the poodle in a stroller, the music file, and other email signatures gone wild

Last week I asked about the funniest/weirdest/most inappropriate email signatures you’ve seen. Here are some of the highlights you shared.

1. The nice day

I know a woman who is known for being kind of blunt/curt in her emails. I think she was spoken to about it, because she added a “have a nice day” line to her signature. The funny thing is that, combined with her blunt writing style, the “have a nice day” just comes off as sarcastic: “You forgot to attach the new cover sheet to the TPS report. Did you not read the memo? Have a nice day!”

2. The sports fan

I sent an email to the CEO of an independent (meaning, not part of one of the major professional leagues) team, in connection with my job. I got back a one-line reply of actual communication. Followed by…

“All the Best,” in larger font; next line, the CEO’s name (Dr. [firstname], which is apparently how he’s known) in larger and blue font, below that, the team’s logo; below that, his full name, title, the Club’s name, his email address and phone number (in a mix of fonts, italicizations, colors, sizes, and capitalizations); and then, a line saying, “Please listen to my ‘Walk Up’ song…”

There was a 1MB file attached. It was a clip of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” starting with the “you think you got the best of me” line. After about five seconds, an announcer’s voice came over the top, announcing, “Giving his all for [team] Nation, the Chairman, CEO, President and Owner of your [team], [NAAAAAAME]!” Ending just in time for the chorus of the song.

3. The day you deserve

A valued coworker uses (in their email signature): “Have the day that you deserve!” They somehow pull off a universally cheerful and helpful office and email presence that makes it feel more like a good wish that you become a person worthy of having a great day than the curse it has to be.

4. The cat box

A new cat meme is in this woman’s signature every single day, but not good memes. One around Christmas featured Grumpy Cat saying “Your gift is in the litter box.” She sends emails daily to various external clients.

5. The glitter fairy

I work at a Fortune 500 company that has mandatory email signature requirements (down to font and specific colors for specific lines). For some reason one of the department managers felt it was necessary to include a picture of a glittery fairy — complete with animated sparkles — that she changed to a new/different color every two weeks.

6. The gifted and talented administrator

I got a job working for a local council’s education department in a team of admin assistants. I had no experience or professional knowledge of the sector. One of my new colleagues had the email signature “gifted and talented administrator.” I was a little taken aback by her praising herself in her own email signature. It was weeks before I realised she was the administrator for a program for high-achieving students, which I had never heard of, called Gifted and Talented.

7. The poodle

The lady who did payroll at our large, international corporation used magenta Comic Sans and a professionally staged photo of her poodle in a stroller.

8. The standards enforcement

Purple, comic sans, size 14, with stars and swirls … from the person in charge of making sure all of our client deliverables are formatted according to the standard business templates. Really made one question her judgement.

9. The evangelist

Our IT guy (now retired) used have his signature formatted thus:

James Smith
Christian, Director of IT

…as if “Christian” was part of his job title.

10. The un-self-aware

I once was CC’ed on an email ranting about another staff member, who’d made one small, fixable mistake. The email ended with, “Cross me once and you’re out of my life. I will not work with her.”

The email signature was, “Be kind to others, bring peace wherever you go, and love always.”

11. The self-important politician

In the email signature of someone very full of himself (a former politician): “Unless we have a CONFIRMED meeting time on MY calendar and unless I’ve ALSO given you separate WRITTEN confirmation at least one day before that I’ll be attending, I will likely NOT be present for said arranged meeting.”

12. The departure

An employee who I replaced at a previous job had set her email to forward to the group inbox when she left, and had also set up an autoreply explaining that she was no longer with the company and that the email was being forwarded to the team. The signature line read “Onwards and DEFINITELY upwards,” and I still giggle over it.

13. The intern

We had an intern with the following quote in his signature, in the font Impact: “We Be Ballin’. Don’t Let Nobody Tell You Otherwise!” Immediately following this, he attributed the quote to himself and added a year. The year was the year he was born.

14. Excelsior

One of execs has “Excelsior!” in his email signature, which he forgot to remove in his email announcing layoffs.

15.  The charming Anatole

This one’s just charming, but a contact from a non-Anglophone country has a default English language sign-off that is slightly archaic and almost conventional (think “I remain / Yours very truly / Anatole”). But he’s missed a bit, so what we receive is the following:

I remain,

And it’s delightful.

16. The mortification

This was me… a decade+ ago. First full time job, really. With a pretty prestigious government agency. Very young. Oh so young. I worked in one department for several months, where I only emailed with friends or individuals for one-off communications. I created rotating email signatures that I liked or thought were funny – from Gloria Steinem to Grouch Marx. I was promoted to another department where my responsibilities included all-staff emails (which included VERY VERY IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT PEOPLE). I failed to remove the quotes my first week. I open an email. Address it. Signature automatically populates. As it does. I get distracted. And hear that “whoosh.”

I sent EVERYONE an email that said “I never forget a face, but I your case I’ll make an exception. – Groucho Marx” Nothing else. That was the entire body of the email.

After my heart found its way back into my chest from my stomach (I have no idea how long it was). I replied all (which really, just called MORE attention to the email) and went very overboard in my apology. I had the head of IT come show me how to recall emails shortly after that, and heard many a story from so many people about more embarrassing email mishaps. In the end, I definitely entertained more people than I insulted. (Hopefully?) First week on the job and I insulted everyone’s face. I actually ended up really loving that job and everyone I worked with and I think I was very successful. Fun start though.

{ 367 comments… read them below }

  1. Warrior Princess Xena*

    I totally missed the ‘gifted and talented’ one! That one could probably have been phrased a little better.

    1. Kes*

      Yeah I missed that one, but it’s pretty great, both because who calls themself gifted and talented (in their email signature) and then the realization that this is actually the program title. That’s pretty great.

    2. seaside*

      Nah, that’s very standard lingo that pretty much anyone in education would be expected to recognize.

      1. Not teenage but still ninja turtle*

        I’ve typically seen “Talented and Gifted”, commonly shortened to TAG, but I agree. My schools always called the program Target, but I think that has faded out.

        1. The Ghost of Madeleine Wool*

          Or the G & T administrator if you used initials for this one. I could most definitely do that job.

          1. naaaaaames*

            This just looks like the gin and tonic administrator.

            Which, to be fair, sounds like a cool job

            1. The Ghost of Madeleine Wool*

              What I was thinking of! G & T admin with responsibility for I & S (ice and a slice)

        2. Lydia*

          When I was in school, we called it GATE (Gifted & Talented Education).

          There was a Twitter meme about going as a former gifted child for Halloween and when people ask them what they’re supposed to be, answering, “So many things” and I legit feel that in my soul.

          1. goddessoftransitory*

            God, yes. I still remember an old Peanuts cartoon where Linus comes home in a panic about not making honor roll and all the pressure he’s under about having a “great potential.” In the last panel he yells “THERE’S NO GREATER CURSE THAN HAVING GREAT POTENTIAL!”

            Even as a kid I related and do even more now.

        3. JSPA*

          Gifted and Talented in CA, ID, NV, NY, OK, NJ…
          Talented and Gifted OR, TX, VA, IA…

          both: MA (pre-college mostly GAT, Umass TAG?)

          1. WhatFloatsYourGoats*

            It was Gifted and Talented or GT in west Texas actually. At least a few decades back when I joined. Geez I think I might be old…

          2. Sir Nose d'Voidoffunk*

            I grew up in VA and attended a gifted program called PLATO – Pupils Learning Appropriately Together. I’m sure there’s some useful information that those brain cells could have been devoted to, but here we are.

        4. Gato Blanco*

          I’ve seen GATE at a few schools “Gifted and Talented Education”. TAG or GATE Administrator definitely sounds better!

        5. Fishsticks*

          My child is in the gifted & talented class at her school, but it’s called Challenge, and they don’t really phrase it as being “gifted” but just “needing extra challenges to stay engaged in education” or something like that. So my 8 year old is learning algebra and comes home talking about microclimates a lot.

      2. Former call centre worker*

        I’m the commenter who submitted that story and yes, it would have been recognisable to someone with experience in the sector (as mentioned I was new to it). I should add, though, that it wasn’t presented in the way that job titles in email signatures usually are, like “John Smith, Gifted and Talented Administrator, Education Department, County Council, ext 1234”. It was literally like “jane jones, gifted and talented administrator”, end.

        1. Former call centre worker*

          By the way the colleague in question was very good at her job and a lovely person, so if she did want to refer to herself somewhere other than her email signature as gifted and talented at her job I wouldn’t disagree!

      3. Gifted and Talented*

        Yup, and if you were part of one of those problems you are officially “Gifted and Talented” in the back of your head for the rest of your life :)

      4. Rhiannon*

        The lingo isn’t the problem. What is the problem is the use of lower case first letters for the two words.

        1. starsaphire*

          Ten bucks says it used to read “GATE Administrator” and someone reprimanded her and told her to spell it out. Or some parent wondered why they had an administrator just for opening and closing gates. ;)

          1. TomatoSoup*

            Not all places use the GATE acronym. I don’t think I’d ever seen it before today. I am not in education but I was in an gifted and talented program and have talked about it with other people who were as well.

            FWIW, I wish the program could be called something else that doesn’t describe the academic strengths as innate. The name (and how people talked about those of us in it) often gave us the mistaken ideas that: (1) we were intrinsically smarter than other peers and would always be so (2) because our strengths were innate, we would never have to work as hard at things as our peers in order to keep up. I know many people who carried those ideas with them until they suddenly hit something that would require work and study skills we’d never developed and that there are a wide variety of intelligences that people can have, all of them valuable.

        2. Charlotte Lucas*

          Plain language! If you’re emailing people outside the school, it can be confusing. (Internally, it’s fine if everyone knows what it means.)

      1. WishIWasATimeTraveller*

        That’s what I was going to suggest, and I love your username! CL gets a bad rap, but she was pretty sensible and could have done a lot worse.

    3. HailRobonia*

      Reminds me of the Toronto Hospital for Sick Kids. No weaseling around with “childhood illness” they are to the point: we take care of sick kids.

        1. Seeking Second Childhood*

          Eh, a kid in a car crash would go to the hospital right?
          Injured =/= sick.
          That quibble aside, I like the name because some of their patients will be very young. “Sick kids” is easier than “pediatric illnesses” to write in a back to school report “what I did on summer vacation.”

      1. Fran*

        Yep, official name is Hospital for Sick Children but it is known as SickKids. (I work in a related area). Love how to the point it is

    4. Northbayteky*

      There’s a “Gifted and Talented Education” department in my local school district. They refer it it as the GATE program.

      1. Lydia*

        That’s what we called it in the 80s in CA. I didn’t hear it referred to as TAG until I was an adult and living in a different state.

    5. Artemesia*

      having been immersed in educational bureaucracy that would not even have raised an eyebrow — but it is hilarious if it isn’t part of your milieu

  2. Coco*

    A vendor I email frequently had in his email signature “Cheers to 2016!”. Presumably he added this around the new year in 2016, but he never changed it! So here we are many years later and it’s still “Cheers to 2016!”

    1. Hadespuppy*

      I have a tshirt that just says in large font across the chest, “2016 Sucked”. It gets funnier every year.

        1. ArcticFoxy*

          My current favorite t-shirt has an old school video game menu with the following:

          Select difficulty level:
          – easy
          – medium
          – hard
          – 2020

          It usually gets some laughs.

      1. Anat*

        My daughter got a birthday t-shirt from a relative. It said “Awesome since 2008”.

        She was born in 2007.

        Awesome since 2008, but that first year? Not so much. Well, she WAS an extremely loud baby…

      2. My Cabbages!*

        I still maintain that 2016 and the subsequent years proves my theory that David Bowie was, in fact, the lynchpin of reality, and when he died it caused the whole thing to spiral out of control.

        I have yet to see any contradictory evidence.

        1. Good Enough For Government Work*

          My submission for lynchpin of reality is Terry Pratchett.

          Ever since he died, nobody’s been able to write Death properly, and the entire narrative has been WHACKED.

        2. rebelwithmouseyhair*

          My Cabbages! <3

          The way I put it is "I'm not saying that David Bowie held the fabric of the entire universe together but-" (looks round at everything)
          There is no contradictory evidence.

        3. Here for the Insurance*

          I see your David Bowie and raise you the Cubs winning the World Series.

          I love the Cubbies but some things are so not meant to be that they f up everything else.

      3. TomatoSoup*

        Agreed. I have no shirt but I do have a playlist of all the songs I listened to trying to get through 2016 and it is titled “2016 tried to kill me”. It quite literally did. I made it to 2017 and beyond more or less by fluke. I’m totally fine now.

    2. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

      Ah…Early 2016, we were so optimistic, and naive. If only we had known…

      1. Empress Matilda*

        I still maintain that David Bowie was holding together the fabric of the universe, because everything went to shit after he died.

        1. My Cabbages!*

          Haha!! I didn’t even see this comment when I posted above–this has been my long-standing theory as well.

        2. Heffalump*

          Maybe it was the death of Otis Redding (1967) or James Brown (2006), but it took a while to kick in.

    3. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      To be fair, that’s still an accurate signature. Everything fell apart after 2016 and then just continued falling apart in various new ways…

    4. JB*

      I’ve seen signatures that have the Christmas period closing and back to work dates, in emails sent in June/July.

  3. Observer*

    James Smith
    Christian, Director of IT

    …as if “Christian” was part of his job title.

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s hysterical that one of the “related” links is for the question about someone who has a proselytizing signature?

    1. Warrior Princess Xena*

      Pretty sure we got this open question right after the ‘proselytizing signature’ question, so I’m sure there was inspiration on both ends.

    2. Phony Genius*

      I read it as if Christian was his last name, as if his name was broken into two lines to accommodate his middle name.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        If I were skimming, I’d probably assume Christian was the name he went by, rather than his religion. Because I expect to see one of those in an email signature, and the other I really don’t.

        1. La Triviata*

          Years ago, when mail merge was new and exciting (but still had some bugs), someone sent out a bulk personalized letter. One, to a Church of Christ, started off, “Dear Mr. Christ …”

          1. Francie Foxglove*

            I went to school with a Christine Lord. Her brother was Byron. Yes, their parents chose those names so they would show up on last-name-first forms as Lord Christ and Lord Byron.

            1. Manders*

              I had a friend with the last name Clark, and she seriously considered Kent as her baby’s first name, for exactly that reason.

          2. Worldwalker*

            At Penn State’s Hybrid Computer Lab, decades ago, there was one such bulk letter hung up on the bulletin board for giggles. It started out “Dear Mr. Lab….”

    3. Khatul Madame*

      At least he did not call himself Evangelist or Visionary, like so many people on LinkedIn.
      I have even seen a Visioneer (eyeroll)

  4. Certaintroublemaker*

    I LOLed at “Be kind to others, bring peace wherever you go, and love always.” Yikes!

    1. Kes*

      Yeah that one is hilarious. The contrast of the message and the signature… just amazing lack of self-awareness

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        Reminds me of an old The Neighborhood cartoon where a woman with “Peace Begins With Me” bumper sticker is throwing her shoe at another car and yelling. The caption is “Connie is a mass of contradictions.”

    2. Bookmark*

      This one reminds me of a quote someone I know loves to repeat: “take less offense, give less offense” Which is a fine sentiment I guess as a personal goal, but this person seems to interpret this mostly as a command to others, i.e. “don’t take offense at what I say, and don’t say/do things that offend me.”

    3. SheLooksFamiliar*

      Just imagine how this person would have responded had their philosophy not been so gentle and kind.

    1. Corrigan*

      This. I almost want to add this to my signature because I know people who certainly deserve a certain kind of day.

    2. The Eye of Argon*

      When I started my job, I inherited a stamper that had the following options with little checkboxes next to them:

      May your day be filled with
      [] Sunshine
      [] Flowers
      [] Joy
      [] Pig Poop

      I still have it but have never used it except mentally (and yes, there are days when everyone gets Pig Poop.)

      The “Have the day the you deserve” signature line is so much more succinct and modern.

      1. Sherman*

        So maybe I’m showing my age a bit, but I could absolutely picture most of these as various away messages in AIM back in the day or part of their AOL profiles.

    3. Roy G. Biv*

      Yes, this one. It reads as kind and/or menacing, all at the same time.

      Have the day you deserve. You know why.

      1. Selina Luna*

        Someone sent me a meme that said, “may everything that happens to you this year be precedented and boring,” and I really appreciated that. I would love for things to go as predicted for one whole year.

        1. Critical Rolls*

          I’ve seen it this way: “All I want for [gift-giving occasion] is some precendented times.”

    4. not Baltimore's Divine*

      Back when I was going through my divorce and fed up with the whole stupid circus, my Facebook status for the New Year was “May we all get what we deserve this year!” People either took it as a nice message or knew it was a read on my ex.

    5. Meep*

      I actually use a variation with difficult people. That being “Have the day that you /think/ you deserve.” Makes them stop and think and somehow drastically changes their mood from snarly and abusive to kind and bashful because it jerks them out of having a bad day and realize that if they are having one then it is entirely by their own design.

  5. NYCRedhead*

    My new professional goal: Walk Up song.
    If I was cool enough to have one, I would 100% have it in my email signature. Probably my cell phone ring tone, too.

    1. No Longer Gig-Less Data Analyst*

      “My new professional goal: Walk Up song.”

      Mine as well! Current favorite in the running is Bejeweled by Taylor Swift. :)

    2. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      Before I got a smart watch and set my phone to permanently silent, my ringtone for work numbers was Godsmack’s “No Rest for the Wicked”.

    1. NotAnotherManager!*

      Our email signatures are not editable. I mean, you CAN edit it, but the system resets the value on a very regular basis, so it’d basically be more efficient to just type a custom signature in each time for the frequency with which it’d be blown away. (We are also the un-fun people who lock down who can send emails to all company/most-of-the-company distribution lists to avoid 99.8% of reply-all fests.)

      From a management standpoint, this is great. I never have to have conversations with even the newest of hires over thee appropriateness of their signatures. From an entertainment standpoint, it’s a bummer.

  6. listen up fives, a ten is speaking*

    Now I’m picturing when LeBron James left the Cavs and the Cavs’ owner wrote an “open letter” to all the Cavaliers fans IN COMIC SANS

  7. As Eleanor Roosevelt definitely said*

    The CEO at one of our vendor agencies signs every e-mail with “Have a GREAT day,” which was awkward when I received a forwarded company wide e-mail she had sent announcing that half of the staff were being laid off at the beginning of Covid.

    1. Cait*

      Oh maaaan. Lol!
      I once had an AP English teacher who was really tough and blunt with her grading but signed everything “XOX”. So I’d get my paper back and it would say, “Pedantic. Needs firmer arguments and concrete examples. Language too flowery to be persuasive. Try harder. XOX, Miss L!”

  8. Damn it, Hardison!*

    I love “I remain, Anatole.” I have a colleague who addresses her emails to our project team as “Dears,” and it makes me smile.

    1. Arachnia*

      It’s so cute. I am happy that you remain, Anatole. Or that you remain Anatole and haven’t changed your name. Either is great.

    2. OyHiOh*


      Could your colleague possibly be a fan of Dimash (remarkable pop opera singer from Kazakhstan)? He calls his fans “dears” and this too is charming.

    3. amoeba*

      Funnily enough, it’s the one guy on our project team who’s actually a native English speaker (American) who does that… so probably on purpose, which I do find endearing (haha)!

    4. Sork*

      It’s pretty common at my office (northern Europe) for people to write “Dears” when addressing two or more people, I assume because “dear” is singular?
      I don’t use “Dears” myself – but I did before an English director told me about how much he hated it :)

    5. Manders*

      We have an admin who starts every email with “Friends” and ends it with “Blessings”. It’s a bit twee for me.

  9. Spicy Tuna*

    “Have the day you deserve”…. my husband tells people this ALL THE TIME and I think it’s totally rude. He disagrees – if people are not being jerks, they wouldn’t interpret it to be rude, and if they are being jerks, then maybe they will think about their behavior.

    1. ursula*

      I would spend the rest of the day trying to figure out how I had wronged this person, no matter how pleasant our interaction was!

      1. Random Dice*

        Me too.

        Then – after days of fruitless soul-searching – I’d conclude that the person was passive aggressive and hypersensitive.

        Michelle García Winner is a social skills coach who talks about how we decide if we dislike people based on the number of weird or uncomfortable feelings they cause us to have. That would give me a big uncomfortable feeling.

    2. Robin*

      I think the positive meaning would only come across for folks your husband knows well (assuming tone also matches). The signoff in the Alison’s list only works because that person has such a kind, cheerful reputation that nobody would think she meant anything but sweetness.

      If somebody new said that to me after an interaction that I thought had gone well and nothing in the conversation beforehand had indicated their type of humor or established that they really appreciated the interaction, I would 100% assume I had insulted them somehow and they were wishing me ill.

      So I think your husband’s logic is a little off. The reactions will more likely be as follows:

      1) Oblivious jerks who take it as well wishes
      2) Aware jerks who see it as ill wishes but think they were fine and how dare you
      3) Aware jerks who see it as ill wishes and feel bad
      4) Oblivious nice folks who take it as well wishes
      5) Aware nice folks who are confident they were kind and so take it as well wishes
      6) Aware nice folks who take it as ill wishes because they now think they might have insulted you

      Options 3 and 5 are incredibly rare. More likely you get 2 and 6, which are misunderstandings, or folks who just do not register the full potential meaning

      1. ferrina*

        Precisely! And #6 will be an exponentially bigger group than #5. People that wish you well will usually do so in unambiguous terms.

        1. MsM*

          Also, genuinely nice people tend to worry a lot more about the possibility they haven’t been nice than not-nice people tend to engage in self-reflection of any kind.

            1. Rainbow*

              No matter how nice I had been, I would definitely skip straight to assuming he had a friend I’d done something terrible to, possibly inadvertently, and then go on an hours-long thought spiral through the worst moments of my life.

          1. Worldwalker*

            It’s true of criminals, too. If you were to make, say, improper registration of a llama a crime, the bad guys would just go right along as they always have been, and the good guys would stress out constantly about whether they’ve done it right. People who do things intentionally wrong know they’re breaking the rules and don’t care. It’s the people who don’t want to break the rules who worry that they’re doing something unintentionally wrong.

    3. Irish Teacher*

      I disagree with your husband on the grounds that he is assuming people are very self-aware and also recognise that he is a good judge of behaviour. It’s not at all uncommon for somebody who is not being a jerk to be judged as one by somebody. After all, the cheap ass rolls lady would certainly have meant it in a critical way had she told her workmates to have the day they deserved for…bringing rolls to a potluck.

      Very few people believe they are being jerks, but that doesn’t mean they won’t think that he thinks they are and people who aren’t jerks are more likely to think that than those who are, as well…people who care about not hurting others are more likely to think “did I do something to upset him?” than jerks.

      It sounds like he is assuming nice people will assume he thinks them nice and is wishing them a nice day and horrible people will assume he thinks them horrible and is wishing them a horrible day, but…well, firstly, people aren’t necessarily that self-aware, secondly, even if they are, they don’t know if he is a good judge of others’ intentions and also, well, people can have anxieties or insecurities that cause them to assume people are likely to think badly of them.

      1. Random Dice*

        In short, your husband is totally wrong, and risking his reputation by using a menacing line like that.

    4. DrSalty*

      I think if he’s saying it out loud, whether it’s rude or not depends on the tone he says it in. Written without other context, I would definitely interpret it as snide/rude.

    5. Sunshine*

      Hahaha, I would probably think it was rude. If someone wanted me to have a nice day, surely they would say so! But “have the day you deserve” has the feel of being cursed by a witch even when delivered in a friendly tone, I fear.

    6. Falling Diphthong*

      I love it as an email signature, but it absolutely matters that the context is someone who is cheerful and positive and your first instinct is that they clearly mean this in a good way, given your greatness. Then the possible barb is only evident on careful reflection.

      Start out more hostile and people will figure you are insulting them. The barb is right there on the surface, as the first takeaway.

      Your husband seems to feel all people who are not being jerks are 100% certain that he doesn’t think they are jerks, and all people who are being jerks are exquisitely aware of this failing and ashamed about it and open to reflecting on their sins if prompted (and then reaching the correct conclusion, that husband is right). In my experience this is not how people work.

    7. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

      It is rude; the intent is to be rude under the radar. Like insulting someone without them realizing it.

      1. TypityTypeType*

        Yes! In these ordinary day-to-day interactions, ambiguity is rude.

        Polite people don’t want to leave other people wondering what the heck they meant by that — much less leave people wondering whether they’ve been insulted.

    8. Kalros, the mother of all thresher maws*

      Lmao nooo you’re entirely right. Ok I mean, granted, it’s possible that I’m a jerk in general, but there’s no context where I would hear that as anything other than a screw-you. Like, if I walked past strangers on the street and heard one of them saying that I’d think they were fighting.

      It’s funny as an email signature for this reason – plausible enough deniability, but the meaning is clear: someone receiving the email might not deserve to have a good day.

    9. Snell*

      Your husband is assuming that he is completely neutral and impartial, which he isn’t. If people are not being jerks, they will interpret it as rude, and question why your husband would say that directly to their face. To them, your husband isn’t the perfect ordainer of jerk- and non-jerk-behavior, he’s just some guy they came across, and is himself as capable of rudeness as anybody else. So on this matter, I’m with you and the general gist of the commenters in this thread.

      He’s also making the mistake of thinking that jerks who regularly behave badly actually think about their behavior. In the rare cases they do, the easiest conclusion to come to is “No, it’s other people who are wrong.”

    10. Spicy Tuna*

      Passive-aggressive was the phrase I was looking for, so thank you to the poster who used it! And also thank you to the person who brought cheap ass rolls into the discussion! We all need a little cheap ass roll humor in our day!

    11. Loch Lomond*

      90% of people he says this to are going to hear it as him saying they don’t deserve a good day – and that’s a conservative estimate. No one phrases genuine well-wishes as little linguistic logical traps.

    12. Lizzianna*

      I hear it in the same way I hear my southern grandmother telling someone to “bless your heart.”

      In most contexts, a passive aggressive dig, but subtle enough that you maintain deniability.

  10. I remain,*

    FWIW, e-mail recall only sometimes works, in case that makes the final OP feel better.

    For me it does not remove the recalled e-mail from my inbox. It only adds a new e-mail saying so-and-so wants to recall such-and-such e-mail, which of course is the signal to go read it immediately.

    1. NotRealAnonforThis*

      I first learned that this was even a thing in my first job. Similarly, I seem to recall it didn’t exactly recall the emails….maybe it pulled them from inboxes that weren’t actively open? But it didn’t recall them all.

      An intern hit reply all inappropriately and off topic (might have been a weekend party?). Someone with a shred of power took far too much delight in publicly scolding the offender. There’s correction, and there’s scolding. This was scolding.

    2. BubbleTea*

      I think it does work if the email hasn’t already been pulled from the server by the email client, but in a standard workday it’s likely most people’s emails are pulling frequently enough that at least someone will see it. This is why I have a 10 second to 1 minute delay on my work emails (Outlook is oddly inconsistent about its settings).

    3. Melissa*

      I have gotten these before! An email that says “Rashad would like to recall the email: PTO requests.” And I always go “Ooh I didn’t even read it when I got it, but now I definitely gotta go see what’s wrong with it.”

    4. Elenna*

      On my work servers, if the receiver hasn’t clicked on the email yet, it will be deleted just as you’d hope – but if they have, they just get a message saying “so-and-so would like to recall their email”, which almost certainly prompts the receiver to take a closer look if they haven’t already. And then the sender/recaller gets an automated email saying “we could not recall from X, Y, and Z” which helpfully lets you know exactly who has seen your embarrassing mess-up…

      No, I’m most certainly not speaking from personal experience, how dare you assume such a thing? (spoiler: I’m totally speaking from personal experience.)

  11. Arachnia*

    Please listen to my walk up song. Please listen to this thing I made that has one specific use which is when I am introduced at some kind of high energy meeting. PLEASE LISTEN TO IT WHEN YOU RECEIVE MY RANDOM EMAILS.

    Please, Lord, give me even a tiny bit of the confidence of a mediocre rich man.

    1. Sunshine*

      I’m honestly impressed with OP for listening to the whole thing. There is a 0% chance of me listening to anything under those circumstances, no matter how curious I might be.

    2. MigraineMonth*

      I had no idea that sports executives had walk up music. I cannot imagine there’s a lot of cheering when a CEO takes the field.

      1. PotsPansTeapots*

        Inside 95% of sport execs is a little boy who needs to be the fastest and the toughest and the bestest and he needs you to know that!!

        (I say this as a sports fan.)

    3. Matt*

      This thing reminds me of my 13 year old self, being a huge WWF wrestling fan and triumphantly walking through the apartment to Hulk Hogan or Bret Hart’s entrance theme, wearing my winter scarf around the waist in replacement for a championship belt.

    4. Here for the Insurance*

      IDK, the whole thing to me screams a lack of confidence. Might as well go ahead and say “I’m INSECURE and DESPERATE for your validation!!!” Secure people don’t feel the need to try so hard.

  12. Chainsaw Bear*

    I’m just gonna say I read #1 too fast and “blunt/curt” got amalgamated in my head. I was like, “she said WHAT in her email signature?”

    1. ENFP in Texas*

      I’m going to say that I read your reply too fast and “blunt/curt” got amalgamated in my head… LOL!!

  13. Moira Rose's Closet*

    These make me so happy. I am a lawyer, and I work for a Very Buttoned-Up Agency, so I have never seen anything beyond the most basic, standard signature. Reading these makes me feel like I’m truly living.

    1. TomatoSoup*

      I’ve only seen a few and they were more like woo-woo inspirational quotes that just caused me to roll my eyes. Often they were about hard work and perseverance which caused more eye rolling because the two people who come to mind lived entirely off “family money”. At least they regularly donated some of that money to our non-profit.

  14. Phony Genius*

    Does anybody else have trouble with graphical elements in e-mail signatures? They often cause the e-mails to have random attachments that sometimes cause problems when I open those messages. For this reason, I delete the graphical element that my system defaults into my signature. I don’t want to cause the same type of annoyance to other people. This graphic is supposed to be mandatory, but I have not yet heard one complaint that it’s missing.

    1. Lyudie*

      We are explicitly told not to include images in our signatures for this reason. It gets flagged as spam, sometimes. For a while, it seemed like everyone had various social media logos as links in their signatures, and eventually that got shut down.

      1. Ama*

        I’m really hoping the new person who has just been hired to head our Communications team makes that adjustment — we still are required to use our social media icons in our signature and link our primary logo to our website and I *hate* it. (And unlike Phony Genius, I will get called on it.)

    2. alex (they/them)*

      I have my company’s logo as part of our signature, and we’ve had issues where the image is randomly massive and takes up 90% of the email lol

      1. Relentlessly Socratic*

        OMG we had that happen, and the org logo was SOOOOOO LARGE. It didn’t even fit in the open email client window–it was like looking at a picture of a car, but only being able to see part of the front fender.

    3. The Prettiest Curse*

      Oh, this reminds me! Several jobs ago, I ended up on a long and confusing email thread with someone at a local health agency whose emails somehow kept including an illustration of a crow. (Yes, you read that correctly.) The image file kept showing up as an attachment and our email filtering software didn’t like it and kept bouncing her emails to spam.

      This led to the contact person getting even more confused and forwarding the same email to us again trying to get a response – and the crow illustration file would attach again. I think it ended up being attached 8 or 9 times to the same email before we worked out that our email system didn’t like the image. I have no idea if the crow image was a deliberate choice or if it was some glitch with her email, but it was so incredibly strange!

    4. NotAnotherManager!*

      This happens when someone converts an HTML email to plain text – any graphics get converted to native (jpg, png, etc.) attachments – and is most common when someone send the email from a mail client and then someone responds from a phone but will happen anytime the format is downgraded to text.

    5. TomatoSoup*

      Also, sometimes the graphic shows up as an attachment. It’s a mild annoyance most of the time. It a bigger annoyance when you try to find that email where they actually did attach a file and every email from them has an attachment.

    6. Jaydee*

      They usually show up fine for me in the signature, but they often also get included as an attachment to the email. Which is frustrating when I’m searching for an email from Joe Smith that had a “real” attachment, but all of Joe’s emails have attachments because of the company logo in his email signature.

  15. Higher Ed is Weird*

    Oh, that last one got me. Years ago, I worked in a stuffy department at a large university. I had to email groups of people regarding something we were sending to “their” donors. Grabbed the list but forgot to pull people who only receive those emails via their assistant, like the Chancellor. I ended up sending a super routine and basic request with a firm deadline to assistants, the Chancellor, and everyone in between.

    Chancellor was not impressed and I received a VERY stern talking-to for directly emailing so many important people as a lowly exec assistant. Multiple (12+) people looked up my boss’ email and messaged her about it. She was fine, we were mortified but laughed because what else can you do at that point?

    Fortunately, I don’t care about the Chancellor’s opinion as he was later ousted for poor handling of racial demonstrations on campus. I’ll take my mistake over his.

  16. Kate*

    Isn’t “I remain, Anatole” not a mistake, but fairly standard? There have to be some other readers of 19th century lit on here! Certainly I’ve seen “I remain, etc.”

    1. Hlao-roo*

      I think the difference is the “etc.” stands in for the “very truly yours,” “your obedient servant,” and other “this is my relationship to you” phrases.

      Someone in the original thread mentioned the sign off from Hamilton:
      “I have the honor to be
      Your obt svt
      A. Burr”

      And it would likewise be a little strange (and funny!) to sign off just as:

      “I have the honor to be,

    2. Sorrischian*

      But there’s generally another line after “I remain” like “your obedient servant” or whatever, no?

      1. Stripey One*

        For the full formula yes(*), but unless you were being extremely formal you wouldn’t write it out every time. Instead (especially in second and subsequent letters in your correspondence) it’d get abbreviated – so you’d just write “I remain” and everyone knows what that means, no need to write all the rest of it out.

        –Alternatively no-one knows what it’s short for but it doesn’t matter, it’s just what you say: like we just throw in “Regards, [name]” or “Yours, [name]” and no-one thinks about the fact that that used to be a whole sentence too.

        (*) I say “full”, but I’ve seen super formal cases where the letter itself segues naturally into the formula, eg “I’m looking forward to visiting Paris next month, where I hope I will have the honour of assuring you once more that I remain, with perfect respect, your humble and obedient servant”.

    3. E. Chauvelin*

      Yeah, I’d have just read it as a standard shortening of an albeit archaic form. I think I’ve seen “Your obedient etc.” My historical reenactment group has a convention of signing “Y.I.S.” for “Yours in service.” I’m not used to seeing “I remain” without the etc. but I’d figure the rest was implied just the same as the etc. would imply it.

  17. Moonlight Elantra*

    I enjoyed everyone’s responses on the original post so much!

    I remain,
    Moonlight Elantra

    -sent from my work computer

  18. Actuarymom*

    Along the lines of #6, my company was once in talks with a national bank to acquire a portfolio of credit cards. I got an email from a guy in the M&A department of the bank, whose email signature included the line “Senior Change Manager.” It made me giggle to think that he’s the guy rolling up all the loose change at the bank.

    1. Lexi Vipond*

      Somewhere I have a picture of a sign from one of the National Trust bits of the Lake District telling you to keep your dogs on their leads, by order of the Lead Ranger.

  19. TigerPants*

    A team member wanted the titles of all ten of us “Teapot Quality Assurance Technicians” to be changed to “Tea Pot Quality Specialists.” Team member was displeased when management said no and kept the old title. A couple of weeks before team member left the org abruptly to do teapot QA somewhere else, I noticed they’d taken it upon themselves to create an entirely new title mentioning neither teapots nor QA and started using it in their email signature.

  20. UKLu*

    Not really funny but just annoying – a colleague of mine has the title of her uni degree in her email signature. It is completely irrelevant to the job we do and grates on me every time I notice it… like yeah, many of us have degrees, what’s your point?! She is middle aged too, so not like its a recent achievement either!

    1. Despachito*

      1Where is she from? There are countries where this is still a thing, albeit less so than several decades ago.

      When I see people using their titles like this, I always imagine them as a poor student from 19th century who was immensely struggling to get through the school, was the first one of his family ever to study, his parents had to support him with their meagre income, but it was not sufficient and he had to teach rich snotty kids to gain some more. So no wonder he is so proud of his achievement and announces it everywhere.

      But if it is not the case, it’s just funny and sad at the same time.

    2. I'm Just Here For the Cats!*

      If it’s an advanced degree, like a Master’s or Ph.D., Heck yeah I’m putting that into my line. those are my credentials.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        I have a master’s in my current field, and I wouldn’t put that information anywhere that wasn’t a resume or something like a speaker bio. Maybe if we were talking about the specialty I studied. Having gone to school for a couple of years fifteen years ago isn’t often relevant.

        1. Llama Identity Thief*

          Same. I got my Master’s 2.5 years ago, would like to go back for a Ph. D. at some point, and if I ever put either in my email signature, it’ll be a hidden sign for help. And my employment mandates a signature of at least 6+ lines, with a LOT of information jammed into it, but credentials are not one of them. Congrats, you had the money and time to go torture yourself for two (or 5+ for Ph. D.) years, where you were constantly stressed out despite the fact the entire game at that level is set up for you to succeed. I genuinely am more impressed by someone achieving a Bachelor’s than further steps to Master’s or Ph. D.’s.

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        It’s a read-the-room situation. If no one else in your organization does this, it’s going to look out of place. Where I work, it would be noticed and not in a positive way.

        In DC, there is a significant enough portion of the population that has a graduate or professional degree that no one is going to be impressed if I put my master’s in there, especially since it has no bearing on how well I do my job.

    3. WellRed*

      I have a coworker who does this with a certain certificate. It’s not at all relevant to the work she does.

      1. urguncle*

        I know exactly which certificate this is because seemingly everyone with it puts it behind their name as if it is the equivalent of a PhD. It makes me want to put like “Urguncle, Class C Licensed Driver” in my email signature. And my Slack profile name. And LinkedIn.

    4. On Fire*

      Oh, this! I earned a particular certification in my field, vaguely comparable to master’s-level work. It means I get letters after my name. They’re on my cards and in my signature (in smaller letters), but I always feel weird about it, and I don’t use it otherwise. It is pertinent to my job, and fellow members of my profession know what it means, but someone who isn’t part of my field won’t recognize it. But some of my professional group use the designation all.the.time. And if, say, they’re speaking to a group and you’re introducing them, you are *definitely* expected to use the designation.

    5. Emma2*

      People from certain backgrounds tend to have their skills, experience and qualifications under-recognised. This happens to women and it happens to people from ethnic minority backgrounds. For example, there is a study of formal meetings in US hospitals (‘grand rounds’) in which researchers found that women introduced speakers by their formal titles 96% of the time. But men introducing female speakers only used their titles on 49% of occasions, although they applied the titles to male speakers 72% of the time. That is just a small example of a larger phenomenon, but it does matter.
      Learning about this issue made me understand why some people might choose to emphasise their qualifications, etc – that may not be what is happening with your colleague, but it might be a possibility (also depending on your respective ages, it is possible that as a woman she has had experiences in the professional world that you would not recognise today).

      1. Worldwalker*

        I’m old enough to remember when newspapers referred to men by last name and title, but women only by first name. For example, an article about Mary and John Smith would refer to the latter as “Mr. Smith” but the former as “Mary”. Even when I was a little kid, that torqued me.

        1. rebelwithmouseyhair*

          We are all old enough, because there are papers that do it even now.

          Even in a very politically correct text I just translated (literally discussing racial and gender discrimination), there were short bios of the many authors. For the men, the bios all used the same format: “John Smith worked on the X chapter of this report. He graduated in Y from Z uni and has since specialised in W and V, with a stint in Africa as Senior Consultant in U.”
          For the women, the format had a small difference: “Jane Smith worked on the X chapter of this report. Jane graduated in Y from Z uni and has since specialised in W and V, with a stint in Africa as Senior Consultant in U.”
          I got rid of all the first-name-only references and pointed it out to the client so that they could do the same in French.
          The only excuse is that since there are compulsory gender markers all over the place in French (you can’t say “I am+adjective” without revealing your gender), so the French are far more lackadaisical about gender differences in language in general.
          Curiously, while in English the language is being smoothed out and streamlined to make it all more neutral (like, everyone’s an actor these days, there are no more actresses), in French feminists are insisting on adding in language to show that women are included. The president addresses “French women and French men” in his speeches, even though grammatically, the masculine version is actually considered to be neutral unless it’s obvious that only men are being referred to.

    6. Samwise*

      I don’t include my degrees, but I do include “Dr.” in my signature. I am not a faculty member, but I did use “Dr.” in my signature when I was.

      Many of us have degrees — but maybe not in that woman’s family.

      I worked hard for that title. I’m proud of it. First woman in my mom’s family to go to college. My mom did not graduate from high school, nor did anyone from my grandparents’ generation, either side. Dad’s side: my dad was the only college graduate before my generation. Blue collar immigrant/hyphenated American family–they were hugely proud of any of us who got education past high school. I honor them and their aspirations when I use that title. (yeah, yeah, I see that chip on my shoulder)

      1. Pixx*

        I include “Dr.” in my email signature as well. I also list my degree, because I work at a place where several of us have medical or counselling qualifications, and “Dr” can mean a few different things, and it’s important to know which each person’s speciality actually is when you’re corresponding with them.

        I’m an editor and a writer, for example, so it’s pretty vital that people know which kind of “doctor” I am and what I can actually help them with lmao. If you need to find the editor who can proof your paper before you submit it to the American Medical Journal of Whatever for peer review, you want me. If you want clinical advice for how to talk to children about PTSD, you want somebody else.

        1. Pixx*

          Also, just to say, I’m one of the first in my family to even get a bachelor’s degree, much less a master’s and a whole-ass PhD. I’m really, really proud of it, it took a massive amount of work and required a lot of sacrifice, and I’m not going to hide the fact that I’m Dr. Pixx instead of Ms. Pixx just because people think that academics – especially women, let’s be honest – are getting above their station if they call themselves Dr.

          I *am* “Dr. Pixx”; that’s my actual title/honorific, and I earned it. I’m going to use it.

    7. lia*

      Oh, I read it a little differently! At my org, it’s absolutely accepted and expected that you put the credentials for anything beyond a bachelor’s in your signature, so I am X P. X, MPH, CHES. I read this one as X P. X, MPH in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, CHES. Which would come across as really weird.

    8. amoeba*

      Eh, in Germany, it would be quite normal for people to do that – I personally find that culture annoying in general, so was quite happy that it does not appear to be the standard in my current company and dropped the “Dr.” But then, it is pretty much assumed that everybody in my position has a PhD, anyway, so it’s not like people would underestimate me because of that or whatever. I can see doing it differently in a different environment.

      (However, at least in German, I’ve always been confused by people using “Dipl. Ing.” or “M. Sc.” like a title because again, in German, those just… aren’t. They’re degrees, but nothing you’d normally add to your name. Unlike the doctorate, which is actually supposed to be a title.)

    9. Wait, what?*

      When I was getting my Bachelor of Education, one of my classmates included her degrees in her email signature and included BEd. But she didn’t have a BEd yet, which everyone knew because we were all working on our BEds together. It was odd.

    10. Lock-up Librarian*

      I think listing the school is a bit odd, but depending on the context, a degree makes a lot of sense to me.
      I’m a librarian who works in corrections. Far too many people seem to think it’s a throw-away job/doesn’t actually require expertise, so I absolutely have MLIS in my signature.

    11. rebelwithmouseyhair*

      Not that I put my qualifications anywhere in signatures or whatever, but I got my degree at the age of 49. So it could be a whole lot more recent than you think.

    1. Heffalump*

      Not only would I give you a pass, the Groucho Marx reference would be a positive for me.

      It could have been worse. There was the time Groucho learned that a woman had a large number of children and said, “I like my cigar, but I take it out now and then.”

  21. HailRobonia*

    I used to work tangentially with a professor who had a string of what looked like gibberish characters underneath her signature line. It looked nonsensical to me, but at some point I realized it was all broken up wrong because the email chain had been forwarded/replied/etc. and in its “pristine” condition her signature file had ascii art of fish (because she’s an oceanographer).

    1. Sunshine*

      Oh, that’s actually darling. And so sad that no one gets to enjoy the fish in its intended form!

    2. Whoaitsme*

      My brother works for a government agency that deals with fish. His signature includes several fish and bubbles. Luckily it always comes through correct for me, at least.

    1. Free Meerkats*

      Which is pretty much why it was invented.

      I just don’t get the bile aimed at Comic Sans. Yeah, it’s been overused, but it adds accessibility.

      1. Irish Teacher*

        I don’t get it either. It’s a fairly neutral script, even apart from anything else. If it were one of the really fancy handwritingy ones or one of the really large ones or something, I could at least understand it.

      2. Timothy (TRiG)*

        Comic Sans is often regarded as an ugly font because it has a lot of different shapes in it. Elegant fonts tend to re-use the same curves in multiple different letters. However, that same ugliness can make it more accessible for certain vision problems. (Some people with dyslexia also like it; others passionately hate it.)

        The designer Linus Boman has a fascinating video on YouTube about Atkinson Hyperlegible, a font sponsored by the Braile Institute of America and available for free. It shows how an accessible font can be aesthetically pleasing.

    2. Lcsa99*

      Yeah, since I’ve read that it’s easier for people with Dyslexia and other issues I’ve stopped judging those who use it.

      1. Nea*

        Serious question – why did you judge in the first place? I’ve struggled for years to understand why any font is judge-worthy.

        1. Emily*

          Because Comic Sans (and similar fonts) are often used on things for small children, and not many people know about the accessibility aspect, it looks unprofessional in a work setting. And then it became a joke and McSweeney’s posted a funny article about it, and the rest is history.

          1. Nea*

            McSweeney’s! That explains everything!

            And having read their article, I am honestly relieved that it isn’t based in some ableist nonsense like I thought.

        2. Llama Identity Thief*

          Because it was suddenly everywhere, and reeked heavily of “adults trying their hardest to be in-touch cool kids while being corporate overlords.” It seemed half of the use cases of Comic Sans I saw for a while were the fast food manager posting a flier that “no one can work” because they didn’t pay enough, the over-eager office manager trying to limit people to 2 squares of toilet paper, or Dan Gilbert.

          1. Llama Identity Thief*

            That was my personal vendetta. The more general vendetta is a bit similar – in 1999, two graphic designers started the “Ban Comic Sans” movement due to being annoyed at continuously being asked to use it – they believed that the font has a very child-like nature to it, and that it’s constant use in serious materials was a mismatch that annoyed their graphic designer sensibilities. The tipping point was a funeral announcement written in Comic Sans.

            I forget if outside links are allowed, because I do have a source for this. Also, the graphic designers have come around in recent years and are now pushing for people to use Comic Sans more, although I’m not seeing any statements that the reasoning is accessibility, just that the hatred has gotten out of hand.

        3. NotAnotherManager!*

          I work in Serious Business Stuff where some documents we do can only be prepared in one of the boring fonts, per style guides or even government requirements, and my only exposure to Comic Sans for years was every paper that came home with my children from grades K-4. I understand NOW why it’s so popular with schools, but a lot of corporate American only sees it with elementary school kids or the occasional passive-aggressive sign in the break room – like wearing a clown nose to a pitch meeting.

    3. Nea*

      Comic Sans is, I believe, the only accessible font that is included on all computers.

      I have no evidence connecting that fact and the fact that everyone thinks it is inherently ridiculous, but I firmly believe that those two are connected. Especially since the people who point and laugh at it can never tell me WHY it’s supposed to be so ridiculous, only that “everyone knows” it’s somehow inferior.

      Between thee and me, Comic Sans hate is like pumpkin spice hate. Utterly illogical.

      1. Empress Matilda*

        I wonder if the problem is in the name? If the word “comic” makes people think of kids’ books, then maybe there’s a connotation that the font itself is somehow immature. Maybe it would have a better reputation if it had been called Serious Literature Sans.

        1. Worldwalker*

          It was meant to look like childlike writing — it was the font associated with the cartoon dog in one of Microsoft’s less good ideas.

      2. Nea*

        Until corrected, I will hold the opinion that some influencer decided to be anti-font because they were too cool for accommodations and it just rippled out into the zeitgeist without its original context.

      3. Hen in a Windstorm*

        Hahahaha – as a pumpkin spice hater, I can definitely give you the logic. Basically, it boils down to corporate over-saturation. I hate when any flavor gets overused, e.g., I also hated the whole “truffle oil” trend, mostly because it was fake truffle flavor, which tastes terrible, instead of real, expensive truffles.

        And many places actually say “pumpkin flavored”, not pumpkin pie-spice flavored, and sometimes they really mean it and sometimes they were being lazy. I can’t take the chance that the coffee is in fact *squash* flavored, instead of nutmeg/cinnamon/allspice flavored, so it’s also a minefield.

        Again, just – I don’t want everything that enters my mouth in a day to taste the same, and it’s weird to me that other people do. I categorize it in the same space as “all Christmas all the time starting 11/1” or “if hoppy beer is good, super hoppy beer is better, good luck finding non-hoppy beer at a bar now”.

        FYI – “I don’t understand it” is not the same as “it is illogical”, which is pretty condescending.

        1. Random Dice*

          Pumpkin spice is a spice combination that has long predated corporations or marketing.

          Indian chai is often made with this spices. (Personally I add cardamom, but not everyone does)

          Turkish coffee is brewed with these spices. (And other Middle Eastern countries)

          Mexico adds cayenne to these spices in coffee.

          1. Nea*

            I’ve got a recipe from the court of Richard II that uses what we would recognize as “pumpkin spice.”

            1. Sam Yao*

              “Poudre douce,” which commonly shows up in medieval European recipes, varied from cook to cook but would be recognizable as something very similar to pumpkin spice today. These are super classic flavors.

      4. Worldwalker*

        People do not think it is ridiculous because it is accessible. Most people don’t even *know* it is accessible. Don’t see ableism where none exists. People think Comic Sans is ridiculous because it’s a deliberately childlike font inappropriately used for serious purposes, frequently by people who think their tyrannical attitude about things like toilet paper consumption will somehow be softened by writing the message in Comic Sans. So it’s associated with children, clueless sports team owners, and overbearing managers.

        The other thing is that it’s a quirky, distinctive font, unlike, say, Helvetica, so you notice it everywhere it exists. (Papyrus is another one) Neutral fonts like Helvetica, TNR, etc., just blend into sort of a visual background hum. Distinctive fonts stand out. So if you see 50 signs that use Helvetica, and two that use Comic Sans, it’s the Comic Sans you notice. It *looks* overused.

    4. Snoozing not schmoozing*

      I use Comic Sans for recipes so I can read them easily. It’s definitely the easiest font for me to see.

    1. MigraineMonth*

      At some point in the near future that person is going to be completely alone and not understand why.

    2. NotAnotherManager!*

      My first thought when I see stuff like this is that I sincerely hope they are never allowed to manage people. Then, I wonder how they manage to stay in their own life when they cross themselves by making minor mistakes like all their “enemies”.

    3. Francie Foxglove*

      I can imagine the recipient saying, “I didn’t know I was *in* your life.”. Also, if someone keeps ghosting people who cross them at work, before long, their job will be out of their life.

  22. Sabine the Very Mean*

    I laughed so much at the thought of changing mine to,

    Jew, Community Planner

  23. RLR*

    Regarding the few anti Comic Sans – it is one of the easiest fonts for people with dyslexia, some w/ADHD, etc. and is recommended by the British Dyslexia Association.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        There is exactly one person in my organization that uses email backgrounds, and for some reason it is a brown background with a geometric pattern. They took something with perfect contrast and made it visually jumbled, and it irritates me every time.

    1. Phryne*

      There is an even better one, specially developed for people with dyslexia by a Dutch guy. We use it at the educational institution I work for tests etc. Look up dyslexie[dot]com.

      1. Timothy (TRiG)*

        Atkinson Hyperlegible is arguably better, and is also free. Dyslexie is rather odd, and its design is not based on well-founded research. It may help some people, but the broader evidence is not solid.

  24. anonymouse*

    Reminds me of someone in a financial company had
    “We put the FUN in mutual funds”
    for years.

    1. Warrior Princess Xena*

      I can see some executive spirit committee deciding somewhere that ‘fun’ was just what mutual fund customers and requiring mandatory fun in all workplace communications

      1. Worldwalker*

        Was it CFH that had a website customer who wanted his site to look like the Disneyland site … because he thought that would make buying *insurance* fun?

  25. Hotdog not dog*

    Clearly I am lacking pizzazz, I have neither sparkles nor a walk up song! Our email signatures are actually regulated right down to the font size and style. (We are encouraged to list our pronouns along with our titles, though.)

    1. NotAnotherManager!*

      Ours are, too, but I saw the wild, wild west of the before times, and people had some bananas stuff. When they standardized and wouldn’t let people sparkle or quote anymore, there was a revolt amongst some of the long-time admin staff, including a petition for “freedom of expression”.

  26. WellRed*

    If I had mandatory signature requirements down to font and line by line color, I’d probably feel a need to add a glitter fairy, too!

    1. Trillian*

      And I’ve spent enough time formatting documents to company templates that I know if I were to do it full time, I’d be signing in purple Comic Sans with stars and swirls too.

    2. Phryne*

      Right? Glitter fairy lady and Poodle lady have my full support in their battle against dull gray corporate template.

  27. Elm*

    I tend to be way too not-blunt (I’m very “let’s work together” and “here’s why I’m thinking this”), but I was told I need to “use more emojis to ensure people know what my tone is.”

    Yes, in professional communication.

    And it’s because an assignment I was given to “figure out why there’s a bottleneck” resulted in me finding out why there was a bottleneck. They were embarrassed that it was just that they had unchecked a box.

    1. MigraineMonth*

      As a woman in a male-dominated field, I’ve been told many times that my communication style is too blunt. So when I started my current job, I decided to change my email signature to “Thanks, MigraineMonth”.

      This leads to some pretty nonsensical emails (“You’re welcome! Thanks, MigraineMonth”), but no one has talked to me about tone yet, so I think I’m winning.

  28. Green for Danger*

    I worked with a very kind woman – a politician and Cabinet Minister with a scary scowly face but actually very kind – and she added to the end of her emails, “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down: ancient Chinese proverb”, I really don’t think that she was aware of the threat implicit . And I also worked with a very nice person with a role in the legal system whose email tagline was a Hemingway quote, “There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.” I did tell him to take it off and he did right away. He just hadn’t seen how it could be misinterpreted – or interpreted. I had a multi-page collection of people’s terrible tag lines but I left it in the files when I left that job. Now I work with someone who uses one of those random tagline generators and hers aren’t offensive but – and I have discussed it with her – she just doesn’t see how unprofessional and tweely whimsical they are.

    1. MigraineMonth*

      Yeah, the first two examples are not even “open for misinterpretation”; the correct interpretation is threatening!

      I wonder if the first person thought it was the “ancient oriental wisdom” version of “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”.

    2. Random Dice*

      There is absolutely no way for that nail message NOT to be a threat, especially not from a politician. I call bullshit on her not meaning it.

      (But nice to hear a woman being given the traditional man’s out)

  29. mango chiffon*

    For #16, I send a lot of all staff emails/invites and have the fear I’ll send something out accidentally all the time. I’ve started doing the recipient line LAST so I don’t accidentally hit send and send out half an email or something embarrassing to the whole office. Life changing, truly!

    1. MigraineMonth*

      I have Outlook schedule a 2-minute delay on all outgoing messages. It’s a bit of a pain with really time-sensitive stuff, but 2 minutes is usually enough time for me to realize I’ve forgotten an attachment and go in to fix it.

      1. SarahKay*

        You can add an override to the Outlook delay rule, such that if something contains specific text it will go immediately.
        My override is that if it has MyFirstname-Lastname it will go immediately, rather than on my standard 1-minute delay. My signature file already has my MyFirstname Lastname in it, but without the hyphen so if I want to send something fast I just add the hyphen.
        Very handy if I’m on a Teams call with someone and want to forward them on an email that has the info they need without us both having to wait the 60 seconds for the email to arrive.

    2. Anna*

      I once read the advice that when making an email, it’s best to start with attaching the attachment, then write the email, and put in the address(es) last. It’s not that I never forget an attachment anymore, but it’s good advice.

  30. Todd*

    Our company makes us put this as our sig line:
    Important Warning: This message is intended for the use of the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential, the disclosure of which is governed by applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, the employee, or agent responsible to deliver it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this information is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If you have received this message by error, please notify us immediately and destroy the related message. Thank you.

    I added the below at the end of my sig several years ago, nobody has ever noticed:
    NOTICE: As email transmissions cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free, this email may not have even come from me. Respond accordingly.
    Please don’t reply-all unless you really mean to reply to all.

    1. Antilles*

      Nobody has ever noticed because I can assure you that nobody has ever read the full thing. People inside your company just assume it’s the same as your normal company disclaimer, while people outside assuming it’s the usual boring disclaimer that’s not worth reading.

  31. Seashell*

    The “walk up” song story reminds me of an experience I had while on hold with an attorney’s office for work. They were playing generic Muzak while I was on hold, and then a recorded voice comes on giving little facts about the attorney. One of them was something like “Did you know that Attorney Smith is a member of Mensa, which means his IQ is at the genius level?” It’s a good thing no one could hear me, because that induced laughing out loud.

    1. Warrior Princess Xena*

      “Hi, yes, I would like to hire literally anyone except Attorney Smith”.

      five bucks says this is the result of one of those “tell me a fun fact” icebreakers and then it made it into company marketing since no one reviewed it

      1. Seashell*

        If I remember correctly, this guy was a solo practitioner, so he was the boss AND this was his bright idea.

    2. Relentlessly Socratic*

      It is so unusual for members of Mensa to do this that I wonder about the truthiness of Atty Smith’s trivia…

      1. Random Dice*

        I think that only deeply insecure people actually join Mensa. Secure people with high enough IQs or test scores wouldn’t bother.

        1. Emmy Noether*

          Eh, as far as I’m informed, some chapters (?) of Mensa do have interesting activities and socializing and whatnot (I’m not a member, so this is just what I heard). Sort of like a meetup group, and I think that use is legit.

          I rather think that secure people that are members of Mensa don’t mention that they are members apropos of nothing.

        2. Worldwalker*

          I’ve never bothered to join — I’m just not that social a person — but someone I used to know said they were a member because Mensa had good parties. Which seems to be as good a reason to join a club as any.

  32. Ds*

    One person in my division has a picture of a giant snickers bar in the signature. I’ve always eyeballed it like o.O

    1. George*


      You’d be forgiven for not knowing that reference but it lives rent-free in my brain.

  33. Colleen*

    My farewell email automatic reply set when I retired was the standard, “I am no longer with the company, please contact…”. But it was bright pink. Comic Sans. 16 point font.

    I did know what I was doing. And I knew it would make my former boss laugh.

    That was 4 months ago.

  34. Moose*

    # 8: Maybe her work was so standardized that she felt this was the one place she could express herself and she had to let it all out! Haha.

  35. Shanderson*

    Ahaha! I wish I’d seen the call out post. I had a local plumbing/AC service firm (they have “comfort” somewhere in their name) sign off all correspondence “With many comforting regards” and it squicked me out a bit each time I saw it. It sounds like some sort of innuendo, but mild and Victorian, which somehow made it worse.

  36. MicroManagered*

    The email ended with, “Cross me once and you’re out of my life. I will not work with her.”

    The email signature was, “Be kind to others, bring peace wherever you go, and love always.”

    It’s this one for me LOL

  37. m*

    I review emails for discovery for a state government. I’ve seen so so many inappropriate signatures but what’s worse is that each time a graphic is added (think border, seal, gif anything) our review program makes that item it’s own page that I have to review.

    1. George*

      That surprises me. I would think for discovery in particular it would be important to see things in context.

  38. Lyn by the River*

    i wanted to add one for consideration but didn’t get a chance, so I’ll just drop them here. Not an email signature, but quotes (and sometimes their comments) added to the end of our staff meeting agendas by the executive director of our small nonprofit. This was back in 2009-10 or so. They were also going through a divorce around this time which made some of the quotes particularly awkward (eg, July). The director was eventually let go after a series of blunders, and then asked a former coworker to meet so they could express their amorous feelings (the feelings were not reciprocated!).

    From Sept 6:
    “We cannot have an identity without relations with other individuals. In fact, without those relationships we would not be who we consider ourselves to be in a very real sense” — paraphrase of separate philosophical writings of Martin Buber and Jan Patocka.

    From Aug 30:
    “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become full aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. by his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized.” –Viktor Frankl

    From Aug 3:
    “ ‘The glory of god is to conceal a thing, but the glory of the kind is to find it out’*. As if, according to the innocent play of children, the divine majesty took delight to hide his works, to the end to have them found out; and as if kings could not obtain greater honor than to be god’s play fellows in that game.” –Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning *Attributed to King Solomon.

    June 21 :
    We, by the statements of many scholars, live in an age of transition. We live in a period between two worlds, one dead and one trying to be born. To understand this transition we must understand where it is we’re coming from, and somehow where we are going. — Jean Gubser, philosopher

    July 5 :
    Once the pleasing, inviting dance of courtship draws to a close, people begin to want not only the *expectation* of need fulfillment, but the *reality* as well. — harville hendrix. “getting the love you want” emphasis mine

    April 5:
    Imagination draws in bold stokes, instantly serving hopes and fears, while knowledge advances by slower increments and contradictory witnesses.

    May 31: He was wandering between two worlds, one dead and the other without the power yet to be born.*
    *Quote by Matthew Arnold, a British poet and cultural critic on his philosophy that typifies his belief that “If we are not happy on this earth, we should moderate our desires rather than live in dreams of something that may never be attained.” Here, it has been applied, by Daniel Boorstin, in his book “the Discoverers” to Tycho Brahe who did a lot of “naked eye” astronomical observations and measurement in an age of geocentric belief.

    1. Random Dice*


      Some of those are weird for the context but still nice, others are a giant pink Comic Sans NOPE!

      1. Lyn by the River*

        Yes! Some of them are lovely philosophical perspectives to consider. But not in a staff meeting about completely unrelated topics.

  39. Cool Tina, Train Conductress*

    This was in college, so not so bad, but:

    Senior year I was in my third semester ever of Latin, and I thought it would be very cheeky and coded to have in my email signature the first line (in Latin) of a famous Catullus “poem,” which is actually a filthy, hopefully hyperbolic violent threat against someone who’s slandered him.

    I’d forgotten that plenty of my fellow students had studied Latin longer than I had, and that the line was indeed famous and instantly recognizable to anyone who’d read it. So I very quickly got responses to group threads teasing me about my scandalous signature :)

      1. Cool Tina, Train Conductress*

        Yes indeed.

        I am VERY lucky I only got teased, and that I got teased promptly, so I could remove it!

      1. Worldwalker*

        I looked it up. Um … yeah, NSFW/school/anyone-who-knows-Latin.

        Also proof that some things never change.

  40. Pudding*

    I worked in sales support for a company a few years back. We had a client who included the phrase “Kindness matters!” in her signature. Her sales rep had a habit of making ambitious promises we couldn’t deliver on, and dumping them on my lap and expecting miracles. I was copied on a glorious email where she eloquently ripped him a new one, and “Kindness matters!” had been CONSPICUOUSLY edited out of her email. My team and I used that as a catchphrase for months – I still giggle.

  41. Lirael*

    I spent like 5 minutes giggling to myself over 6.

    15 is fab. I mean, at least you know he’s still there :)

  42. JK*

    Ha! Number 12 reminds me of my very favourite graduate, who was passed over for much-deserved promotions. When she resigned and went to a truly better job, she sent a thank-you email, included the bosses, and signed off with “Sorry for your loss, Kayla”.

    1. Rainbow*

      I wanted so hard to be a #12. In my last job, which thoroughly sucked in a cacophony of different ways, I thought about it but couldn’t possibly. Instead, I just left an out of office which didn’t technically say anything bad, but if you read between the lines was hopefully giving “I’m out. Finally. Thank GOD.” energy.

      Sadly, they deleted my email account pretty rapidly.

  43. Spielen*

    This is suddenly reminding me of when I was an undergraduate and, for some godawful reason, I included a Latin quote in my signature (in colour!), that translated to “nobody can escape either death or love”.
    I think I thought I was being profound.

    1. TomatoSoup*

      I’m so glad that there are very few records (and none electronic to my knowledge) of all the ways I thought I was being deep and profound in high school and college.

  44. Swift*

    Remember that LW from a while back who was like “how dare my company make us standardize our email signatures??!?!” Hon, this is why

  45. TomatoSoup*

    I lived in the Netherlands when they were transitioning to the bachelor/master system from the longstanding Dutch degree of ‘doctorandus’. With that degree, came the title ‘drs’, not to be confused with ‘Dr.’ for PhDs, that was very commonly used instead of Mr./Ms. equivalents in social and professional correspondence. When we graduated with our bachelor degrees, many people earnestly signed personal and professional emails with their name, followed by Bachelor. E.g. ‘Jan van Dijk, Bachelor’ At first, I thought it was my friend goofing around but I did see it in professional emails.

    Eventually, people figured out what made sense but for a while it did feel like they were listing their marital status in professional emails.

  46. Amanda Seligman*

    The very best sign-off I ever saw was from a librarian at a Lutheran university library. He signed himself “servus tuus.” That tugged at my classics major heartstrings. Plus the email itself was a timely answer to a question I had posed.

  47. KateM*

    I wonder if #8 is BECAUSE they have to enforce rules all the time, so it’s a reaction to “oooh here at last I can do whatever I want!”.

  48. Alan O'Rourke*

    I knew a IT manager who would hide text in the email signature (Small white text on a white background) only in emails to and from a particular staff members work and personal email so that person would be continually targeted with Google ads promoting male member enlargement aids. They were friends but I am not sure they ever found out.

  49. Lol*

    #16: I work in government too and tbh you most likely did entertain people more than you actually embarrassed yourself – I have seen some very goofy emails from higher-ups here!

  50. KSiv*

    I spent a lot of time debating, but finally corrected someone who worked for a literacy organization. Her signature had a quote that said in part: “loose yourself in a good book.” I don’t think she appreciated my help.

  51. OrangeBoyObi*

    “Sent haphazardly from my phone with the risk of typos and errors.”
    (The vet at the rescue shelter I used to work for)

Comments are closed.