old story: priorities, sufficient resources for everything but teapots. But don’t fret, pretty soon anyone may attend a trade school and be licensed to make teapots, so that takes care of the access and language barriers. It’s so easy, ya kno’. What happened to learning English? Oh, I forgot: Andrew Jackson stole Florida from Spain in 1819, just taking back what was theirs anyway! One final rant: you have the Hispanic Teapots Association, American Association of Women Teapot Makers, National Teapot Association, and how many more “associations” each presenting their own agendas. I find this divisive and racist. Do you think a White Man’s Teapot Association has a chance? Stop there: The American Teapot
    Association is all inclusive, evidenced by its presidents; any ethical teapot maker may join with the assurance that the whole profession is represented. Maybe the intent of the photo and article was not as it appeared to me. I hope so! If I did not speak up, I feel I would be complicit in the demise of what little is left of the republic.

    Joey Joe Jojoson, citizen
    I love how it’s pretty standard “I’m racist” fare until it totally goes off the rails. Also, anytime I lodge even a small complaint, I want to add “If I did not speak up, I feel I would be complicit in the demise of what little is left of the republic.”

    1. Workin on that name thing*

      “If I did not speak up, I feel I would be complicit in the demise of what little is left of the republic.”
      That’s a keeper!

      1. Anonny*

        It’s one of those sentences that, especially when included in a letter like this, immediately turns you in favour of burning your entire country to the ground. At least for a few minutes.

    2. VermiciousKnid*

      There is so much to love about this email, but my absolute favorite may be the guy’s signature. “Citizen.”

    3. Veruca Salt*

      I like how he’s defending what’s left of the republic by going after the big issues: publishing photos of non-white people with perfectly coiffed hair.

      1. zora*

        Well, duh, you must know the commonly known fact that poor people are genetically incapable of brushing their hair, and if you are really poor you look dirty and disheveled all the time, because your poorness seeps through to your outward appearance. If someone’s hair looks nice or clothes are clean, you know immediately they can’t be poor, they must be hiding millions of dollars somewhere.

    4. Jadelyn*

      And I thought my “How can YOU call YOURSELVES an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER if you are requiring applicants to speak SPANISH??!?!” email was good!

      It came from an angry white woman who had applied for a job that required bilingual Spanish/English skills because it was serving our clients in an area that’s predominately Hispanic. As in, this was her cover letter attached her her resume. All-caps bits and all.

      She went on to bitterly inform me that she had taken Spanish in high school but that she doubted I’d be willing to consider her anyway. And I mean, she was right – but it had nothing to do with how well she spoke Spanish!

      1. Traffic_Spiral*

        I love that special american “how dare some jobs require you to speak more than one language!” Like, that’s the norm for tons of countries, Louisa-May!

        1. Jadelyn*

          Sadly America is so violently monolingual that to many people, speaking other languages is not a skill but a racial marker – speaking a second language marks you as a Foreigner. And because that’s how their brains interpret it, it leads to racist tantrums like the above, since “speaks Spanish = Latino” as far as they’re concerned.

          And don’t even get me started on the terrible lack of language instruction for children in American schools. *mutter grumble grr*

          1. OompaLoompa*

            Trilingual = someone who speaks three languages
            Bilingual = someone who speaks two languages
            Monolingual = an American

            1. DoctorCactus*

              You know, “monoglot” also means one who speaks only one language and feels even more apt here…

    5. Marthooh*

      I don’t have an actual comment to make here, but if I did not speak up, I feel I would be complicit in the demise of what little is left of the republic.

      1. zora*

        You are officially the first person in this thread to make me laugh out loud in my office. Congrats. ;o)

    6. Ennigaldi*

      This reminds me so much of my favorite rant from LastJob, which stated that putting on an LGBT exhibit at the museum made us “tools of the Gay Agenda.” Oddly enough that LW was also ranting about how white men weren’t honored enough in history.

    7. Hey Nonnie*

      This reminds me of an email we got from a customer many many years ago — I wish I had saved it now.

      It was in response to a newsletter we had just sent out. The cover story was about work-life balance. The headline for this story was literally “What Really Matters: Tips For Work-Life Balance.” The cover image was of a woman in the lotus position meditating in an office cubicle. It was a stock image (specifically this one.)

      The email was basically a long rant about “what are we implying?” with the use of that cover image, and were we “really” saying that we’re just fine and dandy with those foreigners coming in to take our jobs??!!!?!?

      In choosing that photo, the woman’s heritage was not even on my radar as something worthy of considering; I was searching for “obviously an office” and “life balancey.” But apparently that aspect of the photo was the only part that mattered. [cue eyeroll]

      I REALLY wanted to reply with snark from both barrels. I managed to restrain myself.

    8. Girl friday*

      I understand what Teapots Monthly is supposed to be, but what kind of teapots would you need to be licensed to make? I love this letter, but being from Teapots myself… Weapons? Steel? Oil? Since it doesn’t track through the whole letter it doesn’t quite sound real, but I’m willing to try to follow it.

  16. Trout 'Waver*

    Since I suggested this….

    “To: All Employees

    From: CEO

    In an effort to improve the operations and cash flow of Company, we have begun scrutinizing employee expenses and credit card use since 1/1/12. What we have found has been astonishing and, quite frankly, embarrassing.

    In the event that our corporate policy has not been clear in the past, we would like to remind everyone that no personal expenses shall be reimbursed by Company. If you have a corporate credit card, no personal charges are allowed to be made on the card…..regardless of whether or not you intend to repay the company. Finally, we would like to encourage each of you to use appropriate discretion when spending company funds; when our costs are lower, everyone has a higher chance of receiving their bonus.

    If you have made personal charges on a corporate credit card and not already reimbursed the company, you have until Friday, May 18th to do so.

    Failure to abide by the policies above will result in termination of employment.

    In just the last 45 days, we have seen instances of extravagant restaurant charges, flowers, groceries, lunch charges when not with a customer, new golf course attire (really!) and a $255 charge at a gas station. The bottom line is that it is nothing more than stealing from the company, which shall not be tolerated.

    Feel free to contact either CEO or me if you have any questions or concerns and thank you in advance for helping to improve our spending habits.

    CEO and CFO”

    1. Trout 'Waver*

      So it turns out a couple of the outside sales guys were putting their dates with their mistresses on the company cards so their wives wouldn’t find out.

      On the deadline in the memo, everyone’s company card was revoked, the offending parties were fired, and new cards were issued only to the remaining outside sales.

      1. Clorinda*

        Since they knew who was charging these expenses, why didn’t they go straight to those people, revoke their cards, and fire them? Why involve everyone else?

        1. Traffic_Spiral*

          Yeah, this seems like punishing everyone because a few scumbuckets had to use the company account to hide their adultery.

      2. Accounting IsFun*

        I had a sales person put his motel bills for his mistress on the company expense report. This was awhile ago when the smaller motels did hand written bills. We did a time series analysis on the report and strangely enough, all of the motel bills were in sequential order.

        1. Lily in NYC*

          I had a coworker who actually tried to put a hand job on his expense report (he didn’t admit it until further questioning). He was an investigative journalist and tried to submit a high expense from a strip club. He said he met a source there and had to pay them (we didn’t pay sources). He finally admitted he got a hand job in the back room. !!!! He did not get fired. Ah, the joys of print journalism in the late 90s.

    2. Partly Cloudy*

      $255 at a gas station? Either someone gassed up their boat or they were pulling a Winona Ryder in Reality Bites.

      1. Rusty Shackelford*

        Or those dates with the mistresses involved a lot of 12-packs and convenience store burritos…

        1. Drew*

          I know that I always enjoy my dates more when I’m full of Natty Light and refried beans.

          Can’t say the same for my dates, however.

            1. MatKnifeNinja*

              Seriously, I got tears in my eyes.

              Only thing that would make it better, is those party store hot dogs doing the back stroke in their own filthly hot dog bath.

              So the refried dreams is an upgrade.

        2. Falling Diphthong*

          I am going with this: they were doing something with $255 worth of gas station burritos. And if Savage Love has taught me one one thing, it’s “Never google to find out what this is. You can’t erase that knowledge.”

          1. Specialk9*

            Haha what’s that rule of the internet, that if you imagined it, someone’s made porn about it?

      2. nonegiven*

        I was thinking it was a couple of tires. We have one gas station where you can buy tires.

      3. Nita*

        I’m picturing property damage charges, like for driving off with the gas pump hose still attached…

      4. many bells down*

        Someone got ahold of my credit card number about 8 years ago and had a similar amount charged at a gas station 2500 miles from where I live. I assumed they bought cartons of cigarettes.

    3. Bea*

      Holy shht. I’ve seen accidental charges before but the person always noticed and alerted me. I would have fired them and then sent the email about how to avoid the same fate. They’re so tolerant and way more chill on the fraud!!

      1. Bea*

        It’s not. The post is about All Office memos. Some are just elaborate and not necessary to share with everyone! That’s the case here. You call in anyone with ef’ed up expense reports to demand answers and fire the idiots.

    4. MsMaryMary*

      We’re no longer allowed to expense alcohol since one account exec submitted a bill for a meal that included four double vodka tonics and two bottles of wine…while dining with a client who did not drink.

      1. MatKnifeNinja*

        Light weight. I took care of a patient who would have that as a starter for lunch.

        Functioning alcoholics can down a lot of booze.

        1. Observer*

          Not so functioning, if you ask me. Most people who don’t drink don’t enjoy watching someone downing a liquid lunch. If you’re thinking straight, you don’t take that chance with a client.

        2. Specialk9*

          That’s, what, 16 drinks? I’d be astonished to watch someone drink 16 glasses of WATER with a meal!

      2. Trout 'Waver*

        Some people claim to not drink for religious reasons, but will certainly imbibe when in a one-on-one setting with someone who does drink.

        Not necessarily the case here, but it was my first thought.

        1. CMart*

          Two double vodka tonics and a bottle of wine per person is still WAY too much for anyone at any dinner. That’s 8 “drinks”.

          1. Awesome huh*

            An expense reimbursement for VIP hosting was submitted to a VP (department needed upper level approvals) and then on to me for my review and approval.

            While the VP approved the expense, she included a memo which included an analysis of the time spent at the restaurant, the number of people, the number of drinks, the type of drinks, a print out of the state dmv alcohol chart reflecting the number of drinks, types of alcohol, and projected blood alcohol content. Concluding that all present, assuming the drinks were consumed in proportion to the number of people, had to have been well under the influence so they better not have got behind a wheel. Also, in the future, this type of consumption, could be grounds for termination.

            A classic.. She was our hero!

              1. Tace*

                I don’t know – some heavy drinkers (and even some casual drinkers) can get awfully defensive with “but I’m a good driver/that’s not that much if you know what you’re doing/I can hold my drink, so my liver, my brain, and my hand-eye coordination are all magic!” or whatever. I can understand the urge to try to pre-empt some of that with facts and laws.

          2. Girl friday*

            It’s obviously the person, the client, and two unnamed guests. Not a lot of alcohol for that many people. Or it could have been one to four people and a 4h 4-course meal. Many options.

    5. I See Real People*

      I had a C-Suite boss one time that paid her daughter’s semester tuition to state college on her company credit card…twice! She tried to say it wasn’t her charge and then finally paid it six months later.

  17. Rachel in NYC*

    I work at a major research university that uses gmail for one of our email services. A few weeks ago someone sent a test email and mistakenly cc:ed everyone at the university that had google drive set up on their email account. Slowly but surely people started replying all, “please remove me.” And not undergrad students that you can forgive, but directors of departments, award winning reporters, everyone and anyone. It was ridiculous.

    Hundreds of reply alls later, the emails finally stopped and you could finally receive all of the emails that had been sent during the reply all cycle.

    I hate reply all.

    1. PB*

      This happened a little while ago at my university, when an admin sent an email to the wrong listserv.

      Admin to all-staff: Thank you for agreeing to serve on XYZ committee.
      Reply 1: I’m not on XYZ committee. Please remove me.
      Admin: Oops, sorry, wrong listserv! Please delete.
      Replies 2-100: I’m not on XYZ committee, either. Please remove me.

      It got very old, very quickly.

      1. AnotherSarah*

        Haaaa I for sure was a grad student/TA at one of your universities–our “reply all” fiasco made the (local) news!

      2. Adlib*

        That happened to me on a state-wide email that went out to all notaries. People started replying to the list. It got out of hand very quickly.

      3. pleaset*

        I had a good experience – someone ranting with reply all about getting a spam that was CC’d to a bunch of us at different organizations/businesses who did not know each other. Turned into a reply all mess until someone spoke up and said “I think this was Godaddy selling our info – I’m an attorney and will get back to them to not do it. Let me know if it’s OK to mention you in demanding they not do it again. ” I emailed him directly, and I think a lot of people did – the reply alls stopped.

    2. Emmykins*

      This happened to me today/yesterday. I work at a multi national company and someone in IT added an email list to a response about a ticket. I got hundreds of “please remove me” and the others pleading “please stop replying all”. Lol. That was yesterday afternoon and I deleted them. But I think folks on the other side of the world started work and continued replying last night. Hopefully ppl figured it out now.

      1. DogTrainer*

        Just yesterday on a professional listserv, someone sent an email advertising an open position as a llama trainer. Someone then replied all, “I am very interested in your position of Llama Trainer and have applied via the website. I just wanted to send a note that I would still love to speak with you more about your needs and my experience. Thank you and I will look forward to possibly hearing from you.” Unfortunately, their boss and colleagues are likely on the listserv and so saw his email, and now this person doesn’t look very professional. Ooops!

        1. Glowcat*

          That was bad, but they have my sympathy. Just yesterday one IT engineer sent me a mail with the instruction to fix a problem, then sent a group-wide mail with the same instructions, probably in case someone was experiencing the same; this group is scattered across several universities and most of the people have no idea who I am. I had already wrote my reply saying that I had already told him it worked and there was no need to say it again when I noticed what was on the “To:” field, missed a heartbeat and frantically deleted everything.

    3. RabbitRabbit*

      Wasn’t gmail here – we have Outlook for our internal e-mail service – but there are listservs that are available, and last year a couple got abused in announcing things like thesis defense presentations, and a couple reply-all avalanches started. After a couple go-rounds of those, a very official “Do not use these lists for announcements without permission” warning went out, and it was finally quiet.

    4. SusanIvanova*

      I work at a large tech company. If you have clearance to know about a project, you’re on its associated mailing list. So you’d think there wouldn’t be “remove me from this list, how did I get on this list?” reply-alls, right?

      It happens at least once a month.

    5. Dr. Johnny Fever*

      I was on an old list, DeptALL. Occasionally, a customer agent would have an issue with an account and send the details, including personally identifiable information, to DeptALL. In DeptALL, we were not allowed to handle the personally identifiable information, only the report.

      The first Reply All message would state, “You are sending sensitive information to this distribution. Please report to Help Desk.” Followed by another, and another. Then the SECOND Reply All thread would start – “Please stop using reply all!” which was echoed throughout. Then the third round, “Please remove me from this distribution list.”

      Lather, Rinse, Repeat across the country causing about 6 hours of madness and choked mail servers.

      I never understood why customer agents even knew about DeptALL.

    6. MsMaryMary*

      If email systems can remind you to attach a file when it looks like you meant to and forgot, I don’t know why there’s not a pop up that says, “You’re about to reply all to an email with more than five recipients. Do you really want to reply to all?”

      1. Harriet*

        My work actually does this – if you’re emailing over a certain number of people it will tell you how many people the email is going to, they introduced it to make everyone think twice about all office emails etc. It also says if an internal person you’re emailing has their out of office on.

        1. Jadelyn*

          Ours does, too – it gives us two messages. One says “This list contains about 330 recipients”, and the other says “You’re sending a message to all staff. Please use the BCC line to avoid unnecessary email chains.”

      2. JustDessert*

        My outlook does that. It has an alert at the top that says “this email will be sent to about “##” recipients.

        1. TheTallestOneEver*

          In addition, we set it up where out of our 5,000 employees, only six people can send an all employee email.

      3. Rat in the Sugar*

        My outlook system actually is set up to give warnings like that sometimes! Last week I had to add an insane number of people to a project at once, and when I sent the notification email to them as a group I got a warning that said something like “Whoa, you’re about to email 26 people at once! Are you sure about that??”

    7. fposte*

      This whole subthread is taking me straight to The West Wing, and Margaret breaking the server by spreading information about the dubious calorie count of raisin muffins.

      1. Hey Karma, Over here.*

        That did happen at a university where my nephew was working. 30,000 people and exponential reply alls shut the system down for a day!

    8. Snickerdoodle*

      Ew. We had a similar explosion of “Please remove me” at my job a while back. Even closing Outlook didn’t help because everyone was talking about it; I had to leave for a bit before coming back to a 100+ email thread ending abruptly with a bold, all caps, red warning from HR to stop replying.

    9. Alli525*

      This happened at my college too, except we weren’t on a gmail system – there must have just been a glitch. Although it occurred on what I think was a Friday night, so there were a looooooot of drunk undergrads replying-all and I (being sober that night for whatever reason) just sat back and laughed at the chaos as it rolled in.

    10. Queen of the File*

      I feel like I won the work lottery on days when this happens. I don’t know why but I just find it so entertaining. Our last one ended something along the lines of:
      Response #150: PLEASE DO NOT USE REPLY ALL TO REQUEST TO BE REMOVED FROM THE MAILING LIST. Yes, I recognize that I replied all. I only wish to stop the madness of constant replies to LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE who do not have the ability to remove anyone from the mailing list.
      Response #152: I did not use reply all but now I am getting a bunch of messages from everyone telling me to stop replying all–I think there is a problem with the email system.
      Response #153: I am not the administrator of this mailing list and am unable to unsubscribe anyone. Please do not send me these messages.
      Response #154: I did not sign up for this mailing list either, please remove me too.

      I totally understand accidentally sending out a mass email (and have done it myself)… however it is constantly baffling to me that people who hold down corporate jobs in this day and age don’t understand what it means to send an email to a mailing list.

      1. Essess*

        I agree. I’ve always felt it should be a line item on a performance review…. “Was the employee able to use email reply-all responsibly?”

        1. AMPG*

          We have a horrible reply-all culture at my current job. The one thing that gives me hope is that when we had an IT crisis and an all-staff email went out containing both instructions to log back into the system and a strict direction NOT to reply all if anyone was having trouble, only one person ignored that direction. We’re both at the same level in the organization, so after her 2nd reply-all I emailed her directly and told her to cut it out.

        2. screen4b*

          No one has yet mentioned the additional messages generated when ‘send to all’ or ‘rely all’ also is also sent marked as ‘confidential’ and as ‘delivery receipt ‘ and ‘open receipt’ requested.

      2. Bekx*

        Oh my GOD the exact same thing happened to me last year….I wonder if we got the same email. It lasted like 4 hours of just non-stop emails. There were only two of us at my dealership (hint, hint) that got them, and he and I were going crazy.

        1. Specialk9*

          You can set up a rule that sends all emails in that conversation to a folder. Then you can delete all, or mark them all read.

    11. J.*

      In my higher ed experience, the students are much, much better than the faculty at not doing the reply-all to request removal from reply-all threads. In fact, tenured faculty and department heads tend to be the worst offenders!

    12. Murphy*

      Something similar happened at my university as well…also gmail. But it wasn’t recently. Also somehow IT was copied on one of the emails and every email to IT opens up a ticket…and every reply to that email amended the ticket…and anyone named on a ticket gets notified of all amendments to the ticket and you can see where I’m going with this. It wasn’t literally everybody at the university, but it was A LOT.

        1. Murphy*

          The only thing I’m sure about is that anyone who needed actual IT help that afternoon did not get it.

          People were replying all to ask why they got the initial email, and then subsequent emails, people were replying all to ask everyone else to stop replying all, people were trolling, people were complaining that they had ACTUAL IMPORTANT EMAILS….Eventually the emails stopped and about an hour after that there was an apology from IT.

    13. Pebbles*

      CurrentJob once brought down the email server due to a reply all fiasco. Someone started the whole thing by sending an email with a large attachment. Well, our email server at the time didn’t have a single-store attachment feature, so that attachment was copied to each person’s mailbox folder on the server, and there was about 1000 people in the company. Then someone would reply all, then another, then you had the people who would ask everyone to not reply all…and each time that attachment was included in the reply email, and it was being saved about a thousand times…again and again and again until the email server just couldn’t keep up and finally went boom.

    14. SeluciaMD*

      Whenever I hear these stories about “reply all” disasters I cannot help but think about Margaret on TWW and the raisin muffin email debacle.

      Yes, it is my life’s goal to bring everything back to TWW.

    15. Confidential Assistant*

      This happened when I was an undergrad in my major’s department too. I was abroad at the time but I still got all the emails, it was pretty funny.

    16. Howie*

      Long live reply-all!

      At an old job (higher ed) we’d have a reply-all avalanche every few months. Used to bug me, until my cube-mate started trolling the list, trying to keep the chain going (stuff like Response #152 in another comment here, but on purpose). Somehow that shifted my mindset, I found the humor in it, and now I savor a good reply-all avalanche. If there’s fewer than ten reply-alls, I’m disappointed.

    17. That's so anon*

      I’m currently trapped in a reply-all chain with one hapless person.
      From: Jimothy
      To: Llama Herders, Llama Groomers, Llama Feeders
      “Dear Pamantha Llama Herder, do you know which Llama Feeder can approve this report from the Llama Groomers?”

    18. H-E-B*

      This happened to me at a Big 4 Accounting firm after the switch to gmail. A place that prided itself on being technologically advanced, and we all spent 6 hours deleting mass e-mails of, “Please take me off this chain.” But we weren’t supposed to mute the thread because it was an emergency alert notice from the emergency alert and we could miss Serious Vital Life Saving information if we muted.

    19. M*

      Oh my god, this happened at my major research university last month, and everyone was just getting hundreds of the “this email is not meant for me” reply alls. It was horrible

    20. Hannah*

      This used to happen to me, maybe once every three months, at the company I used to work at. I switched to a competitor, and in six years, it hasn’t happened once. Both large companies, woth thousands of employees, both with mailing lists, and people still sometimes reply all by accident. But it isn’t followed by an avalanche of “take me off the list”, “don’t reply all”, “replying all to tell people not to reply all is just as bad” emails.

      I take that as a general sign that this company has smarter and/or less hostile people.

  18. NerdyKris*

    I worked at a place where another manager was bullying and harassing female employees. His current target was the ex girlfriend of a former employee, who was now banned from the premises because of stalking and a restraining order. Problem is, this guy was also the manager’s pot dealer/friend. (Manager was in his sixties, these people were barely out of their teens) He was livid that she was being such a “c-word” and she had no right to keep this guy from hanging out in the parking lot while they smoked. There were multiple IMs sent to various employees about this, plenty of proof, and eventually HR gave him a “This is your last warning” conversation.

    His reaction was to walk out of the HR office, and immediately yell across the call center floor “Now I know who stabbed me in the back! If you thought I was bad before, you’re going to to wish you never worked here!”.

    They immediately pulled him back into the office and terminated him. He still does not understand why.

        1. NerdyKris*

          I wasn’t clear, he was getting high at work on his breaks in the parking lot. That’s why he kept letting the former coworker show up to give him weed, despite a restraining order.

    1. Elan Morin Tedronai*

      I’m just imagining him exiting the HR office, yelling that statement, then a hand reaching out from said office and yanking him back in by the back of his shirt collar.

      Think my morning coffee hasn’t taken effect yet. {peers into cup}

  19. BlueWolf*

    Note: would prefer not to have this in a round-up).
    Unfortunately, I didn’t save the email thread, so I don’t recall the specific wording of the emails but the general gist is this:
    A department head who was leaving announced that they would be departing in a couple months in an email to the entire (quite large) department. Nothing too crazy, just the standard “I’ll be leaving on xx date, etc.” But then, they sent a follow-up email (also to the whole department) informing us that actually the higher-ups/HR had asked them to leave in a week. Funny enough, immediately after that another email was sent out by a higher-up announcing that “Today will be [department head’s] last day.”

  20. AlPal*

    I interned for a summer at a global IT company where one employee managed to accidentally send an email to the entire global employee mailing list! No mean feat when only a handful of people are supposed to have access to that! It was a pretty innocuous email, asking if anyone on their team had some documents they needed, but what followed was spectacular. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people Replied All saying this email wasn’t relevant to them and can they please be taken off this mailing list, followed by countless emails telling everyone to stop hitting “Reply All”, adding to the disaster themselves!
    The email system slowed to a crawl, legitimate emails were taking hours to appear and when they did they were quickly lost in the sea of Reply All emails! The worst thing was, this happened in the morning here in Europe, so just as the emails started calming down, our colleagues in America were starting work, finding the emails, and starting the Reply All chain again! They managed to find some way to stop these emails flooding everyone’s inboxes before our colleagues in Asia started, thankfully!

    1. BRR*

      I think people need to take a test to use reply all. Reply all should be a privledge, not a right.

      1. Rebecca in Dallas*

        This didn’t happen to me, but to a friend.

        Her entire office (pretty large, at least a couple hundred people at that location) got an email with “gentle reminders” about the dress code. Someone apparently meant to forward/reply to just one coworker but instead replied all, “Can you believe this crap?” She said there were audible gasps throughout the office as people saw it pop up in their inbox!

        1. CM*

          Reminds me of when a secretary at my old law firm accidentally hit Reply-All on an all-firm email announcing bonuses. She meant to just email a friend, but she complained about how cheap the firm was and how a certain partner just took a nice vacation while the staff got paid a fraction of what he got. I felt so bad for her! She sent out an apology email later and people stopped talking about it pretty quickly, but it was the kind of place where the higher-ups would hold that kind of thing against you forever while assuring you that they had forgotten all about it.

          1. Specialk9*

            I made a rule to always switch modes if complaining. So from email to text message or such. This is why.

            1. Hannah*

              My rule is don’t talk sh*t in email. Period. I’ve convinced myself it’s essentially a public forum.

      2. a*

        Our statewide email system sends out certain announcements to all employees, including various events, and death notices regarding employees, retirees, and/or their family members. One coworker infamously replied to this asking to be removed, as they did not care to receive the many death notices about people they didn’t know.

        I was on vacation when it happened, so I missed it, but on another of these emails, a different coworker replied to all with her son’s hockey schedule. That prompted another all-employee announcement about the hazards of Reply All.

    2. Rey*

      The one time that I’ve been stuck on a reply all nightmare like this, I just set up an Outlook rule to automatically delete the emails so that I didn’t have to see them keep coming in. I agree that reply all should be much harder to use than it currently is.

    3. MsMaryMary*

      That happened at my multinational former employer over the 4th of July weekend, Someone in India accidentally emailed the entire company. Due to time zones and the holiday, there were several waves of people replying all to say they received the email in error, or asking to be removed from the list, or asking everyone to please stop replying to all.

      I came in after the holiday and had over 1000 emails in my inbox.

    4. sheworkshardforthemoney*

      Years ago I worked for a federal govt. department that had offices in every country. We went through several versions of email trying to get a universal one that worked for everyone, everywhere. One thing that was removed was the reply all function after someone sent a world-wide email trying to sell his car.

    5. JokersandRogues*

      Oh, we had one of those. I’m fairly certain that there were some people provoking another round on purpose whenever it slowed down. I especially love the people Reply All saying Don’t Reply All you’re making it worse!
      And the argumentative guy that asked what mailing list the people thought they were on that they needed to be removed from? Couldn’t they see it was an accident?

      We had a tally on a board going as to types and periodic arguments about how to classify a new one, and an occasional whoop of “New one!”


  21. Bonnie*

    Not exactly an email or memo, but a VP at a very toxic environment would walk around the office at 8:25 or so, see who still hadn’t showed up for 8:30 start time, write their names down, tape it to the front door and lock the front door. You had to be let in and chastised for being >1 minute late. In the DC/NOVA area where traffic is an unpredictable nightmare. I was so close to turning around, getting back in my car, and never returning. And I made it in before he locked the doors.

    1. MLB*

      Wow that’s obnoxious. I used to work in Bethesda and drove in from northern Baltimore County. My boss lived in Howard County and took a similar route (mine was just longer) and I didn’t even bother to call him to let him know I was going to be late, because I knew he was stuck in the same mess that I was.

      1. you don't know me*

        I once had an employee text me to tell me he would be late because the subway car he was on hadn’t moved in 15 minutes. Well, neither had mine. Turns out we were in the same subway car, just on opposite ends!

    2. Kat in VA*

      I’m in the DC/NoVA area. A simple drive from the roughly Manassas area to Herndon could take…oh…anywhere from 40 minutes to 90 minutes. I could get to work 20 minutes early or 30 minutes late. Fortunately, my boss was coming from Frederick and was understanding.

    3. Ali G*

      My last job was on the Red Line, but live in NOVA and drove in. I always knew there was an issue with metro when 9:30 am would roll around and like half the staff still weren’t in. No one, unless they had a meeting they were missing, even bothered to call in late. It’s kind of obvious what is going on!

    4. Emmy Rae*

      Yikes! I worked at a place where the manager’s office had walls but no ceiling. Next to his office was the time punch. I was late a few times a week (I was young! I’ve changed) and when I punched in he would shout over the wall, “Is that you, Emmy Rae? You’re late!”

      There were enough other employees that it was embarrassing that he knew who it was.

  22. DataGirl*

    Before I interviewed at a particular job, a company wide email went out from an anonymous source in the middle of the night (I’m guessing someone made a dummy yahoo account or something and copied everyone’s work addresses in) bashing a particular employee, calling him all sorts of derogatory and 4 letter names. I came in that morning for an interview to be grilled about whether I had been on the company website or staff directory that night. I had not and of course I was very confused, turned out they were trying to determine if I might have sent the email. About a person I had never met. To a bunch of people I had never met, at a place I was interviewing. I can only shake my head. I’m not sure if they ever found out who did it, but I heard someone got fired not longer after (a friend worked their and had given me the recommendation) so something must have shaken loose.

      1. DataGirl*

        I can be kinda dense and I didn’t know what had happened at the time so I just thought they were really weird. It wasn’t until later that I put it all together.

    1. Hmmmmm*

      That must be an insane place to work, they’re so convinced of their own perfection that they assume the random person interviewing must be the toxic one, not anyone at *their wonderful company!*

      1. CM*

        Yes, that’s a really weird thing to pin on a candidate for a job who they haven’t even met yet. I think this is an instance of “bullet dodged” (assuming you didn’t go back and work for them later).

    2. lyonite*

      I wonder if they didn’t think it was you, but they could see the location from where someone had accessed the website and were trying to narrow it down. Like, you might have had a legit reason to be looking people up, so a hit from your area would have been off the list. (Or they were crazy. Always a possibility.)

  23. Doug Judy*

    I don’t have it anymore but there was a company wide email sent because someone stole a dozen uncooked eggs from one of the office refrigerators. She said she didn’t have $1 to buy more eggs until payday and would like them back, with a steak.

    1. OhNo*

      One wonders if the person thought they were hard-boiled and didn’t realize their mistake until they’d cracked one open.

      Although if she was going to ask for them back with a steak, why not go hog-wild and go for a full four-course meal?

      1. Robot Cowboy*

        I have made this mistake with eggs in my own fridge and it’s annoying. I’ve taken to spinning the eggs to check them if I’m even slightly confused about which I’ve grabbed.

      2. Totally Minnie*

        This is why my hard-boiled eggs live in a plastic container with a lid and not in an egg carton.

      1. Just Employed Here*

        Well, the rate is higher because the eggs were stolen, not legitimately borrowed.

    2. JanetM*

      Department wide, rather than company wide:

      “To the person who brought in the frozen chicken dinner — I accidentally ate it, thinking it was my frozen turkey dinner of the same brand. You are welcome to my turkey, or I will reimburse you for the chicken, whichever you prefer.”

  24. Etak*

    The morning of an important all staff event at the college I worked at as a tour guide, a fellow tour guide decided to quit by emailing the entire office. He had a flair for the dramatics and apparently felt offended that a few weeks prior someone had mentioned his behavior to our boss. The email itself was over the top and chock full of language implying he was mortally offended, but the timing of the email was really spectacular. We were all sitting in one room during the morning briefing when suddenly you saw more and more people looking down at their phones and nudging their neighbors. He also included some allegations that the bosses were ignoring coworkers complaints and implied everyone felt the same as him. This meant that during the busiest day of the year, the boss also had to pull people out of programming 3 or 4 at a time to come to down to her office so she could basically say “I hope that you don’t feel as though we’re not listening to you, if you have workplace complaints or issues, here’s how you can reach out to HR, without any sort of repercussions. Please let us know of any issues, rather than emailing the whole staff”. I worked there 3 more years and that email entered a sort of infamy, with people bringing it up annually during that event.

  25. Anon for this*

    One of my coworkers was sent to do an urgent task first thing in the shift, only to find that the last person who did the task left the equipment in bad shape, so he had to spend 15-20 minutes setting up the equipment before he could start the task. We’re supposed to make sure the equipment is left in a ready-to-use condition, so the way my coworker found it is considered very rude and inconsiderate. He wasn’t sure who was the last person to use the equipment, so he sent out an e-mail to the entire department describing what happened, followed by:

    “It is just plain SORRY to set up the next person like this. It is a shame good oxygen from this earth gets used up by an individual who would do that.”

    1. ThatAspie*

      Wow. Well, I suppose it does make some sense! I know I’m not cool with people leaving the equipment at my job all messed up. Like, this one time, someone freaking HID some things that are required for everyone to use at some point or other – and it was my turn to do this Very Important Task With Very Special Equipment. Not cool. Eventually, I found the dang things, thank goodness, but I ended up having to rush through the task because of all the time I wasted looking for the freaking equipment that someone, somewhere, somehow, for some unknown reason, stuffed behind a freaking chair!!!

  26. Dust Bunny*

    My workplace doens’t do this, they just hit you with a “mandatory all-staff meeting” email. They don’t abuse it–these are rare and they never use them to put people on the spot, but every time they do this we all quietly freak out. The ones I remember were:

    1) In 2008, to let everyone know there would be a hiring and wage freeze for awhile but nobody was getting laid off.
    2) A couple of years ago when our executive director was fired basically for neglecting us as an institution. He was there. That was the most awkward meeting I’ve ever attended.
    3) This past spring when one of our staff died suddenly. I wasn’t at that one because I had a client, but I’m told it was pretty emotional.

    Otherwise, it’s mostly letting people know there are leftover cookies in the staff lounge or something. Officewide memos are always either catastrophe or free food.

    1. WishIStillHadThatVoicemail*

      OOF nothing like that wave of adrenaline when you see “mandatory all-staff meeting” without any context pop up in your inbox.

      1. JustaTech*

        I had one of those at my first tech job; mandatory all staff meeting where we were told we were all (temps like myself included) getting a thousand dollar bonus!

        After I asked my coworkers why they had been so nervous. “Oh, at so-and-so company when they did that 3 months ago they fired everyone.” “Oh yeah, and remember when Blah corp took everyone to lunch while the padlocked the doors shut?”

        Up to that moment I had no idea this was even an option.

        1. Confessions of a Shakespearean Drama Queen*

          Wait, what? They locked the doors???? Of the lunch place or the office?

          1. JustaTech*

            Of the office. Everyone was told to take their coat and purse/bag/car keys and when they came back the whole office building had been locked up. The contents of their desks (personal affects only) were mailed to them the next week.
            It was a lab so I guess if someone had been really mad they could have done a lot of damage.

        2. Autumnheart*

          I still get that adrenaline spike and I’ve been at my current job for 14 years. *knock wood*

          Another one is a Friday afternoon meeting with your manager without context.

          1. PSB*

            I once received a short-notice invite to a meeting with my grandboss. It was supposedly a follow up to a meeting we’d had earlier in the day about a project I was working on, but the meeting was scheduled for 5:00 and our HR rep was also invited. That one turned out to be *exactly* what I thought it was.

            1. Charlotte*

              When my husband’s old job did this, they scheduled them all for 20 mins. Normal meetings are not for 20 mins. His was at 4:00 pm, so we had a lot of waiting for the details but knew what was happening generally much earlier.

          2. ThatAspie*

            Friday afternoon meetings can be very good. Yesterday I had a good one in which I was trained on an awesome new task! And then I got to do the awesome task! :D

      2. Judy (since 2010)*

        Especially when it’s an “mandatory all-staff meeting” scheduled 10 minutes from the time you’re notified. Those never end well.

    2. Ali G*

      The ED found out he was being fired during an all staff meeting? The mortifying!! Did they escort him out or what?

    3. Shark Lady*

      We get a meeting request sent out right at the end of the day (after most people have gone home), inviting the entire department to a meeting at 9.30 the next morning.

      You get one of those, someone’s getting made redundant. It’s just a matter of waiting to find out who.

      1. Editrixie*

        Yep. At my favorite job ever, the only mandatory all-staff meeting during my time there was to inform us that our little magazine had been bought by a corporate behemoth. The publisher cried when she told us; she knew how it was going to go. And the very day Behemoth International took over, they laid off two-thirds of the staff right away, while conditioning severance for most of the rest of us on staying until they got around to eliminating our jobs too. (The magazine folded 18 months later.)

        So yeah, “mandatory company-wide meeting” does get the heart racing a bit.

    4. Cassandra Lease*

      Oooooof. I started my current career in software at a game company, and went on to work for a second game company before I left the game industry for jobs that paid better and still offer more security. We had company meetings scheduled months in advance, which were generally standard business or even good news, and then we had the unexpected Mandatory All-Staff Meeting, which was almost always layoffs. Never got padlocked out of an office while I was out at lunch, but honestly layoffs are never fun even if they let you fetch your stuff and leave with dignity, or even if you’re not among those getting laid off.

      In every subsequent software job I’ve had, I’ve gotten visibly nervous when a mandatory all-staff meeting is called on short notice, and the people who haven’t been in the game industry or worked for shadier tech companies NEVER understand why. One time I built a whole QA team for a startup out of former colleagues from gaming companies, and management was very bemused when we started asking them to please give us some sense of what abrupt all-hands meetings were about.

    5. GG Two shoes*

      OMG yes. We never have mandatory all staff meetings except the scheduled ones once a month. Until a few months ago. None of us could stop talking about what it was going to be. Good? Bad? did someone die?

      Turns out we are going from casual Fridays to casual all week.

      I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

      1. zora*

        Oh no, that is almost cruel!! Why couldn’t they just hold that announcement for the next monthly meeting? That is nuts.

    6. starsaphire*

      This happened to a former roommate, not to me, so I sadly don’t have any details, but…

      Small company – about 20 people. Two of the middle managers were in a relationship.

      One day there was an unannounced mandatory all-staff meeting, in which everyone got pulled into the conference room. Everyone, that is, except the couple, and the person who was busy firing them. There was no one leading the ‘meeting,’ but they were all asked not to leave until the all-clear was given.

      There were the usual rumors (fiscal malfeasance, etc., etc.) but I have zero information on what *actually* happened.

  27. Student of Professor Goodnews*

    From law school, not work: My first year of law school we had a class in legal research and writing that was not graded. We met once a week as the entire section (100+ students) with a professor, and in small groups with upper level students for the actual learning. Professor Goodnews regularly showed up stoned for the sessions he “taught” and there was no real teaching happening. Midway through the semester, he tearfully asks us for feedback. Well, the class wasn’t graded and I was fed up, so I emailed him a very rational rant. No problem there. Well, he responded to me. AND TO THE ENTIRE SECTION. Including the text of my email. This was almost 20 years ago so I don’t remember the details, but I do remember people in my section who I didn’t know congratulating me on what I’d written. Yikes!

    1. thankfully graduated long ago*

      Oh man, something similar happened when I was in college with a very different ending. A student in my small department who was notoriously awful to share classes with (she would say things about the text that were very off base and be bull-headed about it for the rest of class, not letting the conversation move on, etc) had an ongoing standoff with one of the professors. Now, this professor was fairly tough herself and not necessarily beloved, but you knew what you were getting into with her. None of her rules were a surprise.

      The end of the year comes and Difficult Student hands in her paper late in some way (which was Not Done in this professor’s class, but also Very Clearly Stated) and is completely shocked when it’s not accepted (despite having no extenuating circumstances). So she sends an email to the entire class to rally them around her, outlining all the ways in which this professor was unfair, demanding support in getting a second chance to hand the paper in, etc etc. She was very surprised that no one spoke up in her favor after getting all their work in on time…

      1. VioletCrumble*

        I had an amusing email “exchange” in College with a Prof. Basically she sent out a class wide email stating that an on-campus event the next day was mandatory and non-attendance would affect our grade. The class met on Tues/Thurs and the event was on a Weds. I worked my way through college; going to school Tuesday & Thursday and working the rest of the week so I replied telling her that it wasn’t possible for me to attend as I had to work. She replied, copying in not only our class but students in the whole college, stating that basically that my priorities were messed up and that in not putting school first meant that I was an automatic failure and she wouldn’t make an exception. My reply?
        Dear Dr So&So:
        I’d be more than happy to put school first if you’d agree to put a roof over my head and food on my table; pay my tuition and books, etc etc…..
        Boy did she back down…
        Some people….

  28. Reply-to-all Fails*

    Context: There was a change in our insurance coverage for certain very $$ drugs. Reasonably employees were upset. Drugs that were formally covered my not be now.. there were a number of ‘reply to all’s’ on the topic. The HR director did not take it well.

    From the HR director:
    “All right – I understand there are questions regarding the benefit program. PLEASE STOP SENDING THE EMAILS TO EVERYONE. And yes, I am yelling. If you have questions or concerns, please send an email to {HR Rep} and copy me. {HR Rep} and I will work with the appropriate people to answer your questions.”

    Response from another employee:
    “Sorry, I am going to reply all.
    Point one. I do not respond well to being yelled at. Completely uncalled for, in my opinion. Especially in my place of work.”

    Was quite a day!

    1. Evil HR Person*

      So unprofessional from an HR Director. Yes, you send out a quick email to all reminding them that help is at hand, no you don’t send out an email chastising people at all, let alone *everyone*. SMH…

      Once in a while I wonder if I’m being professional in my HR duties, then I read things like these and I’m like, “I’m good!”

      1. ThatAspie*

        I’m not in HR, but I do sometimes worry if I’m doing this whole working thing right, and then I see things here about what other people did at work, and I feel better about myself instantly!

  29. Advertising Anon*

    Unintended all-staff from one of the owners of a small advertising agency. Intended only for the other owner but sent to everyone.

    “In jail. Getting out soon. Don’t tell anyone.”

    The two owners tried to play it off as a joke but we all knew it was true because one staffer saw the arrest (too many traffic violations, not murder or anything). It was pretty much the best day ever in that very disfunctional place. I still laugh thinking about it and the office gossip aftermath.

      1. fposte*

        It would have been beautiful if everybody had individually replied to the list “I won’t.”

    1. Zaphod Beeblebrox*

      Reminds me of one of my colleagues doing jury service. We wanted her to put on her out of office:

      “I am appearing at X Crown Court on Monday – not sure when I’ll be back.”.

      She didn’t.

  30. Farewell Email Hall of Fame*

    Context: This was a farewell email sent to the entire Board of Directors and the non profit’s membership/client email list…without the Director’s permission/knowledge. It’s just so…over the top. And also, again, sent to the ENTIRE mailing list.


    It is with uncommonly bittersweet emotion that I let you know today is my last day at [Company]. I have been blessed to love every day of my time here, which is no empty exaggeration and is thanks to the privilege of working with each of you. It is hard for me to believe that I have been with the organization just shy of seven years now, since I was a second-year [redacted] student. The weeks and months have passed at such a rapid clip because I have learned something new from you each day – whether about the arts, the law, [our] clients, or myself.

    Whether we have met at [Company’s] office or at pro bono events, through our [redacted] program or [redacted] mediation and negotiation services, or at a [Company] educational program or volunteer orientation session, it has been a pleasure working with you. While I have enjoyed the wide range of professional experiences I’ve been fortunate to be a part of during my time here, I have particularly cherished my private consultations with you (nearly 800 of them in the past five years!) at our shared home at [Company Address]. As a lover of the arts (particularly music and the visual arts) from as early as I can recall, the level of one-on-one interaction with diversely talented artists and entertainers has been a dream come true.

    So to our clients: Thank you for entrusting [Company’s] staff and volunteers with your legal concerns. We are here to serve you and it is really our privilege. I have not ceased to be amazed by your creativity and integrity, your passion and drive, and your love for your craft.

    To our Board of Directors: Thank you for your direction and devotion.

    And to our volunteers and supporters: [Company] would quite simply not exist without you. Whether you donate to [Company] at any level, attend our workshops or benefits, or assist one client per year (or half a dozen clients per year, as so many of you graciously do), you are the “[Redacted]” [and part of the “[Redacted]”] in “[Company]”. Our clients NEED your services and expertise in order to protect their rights and achieve their goals. And they rely on your genuine interest in helping them address their business and legal needs. (More often than not, they’d rather just be creating art!) So while it may be their vision and their creativity that has laid the foundation for the unparalleled arts and cultural landscape that permeates [Redacted State] and has grown so central to the identity of [Redacted City] in particular, it has been your skills and services that have enabled that for over [Redacted] decades now. If not for your help, [Company] clients might not have had the chance to exhibit their work in [Redacted], [Redacted], or [Redacted]; to act, sing, or dance on [Redacted]; to open their fashion and design studios; to produce their own albums, films, or literary works. Their endeavors would not be pursued as successfully or as carefully – and, often times, they would not be pursued at all. Thank you for helping our clients to attain new personal and professional heights. They are more grateful than you know.

    I feel at peace in the knowledge that I have lived and breathed “all things [Company]” as much as I could during my time here. I have maintained a daily yet modest flush of pride to serve in an important role for a non-profit organization with such a worthwhile mission. I will always be a fervent champion of [Company]. As sad as I am to be moving on, I am very excited for the opportunity that awaits me, and I am eager to keep in touch to learn about those that await you. Please reach out anytime at [personal email redacted] and I hope to see you again soon. I’m glad to report I’ll be remaining nearby.

    Until then, I hope you and yours are faring well in the aftermath of [Redacted] (please be in touch if you are not and if you need anything), and best wishes for a happy holiday season.


    1. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain*

      Wow. That’s an Oscar-worthy speech. I think it needs a John Williams soundtrack.

        1. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain*

          For this masterpiece of Theatre, he must come out of retirement posthaste!

    2. MLB*

      Currently I work for a very small company that was bought by a larger company. Outside of maybe 5 people at the larger company that I’ve interacted with I don’t know anyone at the larger company. Why people, when leaving, feel the need to email the ENTIRE company is beyond me. Unless they’re super high up and well known, it’s unnecessary and obnoxious. I don’t know you, and unless it’s going to affect me personally, I don’t care.

      1. Farewell Email Hall of Fame*

        Yes, that’s bad enough, but this was also to the non profit’s entire external mailing list. So imagine at your company, emailing the entire company, its Board/Shareholders, PLUS every person you had ever done business with and/or had bought your product. The mind boggles.

    3. Kelsi*

      I mean, it’s silly and over the top, but at least it was complimentary to the recipients and company! It could have been WAY worse.

      1. Farewell Email Hall of Fame*

        It was a very small non profit; there were, I think, about 5 full-time employees at that point. So this person’s title was “Director of XX” but everyone who worked there was a Director of whatever. The ED had spoken to this person about writing an email to the clients they worked with most closely — kind of an “I’m leaving; please contact ED in the interim.” When I got *this* I’d-Like-to-Thank-the-Academy email I was so confused and when I realized it went to the entire mailing list, I was like “Holy sh!t… I wonder if ED knew about this.” Turns out she didn’t. heh.

        The other odd thing, which you can see in their email, is that they were real cagey about where they were going. They wouldn’t tell us, just that it was somewhere “nearby.”

        This person was just so…I don’t know how to describe it. Self-important but in a nondescript sort of way. At first I thought they were a normal, nice person; but the longer I worked there I realized they had an unusually high opinion of themselves. A clandestine douchebag. It’s hard to explain, but having the chutzpah to email a multi-paragraph, overly effusive farewell to the full Board and all the clients and members still blows my mind. (This was about 5 years ago.) I can imagine this person working on this email for hours (probably during business hours) to get every word just right.

        When I left I asked the ED if I could email roughly five Board members who sat on the Committee I worked most closely with and it was about three sentences: I’m leaving; thanks for the opportunity; here’s my email if you want to keep in touch. –>

        1. Observer*

          Your description of the person who wrote this rings very true.

          What was the big event that had an “aftermath”? Or was that just him misusing big words that “make me sound important”?

          1. Farewell Email Hall of Fame*

            It was a large natural disaster, the type of which is very uncommon to our area. There are still people and city agencies rebuilding/recovering from it. The other thing about that and the email is that it was sent to literally thousands of people. Maybe people who came to the office once or took one class who knows how many years before that email was sent. And this person is writing “please be in touch if you need anything.” Come on!

    4. Jaydee*

      Wow! And that wasn’t the retirement email from a person who had worked there for decades? It was an email from an employee who had worked there for 6 years and stared as a student (so, I’m assuming a year or two part-time as an intern and then 4-5 years in a professional capacity)?

      Also, this employee espouses a particular love for music and visual arts, but I really think this masterpiece calls for the stage.

    5. CS Rep By Day, Writer By Night*

      This seems really over the top for someone who was only at the company for 7 years. It sounds like the retirement speech of a 40-year veteran.

    6. Traffic_Spiral*

      Wow. I think I need to pull out my lighter and start playing that Vitamin C graduation song.

    7. a*

      No better place to put this farewell letter from our trainer, who fancied himself a great writer and well-loved trainer:

      Dear colleagues and friends,

      {Redacted} once told me that the only reason to retire was when the job was no longer fun. Training is still enjoyable, but I have grown weary of the rest. So I am retiring as of November 30. I did have a great deal of fun along the way, and you are the main reason why. I think there will be some kind of farewell and good riddance celebration to mark the occasion early in 2008, but I know some of you, hell, maybe all of you, will not be able or even want to attend. So I wanted to express my thanks to you all for putting up with me and refraining from pushing pins in a voodoo doll once training was completed. Come to think it, not all of you did finish. Oh, well. Since this is written for only those who remain with {Redacted agency} and were assigned to me for training regardless of time or layers in between, I didn’t want to leave without telling you what marvelous and special people you are, especially to me. Twenty-seven others started with me and have since departed, most by their choice, some by mine. You who are still here have my respect and admiration, and each of you has managed to earn a special place in my heart. I guess that is the hidden cost of being a trainer, that caring about how well you did in training meant I couldn’t help caring about you as individuals. And I still do. I will never forget you, unless I get to the point that I forget everything. Saying goodbye to many of you was hard the first time, and it is no easier the second time around.

      There is little doubt that you are reason why this place still works in spite of everything else that is done to make the job more difficult, sometimes bordering on impossible. You pursue, you persevere, you do it right, most of the time anyway, and you make me so damn proud at times that I nearly burst. We are fed a steady diet about the importance of {Redacted agency} family, but, sadly, I’ve discovered most of it is crap. But being in the {Redacted} section comes about as close to family as any organization gets. Even those who deserted the section to become pointy hair managers are doing great, well, for the most part. And that is something you did on your own. My goal was to start you off, to shore up some parts or to give you something new to think about, sometimes beyond {Redacted job}. From then I could only root for you from the sidelines, and that I did. You had the hard part of finishing the job and you did that incredibly well. Nothing reflects the true meaning of character better than that.

      One of the most touching moments of the last 25 years happened when I went to {Redacted colleague}’s funeral. I was introduced to {Redacted colleague}’s mother as the man who trained her son to do {Redacted job}. She smiled sweetly at me and said that I must have done a very good job. While training {Redacted colleague} was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done, I think maybe I did do a good job with him, and we were all the richer for it. If the measurement of well I have done is based upon what you have become, then I leave you all extremely gratified as well as proud. You have made me look good.

      I leave knowing that our training program is second to none as is the section as a whole. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I must have done something right. I must compliment Command for doing at least one thing with remarkable insight in hiring {Redacted colleague} before I retired so that we could work together for the past four years. I treasure that time, and training is in excellent hands. She, too, is learning what I did, that this position is the greatest job in the world, getting to meet and then to know people like you. I am honored to have been part of that.

      I’m not quite sure what I will do when I no longer wake up to the alarm, except I plan to take the month of December off. I want to write a book about training, and I intend to illustrate my points with real stories. You have provided me with so many, although some might have to be toned down a bit – fingers super glued to counters, exploding ammunition, self inflicted eye wounds, broken canes, something almost unnatural concerning pink sheep, scores of pink flamingos, run over cows, flashy boxer shorts, a cute trooperet on my lap, a pickpocket putting money in rather than out, a trainee from hell, clowns, tattoos, seven swans a’swimming and the characters from the Wizard of Oz coming to life. I will also probably hang out my shingle for {Redacted} work in my desire to keep things honest. If you go to {Redacted} one day and see me at {Redacted}, just wave, smile and start to sweat.

      So, stay well, be happy and keep at it. The road looks a little bumpy ahead, but you can handle it. Thanks again for many years of joy and fulfillment. And please remember what I tried to teach you – the secret to survival in this crazy business is irreverence without disrespect. Life, your career, your important place in this cumbersome and frustrating profession is serious, but never that serious. Bless you all and enjoy whatever is most precious.

      {Redacted trainer}

      1. Mel*

        OMG This reminds me of the rambling unprepared speech the prior president of a volunteer organization I’m in gave. They realized they wouldn’t be reelected and stood down, but it was crazy that they rambled for 5-10 minutes about how they’d personally be fine.

  31. WishIStillHadThatVoicemail*

    This was not a ranty or even inappropriate all-staff communication, but just delightfully odd: At a former job in a large company, someone in IT was testing the new voicemail system that would allow us to listen to our voicemails as files stored in our emails, better facilitating the ability to check messages while away from the office.

    Rather than sending an all-staff voicemail to test the system with a recording of “This is a test” or perhaps pressing a few buttons during the message, the person just said “Booooooop” into the phone and hung up without any context.

    For my remaining years at that job, my coworkers and I would randomly forward that voicemail/email to each other, and even took to signing off our messages with our own vocalized “booooooop”s.

    1. Kelsi*

      Look, sometimes we get bored with testing things!

      Once upon a time, years ago, I was testing a form that let people register for classes at my agency. At first, I was just putting in names like Test Person or Jane Doe or whatever, but that got boring and I had to test a LOT of stuff. So I started putting in slightly sillier things, like Strawberry Shortcake or John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt or MACK THE KNIFE (in all caps because I was literally too lazy to turn caplock off).

      So, the next day, most of the stuff that needed tweaking has been fixed. I need to do a few more tests to make sure everything’s working. Being lazy (again), I just use autocomplete and choose a random name from the list of what I did yesterday, not paying attention that the first name and last name match. It’s just a test, no one’s going to see it but me!

      What I didn’t know was that my boss, thinking I was done testing, had gone in and turned on the setting that means she gets emailed every time someone registers. And so she gets an email saying that someone named “Barney THE KNIFE” has just registered for our training about Child and Infant CPR.


      1. EvilQueenRegina*

        At a temp job I had once, people had added these dummy names to a spreadsheet for training purposes. That spreadsheet got used for a mail merge with the daft names still on there. Some guy rang up the next week asking why he was sent a mail shot addressed to George Clooney.

        1. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain*

          Back when I worked in printing we had real customers from all over the US with either celebrity or well known fictional names. I spoke to these people — they weren’t dummy names. Among my favorites were Leroy Brown (whose email address was badbadleroybrown@emailaddress.com and he had a really good sense of humor about it), Diana Ross, King Kong (not making that up…really) and my all-time favorite Jean Poole; I hope she married into that name and wasn’t named that at birth. I also had a client that was Ramon “From Las Vegas” because that’s how he always introduced himself on the phone. I don’t remember his real last name, but more than a decade later, I remember Ramon From Las Vegas.

            1. Whit in Ohio*

              There is an actual Captain James Kirk in the US Navy. Appropriatly enough, he commands an experimental ship that looks like an Imperial Star Destroyer.

            2. Temporary Anon*

              As a volunteer I processed a political party survey from a Philip Oakey in Sheffield. I’m pretty sure it was actually the man himself.

          1. EvilQueenRegina*

            With the George Clooney mailshot, someone (who hadn’t been in that training) had spotted that name before it went out, but had wondered whether there really was an intended recipient called George Clooney, had asked someone else about it and just been told to send it.

      2. listserv librarian*

        I made a training for a health & safety thing where one of the registrants was Dr. Henry Jones. I really hope, in hindsight, that I signed him up for Wilderness First Aid.

      3. Essess*

        On one of our systems we were writing and testing, my coworker used Iron Chef names for the test users. We opened the system up to a small group of users to test before it went live and told them to use those test user names. One of the people filed an official complaint to our director saying that we should be disciplined for using swear words in our user names. (Katsuya Fukushima)

      4. Anonny*

        He took his wife’s name when he married, it’s not indicative of his skills or temperament!

      5. Kj*

        When being trained on new medical software, we all had to make up clients. My coworkers being who they were, we had a Bruce Wayne, Bojack Horseman and Katniss Everden in our systems for years….. We had fun modifying their diagnoses as well.

        1. umrguy42*

          I’ve done testing of various medical systems as part of my job over the years. One was a multi-patient vitals display, and at various times I’d use TV names, video game character names, etc. (I’d try to stick with the same theme each time.)

          For a different system that I tested multiple versions of, my test executions showed attending, ordering, etc. physicians of Dr. Benjamin F. Pierce, Dr. BJ Hunnicutt, Dr. Sherman T. Potter, and Dr. Charles E. Winchester III in various places being tested…

      6. Former call centre worker*

        I was doing some testing of a new customer records system a few years ago and obviously we were making up customers with silly names (Colonel Mustard, Ronald McDonald, maybe IP Freely etc, but nothing inappropriate for work). However some of the developers or possibly other testers had other ideas as there were some names in there that were considerably more offensive. For example someone had made an account in the name of a celebrity who’d recently been convicted of child molestation offences! The rest of the afternoon was spent going through the database on the lookout for anything in need of deletion

      7. SleepyKitten*

        One of my friends works in an office where the devs are clearly having some fun. One system has the “are you aware you are a cat” meme as a loading screen, and a customer called Dr C. Ats who somehow opens loads of cat pictures if you try to access him.

    2. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain*

      After reading about 300 of these responses, I’ve returned to say that this is one of my favorite so far. It’s just so innocent and happy.


    Where do I submit? I have some emails from 2015-2016 that I saved for a reason. Even though I am no longer at the company, I use it as a reminder that I don’t ever want to go back to a toxic work environment again. I was always the target because I was “admin” and I love to submit them.


        Let me see if I can copy and paste from the PDF and change out the names. I use to be worried about posting them but at this point, I don’t even care! LOL!


        I posted one down further below! I will post more when I get a free moment and I will post them here. I have a raging email about the AC thermostat.

  33. samiratou*

    I wasn’t able to find the actual email, alas, but we had a sales rep many years ago send a middle-of-the-night drunken email to the entire company talking about how awful her boss was and how awful the company was, etc. etc. I wish I could find the email as I remember the language being rather dramatic. I don’t know if she had been fired or was planning to quit or what, but we didn’t hear anything from her after that.

    Except for the recall notices that started arriving around 11am that morning (her team was in a location a couple time zones behind the main office). Sorry, sweetheart, but that ship had well & truly sailed.

    1. Let's Talk About Splett*

      You reminded me of one!

      Background: I worked at a media company in a part of downtown that had tons of the of trendy bars and nightclubs, lots of great happy hour spots a stone’s throw away.

      Our receptionist was right out of Central Casting for a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. While I was working there she turned 21 and on her birthday some people took her out to lunch and then out to Happy Hour. Well, apparently she stayed downtown til bar close and came back to the office to get her stuff.

      I know because she drunk-emailed the whole company (we had a few offices spread across the country, so there were about 200 people on the email that had never met her)from her desk between 2 & 3AM gushing about how it was the bestest 21st birthday ever & thanking everyone for lunch & happy hour.

      The next day her keycard access to the building was changed from 6:00AM – 6:00PM, Monday – Friday.

  34. reply to all fail*

    We received a company wide email about a new HR initiative. One of my colleagues apparently took issue with the icon they chose to include with the email and replied to the whole company with a multi-paragraph tirade about how there’s not much hope for us because using this icon in a communication shows that all we care about is money. I read it over and over and it was priceless – wish I still had it – to this day I’m still not sure why he felt compelled to write an essay about how greedy all 1000 of his colleagues are. Over the use of a graphic that no one even noticed.

  35. Foooooooorkssssss*

    We used to get all office emails asking where all the forks went.

    There were maybe a dozen in the kitchen so they scattered after awhile.

    Instead of going to goodwill and buying more with their company card (within their job duties to get any supplies as needed) they would just send out these obnoxious emails about where they all went.

    1. NapaKat*

      We have 30 ish forks in our department kitchen – which randomly disappear for a week at a time. Then randomly reappear. No mass emails, but certainly the only thing anyone in the kitchen talks about during the week.

      1. Bea*

        I’m now in a lovely spot with endless forks.

        But if folks have take out. Sometimes you toss the fork in there and throw it in the fridge. Then three days later you go “crap…didn’t finish this…oh and a fork!!” so the fork gets put in the washer and leftovers trashed.

      2. Indoor Cat*

        The re-appearing forks reminds me of a funny thing that happened at a church I used to go to. A secretary at the front desk in the lobby got annoyed that people kept walking off with her pens, so she printed a jar label reading: “THOU SHALT NOT STEAL (Exodus 20:15).” The funny part is, not only did it work, it worked too well! People who had walked off with pens from other random places started guiltily leaving them in her pen jar. It literally became so stuffed with pens that people started leaving pens *next* to the jar.

      3. Chinookwind*

        “We have 30 ish forks in our department kitchen – which randomly disappear for a week at a time. Then randomly reappear.”

        Sounds like you were visited by the fork gnomes, close relatives of the cup gnomes that visited the office where I was receptionist. Whenever all our coffee cups went missing, I would be tasked by my boss to send everyone a reminder to search out the various stash sites used by these hoarding creatures. I even added a picture or two of the wee culprits.

        I believe these emails worked in flushing out these gnomes and their stashes as the cups were usually returned within a day or two and don’t go missing for at least 6 months after that.

        1. Celina Knippling*

          My house has been invaded by a fork virus. I currently am looking at a cutlery drawer with five forks, 60 spoons and 60 knives. I obviously know what this means – I’m no fool: my forks are devolving into knives and spoons over time.

          1. Qosanchia*

            I love telling the story of “The Time With No Forks.” At one of the college roommate situations I passed through, we had 4 approximate adults living in a somewhat oversized house. The number of available forks dwindled and dwindled until at one point there were maybe 3 forks left in the kitchen, and we all silently agreed that these were For Company. Fortunately, I had raided my dad’s stock of chopsticks, so we all got really good at using those.

            Until Roommate S’s girlfriend decided to clean his room, and miraculously, all of the missing dishes re-appeared! Mountains of forks! Rivers of plates! I went a little crazy, and I think started using extra forks, just because I could.
            I now know to periodically check with my roommates about things like forks and coffee mugs. Also, still pretty good with chopsticks, which comes in handy.

    2. Amber T*

      Forks always end up in the trash. I don’t remember if there’s been an email about forks, but dear god have I been a part of enough conversations about not throwing out the forks!

    3. JustaTech*

      As someone who nearly got dragged up before the college disciplinary board for sending a (polite) email requesting that forks be returned to the student kitchen, I have a lot of feelings about this.
      (The trouble wasn’t the forks per se, it was that someone in a bad mood decided that I was trying to evade a rule about if an email is sent to more than half the student body it had to be reviewed. The student head of the disciplinary board’s response was to roll their eyes and say “I am talking to you about this.”)

      1. Drew*

        I once sent a somewhat snarky reply to a customer who was once again trying to scam us out of free stuff. Said customer emailed my boss in high dudgeon, and boss said, “Thank you for your note. I will remind Drew of the appropriate tone to use in customer communications.” He then walked over to my desk and said, “Drew, that was the appropriate tone for that customer communication. Good chat.”

        1. Jadelyn*

          There’s a scene in Babylon 5 that’s like that, and it is one of my favorite scenes in that show.

          Capt. John Sheridan: Commander, did you threaten to grab a hold of this man by the collar and throw him out an airlock?
          Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: Yes I did.
          Capt. John Sheridan: I am shocked, shocked and dismayed. I’d remind you that we are short on supplies here. We can’t afford to take perfectly good clothing and throw it out into space. Always take the jacket off first! I’ve told you that before!
          [to Dan Randall]
          Capt. John Sheridan: Sorry, she meant to say stripped naked and thrown out an airlock. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

            1. Drew*

              To: All B5 personnel
              Fm: Ivanova, S (CDR)
              Re: Spoo

              Earlier today, I walked into C&C to find that someone has left a half-eaten bowl of spoo at the Captain’s desk. AGAIN.

              As the Captain is well known to be allergic to spoo, I can only conclude that we have a half-assed mutiny on our hands, if not an assassination attempt.

              You have all been warned about eating and drinking at your posts. I _will_ be conducting surprise inspections of all duty stations over the coming weeks, and anyone found to be in violation of this policy is subject to reprimand, demotion, or reassignment to the pak’ma’ra galley. Don’t test me on this.


              * * *

              To: All B5 personnel
              Fm: Ivanova, S (CDR)
              Re: Spoo

              It was Garibaldi. Never mind.

              1. Jadelyn*

                Aaaand, now my office-mate is looking at me funny because I couldn’t contain an extremely undignified snort of laughter at the end of that.

            2. Jadelyn*

              Suddenly I want a B5 recap or fic or something in the style of the Very Secret Diaries – the LOTR parody that I think initially went up on LJ (want to suddenly feel very old? Those started 15 years ago.) – but with B5 all-staff memos.

    4. Jadelyn*

      When we got low on forks, I’d stop at Walmart or Target and pick up those cheap bundles of forks that are like 5 for a dollar or whatever.

      After the third or fourth time of this in one year, I got on Amazon and ordered the ugliest, most obnoxious bulk silverware set I could find. Fire-engine red plastic handles that looked like a length of plastic rod got cut up without bothering to finish the ends, extremely cheap-looking metal for the functional bits. A year later, they’re all still in the kitchen. Amazing how that works.

      1. Jaid_Diah*

        My parents would be offended by your comments, except their silverware have handles that are a mix of green, pink, blue, and white. And maybe a BIT classier in the detailing. But not by much.

    5. AnIllusion*

      This is clearly a thing in offices. To quote a recent all staff email:
      “…I never believed my mother that her terrible children were throwing away all of the forks. After working here for 2 years though, this now seems plausible. Please avoid throwing away silverware, and if you have any tucked away in your desk, please ensure it finds its way back to the kitchen.”

      1. FD*

        And at home too! My wife and I started with a matched set of four knives, forks, and spoons, and after three years, we had four knives, four spoons, and two forks.

        We figured we’d find them when we moved, but nope, they never re-materialized.

  36. Marty*

    Ummm… at a government-funded institution with nearly 5,000 staff? A “reply all” petition to rally up against the government, requiring the CEO to actually fly back from vacation and do damage control with government officials in-person. Never heard from that lower-level administration staff again…

  37. Persimmons*

    Several years ago at a job on the outskirts of a medium-sized city, I got a multi-department e-mail that was intended to alert staff to “an unexpected visitor”.

    I clicked into the e-mail and saw a rambling paragraph about “unanticipated events” and asking employees to ensure that they were prepared “if she were to return”. It was a pile of formal doublespeak about a vague female visitor, very much like how you’d imagine an uncomfortable great aunt taking to her niece about menstruating.

    There was an attached jpeg, so I wondered if this was a random celebrity sighting or local oddity. It was A FARKING BEAR. A gee-dee BEAR had wandered onto company property, and instead of telling people to go buy pepper spray or roller skates or body armor, they sent a coy Victorian e-mail asking us to pencil wildlife management into our Outlook calendars.

    The best part was the next morning, when our very favorite company Fergus replied all with “So, just to be clear, Bob [the picture taker] got close enough to confirm it was a girl?”

    1. Curious Cat*

      Ha! I, too, was at a company a few years back that got a bear wandering onto the grounds. The poor bear tried to take up home in a large tree. Animal control was called to take the bear safely back to the woods. Many staff emails were sent out about updates on what the bear was doing. It was a riveting work day!

      1. Aunt Vixen*

        On the off chance that neither of these bear stories is about NIH, look for Twitter user @NIH_bear at once.

    2. Quinley*

      Tangentially related: A guy that used to be in our groupchat messaged us one morning saying that a semi-truck carrying about a dozen goats had gotten into an accident (no person or goats injured) near where he worked, and that the back of the truck had tipped over, opening the gates, and letting all the goats out. They were able to round up all but one goat, a ram, who spent the next week just posted up in the parking lot. One day they were just watching the goat roam around the parking lot from their floor, and one of his coworkers goes, “Hey is that ‘Jim’?” and they look to see the safety coordinator, ‘Jim’, trying to lure the goat out of the parking lot, saying “Here goaty goaty goaty.”

      The goat was not feeling it, and proceeded to chase poor Jim around the parking lot for 10 minutes. The guy had sent us a picture of The G.O.A.T., and I wish I’d kept it because it looked like a cursed image.

    3. Jemima Bond*

      I just love the idea of responding to a bear-sighting by strapping on roller skates. There would definitely be Benny Hill music.

  38. Kathleen_A*

    OK, this one is going to sound calm and matter-of-fact, but trust me, the supervisor here is *ticked*. She wrote it in a sudden fit of temper. And yet, I’m not sure why because it’s about the dress code and – here’s the thing – none of the people who got this have flagrantly flouted the dress code, at least not as far as I know.

    Heading: Dress code reminder

    “It has come to my attention that perhaps we are seeing a little too much casual and a lot less business in what we are wearing to work this summer.

    “Let me say that this message is not directed to any one person, so you can stop second-guessing your wardrobe choices over the past couple of weeks. It’s just a reminder for all. We should look presentable when we come into work each morning.

    “Our dress code doesn’t change winter to summer. T-shirts are not acceptable at any time and skirts and dresses need to be of appropriate length.

    “Please just be mindful of the choices you make each day. I would really appreciate not having this conversation ever again.”

    So to summarize, we’re supposed to be mindful, but we’re not supposed to second-guess our wardrobe choices. And it’s not aimed at any one individual – except, presumably, the one who wore a skirt that’s too short or a shirt that looks too, you know, T-shirty. ::sigh::

    1. Whatnottowear*

      I got a great HR email about dress code once, complete with “what not to wear” photos and multiple coloured fonts for each bullet point, letting us know that “business casual does not equate “night club”, “Edgy”, “Bohemian”, “sporty”, “modern hippy”, or “casual”.” Included were instructions to keep our under-garments as “under” garments.

      Note that nowhere was a link included to an actual dress code or policy, as I don’t think a formal code exists.

      We are an office largely of youngish women, in a design industry, so this email got passed along to colleagues in other offices and ended up pretty notorious. That particular HR person was generally toxic and didn’t last long.

        1. Whatnottowear*

          Of the 35 photos with genders (clip art of outfits with no bodies, Chewbacca, a Storm Trooper???) 10 seem to be men, which is probably a decent ratio for this office?
          I wish I could include a screen cap.

    2. Dorothy Zbornak*

      Our summer office wear reminder this summer was “The idea is to be comfortable during the hot summer days, but not look like a contestant on Survivor.” I liked that.

      1. Drew*

        I taught summer school at my alma mater once. They had changed the dress code after my matriculation to feature this gem in the #1 slot: HAIRY ARMPITS SHALL NOT BE EXPOSED.

        It may be the best dress code clause ever: it goes right to the heart of what is not considered appropriate, it is gender neutral, and it invites no arguments over muscle shirts vs. tank tops vs. sleeveless dresses. And I’m pretty sure it was written in one of those hellish faculty meetings where everyone dances around what they’re really trying to say until the one-year-from-retirement-and-fed-up-with-your-nonsense math teacher cuts through the crap and gives them the precise wording they need.

        1. CM*

          That seems kind of sexist to me, though. I don’t mean to be all “not everybody can eat sandwiches” but it sounds like it’s requiring girls to shave in order to be socially acceptable. (Also inviting boys to shave in order to be allowed to wear muscle shirts.)

          1. Jadelyn*

            This. That’s one of those things that looks like a gender-neutral rule out of context, but in a social context where women are expected to shave nearly all body hair, I straight-up read this as saying women who wear sleeveless garments had better shave, which is wayyyy intrusive and body-policing to come from an employer. Just ban sleeveless stuff and be done with it.

            (I really hope there were guys who took advantage of this and shaved their pits en masse and wore muscle shirts until administration got the hint and changed the policy.)

            1. Drew*

              You know, I hadn’t thought about it that way, but you’re both right, although I suspect the problem was hygiene rather than appearance. Thank you for giving me something to consider.

              1. Kaysong*

                I’m a woman and I don’t shave my armpits. No one can tell when I wear sleeveless tops. But, I’m sure I’m just lucky with my genes. The hair is very minimal and blond.

                I don’t shave my legs either but I would never dare wear anything that showed my hairy legs.

          2. OhNo*

            They probably meant it in a sexist way, but if the unintended consequence is that I never have to get way too up close and personal with a dude’s hairy armpit as they lean over me to grab something ever again, I’m still pretty on board.

      2. CM*

        Wait, Survivor is still on?
        I remember getting a dress code memo once reminding us that even though we were business casual, we were more than welcome to wear a suit every day. And that some people were erring more on the side of “casual” but they should keep in mind the first word is “business.” And “business” means “suit” so really, feel free to wear a suit every day. We don’t HAVE to because we are business casual but just so you know, nobody will object if you wear a suit every day so maybe you should just think about wearing a suit every day.

          1. Specialk9*

            I mean, I’m not saying that all the cool kids are wearing suits every day, but I’m not NOT saying that.

  39. Epocene*

    I worked at a University a few years ago, and we had all been experiencing incredibly slow shared drive problems for about a month. Like work stopping-ly slow. The head of IT decided this was because everyone was using desktop spotify. He sent a campus wide email that – among other things – stated that “if we cared more about listening to music than getting our work done” then we could keep spotify installed. This email went out to like 2,000 people.

    Anyway like two weeks later we got an email saying that MAYBE there were some larger server issues at hand and perhaps spotify wasn’t the ONLY issue. Didn’t even apologize haha. That was definitely the talk of the coffee line for a while :)

  40. Existential David Bowie*

    The president of my institution was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and sent a weekly email detailing the entire process, her thoughts, reflections, and progress to the staff, faculty, students, and alumni. I assume it was to assure is that she was handling her duties and reflecting on the seriousness of life and its beauty, but my father was also undergoing extremely rigorous chemo and radiation for stage 3 brain cancer at the same time and I had thought work was the only place I could avoid cancer talk.

    What became worse was from the titles of the emails you couldn’t really predict if it was the president’s essay on life and cancer or if it was an email sent from her account by her assistants on actually runnings of the institution. It was a coin toss. Is it gonna be important info or a feelings bomb? It was reading on eggshells. I had to set up an email filter and start asking around about the emails to coworkers.

    1. Miss Elaine e.*

      Before email was really a thing, we got interoffice memos about a variety of things. My favorite one was a page-long screed about getting screened for colorectal cancer? My 22-year-old self could only think, “W.T.F?”

  41. alice*

    Not an email memo, but my boyfriend’s job recently stopped the free tea and coffee (as well as milk for those who bring their own). One of his coworkers added “No tea, no coffee, no milk – great place to work” to his email signature. This was a month ago. No one has responded to it yet.

    1. LurkNoMore*

      Slightly similar…In order to save money, company had stopped supplying coffee and water service. After about a year of this policy being in place; CEO sends company-wide email stating that they didn’t realize how much this perk meant to the employees and they were going to once again start supplying. One of the employees reply: “Good! Now bring back the company picnic!”

    2. Indie*

      Best bit: “have fun explaining that one to your next employer”!! How could you not? Particularly if they are an employer as opposed to an interviewer!
      But what I really like was how he later admitted it was a bluff in a ‘duh of course’ tone.

  42. Jaybeetee*

    Ah yes, the time The Weekend Supervisor Went Rogue.

    Context: Museum job, I was a weekday employee, this guy was the weekend supervisor. At that point I didn’t work with him often. Dude in his early 20s, rather uptight. He was also a student and in the reserves. A few times a year he had to take time off for military training, and he always came back MORE uptight, and everyone working under him would more or less roll their eyes and clench their teeth until it wore off.

    So, dude goes away to training, comes back, decides that things have gone to hell while he’s been gone (I think he was gone a few weekends in a row). Sends out this big long email to all staff (to their personal emails – I think he had a work email, but the rest of us definitely didn’t) about all the problems he saw when he came back. Things not clean enough (small non-profit museum – staff did the cleaning)! People not coming in early enough (I’m not sure that any of them were actually LATE – I think it was more “a couple people showed up on the dot and That Was Bad”)! Slacking off on tasks! Shirts not tucked in! Mostly fairly minor stuff.

    This was years ago now, around 2011, so I certainly don’t have it anymore, and wish I could really do it justice here. But it was long, and bitchy, and vaguely confrontational and threatening at points (comments like “If such and such changes, then we won’t have a problem. If you have any issues with XYZ, take them up with me.”) But it was all pretty scandalous, because this dude seriously *had no authority to do this*. He did not have management’s backing, he had not spoken to them about anything he’d encountered, he just sent this bitchy email to all staff on his own volition. Bearing in mind that he was a *student* and *part-time* and a *supervisor* (not a manager), not to mention he hadn’t been around for several weeks, he really didn’t have the authority do be doing disciplinary stuff like this on his own. Even worse, most of who he was supervising were themselves students, and young, and inexperienced, so a couple of them were actually freaked out by this.

    Anyway, he sent that missive during the weekend, and during the week us weekday staff had great fun gossiping and being scandalized about it, while our managers ran around like chickens with their heads cut off. I think two them had to go in the next Saturday and sit him down for a “nice friendly chat” about why he should…literally never do anything like that again.

    1. MuseumChick*

      HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I can see this happening. Often part-time staff and volunteers feel and kind of unhealthy ownership over a museum. It’s a phenomena that leads to weird stuff like that.

      1. Jaybeetee*

        Ooooh I could write a book about that place. All the nuttiness of a non-profit combined with all the nuttiness of heritage/museum work, all rolled into one! It was also a fairly new museum, so we definitely had the over-invested “there from the beginning” volunteers too, including The One Who Wanted To Ban Children, The One Who Moved Artifacts Around Without Telling Anybody, and The One Who Gave Three Hour Death March tours. And that’s not getting into the management problems…

        1. Jadelyn*

          We need a Real Housewives of the Museum World or something, based on what I keep hearing about that culture in comments here! That sounds amazing.

          1. Rebecca in Dallas*

            I would love to hear about all the behind-the-scenes museum drama! I love museums but have never worked at one.

            1. Quackeen*

              I would happily contribute to the RHOM scripts, given my years at Hoity Toity Art Museums.

              1. Jennifer Thneed*

                I’m remembering that guy who was “storing” all the museum stuff in his own house…

        2. Specialk9*

          ” we definitely had the over-invested “there from the beginning” volunteers too, including The One Who Wanted To Ban Children, The One Who Moved Artifacts Around Without Telling Anybody, and The One Who Gave Three Hour Death March tours.”

          I need that emoji of laughing till you cry.

    2. Polaris*

      Oh man, if it weren’t for the non-profit thing (and the fact that at our museum only managers had work emails), I would think you were describing the museum where I used to work. This dude fits the description of some of our staff to a T.

  43. CleanTheFridge*

    “Late last week I put a sign on the refrigerator asking everyone to mark or remove any food from the refrigerator by today. Not only did no one remove their rotting food (some of which was leaking from a bunch of Lunds bags), but there was also spilled orange drink from the top shelf to the bottom of the refrigerator.

    If you feel that it is beneath you to clean up after yourself, please at least tell me so I can clean it up promptly. But not today – I am not in the mood.”

    1. anonanonanon*

      “not today – I am not in the mood” is seriously how I want to end all of my emails.

    2. Ms. Mad Scientist*

      We get a lot of angry emails about fridge cleaning. The cleaners used to do it on Wednesday mornings, so nobody could have food in the fridges at all between 5p Tuesday and 1p Wednesday (why?!?! why would you pick that time slot?!). They’ve since moved the time to Wednesday afternoons.

      So we’d get an email every month reminding people no food should be in the fridges from X to Y time. Followed up with another email detailing all the refrigerators that still had food in them, and how the facility director was very angry about this, and we better shape up.

      1. rldk*

        Friday afternoons on a set schedule does wonders. Clean it out for the weekend, no issues with awkward timing. You’d think it wouldn’t be that hard?!

      2. MLB*

        So many fridge wars…I bought my own mini fridge because I was tired of people stealing my food. I think some people just enjoy the drama. Post a note on the fridge that it will be cleaned out at X time every week/month/whatever. The when you clean it out, throw it all away, no exceptions. I guarantee if someone cares that much about their tupperware, they’ll remember to take it out next time.

  44. Jan*

    To the all staff list of a large university department:

    ‘Dear all

    A parcel has arrived at reception for [specific person].


    1. Rob aka Mediancat*

      I suppose maybe this makes sense if [specific person]’s name was misspelled or the package sender was using a nickname — we’ve had that happen at my workplace once or twice, where we’re told to email certain claims to, say, “Debra Jones,” and her name is actually “Deborah Jones” but she’s in the email system as “Debbi.”

  45. Anon for Yogurt*

    From: Director

    Subject: I am uhappy

    Just FYI…I’m back on my high protein, low carb diet, and not getting much to eat…Someone inadvertently took my yogurt today…Now, I’ll make it til I get home, but when the hunger hits, I will not be a happy camper…

    1. Moose*

      Oh my god, this is amazing. I am going to start emailing my entire company when I need caffeine. “Stay out of my way, I might be grumpy…”

      1. Anon for Yogurt*

        To make things more amusing, later that day someone a “lost pet” looking posters with a Chobani on it and texted it around to certain persons.

        1. Anon for Yogurt*

          Someone *made* a lost pet looking poster. Sheesh. The “uhappy” was copied from the email, though.

    2. Master Bean Counter*

      I kinda feel for the person, but was it not possible to just go buy another one somewhere?

    3. Ingray*

      I wouldn’t send an all-office email about it, but if someone took my food I would also be be uhappy, and probably stomp around the office for a few minutes in an outraged and dramatic fashion before finally sucking it up and going to the store for something else. Adults shouldn’t take food that doesn’t belong to them.

      1. Girl friday*

        It would almost be worth it to put five or six Boston Cream Pie yogurts in there with a sign saying, “Please don’t touch.” Feeding the hungry and the passive aggressive at once I say! The sad thing is, if you put a bag of Animal Crackers in there and say to ‘help yourself’ on a note, then you know somebody would just take the whole bag. But it’s worth a try! It’s kind of a dilemma: because you want to feed the hungry, but not encourage the stealing. Such a common problem.

      1. Jadelyn*

        “Not just any yogurt. Full-fat Greek with a touch of honey. That’s a once-a-week treat!”

  46. Ms. Mad Scientist*

    Coworker won an award. The institution giving him the award published a blurb on their website, which mentions Boss and Famous Scientist as co-inventors of Medical Device we work on.

    Coworker forwards blurb to Grandboss and larger research group.

    Grandboss replies all not once, but three times, with passive aggressive remarks about how he should have also been acknowledged as the co-inventor of Medical Device, not Famous Scientist. While Grandboss is correct (and coworker requested the correction), we were still subjected to a lengthy talk from Boss about how Grandboss is Very Sensitive about being in the shadow of Famous Scientist and we need to be very careful when we need to talk to the press.

    So now a (very small) part of my job is managing the feelings of a 50 something year old man.

  47. animaniactoo*

    From the director of HR to all female staff…

    Re: Ladies Room

    Toilet etiquette is all about HYGIENE AND CLEANLINESS.

    Women are the first ones to complain about restroom cleanliness in the workplace. It’s hard to imagine what the home restrooms of your co-workers look like when you see the mess they leave behind in the restroom at work.

    What’s even sadder is when management have to send out emails like this and to put up signs reminiscent of kindergarten, reminding women of basic bathroom etiquette.

    Nobody likes to clean up someone else’s mess and so it make sense for everyone to clean up after themselves throughout the day to maintain a high standard of hygiene and cleanliness.

    Please follow these simple steps and we can all avoid these unwanted notices.

    1) Flush! Flush! Flush! Until your friends are gone….
    2) If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seat. (I’m sure you’ve seen this around)
    3) If you are the cause of a clog, and you KNOW if you are, kindly take it upon yourself to first, attempt to correct it, and secondly, report it!
    4) Wash your hands, that’s where disease comes from.
    5) Sanitary napkins, non-biodegradable tampons should NEVER be flushed down the toilet but be wrapped and disposed of in the sanitary pad disposal bin.

    Note: Copied and pasted verbatim with all formatting and typos included.

    1. reply to all fail*

      OMG. HOLY HELL this is amazing. I have so many things to say. My first thought was “who is really thinking about what their coworkers home bathrooms look like?”

      1. MatKnifeNinja*

        I’ve had a friend who would wonder that, and how clean their coworkers’ kitchens were, especially when the potlucks happened.

        Believe me, there are people who think about both.

      1. Anon for poop content*

        Because some people leave…evidence…of their visit on the seat. Ask me how I know. (Please do not ask me.)

          1. Agatha_31*

            I’ve cleaned my share of women’s bathrooms. They mean in, on, and around the toilet. Some women have severe issues with their delicate heiney touching a public toilet, which okay, I get. But those same women should damn well understand why the rest of us are NOT cool with cleaning up after their lazy heiney when they ‘miss’.

      2. RJ the Newbie*

        Seriously. Now I have visions of Michael Myers, Jason Voorhes and/or Freddie Kruger in the bathroom at work with me. Because I don’t have enough nightmares to deal with on the job.

      3. Ladyphoenix*

        Rules to Survive a Horror Movie:
        1) Don’t have sex
        2) Don’t drink/do drugs
        3) Never say “I’ll be Tight back” because you won’t

        1. fposte*

          Or just pee dribbles. You know when you find pee sprinkles on the seat? That’s usually because the person before you didn’t look behind when they left.

      4. Alli525*

        At my office, the toilets are USUALLY pretty good, but you’ll occasionally see tiny bits of evidence (of my coworkers’ dinners from the day before) lurking around the bottom of the bowl. Or worse, floating.

        I’m sort of desperate to put up a similar sign, and add “Febreeze is provided for a reason. Use it even if you think your sh*t don’t stink, because it does.”

      5. CMart*

        I always double check the toilet bowl after I flush. Is that weird??

        From doing that I’ve discovered in my office that I apparently don’t toss my TP far enough back into the bowl when I’m on auto-pilot. Were I not checking behind me I would be leaving wads just sitting in the toilet bowl to greet the next stall occupant, which seems kind of rude.

      6. BeenThere*

        someone actually left a turd on the edge of the bowl one time in the ladies. No idea how they managed that. All the other women were running around being grossed out. I went in, got some tp, pushed it into the bowl and flushed. Yes, I was grossed out, but why should we wait for the cleaning staff to deal with it??

        What I can’t understand is how women get pee on the floor in front of the toilet?????

    2. DoctorateStrange*

      I’m imagining an over-the-top prim voice when I read this and I am holding back laughter.

    3. Collarbone High*

      “2) If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seat.”

      I mean, if you’re going to send a workplace communication using a stupid, cloying rhyme that’s usually found on bad needlepoint projects, at least get the rhyme right.

    4. anon for this*

      Re: 3) I’ve stopped reporting clogs because the first and last time I did (via the operations e-mail), two seconds later the operations person stands up and says to her coworker (who needs to know) loud enough so the entire floor (who doesn’t need to know) can hear it, “[Name] says the toilet is clogged.”

    5. MLB*

      While the email is hilarious and obnoxious, I’ve often had the same thoughts when using the bathroom at work. People are nasty. In fact, at my last job we had a defecation situation. Someone dropped a turd on the floor. Not in a “I’m about to crap my pants and I almost made it to the toilet but I missed” way though, because it was in the middle of the floor between the stalls and the sinks.

      1. Rebecca in Dallas*

        We’ve had a similar… situation. What’s funny is that it happened on a day that I happened to take the afternoon off. About an hour or so after I left work, 2 different coworkers texted me to tell me about it. At first I laughed but then I worried that people would think I was the phantom pooper!

    6. Pebbles*

      3) The most disgusting email I have ever had to send was after I walked into a stall and had to walk right back out again. It looked like someone had a massive blowout while hovering about a foot off the toilet seat. Splatter was on the wall behind the toilet, on the floor… Oddly enough the person had wiped off the seat itself as though that was all that was needed.

    7. Jaid_Diah*

      G-d bless.

      My building has automatic toilets. Some of them are … not so automatic. I always listen for the flush before I leave.
      We also have paper seat covers. Sometimes, they are not used. *ick*

    8. BananaRama*

      We have the #2 sign at some places at work. It bothers me more that “sweetie” and “seat” don’t rhyme. It should be “be sweet and wipe the seat.”

  48. Rey*

    Thankfully, I haven’t worked anywhere with long rants, but my favorite spiteful emails have been when someone’s supervisor required them to apologize, and the resulting email was a wordy version of “I’m sorry, but it’s your fault, so I’m not sorry and you are still wrong.”

    1. Jadelyn*

      Passive-aggressive non-apologies are an underrated art form in the workplace (less so for like, politicians and public figures where a lot more rides on it). Or just the ability to gently, politely, and professionally call someone out in email with half a dozen other people on the CC line – but because you were so careful about how you said it, they have nothing concrete they can complain about. Plausible deniability is a lovely thing.

    2. Kat in VA*

      Ah, yes. A riff on The Narcissist’s Prayer:

      A Narcissist’s Prayer

      That didn’t happen.
      And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
      And if it was, that’s not a big deal.
      And if it is, that’s not my fault.
      And if it was, I didn’t mean it.
      And if I did…
      You deserved it.

  49. Moose*

    Not a rant exactly, but a related all-staff email story: recently someone in my (very large, multi-national) company accidentally sent an email that was meant for only one person to the “All Company” email list. The message itself was really innocuous, and she immediately responded with a “sorry, please disregard.” Despite this, a bunch of people “replied all” to the initial email with variations of “What is this?” and “I’m sorry, I think you sent this to the wrong person!” It only got worse from there as people from multiple offices and countries chimed in. There were “No one open this, it looks like spam”s and “Hmm, I’m going to forward this to (x person) and see if they can help with this”s. Then there were a bunch of “Please stop replying all”s and “She already said this was a mistake, stop responding to this chain”s (which ironically were making the problem worse). We received these emails all day. Every time a new one showed up, you could hear everyone in our office groaning or laughing or otherwise reacting when they saw it in their inbox. It was chaos. By the end of the day, everyone in the company had gotten like a hundred emails, all because someone accidentally sent an email to the wrong address and for some reason no one read her follow-up explanation. The person who sent the original email must have been mortified.

    1. EvilQueenRegina*

      Something like that happened where I am just this week. Someone had added the secure email users distribution list onto some random email about nursing staff needing to check their rotas for the week. Some of the intended recipients, not having noticed the error, were replying with things like “Looks fine to me” or “Just a slight change”. But lots of people kept on replying all saying things like “Not sure why you sent this to me?”to the point where someone asked everyone to stop replying all. Of course it didn’t work.

      Ever read E, by Matt Beaumont? That has a CEO who can’t understand why his emails are all automatically copying in his counterpart in Helsinki. One day, a rant at the Helsinki man telling him to butt out of their advertising campaign ends up going to every single employee worldwide and lots of people spam him all day with replies. He has the IT department disabling the servers all day before it eventually turns out he’s been doing something wrong every time.

    2. Super Anon Today*

      I think we work for the same company. My email was useless for the rest of the day, I was getting so many of those replies that I didn’t actually get work-related ones for hours.

      The best part (to me, at least) was seeing familiar names ironically replying all telling everyone to stop Replying All.

    3. CMart*

      Is “reply all” the default reply option for your company? I often FORGET to “reply all” to things when I should have, because regular ol’ “reply” is the first option. I just don’t understand how or why these cascading email nightmares happen.

  50. Amber Rose*

    I think I’ve told this story before, but years ago I worked for a company that was doing work for the government. We weren’t government employees, but we managed their mail room and had government emails.

    One day, the email system shit the bed and every email in the building was sent to every local government email address. At first, nobody realized the error, they thought someone had somehow hit reply-all. But then everything started coming through. I had over 200 emails in an hour, most containing information I should not have had.

    That was when the “dear all staff” emails started.

    “Dear staff: please stop hitting reply all.”
    “Nobody is hitting reply all, the email isn’t working.”
    “Stop emailing everyone!”
    “It’s not our fault, IT is working on it!”
    “Stop emailing anything to anyone!”
    “Please take me off your mailing list” (from the people who were clearly not paying attention)
    “Take me off your mailing list IMMEDIATELY” (from the angry people who were not paying attention)
    “This isn’t a mailing list, it’s an email error” (from the people attempting to be helpful and making things worse)
    “For the love of god stop sending emails!” (from the exasperated and probably IT)

    Keep in mind that, if you did hit reply all, everyone got the email twice. None of these emails were, individually, very interesting. It was the fact that, after everyone stopped emailing sensitive things, I still received well over 1000 emails asking everyone to stop emailing that made it one of the funniest work days I’ve ever experience.

    1. Hallowflame*

      I experienced something similar at a previous job, though it was just people not knowing the difference between Reply and Reply-all. An internal marketing email went out to all employees, and a couple of people hit Reply-all to say “take me off this mailing list”
      reply-all:”you can’t get off this mailing list”
      reply-all:”stop using reply-all”
      manager reply-all:”stop replying to this email chain”
      then a few people started sending memes round and IT started screaming, so upper management started threatening disciplinary action for anyone else that relied to the email chain. It was about 2 hours of email chaos.

        1. curly sue*

          I was on two earlier this year and honestly, they’re hysterical. One was the usual ‘ announcememt for small department goes to ALLSTAFF mailing list by accident, chaos ensues’ business. The other was caused by my officemate on an international industry-adjacent mailing list.

          There had been a general ‘here’s what’s up’ email to the list, I can’t remember the exact context – more of a ‘recent news in underwater basketweaving’ thing than anything else, and she replied with a request to be put on the mailing list for more information.

          On the list. That she’d been on for years.

          Total brainfart moment, but it was followed by FOUR DAYS of replies that escalated from many ‘put me on the list too’ and ‘isn’t this the list?’ To ‘is there a second list??’ and ‘why is there a secret second list???’ ‘there is no second list! This is the list!’

          And the moment that began to slow down, then the required run of ‘take me off this list’s began.

          I don’t think anyone’s posted to it since.

      1. Yams*

        I used to work at a place where global hr sent an email to all employees to remember to complete some mandatory training to all employees all over the world, there were tens of thousands all over the world. I imagine you can see where this is going. They didn’t bcc the global lists, so we all began getting the out of the office messages, then people started replying all telling people to knock it off, then people yelling to be taken off the email, which triggered the out of office in a loop that crashed all the computer systems and took over a day to fix. It was a hot mess and hilarious.
        My boss let me go home early that day though so that was nice.

  51. squirreltooth*

    We had two young staffers who constantly complained about bathroom smells, despite the air fresheners provided for everyone’s use. (I don’t know how they functioned in public, to be honest.)

    I have no patience for this sort of thing, so I finally requested the office manager order Poopourri, which was less well known at the time. She was concerned people wouldn’t know how it works and just spray it all over the bathrooms, so she made me send out an all-office email with step by step instructions on how to spray Poopourri into a toilet bowl.

    The complainers never got over their bathroom smells issue (the problem was now that the scent of lemongrass clued everyone in that poop had happened—seriously, come on), but did seem to change the life of a coworker with IBS, so mixed bag here.

      1. squirreltooth*

        It really does! I couldn’t believe when the complainers still wouldn’t shut up about smells…what they really wanted was a magical world where everyone was made out of porcelain and there was no need for bodily functions, ever.

      2. Jadelyn*

        It really does! Our building is old, and when the circulation fans in the bathroom died we were told that they would have to do actual roof and duct work to fix it because of the age and condition of the system – to the tune of like $8,000! Management wasn’t about to pay that just for a bathroom fan. So our facilities manager ordered poopourri and sent around an email asking everyone to please use it until we can get the fan fixed.

        Two days later, I was a convert and ordered some for my home (I love my partner, but…I’m really glad we have two bathrooms in our house, let’s just say that.)

      3. LSP*

        I am such a fan. I am very sensitive to odors, especially those caused by people fogging a room with air fresheners, which only serves to mix with poop-smells. I have taken it upon myself to supply it for my office. It’s worth the expense.

        1. No Green No Haze*

          I never thought I would become this person, but: the homemade kind works just great. Water, alcohol, essential oils, poof! Civilization.

          1. Specialk9*

            Yeah, sweet orange or lemon essential oil is great for this. It’s important to get the oils from somewhere reputable since there are synthetics… But it’s so easy to extract oil from citrus peel that usually they’re safe. You want to be very skeptical of things like melissa flower oil.

            Btw, I have terrible scent allergies, and it bums out my husband, who has tried several options of cologne without luck. We just made an essential oil cologne that is surprisingly perfect: tobacco (sweet and earthy), clove, and sweet orange. I was skeptical on the clove bc not a flavor I like, but it was exactly what was needed. (Essential oils don’t tend to trigger my allergies, though they do for some people.)

    1. Poo-pourri fan*

      Poo-pourri saved my marriage. After eating Mexican food and returning home to a one-bathroom house, we used to flip a coin to determine who got to go first. Now it’s a non-issue.

  52. Bend & Snap*

    We once had an intern who after 5 minutes of employment, sent an ALL CAPS BOLD email in pink comic sans to the entire office.

    DO NOT MICROWAVE FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    IT STINKS UP THE WHOLE OFFICE ALL DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Liane*

      LOL. I think this one might be an exception to the general rule of “Don’t use all caps, &/or comic sans in business emails” because we all know how bad microwaved fish smells.

    2. Specialk9*

      I’m glad I have my knowledge of professional behavior, but I do wish I had her confidence.

  53. animaniactoo*

    From the company president to everyone:

    I noticed the showroom on one is filled with shipments, crates and cartons.
    We had a discussion about this and the showroom was NEVER to have cartons
    placed inside it.

    The area by the stairs to the basement is filled with cartons as well.
    This area was supposed to be a staging area for the showroom and other
    shipments received in.

    All divisions must manage their shipments better.
    We will never have a nice showroom if we continue to make
    it a storeroom. even for a few days.
    Please look at what is stored in the basement and what is in the staging area.
    There is plenty of room if managed correctly. We have the luxury of
    a warehouse in [location] as well.

    Note: Copied and pasted verbatim all formatting and typos included with the exception of obscuring location.

      1. Grumpy Catmin*

        I have gotten poem-emails too from a temp we had:

        “Hi Jane,

        I will be happy to show.
        It is very easy and it will
        be extremely useful to
        me in order to process
        the payables efficiently.”

          1. Anonicat*

            I noticed a freshly cleaned whiteboard at work, so I wrote the refrigerator haiku. The next day someone had written “leave our whiteboard alone !!!!!” So I composed a new haiku:

            Tears of repentance
            Fall like jacaranda blooms.
            My apologies.

  54. Shark Lady*

    An email went out to everyone in my office announcing that we’d be getting new carpets, lighting and desk chairs (hooray!) in “all relevant areas” (…huh?).

    So here we sit now, on our ancient desk chairs, with our scuzzy carpet, in the dark, having discovered we, apparently, are not a relevant area. I guess we are an irrelevant area?

  55. DCGirl*

    I worked one place where the management felt that the dress code was really slipping in the summer. It didn’t help that this was a college with many historic buildings, some of which lacked central air conditioning. So, there was was campus-wide email reminding everyone to dress more appropriately in spite of the weather. The one thing I really remember was that we were all told to use dressing as though we were going to a barbecue where we’d never met the hostess as a guide to how we should dress. Maybe the HR director was going for “smart casual” with that analogy, but we spent days trying to parse that one.

    1. Natalie*

      as though we were going to a barbecue where we’d never met the hostess

      I don’t think I’ve ever worn anything but jeans/tee or a sundress to a barbecue. That would be an a plus company dress code IMO, but I doubt that’s what she was thinking!

      1. Alli525*

        Seriously. It’s a barbeque? I’m wearing shorts, and a tank top – the only thing that varies depending on how well I know the host* is how ratty my outfit is.

        *I also enjoy the casual sexism of a BBQ hostESS.

    2. SusanIvanova*

      Well, for one then-new (and now very former) co-worker’s family, “going to a barbecue” was their best snazzy western cowboy shirts (satin, fringe, that sort of thing), crisp new jeans, and big belt buckles.

      What the co-worker had told *us* was “barbecue with a summer garden party theme”. Floaty dresses, summer suits.

      This was also her “wedding reception”, although the wedding had happened just before we hired her, a couple of months earlier.

      I am absolutely convinced that she did that on purpose to make her rural family feel out of place next to her more upscale co-workers. We did not appreciate it and it just made her look bad to us.

  56. Cruciatus*

    Some guy resigned his library position yesterday by emailing it to the library listserv that is sent to every library employee at every campus within the university system. He wasn’t from my campus but a lot of people were discussing what that was about! It was short and sweet too, just “I hereby resign my position as X”. One person replied all later saying “Nooooo!” He had been there 7 years. I have so many questions.

    1. Jenny*

      I bet this is the same person who then posted it to a large social media library group. In the comments, there is a thread about how he feels HR screwed them by not informing him of the resignation process. Judging on previous posts by this person, they don’t have a good sense of workplace formalities.

    2. There is a Life Outside the Library*

      The strangest part of that email was that it was uncharacteristically short and to the point. Very unlike him. I actually thought about putting one of his other emails in this thread! Haha!

        1. There is a Life Outside the Library*

          Yeah, this is the same person I wrote about below who shared a whole story with the listserv about being in his undies or something when his neighbor started a fire. Nice to “meet” you, too, although I thankfully no longer work there!

          1. Cruciatus*

            I was wondering if you still worked there based on your other post with the “opportunities” since that still happens here. I had never seen those before working in this position. I don’t want to vote for your kid’s recipe in the online contest!

            1. Temporarily anon*

              I was so confused about those when I started. How is that an “opportunity?” I know and like the person with who posted the kid’s recipe contest, but I confess that I did not vote.

              I’m hoping that this kind of thing will increasingly move to Slack.

    3. Temporarily anon*

      Oh, hey, we work in the same place! I was coming here to post this, too. I, too, don’t know the resigning employee, but it was very strange.

      1. Cruciatus*

        Hello! Perhaps we should reply all to his email and let everyone know he is Ask A Manager famous?

  57. lnelson1218*

    Not so much a company email, rather a post-it as a reminder to self (being an entitled, dim-witted intern)

    “Paddy Cash” get

  58. EvilQueenRegina*

    I once worked somewhere where this guy who’d been temping in Facilities sent round a mass goodbye email…containing lots of old baby photos of himself.

    The best part of it was that most of my team had never actually met that guy. We were all still on the mailing list for that particular building he worked in despite the fact that we’d vacated that office (it had been our main office once and we had three satellites, and the whole team had moved in together to one of the satellite offices about two years previously. Despite this, all the people who’d been hired to the satellites and never based in that building, or who’d been hired after the big move, got added to that list anyway and used to get lots of rants about things like the state of the kitchen.)

    1. RabbitRabbit*

      My department has its own email list that gets updated every time staff gets changed out. (This is often, considering the heavy turnover in one of the divisions.)

      I had asked the current and the former administrative assistant if we could have a special list as well for just the half of the department that is in our building. The other half does not need our kitchen cleaning reminder e-mails and the like. This hasn’t happened.

      1. Specialk9*

        You have to be totally into someone, and likely considering babies with them, to really get into baby pictures. And I love babies!

    2. Pebbles*

      We had a work ice breaker thing where various baby photos were displayed and we were supposed to guess which coworker they were.

  59. WindyLindy*

    A few months ago, the head of Legal sent out an organization-wide e-mail telling us that an employee of five years was about to “make a career shit” and leave our organization. Freudian slip, much?

    1. SarahKay*

      A few months back someone here had a similar issue. In this case he was sending out a site email with a communication for people on shift…sadly, the subject email actually read “Employee briefing for Shit staff”.
      Worse, because it was only meant for those on shift, it went to a select subset of about ten people on a site of 150 or so.

        1. SarahKay*

          LOL! Maybe they’ve just decided to be brutally honest about the work, this person is going to do ;)

    2. TheTallestOneEver*

      LOL! When spell check won’t save you ’cause the word is spelled right, you just chose the wrong word.

      In an effort to be helpful, once on the Friday afternoon before a daylight savings time change, our director sent out a message to our entire department reminding us to “set your cocks back.” I’m not sure which poor soul contacted him to let him know about the error. A few minutes later, we all received another email with a single sentence: “That was supposed to say ‘clocks’.”

  60. Hallowflame*

    Disgruntled accounting clerk at a Fortune 500 sent this as a company-wide email, and was promptly asked to leave the building:
    “To whom it may concern:

    For personal reasons, at the end of day on 01/13/2016 I will be separating from Company Name.
    I appreciate the opportunity but I can’t say the same for the experience.
    Company Name as an institution is financially strong and sound, but at the expense of the employees work life balance.

    Never have I worked for an institution that demands mandatory overtime and in some departments it resonances that of a correctional facility or a sweatshop environment.

    Telling an employee when and what time they can leave for the day gives it that special touch, and overwhelming them with a workload due to the lack of personnel has made some new and existing employees run for the door and never look back.

    It’s not all that bad, some gestures that Company Name have shown towards the employees are nice but that still doesn’t offset the damage/impact that some have done to the employee’s morale.

    There are consulting firms that help corporations in dealing with the employees concerns, whether it’s for compensation, personal time or just the overall employee’s state of mind and it has helped employees and corporations become more efficient and profitable.

    It is an investment that has a guaranteed winning return. Sometimes, corporations tend to disconnect from what’s important and a little reminder is warranted:
    “A corporation’s most important asset besides their customers it’s their employees.”

    Having said that I wish all of you good luck. ”

    While this guy handled the situation in almost the worst way possible, he happened to have a point about what a crappy place Company Name was to work for. This email made for a very entertaining couple of hours in the office before IT scrubbed it from the servers!

    1. LadyCop*

      I honestly don’t know if he was justified, and in a salaried/exempt position I can see frustration with “telling an employee when and what time (redundant?) they can leave for the day”but that is something -a lot- of normal working people have as an expectation…so it’s hardly a “correctional facility or sweatshop environment” to do so…

  61. DivorcePartay*

    This is probably going to pale in comparison to what winds up being posted, but after starting a brand new job at the end of 2014, I had to “donate” to a gift card for the newly married department director. Okay, whatever, fine. But two months later, everyone got an Outlook meeting invite as follows (I’ll try to figure out how to link to a screenshot later):

    Subject: Divorce Party
    Location: Postinos
    When: Monday, February 23, 2015

    Remember that crazy marriage I got into and everyone gave me a huge gift card from Postino’s as a present? Well, Monday February 23, 2015 is your lucky day! That will be the day I am officially divorced which is to be celebrated! Since I never used the card I want to give it back! Please join me at Postinos so you can help me close one Cliff Notes chapter and open a new novel!

    Please respond either way so I can secure a big enough table.

    Thanks for being so supportive during my “what the heck did I get myself into period”. :)

    **Side note, she cancelled that event two days before hand and vanished from the office for a few days. I never found out what happened.

    1. Kate R*

      Aww, I’m sad about the update because I thought it was a great way to “give back the gift” so to speak.

      1. DivorcePartay*

        Yeah – it turns out she was a fairly kind person, but off the charts in terms of flakiness (based on other incidents).

      1. DivorcePartay*

        I have it saved as a jpg or something but (I’m embarrassed to admit) I don’t know how to get it from my computer to the internet to generate a URL to link to. :( Google was like “oh no problem just do an image search for what you want and then copy the link address!” – gee thanks Google.

  62. Blah Blah Blah*

    Titled “Eating at your desk” from CFO/Owner of a company. The context here that is important is that it was only sent to female staff…plenty of male staff also had desks. And it was sent to all female staff, no matter what building or department they were in so it wasn’t just department either. Just female staff. This was widely speculated to be retaliatory against a woman who was pumping. She was written up for pumping past a year, and told that the company had been generous since she was exempt, to even allow it in the first place. Never mind she had to do it in a dingy office and be constantly harassed about how gross she was (I didn’t harass her, others did). It was brutal. But she was always hungry from the pumping, but she was by no means the only one eating at her desk. And she still did her job, fabulously. And she ate granola bars or a banana, not microwaved fish. On top of that, she was told as exempt she wasn’t allowed breaks anyway.

    “I am asking that everyone wanting to eat lunch or something at break, at the office, do so in the kitchens or in break room, not at your desk. Thank you for your cooperation.”

    1. jb*

      “she was told as exempt she wasn’t allowed breaks anyway.”

      That’s not how it works! That’s not how any of this works!

        1. SoCalHR*

          yup – “FLSA to require employers to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.”

          but I’m still appalled by this company

        2. LadyCop*

          I had a co-worker at a job who would go pump…but then disappear for hours on end…she was doing a lot more than pumping. Without a supervisor who cared, the rest of us just had to pick up the slack. Not saying time limits should happen for actual pumping…just that it’s not the craziest thing ever

          1. BeenThere*

            We have nice rooms set aside for nursing mothers to pump. A few women “of a certain age” who likely are NOT pumping found out and started reserving the rooms so they could take naps. Which essentially locked out the nursing moms who needed the rooms and for whom they were intended….

      1. fposte*

        It sucks, but it absolutely can be how it works. You can forbid your exempt employees breaks and there’s no legal protection for them to pump.

    2. Bea*

      Omfg I’m glad she got out of there. I wish all the women and any man worth a damn left that hellhole.

    3. HR Reader*

      Is there an actual email distribution with only female employees, or did the CEO actually type in the names of every female? At first I was thinking this must be a small company but you reference different buildings so now I am curious…

      1. Blah Blah Blah*

        Small company with three small buildings right on same lot. He typed them in himself, there’s no savy tech there. Plus, can you imagine one entitled “Women only emails.” I mean, it would have fit there but still.

  63. Publishing peon*

    I was working at a major New York publisher when JFK Jr. died in a plane crash. Somehow one employee not only thought it was appropriate to email a coworker a crass list of jokes about the death, but then accidentally sent it to the entire company…

  64. BRR*

    Our HR/Operations manager was mad the sink was clogged and sent a picture of the clog while reminding people to not dump things down the drain.

  65. I didn't post this*

    Mine’s a little hard to explain… and it was posted to the company intranet site, so a little different than an email. But I’ll give it a go…

    History: My company had recently gone through a bankruptcy and was purchased by MegaCorp. Then MegaCorp acquired several other companies and the operations I worked for were treated as the red-headed stepchild of the new company. Entire divisions were being laid off, locations were being closed down, it was truly a horrible time to work at this company.

    Backstory : This is the that I heard that inspired one employee to write a little story and post to our internal company website. IIRC, it was posted on the front page, complete with images
    Some guy named Fergus (in IT) wrote this after a meeting the other day where they were talking about how bad morale was getting, especially after they laid off the hardware development people – someone joked that the LocationA people were so down and out that they didn’t even have it in them to get up from their desks to use the restrooms and were relieving themselves at their desks. After this was said Peppy Penelope piped up in this perky voice and said something like – “I don’t know what’s wrong with everyone . . . I just found a box turtle in my yard this morning and it put me in such a good mood . . .”
    Start of text from webpage:

    Site Caption: MegaCorp Red-headed Stepchild (RHS) Division Turtle Initiative: Despite having jobs that are no longer eligible for MegaCorp bonus plans, and having most of their remaining dignity stripped away, we believe that most of our MegaCorp Red-headed Stepchild (RHS)
    employees still can make it to the bathroom before befouling themselves,
    and will remain as dedicated and hard-working as ever. How? Read about the
    revolutionary plan to introduce cute small turtles in the offices to raise
    morale at

    Turtles 2002 – Tell Me a Turtle Story

    Turtles 2002 is a new initiative that has been developed to increase the motivation level of our RHS employees in locationA, locationB, locationC, locationD, and various other locations.
    The idea was first tested on remote employee Peppy Penelope in Springfield, USA. A MegaCorp-trained box turtle (Terrapene carolina) named Rico was surreptitiously released into her backyard by MegaCorp Personnel Field Operative HR Harry. Shortly after, as Peppy Penelope relates, “I heard the dogs barking and carrying on in the yard, so I came out to see what the ruckus was…” The turtle warmed her heart immediately, inducing an upswing in her body’s production of endorphins and increasing her productivity by at least 36.5 percent.

    RHS Personnel Manager HR Harry took time out from his busy, grueling, hard-working schedule to chat with us about Turtle2000. “Well, I’m not sure of all the details, but I can tell you we plan to roll out the Turtles into the LocationA offices and the NOC in LocationB. ‘NOC’ — I like that acronym. Don’t you like it too? Did you know an acronym is like a word that’s made from the initials of other words? I don’t know what words were used for ‘NOC,’ but I like how it sounds. NOC-NOC… NIC-NOC…”

    We were able to get more specific information from HR Harry, MegaCorp Personnel Field Operations Director. “Once the test on Peppy Penelope proved successful, we sent orders to dispatch twelve box turtles from the the training camp in Budd Lake, New Jersey, to the NOC, and another twelve to LocationA. We are sending them FedEx Overnight (in a ReptilePak, of course, for their safety) so they should be deployed by June 12th at the latest. Endorphins should be pumping wildly out there in short order.”

    The turtles are being deployed to combat severe employee discontent recently found at the RHS sites. When asked about the issue, RHS Personnel Manager HR Harry replied, “I don’t have that answer right now, but if you leave me your email address or some other contact information I’ll be sure to have someone get back to you.”
    A source at the LocationA (who requested that his identity not be revealed) related that “People here are so bummed out that they can’t even summon the energy to get up to visit the rest room.”

    “We don’t understand why it happened, but we know it has happened, and we care deeply for our employees here at MegaCorp, so we had to do something, and quick,” said HR Harry, Personnel Manager for the North American Region. He is excited by the use of turtles in resolving employee issues of all kinds. “We recently used a rather large, highly specialized turtle operative in resolving some outstanding issues with the Hardware Development group; it’s nice to see we can bring the little fellas into this other situation.”

      1. I didn't post this*

        The epic part is that it remained up on the website for over a week, nobody noticed (see morale issues and apathy).

        I think he did get fired for this, but truthfully the rumors (which ended up to be true) about LocationA closing were already circulating. He wouldn’t have had a job in 6 months time regardless.

        I wish I would have screen captured or copied the page, because it was glorious.