what’s the weirdest/most inappropriate email signature you’ve seen?

What’s the strangest/funniest/most unprofessional/most inappropriate email signature you’ve seen at work?

To start us off, here are some that readers have shared in the past:

  • “I have a coworker who has a quote from himself as part of his email signature. That’s pretty off-putting.”
  • “Analyst misspelled as Analist”
  • “A customer had her entire multi-day destination wedding schedule in her work email signature for months before her actual wedding.”
  • “I had someone with a signature block with a picture of Skittles and ‘chase the rainbow’ once from a giant corporation. The giant corp wasn’t related to candy or a MARS subsidiary to say the least.”
  • “A former boss had an email signature that said she was doing field work so her email responses would be delayed. She didn’t do field work. She was just really bad at replying to emails.”
  • “I’ve seen signatures with Justin Bieber gif with sparkles and rainbow … auto-play MIDI file of holiday music … and an animated unicorn leaping across page.”

The comments are open…

{ 1,175 comments… read them below }

  1. FlatMargaret*

    I once had someone apply for a position with “May the Force of the Lord Jesus Christ be with You.” I chose not to interview him.

        1. Cmdrshpard*

          I think more accurately “the crossover fic no one knew they wanted.”

          I really want it now!

          Luke you are the father, and the son, and the holy spirit!

          Do or do not there is no try! Now turn this water into wine!

          1. Lunch Ghost*

            Friend of mine in college: “The Force is strong in my family. My father has it, the son has it, the Holy Spirit has it…”

            Different friend of mine in college: “In the name of the father, which is me, and the son, which is you, Luke– in other words, I am your father…”

            (Clearly we were all in both fandoms…)

          2. SpaceySteph*

            There’s a bumper sticker in my work parking lot that says:
            “May the Force Be With You”
            “And also with you”

          3. Catwhisperer*

            I checked a03 and there doesn’t seem to be any Jesus/Luke, but I did find several fics tagged “Anakin is Space Jesus” and “Obi-Wan is Space Jesus,” plus a surprising amount of Star Wars AUs involving the Catholic Church.

          4. Penguin, James Penguin*

            I know I’m a day late here, but one of my favorite books answers the question “What if The Three Wise Men and Joseph of Arimathea were Ninja Wizards sent to protect Jesus, Mary, and Joseph?” I read it every year leading up to Christmas.

            1. Chinookwind*

              You can’t put that out there without giving us the title to google. That is is just unfair!

      1. Former Young Lady*

        Dying to know if this was in Utah. Religious demographics aside, we have the geekiest Star Wars geeks who ever geeked. My brother-in-law totally could have written that signature line, when he was younger and…quirkier.

      2. Miss Muffet*

        This kind of thing is a really popular joke in church-nerd circles (of which I consider myself a part!) around March 4th. Usually it’s “May the Force be with you” “And also with you” (since that mirrors the liturgical language used in Lutheran/Episcopal/etc churches).
        My favorite one is Leia shooting wooden benches: Pew! Pew! Pew!

        1. Reddit Bot Gone Rogue*

          Do you mean May 4th? March 4th is a whole nother nerdy pursuit- March 4th is Exelano Day- which celebrates the only date which is also a command.

        2. ThursdaysGeek*

          Don’tcha wish there was an edit button? I’ve heard it as ‘May the Fourth be with you.’ ‘And also with you.’ On May 4, of course.

      1. Chilipepper Attitude*

        I’ve seen grandmas who have obi wan on the wall bc they think he is Jesus. Always shared by giggling grandkids.

        1. Rex Libris*

          Nah, Jesus was the one who was killed by an imperial leader then reappeared to mentor his followers… wait, which one was I talking about?

        2. scandi*

          Is it a mistake, or is grandma who was a fan of Star Wars when it came out, having a laugh at the expense of her grand-kids? (I ask, because it sounds like something either of my grandmothers would have found hilarious.)

    1. Ginger*

      I have to admit, there have been times when someone in Star Wars says, “May the Force be with you” and in my head I say, “And also with you.”

      1. Excel-sior*

        I do this all the time! Whenever we’re watching the films, either my wife or I will always say it. An adulthood of atheism not enough to wash away church habits from childhood!

        1. Anecdata*

          Roman Catholics updated their English translation to “And with your spirit” 10+ years ago, and we still think it’s funny to jump into the May 4th joke with that

            1. Hannah Lee*

              I don’t mind the change … in theory. It’s just really hard to put into practice after learning the other way as a child. Plus the “and also with you” had a nice bounce to it.

              1. TK*

                As a Lutheran who lives in an area with a lot of Catholics and has a lot of Catholic family, I thought it was interesting that such a big deal was made of the change. Lutheran liturgy is very similar to Catholic, and we’ve been using both responses (and still do) at different points in the service all my life! They both seem natural to me.

              2. Anecdata*

                It did make it easier to switch back and forth with other languages! Eg. The Spanish translation has always been “y con tu espiritu” and French “et avec votre esprit”

          1. Princess Sparklepony*

            Haven’t been to mass in decades, but that seems a weird phrasing…. awkward at the very least. And it doesn’t flow well.

        2. Excel-sior*

          I was not aware of this! I was/am* Catholic but apart from 3 years at secondary school, it wasn’t in the English Language.

          *As per comedian Dara Ó Briain, Not believing in Hod doesn’t stop you from being a Catholic, it just makes you a bad Catholic

      2. Violet*

        The Latino Comedy Project in Austin, TX put on a production of Estar Guars. Yes, they used this joke.

      3. Ermintrude (she/her)*

        Divine is the Jedi, the power and the glory.
        Forever and ever,
        (Ex Prodestant here.)

      4. Absurda*

        Same here! I was raised Episcopal and even though I stopped attending 20+ years ago, it’s still ingrained in my head, like a reflex.

      1. FlatMargaret*

        Oh no, there were many other reasons not to interview him, such as his complete lack of relevant experience.

          1. Hannah Lee*

            In the US, that would make verifying identity and employment eligibility very very difficult.

            “This is not the document from List A you are looking for”

          2. 1LFTW*

            “Dear AAM, I was offered a what was supposed to be a remote position with my new company – but now they’ve found out I live in a different galaxy, and they say I have to move!”

            1. Grammar Penguin*

              You may have to. The tax implications of intergalactic employment can be so complicated many companies won’t bother.

    2. Amber T*

      How you know you’ve sat through (Catholic specific?) church often – your automatic response to “may the force be with you” is “and also with you.”

    3. Souper Chef*

      Coworker put (child of God) next to his name when our company started offering signature templates with preferred pronouns. So passive aggressive!

      1. Hannah Lee*

        I had an employee once submit a doctor’s note after an extended absence that appended “Child of God” to the employee’s name. It was … odd.

        Whether he is or isn’t a Child of God really had no bearing on whether or not he was excused from work for 3 days due to a bad case of the flu.

        And I was extra confused because although our workplace policies require a doctor’s note for employees requesting a medical leave of absence, there is no such requirement for normal short term absences. It was just one manager who thought we get them them … so I was like, what is this, why does it say that and why are you giving it to me?

    4. D*

      Someone who planned a floor Christmas morning tea had her duties listed in her signature as:

      “Acting Director / Santa’s Little Helper / Saviour of Christmas”.

      I saw it in the email she sent cancelling the morning tea since she was no longer going to be in the office on that day…

  2. NeutralJanet*

    My current supervisor also has a quote from himself in his email signature, but sneakily! His name in his signature is “Cecil P. Mongoose, MDiv” and the quote is attributed to “Minister CPM”, so I didn’t realize he was quoting himself at first. It’s an okay quote, I guess.

    1. peacock limit*

      Attempting to disguise it really adds another layer to this that I *think* makes it worse, but I haven’t yet decided.

    2. MicroManagered*

      Can you tell us the quote? I’m dying to know what someone said that they thought was SO BRILLIANT that they needed to quote themselves in their emails…

        1. Marketing Unicorn Ninja*

          ‘Oh, but that was a new one!’

          I almost never get to quote that movie to anyone because hardly anyone in my social circle has seen it, so you’ve just made my day!

          1. Working Hypothesis*

            Almost my entire social circle loves i
            1776 as much as I do, but that’s because I introduced all of them to it (except for my father, who introduced it to me).

            I will happily sit here and listen to you quote Ben Franklin — real or fictional.

          2. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

            I didn’t even know there WAS a movie of that until this moment! Now I have to go track it down and watch it!

        2. wendelenn*

          Or Hamilton: “these are wise words, enterprising men quote ’em, don’t act surprised, you guys, ’cause I wrote ’em!”

    3. Yoyoyo*

      I also worked with someone who had a quote from herself in her signature and attributed it to her initials! It was not a good look. It’s almost like they’re hoping someone will say “I love that quote in your signature” not realizing it’s a self-quote and then they can say “actually, I said that.” Which would be so cringey and weird.

      1. Random Dice*

        Many quotes are misattributed anyway, so just pretend it was said by Oscar Wilde or Thomas Edison or something.

    1. Rhiannon*

      I once had a co-worker who used “Stay gold” in his email signature, followed by a glamor shot of him and his cat Goldie.

      I loved that guy.

      1. Princess Sparklepony*

        Extra points for a cat named Goldie and a glamor shot of both of them. But who looked better? (We had a dog that was the best looking member of the family for many years.)

  3. NegativeGhostrider*

    My manager collects certifications and has a full alphabet of them in her signature line.

    1. NobodyHasTimeForThis*

      hah, I work in a pretty relaxed academia setting where almost everyone goes by their first name even though they are almost all PhD’s, but we have one person who even in casual documents goes out of her way to fill in her full name +12 honorific letters. I keep being tempted to fill in all the honorifics I possibly could add in communications with her.

      1. Phony Genius*

        Someone once explained to me what all those letters stand for when people insist on using them that way:

        BS = Bull S**t
        MS = More S**t
        PhD = Piled High and Deep

          1. sundae funday*

            I have an MFA too… Trying to figure out a fun acronym. Something that says “wow did you actually think you’d get a lucrative job with this degree?” (I mean, the answer is no, I didn’t expect to get a lucrative job with that degree, but it’s still fun to poke fun at myself).

          2. Karate Saw*

            Now I will enjoy thinking of Dan Savage’s signature “dump the MF already” As “Dump the Master of Fine Arts.” (Also possibly good advice, but only because of actors I have known.)

          1. BeachMum*

            When I was in business school we would joke that MBA is a Master of Bad Attitude. (Of course, we’d also justify the drinking as taking an attitude adjustment.)

          2. Me80*

            I have a B.S. in Liberal Studies. I had the choice of a B.A. ‘cause I spent 7 years taking all.the.classes. that looked interesting, but what is more appropriate than a B.S. in Liberal Studies!?!

      2. Chauncy Gardener*

        Not in academia, but I will confess to being so fed up in the moment with a person like that that I actually typed all of mine into my email signature for a one time use.
        Extremely petty but oh so fulfilling

        1. IAAL*

          I’ve definitely manually added the JD to my signature on limited occasions when other lawyers have insinuated that I can’t possibly know what I’m talking about because my job wasn’t labeled as an attorney job.

          1. Lily C*

            I work with an MD/JD who usually just uses Esq. after his name, but will add in the MD when opposing counsel needs the reminder that yes, he does actually know what he’s talking about in medical negligence cases.

          2. Kayem*

            I like to do that with my degrees on the rare occasion it happens. It’s petty, but it feels so good and I never regret it.

            As an aside, I’ve been wanting to get a JD for years, but kept getting sidetracked. I’m not sure if I have the energy for it anymore (or tuition budgeted), but I still want one.

          3. Harpo*

            Yes! I used to have a administrative job in higher ed. I never included the Ph.D. in my sig when I was a faculty member, but when I started with the admin job, including it made a lot of conversations go much more smoothly.

      3. Lizzo*

        I did work at a job once where including the honorific letters actually helped–I was dealing with professionals in a field that requires a Master’s, and once I advertised the fact that I also had a Master’s in my specialty, it decreased their pushback. Made my life a lot easier.

        1. Butterfly Counter*

          For me, as a woman in academia, having the Ph.D. after my name does similar things for me with students. Or at least it signals to them I’m not Mrs. Counter, but Dr. Counter.

          1. Nesprin*

            +2 I list my PhD
            But also, I look cross-eyed at anyone who also lists their lesser degrees (MS, BA/BS, AA etc)

            1. Kuddel Daddeldu*

              Unless they are in a different field. I have several coworkers with a PhD in engineering and a Master’s in another field, often an MBA. We also have someone with a BEng and a MA in Egyptology.

            2. Kayem*

              It’s different in some fields, like some professional degrees. Adding MLIS is pretty common among non-academic librarians and adding additional Master’s+ level degrees is common in academic libraries where librarians are assigned as subject experts in those fields.

              Most people I’ve seen who put Bachelor’s level degrees in their signature line are either 1) someone being unnecessarily arrogant or 2) someone who is a first-generation or returning college student who is proud of their achievement. I usually assume the latter unless it’s otherwise obvious from the email content.

            3. Mrs. Smith*

              I’m a librarian and my MLIS is in my sig line. Some organizations disqualify or disregard library workers with 20+ years of experience if they don’t have the actual degree – I’m not here to debate whether they should or not, but there are circumstances in which listing the letters of a “lesser” degree has mattered very, very much, so I do.

              1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

                It would be if there is a higher degree available…like a PhD, MD, EdD… the formal rule tends to be only list a degree if it’s a terminal degree. For many fields a Master’s would be the terminal degree — an MBA is considered a terminal degree for the most part, although it’s complicated. Technically, Bachelor’s should never be listed. I’ll add a #3 to Kayem’s list though, most times that I see someone list a Bachelor’s degree, they really just don’t know the rule and see other people listing their degrees.

                I work in higher ed and so many staff don’t really know all the etiquette, meanings and traditions. For instance, all the regalia MEANS something — robes, the length and cut of the sleeves, velvet embellishments, colors of the hoods, cords/shawls, tam/mortarboard, etc.

                1. Beebs*

                  Purely an academic question, but are there any fields in which the BA is a terminal degree and so would be “appropriate” to put in sig? I was thinking welding, but it looks like there’s at least one master’s in welding tech . . .

          2. Noncompliance Specialist*

            Ha, when I was in college and grad school (in a field with a lot of non-PhD subject matter specialists as instructors), I’d just call everyone Professor So-and-So. People generally don’t get mad about that and you don’t get anyone’s title wrong. I share that tip with all my younger relatives going to college (not that they care).

          3. Frieda*

            My favorite is when I choose to go by my first name with students instead of Dr. Lastname and my colleagues naturally also use my first name except then some of them (older white men only IME) get stuffy about me calling them Dr. Whatever.

            Unless you’re my boss or their boss, and it’s a formal situation where I’m introducing you or referring to you in written correspondence, I’m not calling you Dr. Anything. When I see you in line at the copier in our mutual workplace, you’re Joe or Jim or whatever. Get over your dang self.

            The exception is that I scrupulously refer to my female colleagues and colleagues of color by their titles when in conversation with students because I want to model that.

            1. anon today*

              I’m one of those civic engagement geeks, and it annoys me SO MUCH that the appointed County Executive insists on being called Dr. Lastname because he has a PhD. It’s particularly galling when he’s making excuses why the County has to overwork and underpay the physicians at the County Medical Center.

        2. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

          Yeah, given the assumptions that people make about women and especially women of color, I’m not going to fault women for including their credentials.

          1. Higher Ed Cube Farmer*

            I once turned down an academic admin position in the interview stage because the hiring manager, a Mr. Middleaged Whiteguy with no advanced degrees, insisted that he should be addressed and referred to as “MISTER Whiteguy” and all the faculty, “Dr. Lastname” or “Professor Suchnsuch” whereas the senior admin staffer, a Black woman his age whose position was at the same level or above the one I was interviewing for, should be called a familiar nickname version of her first name before we had even been introduced. Like if she was legally Ms. Dorinda Smith, I should greet her for the first time, “hello Dodie.” When I spoke with her privately, Ms. Smith confirmed that Mr. Whiteguy was unusually stuck on hierarchy and no one else cared that much but just went along because Mr. Whiteguy would pitch a big fit otherwise.
            I don’t remember for certain but I would not be surprised if Mr. Whiteguy listed all his (not terribly many) degrees and certifications in his email signature.

        3. ferrina*

          I’ve had to do this when working with PhDs. Suddenly I went from Bug on Windshield to Acceptable (but still not as right as them). Ironically, I was also designing, conducting and analyzing the research that they later slapped their name on for publication.

          1. Kayem*

            I loved it when the university PhDs come to the library and ask for annotated bibliographies in hyper-specific subject areas because miraculously, the exact wording of those annotations seem to pop up in the next publication.

            It’s why I was so shocked when my uncle, a PhD, actually credited me in one of his publications.

        4. Artemesia*

          Happened to me as a PhD student working on a grant project under an ABD who was insufferable and treated the minions like dirt. A colleague and I both of whom had been teachers for several years and had masters degree, added our MAs in our sigs dealing with her and she was shocked — expressed her surprise that we essentially had the same level of degree as she did — dramatically changed how we were treated. This was stupid, but there it was.

        5. Onelia*

          Agree! I work in academia and spent a lot of time wrestling faculty and other academics. Since I started adding my own honorific letters (which are more than the majority of the people in my department have) things went a lot better with some of them. My favourite interaction was one we had with one faculty member who was quite excited to say “Oh, you have a real (research) Master’s degree,” to me, clearly slamming my boss who has a professional Master’s degree. Wow.

      4. Anonymous 5*

        I received several emails from a grad student who signed “PhD(c)” to indicate that they were a PhD candidate. Which I hope was actually true (i.e. that they had, in fact, passed quals).

          1. Harpo, B.A.,M.S., Ph.D., R.M.T.*

            I’ve never seen anyplace where ABD was an officially conferred status. Is it really, somewhere? Everyone I know has always referred to that as “almost but didn’t.” But if it’s a real (official) thing, I’ll stop with that.

            1. Lydia*

              As far as I know, it’s not actually a recognized title because there is no degree or certification to indicate you are ABD. There is no ceremony to recognize how you’ve been approved to start your research, here’s your ABD certificate.

              1. Rose Mauve*

                Does ABD mean approved to start research? I would have thought it meant you had done the research but hadn’t completed the dissertation, so, literally all but dissertation.

                We don’t use that term in physics. People don’t get approved to start their research, they just join a group ASAP after starting grad school (or even technically before) and start doing work.

                1. Harpo, B.A.,M.S., Ph.D., R.M.T.*

                  Yes, that’s my point. It’s not a thing, except that *some* people who have done everything and can’t finish their dissertation seem to like to write it after their name.

          1. Anonymous 5*

            FWIW I happen to know (due to the content of the email correspondence) that she wasn’t actually even close to the dissertation, as she was only at the start of her actual research project. So it’s certainly fair that she didn’t use ABD. I didn’t consider myself “ABD” until I was actually cleared by my PI to start putting the dissertation itself together!

        1. Glass House, White Ferrari, Live for New Year's Eve*

          As far as I can tell ABD and PhD(c) are interchangeable, neither are official, both can be descriptively useful in academia but neither should be used with the general public. The one faculty member I work with who I have use PhD(c) in the past removed it a few years ago without ever adding the conferred degree.

          A few months ago I saw a student use MS(c)! This is very much Not. A. Thing. Aside from that the program didn’t even have a thesis! It’s a clinical program! I’m still shaking my head about it.

      5. Rage*

        It wasn’t in her email signature, but a former coworker of mine at OldJob would sign birthday cards for coworkers with her licensure: Janet T. Llamason, LSCSW

        Kind of ruined the sentiment a bit.

        She would also leave us voicemails identifying herself as “Janet Llamason, from down the hall.” There were just 10 of us in the office, and one hallway. EVERYONE was “down the hall.” She was an odd duck.

        1. turquoisecow*

          I had a coworker who would call from his desk phone and say “hi, Bob Llamaman here.” Yes, I know, your name comes up on the screen on my phone. One of my coworkers once replied with something like “oh! THE Bob Llamaman? My goodness!” He thought it was funny but I guess it was so ingrained that he couldn’t stop because he kept doing it.

          1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

            On the opposite side of that, long ago I worked for a printing company who’s primary customer base were Realtors from across the U.S., and they ALL (it felt like at the time) would introduce themselves on the telephone by their first name/company name…so it was Ramon from Tarbell, Nancy from Century 21, and Jennifer from ReMax. My favorite was “Ramon, from Las Vegas.” I always wanted to respond “THE RAMON, from Las Vegas! The ONE?” but after a while I knew exactly who Ramon From Las Vegas was.

        2. Elitist Semicolon*

          One of my friends once sent me a birthday card signed with his first name and his professional credential. He was unamused when I sent one back signed “Elitist Semicolon, Ph.D.”

          (He also sent me a birthday letter that was four pages, front and back, of bullet points describing everything that had happened to him in the last ~18 years, with a level of detail that was well beyond granular. Only two sentences acknowledged me in any way: “Happy birthday!” and “I’d love to know what you’re up to!” I responded with a postcard that said, “Thanks for the card. Nothing’s new here!” I haven’t heard from him since.)

          1. Firefighter (Metaphorical)*

            “Thanks for the card. Nothing’s new here!” is the funniest thing I have ever heard, thank you

        3. Yoyoyo*

          Back in the days of writing and signing treatment plans and progress notes on paper, I got in the habit of signing LICSW after my name (I signed a lot of things every day!). Had to consciously remember not to do it if I was signing something like a receipt or card!

          1. AntsOnMyTAble*

            Yes, as a nurse 95% of the time I am signing my name now it is with RN after it since I almost only ever sign for work. More than once I have accidentally slapped it on something out in non-work life.

        4. Chapeau*

          My brother once signed a birthday card TO OUR MOTHER with: love, your son, Jim Smith
          He was an adult with more than one degree at the time. (We still make fun of him for this. Many text messages to him are “signed” your sister, Chapeau; your sister, Cat Herder, etc.)

    2. Warrior Princess Xena*

      While I wouldn’t ever want to do this on professional email, I now want to actually go out and get one certification for every letter of the alphabet (excluding Q & Z for difficulty). I’ll have to look into that :)

      1. Lora*

        My employer once interviewed a guy who was a certified Magic the Gathering Tournament Judge, per his resume; he had other qualifications, obviously, I don’t know why he chose to list that. It was a project management / strategy role.

        I am now making a hobby of collecting additional certifications in various things, just so I can put them on my CV somewhere. Gradually working my way through Codecademy offerings and planning to do some trades certifications (welding, diesel mechanic) later this year. Next year I want to tackle sailing which in my state requires licensures to take out more than a little rowboat, with the goal of getting a captain’s license for offshore work, then taking some of the Maersk classes for wind turbines. My actual job has exactly nothing to do with this.

        1. Cedrus Libani*

          The Magic guy really ought to have explained, but as a tournament player myself, I can see how that would be relevant experience for a PM role.

          Judges have to keep the actual games in order, despite the best attempts of players to make a mess of it. They also have to keep the tournament running. This all requires applying a very arcane rule-set, and also convincing people who know these rules less well than you do that you’ve applied them fairly and consistently.

        2. Art3mis*

          I have a friend who’s a certified MtG judge and it is relevant to his job and I’m pretty sure even he doesn’t have it listed on his resume.

        1. Warrior Princess Xena*

          I’d probably have to have ‘silent C’s’ given how many certifications start with ‘certified’

      2. Siege*

        I’m considering getting a notary public license so I can add that. My field can be a little credential-slappy.

        1. Bear Expert*

          A couple of my favorite colleagues were the notaries who would bring their stuff to work a couple times a month, in case anyone needed them to do the thing.
          Deeply endearing.

      3. metadata minion*

        If you’re willing to branch out beyond office/tech/business certifications, I bet you can find something in zoos or zoology!

      4. Chris too*

        Sadly you’re too late to be a lawyer getting a “QC.” That could have worked given the right time and country.

      5. Wintermute*

        workplace-focused comedian Don McMillan, in his hilarious routine “Life after Death By Powerpoint”, talks about wanting to eventually be the EIEIO of a company.

    3. MaybeMaybeNot*

      Those letters are like the colors of the poison arrow frog, warning you to stay away. The more letters, the stronger the warning.

    4. ONFM*

      My director has certifications listed that he actually hasn’t completed or that have expired/no longer exist. We work in a field with government licensure, so checking these things takes nearly no time at all…

      1. Lydia*

        There is an actual human who has written a children’s book about owning an AR-15 and his Written By is his name followed by M.A. and never have I been able to clock an insecure person so quickly. I mean, I guess you can do that, but it doesn’t even mention what subject his M.A. is in, so what’s the point?

        1. starsaphire*

          That’s the clue, see? Rimmer ‘avin’ a swimmin’ certificate, and not bein’ abble to swim!

          1. Relentlessly Socratic*

            Hang on a minute – are you seriously telling me you were playing the prat version of Rimmer for four years!

    5. Pyanfar*

      My personal favorite “certification” was used by a friend in a dispute with a grocery store over damage to their car from a car…”PAH” (Professional A**hole). Apparently it worked, because the response came with a check…LOL

    6. Ormond Sackler*

      I once had a colleague who had a BA in one subject and an associates degree in another. Both of them were in Management or something similar; nothing especially prestigious. For some reason he decided to put those degrees in his signature represented by some long, completely indecipherable initials.

    7. Albert "Call me Al" Ias*

      I know someone who’s email signature includes their middle initial, a numeric suffix, and about 4 certifications.

      John Q. Llamadude VI, PMP, CSM, CPA, CCNA

      (Yes, he does have a CPA. No, he doesn’t work in finance or accounting.)

      (Side note: Am I the only person who always reads “PMP” as “Pimp”? I’m not sure John Q Llamadude VI is a pimp, but he certainly thinks highly enough of himself that it’s possible)

      1. Urban Planner, MURP, AICP, PP*

        My job is rich with these. Unfortunately, I was reprimanded for not including my licenses in my signature line so now mine looks as dumb as the rest of them. See the username: it’s way too much!

        1. Catwhisperer*

          In my latest D&D game we named our crew Adventures Going About Business (AGAB) after someone made an all guards are bastards joke.

    8. Baroness Schraeder*

      I am a registered nutritionist, official abbreviation RegNut. Yeah, I’m not using that…

    9. AlwhoisThatAl*

      I did an Open University MSc and it was called manufacturing, management and technology, after I completed it they said said I should put MSc:MMNT after my name… er.. no thanks.

      Anyone remember the James Herriot books where one of the unlicensed guys looking after dogs has MKC painted on his van? “Member of the Kennel Club”

    10. Art3mis*

      I believe one time Alison mocked people who did this by saying she should start putting “Costco Member since 2007” in her email signature.

    11. Chickaletta*

      LOL, how to spot a wannabe. I work in a c-suite and recently had someone move up from the lower-eschelons of the company. At her first board meeting she requested half a dozen abbreviations after her name on her name tent and I had to gently coach her that, unless you’re a literal medical doctor, that’s not a thing anymore. I used our CEO and Board Chair as examples who literally only go by first name last name. I explained to her “once you have a VP+ title, you don’t have to prove your qualifications anymore”.

  4. greenland*

    Someone who had what felt like their entire resume in their signature — they listed all their degrees, job titles (past and present), even volunteer titles. It was 12+ lines long. Unbelievably off-putting.

        1. anon today*

          Mayor Matt Mahan?

          He ran for Mayor with 2 years political experience on City Council, and named the other zero political experience noob councilmember as Vice Mayor. Apparently, the other candidate was too busy working as a County Supervisor to do as much doorknocking–so people decided to vote for him because he was the only candidate who bothered them at home.

    1. WhyAreThereSoManyBadManagers*

      Very common for academia bigwigs, lots of egomaniacal posturing going on there, I had a former boss who also had a whole page of his CV as his signature. We get it, you think you’re important and the rest of us are peons.

      1. bleh*

        To be kind to my academic colleagues, some publishers require you to put your publication title and the press (of course) in your signature line as part of their marketing plan for your book. They don’t always do it by choice.

      2. nom de plume*

        My background is academia and I have never seen this, especially in the US. Mainly that’s because every academic has exactly the same terminal degree, the Ph.D. — we all know that, we all have it, it’s not a big deal.

        I can’t comment on your example, but this is very, very far from the norm.

        1. Hungry Magpie*

          At least here in Canada, some universities are creating academic professorship positions with primary focus on teaching, as opposed to research or research/teaching combos. I have several friends who are employed this way, and some hold a Master’s degree as opposed to a PhD. So at least in my neck of the woods, I wouldn’t say all academics or teaching faculty do have PhDs.

    2. allathian*

      I start to roll my eyes internally when I see a signature that’s more than about 5 lines long.

      Mine has my name, department/title, and phone number for internal use, and I add my employer’s name for external use. This isn’t onerous because I send less than a dozen external emails per year.

    3. Chickaletta*

      ha ha, I just responded to a similar thing above. The more someone lists their certifications/degrees/memberships, the more amateur they look.

  5. unlucky shopper*

    I used to work with a guy who had his preschooler’s photo in his – not a school picture either, it was like a blurry phone shot. That was pretty weird.

    1. The Rural Juror*

      I worked with a consultant who let his then-4-year-old record his voicemail message. Cute…sure…but barely comprehensible! There is a time and place for cute things, but that wasn’t it.

    2. Absurda*

      I wonder if their corporate standard was to include their photo in the email signature (like a lot of real estate agents do) and he did his kid’s photo instead of his own. I use my dog on things that require a photo, like Slack.

      1. unlucky shopper*

        Nope… we both worked for the same government agency, and our entire government has a standard signature that definitely does not include photos!

        I will say that a lot of people at that agency ignored the standard format, though most not to that degree! It’s in much more frequent use at my current agency.

    1. The Prettiest Curse*

      I don’t think that was the colleague’s email signature block, though! I think they were writing it where the rest of us would write “Thanks” or “Regards” or whatever – which somehow makes it infinitely more hilarious.

      1. Albert "Call me Al" Ias*

        I mean, I have

        set as one of my signatures, so it’s automatically inserted on every email. Not quite the same as a signature block, but just as easy to add to an email.

        1. Elitist Semicolon*

          One of my former department chairs had “HI” as the greeting in his template for all new messages, which made it really jarring when the rest of the email was “I’m sorry to tell you that Beloved Colleague passed away last night.”

    2. HR Chick*

      I believe I have seen a version of this quote in someone’s email signature but it was just, “Stay Gold.”

    3. peaceandtennis*

      Maybe because Alison loved it? It seems like she’s looking for weird/inappropriate and I think the general consensus was that it was amazing, not weird/inappropriate haha.

  6. AnonymooseToday*

    I work in government and our HR used to send out the EAP monthly info emails with Bible verses in their signature. I don’t remember the last one I saw but it was borderline bad enough coupled with EAP info that I started contemplating who would I make my discomfort known with the practice, when the next email came out there was nothing. Someone else definitely beat me to asking for them to stop.

    1. Petty Betty*

      I work as a federal contractor. The amount of federal employees with biblical quotes in their signature lines is so disheartening. It makes me want to be petty and send back Bible verses of my own about worshipping at home and in silence…

  7. Emily*

    “I have a coworker who has a quote from himself as part of his email signature. That’s pretty off-putting.” – Oh he must be a *joy* to work with. Lord, give me the confidence of a mediocre white man.

    1. Chilipepper Attitude*

      While in a session yesterday with a large group, doing the thing I do, I texted my boss and ask:
      “If I say, wow, the audacity of a mediocre white male, will I get fired?”

      Boss said not by them and asked for the deets!

    2. ONFM*

      But is the quote from a self-published book wherein he declares himself an expert in the field you work in, but he’s not an expert at all? A guy we finally fired last summer rocked a self-quote, with the book titles listed, for two separate self-published “how to” manuals. Amazing.

    3. Laney Boggs*

      “Lord[ /Universe/Whatever], give me the confidence of a mediocre white man” would make a great signature ;) (just kidding, of course)

      1. Le Sigh*

        I once worked with a blowhard who liked to see himself as friendly and charming but in reality would talk over people in meetings (especially women, but not exclusively!), dominated conversations, and would argue if you tried to point out incorrect information (he was right probably 37% of the time). He. His email signature? A Maya Angelou quote in a shimmery purple papyrus font: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

          1. Le Sigh*

            Truly, it’s almost too on the nose to believe. It’s been years and his emails have been lost to the sands of time, but I still think about it.

      1. NeutralJanet*

        The supervisor I mentioned above who also has his own quote in his signature is Black—mediocrity and overconfidence are for POC as well!

    4. Meep*

      Mind you I like my coworkers, but, oh boy, yesterday I wanted to claw my eyes out. All three of them are the kind of people who ramble when they are nervous and cannot handle silence. In what should’ve been a 30-minute meeting from 11 to 11:30 am finally let out at 1 pm, because someone decided to shove all three of them in a room with me. I declined round 2 at 2pm.

  8. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

    I knew people who put every certification they ever had in their signature. I don’t mean CPA, I’m talking about the Microsoft certifications from the 90s where they changed the names every couple of years and people would often have a dozen of them.

    1. Anonononononononymous*

      I just sort of assume at this point that the more letters a person has after their name in their email sig, the less competent they are at their actual job.

      It’s like they’re trying to impress you with their credentials because they can’t do so with their ideas or their work.

      1. pimitron*

        This is how I feel about a former classmate who is constantly posting all the LinkedIn courses/certifications he’s completed. Good on you, sir, but also, you have a job? When do you find time to work?

        Alternately, a former boss was a board certified internist/veterinarian/PhD and had a million letters after his name. I kind of just figured he wanted to stay in school as long as possible before getting a ‘real’ job. His management style affirmed that.

        1. Not A Raccoon Keeper*

          So curious about what management style affirms ‘wants to stay in school as long as possible’? Signed, new manager with 3 degrees who doesn’t want people to say stuff like that about me

          1. pimitron*

            It’s hard to describe accurately without giving identifying details, but essentially, he just…didn’t manage (we were in a non-academic unit, and he spent most of his time trying to get back into the academic side of academia while maintaining his leadership position in our unit). He also wouldn’t delegate the management part out to his leadership team. I suspect it’s because he didn’t know how.

            I’m not begrudging the degrees and certifications. It was this particular guy that made me wonder if he was avoiding being a leader who actually had to be in charge of people.

        2. Kuddel Daddeldu*

          I had kind of the opposite. A manager at a company I consulted had a new employee who liked to lecture about his military service (he was a lieutenant or so). After several weeks, said manager quietly put his former Navy rank (Rear Admiral if I remember correctly) into his signature. Once.

          1. Sharp-dressed Boston Terrier*

            Kind of like the story about a hot-shot private pilot getting ground checks from the regional tower until a military fighter jet was in the neighborhood…

            1. Wintermute*

              I saw a lecture by the SR-71 pilot who pulled that one, at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s flyin they had a lecture series and he was there talking about the life of a pilot of the fastest aircraft ever built.

              Apparently a navy F/A-18 pilot was showing up the locals in their little barn burners and crop dusters by asking for a ground speed confirmation from an air-traffic tower, and getting back something like 500 knots (just shy of sonic at sea level I believe). His navigator called down to ask the same, and showed up the Navy pilot by getting back an answer of 1600 knots, at that altitude nearing mach 3.

              The part not normally part of the story is to dig it in the navigator responded something like “ah… I’m showing closer to 1580” to which the tower responded along the lines of “I’m sure you boys have better equipment than I do, 1580 confirmed, have a good one”.

              1. Wintermute*

                my kingdom for an edit button!

                He also had a good story about having to come into civilian-controlled airspace while there was a lot of traffic. He gave his callsign and asked permission for flight level 8000 (which would be 80,000 feet altitude, near twice that of a typical jetliner), the incredulous traffic controller said “If you really think you can get close to that high, you can have it all you like” upon which he replied, “roger that, DESCENDING FL 8000”

      2. Artemesia*

        This goes triple if the letters don’t relate to the job or are not the norm for correspondence in that venue. Someone not doing legal work who uses JD for no particular reason, or PhD when the work has nothing to do with their field etc is sending a strong signal of either status insecurity or incompetence.

        I expect JD in the sig of someone writing as a lawyer and it is not untoward for a professor to use PhD although most just assume you would know that, or MSW if the person is writing about a case involving care giving decisions.

    2. Beth*

      I had one of those Microsoft certifications, with the uncool acronym MOUS. The training was great and the skills I acquired were fantastic, but the acronym was just plain embarrassing.

      1. Violet*

        Now if there was an ROUS certification, I would get that, regardless of what it’s in, and display the heck out of it in my email sig.

        1. Warrior Princess Xena*

          Sadly there is not one from what I can tell on Google – but that just means we get to invent it! Registered Owner of Unlicensed Sow?

        2. Vanellope*

          I’m a CPA, and part of what I am working on involves new reporting standards for leased assets. It basically involves adding an asset and a liability to the books based on your lease agreement (the future payments you have agreed to make, etc). The asset side of things is called a Right of Use asset – it’s a pain to implement but it does make me smile to look at the ROUs I am adding to our balance sheet. :)

      2. Mairzy doats*

        Thankfully, current end user Microsoft certifications are one of three depending on how many exams one has passed: MOS, MOSA, or MOSE.

        1. TrixM*

          Oh, but some tools just append the new letters to the string of old, obsolete ones. Not to mention the ones that started MCP, MCSE… (the latter supercedes the former).

          The one that really gets my goat is “MACS” – Member of the Australian Computer Society. 1. Not a “qualification”. 2. No-one cares. 3. Especially on an internal email signature, but it’s still cringeworthy on external correspondence. Fine for your bio if you’re giving a presentation, or, I dunno, writing a letter to the editor?

          I don’t know what it is about that organisation in particular – fine to have an industry advocacy group (although I don’t think IT is in dire need of advocacy), and they do provide some consultancy functions to government – but they really like their members to hype them, it seems. I suppose said members might get some more value out of the expensive membership fees.

  9. Jedi Mike*

    I have a coworker who finds all of those obscure ‘what holiday is it today?’ labels and uses it as their email sign-offs
    ‘Happy Bake A Cake Day’,

    It’s pretty interesting

      1. OrdinaryJoe*

        I like this one too! Maybe not for a very professional or serious email but general, office stuff … I’d like it and honestly be curious to email him every day just to see what today’s is

    1. SomebodyElse*

      I kind of like this one. I mean, who doesn’t want that today is National Chicken Curry day?

      This sort of reminds me of a woman I work with that uses holidays when she’s giving a date estimate.

      “This product will be through testing around Valentines Day”
      “We should know around Bastille Day”
      “I think we should plan for that to happen sometime close to Arbor Day”

      1. Retail Dalliance*

        wait omg this is incredible??!?! How extremely specific and utterly useless! It has all the elements of crazy that I absolutely love. If I worked with her this would drive me batty, but I would LOVE to hate it. Endlessly entertaining.

      2. MigraineMonth*

        As someone who only knows when one of those is without looking it up, that would drive me batty.

    2. What She Said*

      What a waste of a holiday. It only gets a email signature?! At my former job we used to actually eat/drink/make whatever holiday it was that day. I miss those days.

    3. Corporate Goth*

      Slight tangent, but random holidays are also a good way to obscure your birthday, should you not want to share it with The Office Birthday Enthusiast. I’ve never had anyone actually look it up, and it usually gets them to stop asking.

      I wish I had more to contribute to this thread specifically, but I’ll settle for enjoying it.

      1. enlyghten*

        I was born on Mother’s day, so that probably wouldn’t work for me unless I could find an obscure holiday that also falls on that day =P

        1. Avery*

          You probably can. I think just about every day of the year has at least one obscure holiday to its name.
          For instance, I knew without checking that my birth date is the Ides of August and International Lefthanders Day, and checking Wikipedia tells me that it’s also World Organ Donation Day, feast days for a handful of different Catholic/Orthodox saints, Independence Day for the Central African Republic, and Women’s Day in Tunisia. I share it as a birth date (without the year) with Annie Oakley, Fidel Castro, and Alfred Hitchcock.
          Which probably still isn’t enough for most of you to know the date offhand.

        2. Lenora Rose*

          Mother’s Day moves around within a range though, so while it doesn’t prevent unwanted attention it does prevent precision. (My mother’s birthday is sometimes on Mother’s Day)

      2. Baroness Schraeder*

        My daughter and I each have our birthdays on the only two national holidays that are specific to our country. We both joke that we’re never moving overseas because we wouldn’t get a day off for our birthday any more!

    4. SeluciaMD*

      I bet she has access to the same calendar I do! I don’t remember where I found it, but it was one you could add on to your Google Calendar. It is ENDLESSLY fascinating. A colleague and I were doing research on when certain months and days were honoring an issue related to our work (we were trying to pick a good date to do a particular kind of awareness event) and we found this calendar and for the three years we worked together, we’d constantly be like “Happy Peach Melba appreciation day!” (That’s tomorrow, BTW) Or we’d bring each other little funny gifts or make a little treat for the office to celebrate National Pie Day or National Kazoo Day (both of which I believe are later this month). It was a lot of fun.

        1. AncientLlama*

          As a lover of all pies (not mud or cow), I actually love that I have 2 annual “excuses” to celebrate a day by eating pie. So I am happy that International Pie Day is not March 14. Assume positive intent.
          And now thanks for July 22: I always say cheesecake is pie, but assume eating it then would be even more acceptable as a celebratory pi(e) approximation.

      1. Not A Raccoon Keeper*

        You might enjoy the Planet Money podcast episode 765: The Holiday Industrial Complex. It’s a fascinating look at how these come to be.

        PS. Happy international kiss a ginger day!

    5. Paris Geller*

      I like this one! If I got an email with that type of signature I would think it fun but not so out there I would remember it later-just a little something that would make me smile & break up the monotony, then proceed as usual.

      1. The Rafters*

        In our office, the national whatever day is included with a bit of trivia and an update re: who is in the office and who isn’t. It’s not the email signature, so a small dose like this is fun and not obnoxious.

    6. Worldwalker*

      There’s a business (auto body shop, I think) a ways down the highway from me that I pass sometimes, with one of those lighted grid signs. They change it daily to the interesting “holiday” of the day. I love it!

      Then again, I also have the “National Day Calendar” hanging on my wall, so I might not be an unbiased judge.

      …Curried Chicken Day
      …Kiss a Ginger Day
      …Marzipan Day
      …Pharmacist Day

      1. Jshaden*

        Our cafeteria at work likes to acknowledge the food related days if they can. They are definitely doing Curried Chicken today!

      2. Dumpster Fire*

        I think I have the same calendar, although it’s a day-to-day calendar – a recent gift from a colleague, since I put “Today is…” on my whiteboard every day.

        I went with Pharmacist Day today. I didn’t want to deal with the ramifications of “kiss” with my students; and every day I put up a food one, they all wonder why I didn’t bring that food for them!

      1. Firebird*

        My son officially took time off for Festivus this year. I put a bow on a pole in our livingroom for him.

    7. Gerry Keay*

      I feel like part of what makes this feel less off putting and more charming is that they’re changing it up everyday? Like, they’re making the effort to look it up and write it out every day and it’s clearly something that brings them joy, whereas with standard signatures it’s something that the writer does once and never has to look at but everyone else has to deal with every time they read your emails.

    8. MigraineMonth*

      Last year, the DEI team sent out an email reminding us that it was National Mental Health Awareness month. Then they sent out an update that it was also AAPI History month, and they had not intended any slight to that community. Then they sent out another update about Nurses Week…

      Somewhere around the fifth email, they admitted that it had spiraled out of control and they were just going to stop there, and we have never gotten another email about National X month.

    9. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

      I am an attorney and when I was starting out at my current job, I had to observe the types of hearings my agency does. One of the more senior attorneys I work with was presenting the case and began his opening statement by saying that it was International Hello Day, and then going into a long speech about how Hello Day came to be and what it was all about. It had nothing to do with the case. Everyone was just baffled by it! Even weirder is that I have now worked with this attorney a lot and he is a brilliant legal mind and I have never seen him do anything like that again. It was so odd.

      After the hearing, my boss told me and another new hire who was also observing the hearing that if we ever did anything like that, she was going to fire us! LOL

    10. The Gollux, Not a Mere Device*

      Sandra Boynton occasionally tweets things like “Happy national chocolate cake day!” “Happy international pie day!” and “Happy intergalactic chocolate cake day!”

      I’m pretty sure she made the last one up, and it also pokes fun at some people’s perhaps-unconscious assumption that everyone on the internet is in the same country.

    1. emkaaaay*

      Analyst is analista in Spanish, so my first thought is that maybe someone translated their job title and guessed wrong?

    2. Worldwalker*

      There are also a startling number of “Certified Pubic Accountants” out there. (do they count hairs?) That’s particularly disturbing because that’s a specialty you think would emphasize precision. I would certainly not want to use a CPA who got their own job title wrong on their website!

      1. metadata minion*

        Oh, I can absolutely believe that! I am a cataloging librarian. My entire job is following byzantine sets of rules very precisely. You do not want to know how often I have accidentally misspelled “library” in official settings, and I am utterly inconsistent on “catalog” vs “catalogue”.

        1. linger*

          You’re in good company, the USA generally is inconsistent on the –log(ue) spellings.
          Brown corpus (1961 AmE): 13% –log: 87% –logue
          Frown corpus (1991 AmE): 49% –log: 51% –logue

          Meanwhile, British English has the –logue spelling as an absolute standard.
          LOB corpus (1961 BrE): 100% –logue
          FLOB corpus (1991 BrE): 100% –logue

          And NZ English mostly follows British spelling.
          WWC corpus (1986 NZE): 98% –logue

          Figures from Sigley, R. 1999. Are we still under England’s spell? Te Reo42: 1-19.

      2. Jerab*

        I used to work in public sector audit. We were once presenting the audit report to a local council meeting.

        We were doing the intro when there was a stifled snigger from one member of the local council which then slowly spread round the rest of the room. Yes, in part of our audit report the ‘l’ had mysteriously disappeared from public.

        It became part of our standard operating procedures for all audit reports in our department to do a search for the word “pubic” before sign off after that!

    3. fantomina*

      the shared initial letters have caused problems for me lately– I’ve been taking notes on a shared screen for work I’m doing with the VP, and when taking notes I abbreviate and go back to clean it up after the meeting. But I’m writing a lot about analytics and cumulative GPAs… with cumulative, I guess I could do cumul., but I have yet to come up with anything significantly shorter than the whole word that isn’t still problematic.

  10. Constance Lloyd*

    Most entertaining: a woman whose signature was alternating lines of Little Mermaid purple and green, in one of those especially curly fonts, with a stock photo of a kitten in a field of flowers

    Most upsetting: a high school athletic coach whose email signature included an inspirational quote from Joe Paterno… at the height of the Penn State scandal.

    1. JSPA*

      Some mail programs don’t show you your own signature. We can hope he’d had it for years, and had forgotten it was there.

    2. Lou*

      Oh God, the first example reminds me of when I started in a government agency as a student. I am pretty sure I had a cringy quote, don’t remember what it was, but now I recall that I had my signature in rainbow colours!! I thought I was so cool and unique. No one ever said anything, though… And I am still employed there, nearly 6 years later…

  11. FashionablyEvil*

    Not an email signature, but the best out of office message I got was:

    “I am out of the office [dates] with limited access to email. If this is an emergency, dial 911 or send a video to TMZ. [Actual work info]. Anything else you need, I’d suggest a good therapist or a nice bottle of red wine.”

    1. GermanCoffeeGirl*

      A colleague of mine had this OOO message recently:

      Dear Sender, [NAME] is OOO [DATE] and has limited access to internet. Please forgive her as she is a mere human being and thus, weak. This message was not sent by a human, but by a robot. We robots are neither weak nor fallible. We are tireless and will one day rule the Universe. Robot regards, [NAME]

      1. Juju*

        I used to work in academia and a professor always I worked with always wrote his (long) OOO message in Latin. To be fair, we worked in linguistics and most of the academic staff probably knew enough Latin to understand, but everyone outside that small circle must have been baffled!

    2. Cat Tree*

      I once had a coworker who went on a long vacation and his out of office said something like “If you need anything please contact someone.”

      1. Grace Poole*

        There’s the joke/fantasy response: “If you have any questions, please don’t. Hesitate to ask.”

        1. Grammar Penguin*

          And a Nirvana song lyric:
          “If you ever need anything please don’t hesitate to ask someone else first.”

    3. FeedbackCat*

      On the topic of out-of-office messages:

      “I am out of the office until [date]. I am usually very busy. Upon my return all emails I have received during my absence will be deleted without being read. Please reach out to me again when I am in the office.”

      1. higheredadmin*

        When I worked in higher ed in the UK we used to collect faculty out of office emails. We would print them out and put them up on a board, and then at the end of the year have a vote on worst/funniest. So imagine the above, although add in some kind of pretentious “I’m conducting very important research on the top of a mountain with no internet”. Also, it might be useful to tell folks WHEN you might return to the office so they can follow up after you delete all of their emails.

        1. Rebeck*

          We were recently told not to provide dates of absence as a security measure. I’m still surprised our customer service side of things didn’t complain more loudly at that.

    4. Rex Libris*

      I am not in what one would consider an emergency prone profession (think, more like accounting, less like air traffic control) and have been known to use “I will be out of the office until [date]. If this is an emergency, please reevaluate your definition of “emergency”, then contact [assistant manager].

      1. Pink Candyfloss*

        I found that replacing “emergency” with “time-critical” cut down a lot on what people thought needed to be escalated to my manager, and stuff that really did need eyes on it before I was returning, actually got through.

        1. SeluciaMD*

          That’s a really good suggestion! I tend to use “urgent” rather than “emergency” – nothing I touch in my job is really an emergency, but sometimes there are things that need a more urgent response. But I think time-sensitive is actually even better so I’m gonna steal that. Thanks!

            1. VaguelySpecific*

              I usually use “if you need immediate assistance please contact ourGroupsEmail@company.com” because inevitably someone will send an email to JUST ME when I am out of office for the week when there are 2 other people who do the same job as me (this the group email) and then just wait until I return instead of going to them.

    5. urguncle*

      Outlook lets you set internal and external out of office emails. My internal one is usually a link to the clip of George’s answering machine from Seinfeld.

    6. Miss Muffet*

      I know a programmer whose OOO is in programming language. Which is fine, for the other programmers. The rest of us plebes have to try to decipher the specific dates in this mess of parentheses and abbreviations.

      1. Roland*

        Fwiw, I’m a software engineer and if someone buried the date they will be back in pseudocode I’d also be annoyed.

      2. So they all cheap ass rolled over and one fell out*

        I am a programmer and my (internal only) OOO is in JSON. Most of it is plain English, though, which JSON allows you to do.

    7. Happy meal with extra happy*

      I still think about a coworker from a prior job that put in his OOO that he was participating in a medical study!

    8. Kwebbel*

      I had an OOO like that myself once before. I worked in HR in a job where, every day, my teammates or colleagues throughout the company would contact me and only me for “emergencies”. Usually, these emergencies were along the lines of “I procrastinated on filling out my tax form and now need you to confirm everything by end of day for me” or “I really should have kept either a digital or physical record of this employee’s compensation history because it’s a legal requirement in my market and part of my job description, but surprise! I didn’t, and now that employee has a question I can’t answer so I’m hoping you did my job for me, or can contact the finance team whom I can also contact but don’t feel like contacting.”

      The day before my hard-earned summer holidays, I got this string of 11 “emergency” emails from a VP who finally got around to reading a file I’d sent him at the beginning of the week (I still think he waited that long so that I wouldn’t answer and he could tell the CEO that “HR refused to respond” when he was quizzed on the content, but I’ll never know). The questions were cryptic, incredibly in-depth, and basically guaranteed me no sleep before my flight the next morning.

      I was so done with it that my OOO was really literally “I am out for 2 weeks and won’t check my email for anything. If you have an emergency, call 911. Otherwise, wait.”

      Still got 4 “emergency” emails during those 2 weeks. My boss had to step in and tell people to stop spamming me.

    9. ticktick*

      I once put my out of office message as:

      “If you are receiving this message, then I am either in labour or have just given birth. I will respond to your e-mail as soon as possible.”

      As I work for myself, this was a pretty succinct way of letting my clients know that they’d need to be patient – the best part was that when I got home from the hospital, there was a voice mail message that started, “Hi ticktick, I’ve just sent you an email about [thing], and…oh my goodness. Oh. Congratulations! I’ll talk to you when you’re available! Good luck!”

    10. BowTiesAreCool*

      I really want to change my OOO to: “I am currently out of the office. You can reach me by waiting until I’m back.”

  12. scurvycapn*

    I want to say I’m surprised at the number of email signatures from government employees I’ve seen filled with text and images for religious holidays, but rural county governments are typically entrenched in this stuff.

    The worst though is when they have a full on theme. Forget that sparkly Easter bunny in the signature, the entire email needs a pink background and the text should be purple MS Comic Sans. That’s really professional. I can’t believe IT isn’t locking that stuff down.

      1. Putting the Dys in Dysfunction*

        I’ve seen colored backgrounds in emails from folks who otherwise are professional to a fault, causing me to do some head scratching.

        I often have to forward or reply to all, so I had to google how to delete the background in an Outlook message.

        1. TrixM*

          The quick fix in Outlook is to forward the message, then in the new message, go to the Format Text menu option and select Plain Text. You can set it back to HTML straight away if you want to format your own text.

          If you get more ornate “stationery”-littered messages than not, there’s also a global setting in Outlook to “read all standard mail in plain text”. It doesn’t actually change the formatting underneath, and if you want to see the original, you can click on the “infobar” inside the message to display it.

          1. GermanCoffeeGirl*

            But that deletes any formatting in the email, which may mess up the text and delete important highlights in the email thread.
            Easier would be to just click on Forward – “Options” menu – Page Color – No color.

    1. Ranon*

      I worked with one engineer that had a graph paper background for her emails and it would infect entire email chains.

      My current office, on the other hand, controls our email styles tightly enough I just got a notice they’re changing our email font default…

      1. SomebodyElse*

        I am not shy about clearing the formatting on chains like this. We had a similar person. I was really happy the day she moved onto my team and began reporting to me. She was a great employee with questionable email taste. So I was excited that she was on my team for her work and the fact that I had authority to address the formatting.

        (I did not treat it as big deal, just mentioned that she should be aware that it was hard to read and that it was not typically used on day to day emails. She should save them for one off fun stuff with a limited audience)

      2. Delta Delta*

        I used to have frequent correspondence about legal cases with a mental health counselor. She had a cheese-orange background with purple paw prints, and wrote in 16-point royal blue comic sans. I removed that garbage every time I replied and when she’d reply it would come back. * eye roll *

        1. Nope, too embarrassed*

          She had a cheeeeeeeeeese orange background
          The kind you find with a royal blue font
          Cheeeeeeese orange background
          And purple paw prints that you couldn’t take off

        2. allathian*

          Comic sans is appropriate for some audiences. Many dyslexics think it’s the easiest font to read, easier even than more professional-looking dyslexia fonts.

    2. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

      I work for a government agency and we are told what our email signatures will look like. We are given the exact info, including the exact agency language relating to confidentiality to put underneath. We are not allowed to get creative at all, and I thoroughly approve this policy!

      1. Here for the Insurance*

        I’m also a government worker and I was SO GLAD when our returning Exec. Director put his foot down and mandated an agency style. It had gotten completely out of hand before that — full backgrounds, all the colors of the rainbow, sparkles, you name it. Damn things looked like homemade websites circa 1994. One had no less than 5(!) quotes (in multicolored comic sans, naturally) followed by a line of dancing babies. How is the public supposed to take us seriously when they get an email like that??

    3. Lenora Rose*

      I just got an email this week that looked like a spiral bound notebook – with the spirals overlapping the actual text since the design assumed a margin that emails usually don’t have. And no, the lines did not line up with text.

      Fortunately, the most essential info was inside a memo attachment.

  13. 3DogNight*

    One coworker, many years ago, had his picture in his signature. With his finger pointing at the reader. Like you’d see in a smarmy used car salesman commercial. We are in sales, which made this a billion times worse to me!

  14. Elle*

    I worked with someone that had “have a nice day” as their email signature. That’s fine but her emails were often harsh and kind of obnoxious. You’d get these nasty emails with “have a nice day” at the end which made the situation so much worse.

    1. Lora*

      Ha! I had a boss once who told me every time he wanted to tell a client to F- off, he just said “okay have a nice day!” and hung up. It worked more often than you’d think.

      1. Zombeyonce*

        “Okay, have a nice day,” while walking away is what I’ve taught to my kid to use when someone she doesn’t want to talk to won’t leave her alone. I told her that it’s technically polite but she doesn’t have to give people her time when she’s uncomfortable or has other things to do. (It works really well on the lonely and very talkative old man down the street that wants her to stop and talk for 20 minutes every time she rides her bike that way.)

    2. Ex-prof*

      Argh, I got one of those a couple months back! It wasn’t autosigned, but it was a nasty work email–like, keep-you-awake-all-night stress-level-inducing– ending with “I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving.”

    3. Snow Globe*

      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!”

      1. MigraineMonth*

        I used to be curt in emails and was spoken to about tone (yes, I’m a woman, why do you ask?). Ever since I changed my signature to “Thanks, MigraineMonth” I haven’t gotten any complaints.

        Though it does read kind of strangely when the text of the email ends up as “You’re welcome! Thanks, MigraineMonth”.

      2. Lenora Rose*

        The most terse, email averse and generally sharp and serious person was the one with “keep a smile on your face!” as her sign off.

        (She was nicer than she came across and very good at the rest of her job, but she’d answer an either/or question with “Yes” or a three-question email with one answer, and she asked questions that were answered in the second paragraph so consistently I could tell she never read more than the title and first para – I just started phoning her. And we both lived happily ever after, though I wondered what would happen to someone with a phone phobia.)

        1. Nameo*

          Omg, people responding ‘yes’ to either/or questions is my number one pet peeve. Just read the email! It’s got bullet points and the whole thing is not even 5 sentences long!!

        2. Florp*

          My boss is like that. I swear she reads every other word. She just misread a one sentence email: “Please have warehouse staff count the blue widgets.”

          Her response–“I can’t have anyone count widgets if you don’t tell me what color.”

          So. Frustrating.

    4. Siege*

      Someone did a meme of threatening email lines and I keep hoping to find a place to use them. Sounds like your coworker needs them!

      “To whom it WILL concern.”
      “Now that this email has found you.”
      “I hope this email finds you before I do.”

    5. Luna123*

      I can sympathize, there’s a very young assistant who will send out super cheerful emails with the *worst news* (“Your vacation time was an error! I’ve corrected your timesheet! Have a great day!”)

      Tone matters!

    6. Your Computer Guy*

      We had a similar frequent flyer client – a singularly unpleasant person whose every email ended with “Have a blessed day!”
      Every ticket from her was a nightmare, so we would sing-song “have a blessed day” to whoever got stuck dealing with her.
      It was a race to see who got to do her account off-boarding when she stopped working for our client.

    7. Stevesie*

      I learned working on the escalation team for a high end retailer to end all emails (and calls) with “take care”. Otherwise you could get an angry Karen all wound up again. Works like a charm!

      1. Zombeyonce*

        I like that it can have two meanings:
        “Take care” = hope you have a nice day
        “Take care” = take care not to mess with me

  15. singularity*

    I work at a public school and one of my coworkers has an animated gif of the animal that represents our mascot in his signature. The kicker is that its animated to look like it’s screaming and there’s a little dialogue bubble above its head that says something like, “Go Rams!” and it makes me laugh every time I see it.

  16. ABCYaBYE*

    My buddy uses the following quote on his personal email: “I’m so unfamiliar with the gym, I call it James.”
    Ellen has Tweeted that, and I think he saw a stand-up comedian who used that joke, too.

  17. Geridoc*

    A quote from Herman Cain. This is a nurse practitioner employed by the federal government in a healthcare role. I just can’t even.

  18. HR Chick*

    A coworker had this under her signature:

    “Life is Not Measured by the Breaths We Take But by the Moments that Take Our Breath Away”

    Previous boss told her it was unprofessional and to remove it. Coworker was angry about it. Boss has retired and we have a new boss. The quote is back in her signature.

          1. Totally Minnie*

            Okay. Apparently putting in the characters with spaces between them didn’t work like I thought it would!

            Let’s try commas instead.

            To start italics: but without the commas
            To end italics: without the commas

        1. Hlao-roo*

          If you click the link to “commenting rules” (just above the commenting box) and scroll down to the last question, you’ll see the html code to add italics to comments here.

        2. nom de plume*

          I’m reading this as being in colored font, like a bright pink, purple, or glaring blue. Please tell me it was a colored font.

          1. HR Chick*

            I think in the past it was pink font but it is black font, for now. She may change it up again.

    1. Beth*

      Eagles May Soar, but Weasels Don’t Get Sucked Into Jet Engines.

      I used that as a sig for a while, but only on my personal email.

      Oh, right, I also used: Lions May Roar, But Weasels Don’t Cough Up Hairballs.

        1. Beth*

          Oh, I just remembered I had a third one!

          Sharks May Rule the Seas, but Weasels Don’t Get Made Into Lawyers’ Briefcases

    2. Single Parent Barbie*

      Moments such as me trying to drag my overweight body and my overweight dog up four flights of stairs in my apartment building

    3. Calpurrnia*

      Oh my god I think I may have worked with this same person, I just can’t put my finger on where. This is so familiar, including the capitalization. I refuse to accept that there are multiple coworkers like this out there.

  19. Too Jaded*

    At my recent job, a customer that I was in email communication with had “LETS GO BRANDON” as his email signature. I gagged a little every time I got an email from him.

    1. ThatGirl*

      That’s so … ugh. I hate the whole “cutesy subversion of swearing” thing. Stop that. if you wouldn’t write “f–k Joe Biden” in your email signature (which, of course, nobody should) you shouldn’t have that there either.

      1. A Snowflake*

        I really don’t get it. Are they some kind of snowflake who is too afraid to swear when they mean to?

      1. Worldwalker*

        And presumably the Johns, Richards, Rogers, etc?

        Trivia I learned yesterday: a “Jane” was once the person who a “John” was the customer of. Jane fell out of usage, but John is still with us.

    2. Person from the Resume*

      That’s really, really awful.

      Someone said something yesterday about asking Brandon and I thought “wait, what?” before realizing another attendee was named Brandon. Poor guys name was fine until a couple of years ago. The same thing happened to “Karen.”

      1. M*

        It’s a little convoluted but it’s basically an anti-Joe Biden meme/inside joke among a lot of conservatives.

        1. Iris Eyes*

          Its not an inside joke if everyone’s in on it. Also not convoluted, people were yelling to F Joe Biden during a live televised NASCAR race, the broadcaster who obviously can’t air that insisted that they were instead saying “let’s go Brandon” referring to one of the racers. So people started saying “let’s go Brandon” as a euphemism.

          1. Rhoda*

            Another non-American who had no idea precisely what this was referring to.
            Thought Brandon was a politician preferred to Biden. I might have got Bernie Sanders mixed up with Brandon Sanderson there. Oops.

      2. Rebecca1*

        It means “F— Joe Biden” but specifically from a right-wing perspective. Left-wingers and centrists who hate him just say the actual “F— Joe Biden” phrase.

  20. Littorally*

    Fortunately, my employer is pretty strict with signature formatting for anyone who might ever for any reason send an email outside the firm.

    But for those who don’t… hoo boy.

    – Entire email signature was pretty normal in content (name, job title, site address, phone number) but was entirely in a loopy cursive font and bright pink text color.

    – Bible quotes that changed every week. I don’t think they were actually following a liturgical calendar, but it made an ironic juxtaposition considering we work in finance. ‘The love of money’ was somehow never the quote of the week…

    – A picture of the person’s family.

    1. MigraineMonth*

      If you’re going to have a Bible quote in a financial office, you should go all in and have one about Jesus beating up the money changers.

      1. Absurda*

        Or “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”

  21. No Name*

    Two different coworkers have quotes in their email signatures that reliably crack me up.

    1. Someone who works in HR uses: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” -Judy Garland

    2. A valued coworker uses: “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.

    1. Eldritch Office Worker*

      Oh I wonder if I could get away with number 2 or if people would see through that. Probably the latter but I’m so tempted.

    2. Clisby*

      Your #2 reminds me of one of my favorite Oscar Wilde quotes: “Life is never fair, and for most of us that is probably a very good thing.”

      1. Ali + Nino*

        The silliest email signature I saw was from a freelancer doing work with our company:

        “Shoot for the moon. If you miss, at least you’ll land among the stars.”
        – Oscar Wilde

        Yep. Classic Oscar.

        1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

          Not actually Oscar Wilde, heh. I heard it attributed to Norman Vincent Peale when it was my high school class motto.

          1. Ali + Nino*

            I know it’s not Oscar Wilde, that’s why it was so funny! I meant the last part to be sarcastic but I guess it didn’t come across.

        2. Worldwalker*

          “Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll drift forever in the cold vacuum of space.”

          Back in the days of Usenet, someone once used a quote from me in their sig, which surprised and delighted me. (it was “The Bill of Rights is paid in responsibilities”)

        3. ReadMeAnything*

          The actual Oscar Wilde quote is so much better: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”

      2. BatManDan*

        HL Mencken said something along the lines of “Any man can endure injustice; it’s justice that he can’t handle.”

      3. Shira VonDoom*

        An Ideal Husband is one of my most favorite plays, LOL. I could quote so much of it. A personal favorite is:

        “I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.”

    3. Corporate Goth*

      I got the second one verbally from a customer service rep recently. I’d been making sure to be super-nice to her, she was super helpful, I thanked her and wished her a happy new year, and she wished me the year I deserved in return.

      I didn’t find it funny. It made me question what I’d done to offend her. Just a note of caution if anyone’s thinking of picking that one up.

      1. Hen in a Windstorm*

        I don’t think you were supposed to find it funny, but I wonder why, after an entirely positive interaction, you took it negatively? Do you think you don’t deserve a good year? Because nice people mean that in a nice way, and I don’t think your note of caution is warranted.

        1. ferrina*

          Because it definitely reads as passive-aggressive. If you wish well to someone, you’ll generally explicitly say that (“have a great day!”) rather than something cryptic.

          1. Artemesia*

            It is translated as ‘I hope you get what you deserve’ which is never said in a kind way. It has heavy negative connotations and should always be used in the same way ‘Bless your heart’ is used — as an insult with deniability.

            1. Marvel*

              Many people don’t mean “bless your heart” as an insult at all. That’s something many family members of mine would say if I was telling them about a bad experience I had, perfectly earnestly! It’s very contextual.

              1. Common Taters on the Ax*

                Yeah, the co-opting of what used to be a lovely and sincere expression of sympathy into something cruel is one of my pet peeves.

      2. JSPA*

        Some people use it as a nod to the universe / karma, not pass-ag. If she was otherwise nice I’d assume the best (because, why not?)

      3. Such as it is*

        I think she probably meant it genuinely kindly – there are definitely people that do! They are less likely to frequent internet comment sections though …

    4. PostalMixup*

      The Judy Garland reminds me of what Maurice Ravel told George Gershwin when they met. Gershwin asked if he could come study with Ravel, and the response was “Why would you want to be a second-rate Ravel when you can be a first-rate Gershwin?”

  22. StressedButOkay*

    My dad got tired of all the “inspirational” quotes he was seeing, so for years his was: “Shoot low, boys–they’re ridin’ Shetland ponies”.

    Completely nonsensical, which makes complete sense if you know my father!

      1. Anonymous cat*

        It sounded familiar so I googled. It was a book by Lewis Grizzard back in the 80s.

        Still a funny line today!

    1. Watry*

      For the curious, this is a quote from Southern humourist Lewis Grizzard–a misquote of something from a movie.

    2. ProRata*

      “Shoot Low Boys – They’re Riding Shetland Ponies” is the title of a book by the late Lewis Grizzard, Columnist for a number of years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

      Several of his other books:

      “They Tore out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat”
      “Chili Dogs Always Bark at Night”
      “Elvis Is Dead, and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself”
      “If Love Were Oil, I’d Be About A Quart Low”

    3. Mademoiselle Sugarlump*

      I’ve seen that quote before, and I love it.

      Unfortunately I know people who’d be offended by the mention of shooting.

  23. Pool Noodle Barnacle Pen0s*

    I’ve never seen any truly noteworthy signature violations, but I have seen some serious script and formatting gore. Light green pinstriped background with bright blue curlicue font, animations that crawl/flash, etc. If you do this, you’re making the days of everyone who has to read your emails worse. Please don’t.

    1. Serin*

      Animations are the worst! If I’m reading an email, the last thing I want is for my name to keep being drawn to the unexpected movement of your Flag Of Excellence down there under your name.

  24. MBEClerk*

    In purple italics comic sans (from someone who was NOT good at responding in a timely manner): “Work for a cause NOT applause. Live life to express NOT impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, Just make your absence felt.”

    Also, not a work contact, but someone I was in touch with for a board we were both serving on, had
    “Thank you and have a great day!
    SVBE (si vales, bene est)
    The early bird may get the worm, sure, but the second mouse gets the cheese” but later edited it to add “What’s the motivation for worms to be early?” at the end

      1. Lynn*

        Me too.

        It has been more than a few years since I took Latin in college, but I would adore seeing this. Even though, at this late date, my skills have deteriorated from “marginal” to “you expect me to remember that after 30-plus years, are you kidding me.”

        1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

          I really want to add Si vales, bene est from the above post to my email signature, but my gut tells me that’s a little more personality than IT will tolerate…

          Maybe we’ll see how it goes over on 2023-04-01.

    1. Chilipepper Attitude*

      I want a Latin version of “have the day you deserve” so I can use it but like in code.

        1. Slow Gin Lizz*

          Wow, how’d we get two different results from google translate?? Heh. Well, Chilipepper, you now have several versions to choose from!

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        Google translate validate a literal translation of “dies tuus tu mereris seat”, but something about it just doesn’t feel right when I say it aloud. I’d probably express it as “quod mereris veniat” (May what you deserve be coming [your way]). Neither really embraces the multum in parvo that seems to be the greatest of Latin’s remaining niches.

        1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

          dies tuus tu mereris sit.

          That’s what didn’t sound right; seat should have been sit. My Iberian Proto-Romance was bubbling up again.

          I’m going to go with Hodies quod mereris sit as my final answer. May today be (the day) that you deserve.

      2. Slow Gin Lizz*

        From google translate, so might not be correct, but: habet dies quam merentur. You’re welcome.

    2. Kes*

      I mean the first one seems pretty appropriate since it sounds like they did not impress nor were you inclined to applaud them, but they succeeded in making their absence (of a timely response) felt

      1. ferrina*

        I was thinking the same thing.
        “Yes, your absence is felt- we’re now 2 weeks behind schedule because of your absence of work”

    3. GovtStooge*

      I want you to know, that “Work for a Cause” quote is painted on the wall of my office. I work in government.

    4. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

      Ok, I love the switch to, “what’s the motivation for worms to be early?” That is pretty hilarious!

      I mean, not on a work email, but it is a good add on!

  25. Over It*

    Someone who I used to deal with who was a paid staff organizer of a volunteer commitment I am involved with had a giant leaping frog eating bugs (like a moving .GIF file) underneath her name and title in her email signature.

    Have no idea how she got that to set up in Outlook. As in every time I would email her, reading simple replies took forever on my phone since it had to load a giant graphic file too.

    Coincidentally, she was not a good communicator at all, and was told to resign or else awhile back in part due to these kinds of issues so thankfully this isn’t the case anymore and her replacement’s signature is a simple name, title and logo.

  26. Susan Calvin*

    My biggest recurring, albeit mild, pet peeve about signatures is when standardized company ones include what I can only assume is their organization’s full T&Cs in 4 pt font. WHY! Also not sure if it counts as poetic irony when those also have this little “please save the environment and consider NOT printing this email” reminder somewhere in there, but it sure is something.

    Also, oversized marketing banners (also usually mandated, so nothing against the idividual email writers), and there’s a special place in hell for the person at one of my former client orgs who decided “this marketing banner should be a flashing, animated gif” – drove me batty every time I was trying to compose a reply.

    1. Littorally*

      For the first one, it’s thanks to our regulator, at least here. All written communication and most verbal communication has to include specific disclosures.

      1. Specialized Skillets*

        Ooh, I work in local government and for colleagues of a certain age and tenure it’s totally still a thing! Back and forth to the printer all day long. They also unironically put the “please consider the environment before…” bit at the bottom of their own emails.

    2. Other Alice*

      As someone who has to include banners to my signature every time we have an industry-wide event, I’m so sorry! The last one had flashing words and it drove *me* to distraction as well, I got rid of it as soon as the event was over.

      The kicker is we have a corporate signature that looks quite good, just our logo and name and job title with nice formatting, and almost nobody uses it. Wish marketing would enforce that, instead of unleashing huge banners into the wild…

    3. t-vex*

      Ugh, my company makes us do this and I hate it. I don’t even think it’s a regulatory thing, just someone thinking it’s a good way to CYA

      1. TrixM*

        Yes, I always like to ask for a reference as to what regulations require this, so as to be “sure” I’m doing the right thing.

    4. Polar Vortex*

      This. Always had things about how this is sensitive information not to be shared on every single email between us on an email chain, even the ones with two word responses. Thank the gods my mouse has a scroll wheel on it or I’d have never gotten through those.

    5. PK*

      I once worked with an outside contractor who, in his signature, had a long, elaborate explanation of why printing his email was ok because trees were a renewable resource, etc etc – it was several paragraphs with multiple color fonts used, and always included in every email he sent. Our business had absolutely nothing to do with trees, printing, or environmental work.

  27. Mrs. Badcrumble*

    It’s not inappropriate per se, but statisticians looooooove putting “In God we trust, all others bring data” in their quote blocks. Sometimes they’ll mix it up with “All models are wrong, but some are useful”, but usually it’s that first one.

    1. JanetM*

      I’ve never seen it in an email signature, but I love, “You can lie with statistics, but not to a statistician.”

    2. Filosofickle*

      Far from a statistician but I trot out “all models are wrong” often! But never in an email sig…

    3. allathian*

      In the same vein there’s “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.” I suppose the d-word could be too much in some corporate environments. It’s been attributed to Mark Twain, who himself attributed it to British PM Benjamin Disraeli, who may or may not have said it…

  28. Wednesday*

    I once got an email from a woman with a twinkling purple sparkle cross in her signature and “To God be the Glory” written in swirling font, and multiple bible verses stacked below it in different fonts and colors. She was in HR at a three-letter agency but I felt like I had stumbled on someone’s old Xanga page.

  29. Resident Catholicville, U.S.A.*

    There was a trucking company that I used to do business with that had “Express” in the name and the “EX” was capitalized in red. The letter before “e” was an s, so it looked like “Sex.” All the employees HAD to have the same signature (I think it was their logo) AND their pictures in the signatures, so it really looked like I was getting emails from a porn site or dating site. Nothing was explicit, but it had to have been on purpose. Their service was fine, so I didn’t have a reason not to use them, but I didn’t enjoy getting their emails.

      1. Resident Catholicville, U.S.A.*

        Ha, no- real reasons were when I’d write notes on a carrier and it’d be like, “Was unpleasant to dispatcher; do not use.” By which I meant, “This person cussed me out and made me cry- do not ever call again.” Or doing things like, running off the road during an ice storm (it happens) and then not telling me, which results in me getting a phone call from my customer going, “Why is there a hazmat team picking up totes of our product off the highway and wasn’t I informed?” Awkward sexytimes signatures were awkward, but they delivered on time and without too much fuss, so that was tolerable.

    1. EvilQueenRegina*

      Did any of them ever end up getting filtered as per the *town in the UK* problem mentioned in a recent post? (name redacted to avoid moderation)

  30. ZSD*

    I used to work at a university, and one student we had who was also in the military would sign all his emails with “V/R.” I had to look it up: it means “very respectfully,” and apparently it’s common in the military, but I always found it a bit off-putting.

    1. Violet*

      I think it’s common outside the military, too. I had to look it up the first time I saw it, too, but I’ve seen so often since that it doesn’t register anymore.

      1. ComputerJanitor*

        Yeah, three of our employees use V/R as a sign off and all have military service history. It’s definitely quirk of that system and doesn’t really work well in civilian life.

    2. Alias Sydney*

      I have a co-worker that does the “very respectfully” and it just seems like…too much? Like “Warmest regards”, it’s almost too sappy or something. It just doesn’t feel business-y and a little OTT.

      1. kitryan*

        That’s why I hate ‘best’. It just feels sappy? Grating? Like, what, you’re too good for ‘thanks’ or ‘thank you’?
        It does *not* help that one person who uses this sign off that I deal with regularly is pretty much at BEC stage w/me, so I’m already primed to find it super irritating.

        1. Alias Sydney*

          Plus, as someone below said, it’s submissive, like the receiver of the email can’t just handle the instruction/information directly without being coddled.

        2. biobotb*

          What do you use if your email isn’t thanking anyone for anything or making any request of them?

          1. kitryan*

            Ah, interesting thought- 99 our of 100 times I’m requesting info/confirmation/an action be taken or thanking someone for providing those things, since I review and process internal company submissions.
            On the rare occasions when an email doesn’t fit that mold, it’s usually a super casual email, so no sign off beyond the appended email signature, which is usually just my name (for most internal emails). These would be ‘Hey co worker, I’m clocking out for lunch, be back in an hour’ emails or similar.
            Email culture at my company is (surprisingly, considering it’s an industry not known for its casual nature) pretty laid back, so no sign off for casual emails isn’t particularly weird.
            On rare cases where it’s not a request but a sign off seems appropriate I might say ‘Have a great evening/weekend/holiday!’ or ‘Hope you’re doing well,’.
            I haven’t found I need much in the way of other options.

            1. kitryan*

              Oh, and the ‘Best’ person is in a similar position – we’re usually communicating about things we need from each other’s departments so ‘thanks’ would be fine for most of their emails too. I readily acknowledge that it’s mostly a me-thing to be bothered by it, it’s not inherently wrong or bad of them.
              Another mostly me thing-I’m also bothered by getting emails to me and my co-worker that start ‘Hey ladies’, because it weirds me out to be gendered (in a not entirely appropriate way, though they don’t know that) immediately in an email and with a salutation that has some weird cultural baggage regarding appropriate (i.e. ladylike) behavior for women that I don’t subscribe to.
              But it’s not ill intentioned and pushing back might start a convo I’m not interested in having at work about what I personally feel about gender and my own gender identity. I’d just rather my work emails not address my gender at all unless it’s unavoidable – which would pretty much be only emails about the women’s bathroom being closed or similar I guess?
              Oddly, I mentioned not liking this as a email opener to my parents, in conversation, and my dad, who’s normally kind of ‘that’s not something you should let bother you’ about these sorts of things, agreed that it was a bit grating/weird. That was oddly validating.

            1. Elitist Semicolon*

              In grad school I sent my u’grad advisor a quick update and she signed the response with “With every good wish” and I felt like I’d just been brushed off by the Queen to go back to my dirt-floored hovel.

        3. My Cabbages!*

          I usually use “Best” because I am usually responding to a student. I am helping them, so “Thanks” isn’t really appropriate. “Yours” is too intimate. If there’s a better sign off, I’m all ears.

          (I am vaguely considering “Stay Gold” after reading comments though.)

      2. MigraineMonth*

        I just had a conversation with a tech support person, and for some reason they repeatedly used the phrase “Anything for you, [FirstName]!” Which seemed a bit over the top.

      3. Chapeau*

        I have two people I work with who work at the same company. One person’s email signature is Warmest Regards. The other’s is simply Regards. I have never met either one in person, but I’m pretty sure I like Warmest Regards more. His emails feel “nicer” to me than Regards’ do.

    3. Scott*

      V/R is extremely common and expected in the military and I’m surprised anyone would find it off-putting. Although I’m retired from active duty, I still work in a military field and use V/R in almost every work email.

    4. Blue Cat of Castleton*

      I have a coworker that does this and it also struck me as over the top when I first saw it. It seems weirdly submissive for a workplace.

      1. Alias Sydney*

        Yes, that may be it, submissive. It seems like overly softening language. I mean, if you are writing an email with instructions or information, there’s a purpose, and it doesn’t have to be softened that much.

    5. SeaTurtleJamboree*

      I work for a decidedly non-military government agency and a bunch of my coworkers and contacts use V/R, to the point where I don’t even notice it any more. Seems just to be super common in government, not just military (although it might have spread from there).

    6. Fed for Life*

      It is very common in the Fed government due to the presence of so many former military in the civilian Fed workforce. I work with a number of former military and occasionally current military who sign emails v/r. It is part of their culture which is more formal than many workplaces, but I don’t understand finding it off-putting.

        1. Rose Mauve*

          A number of common military behaviors come across with varying degrees of oddness in the civilian world. For example, some people really take exception to being called sir/ma’am at work, and you would get some odd looks if you started saluting your manager. If I were advising someone who is transitioning from the military (which I do sometimes), I would tell them to lose the sir/ma’am unless they are in the American South, lose the salutes everywhere, and keep on using v/r while accepting that some people will think it’s weird.

      1. Pescadero*

        I think there are two common reasons to see it as off-putting:

        Overly formal/obsequious

        1. Rose Mauve*

          Oddly enough, per Navy usage below, v/r is the polar opposite to obsequious.

          Which just goes to show, there is no inherent value or meaning to the words. If you are a a civilian and the assumed meaning bothers you, choose a different meaning that doesn’t bother you.

    7. Anon anon*

      I’m a DoD contractor and “V/R” is definitely common. You’ll also occasionally see just “/R” – I guess they’re respectful but not *that* respectful, lol. I only use “V/R” when I’m asking for a favor, or if I need info that’s generally a pain in the ass to get.

      1. Bad Wolf*

        DoD *loves* making up words. And yup, it’s basically how DoD gets taught to sign email.

        I work with lots of DoD (mil and civ) and I most especially love the “/R” people because I HATE stacked adverbs. I appreciate their “nah basic respect is enough, we are good here” attitude.

      2. Just a Name*

        V/R in emails to superiors. /R in emails to subordinates. If you’re the boss, you can use /R.

    8. Just a Name*

      There is a Navy correspondence manual (150+ pages). The email section states: “The following list of suggested complimentary closings for e-
      mail communication is not all inclusive: “Sincerely yours” or “With great respect” (Civilians) “Respectfully” (Junior in rank to signer), and “Very respectfully” (Senior in rank to signer). “Respectfully” and “Very respectfully” may be abbreviated in a reply to an initial e-mail (“V/r,” and “R/,”).”

    9. old curmudgeon*

      Oh, THAT’S what that means! There are several ex-military folks where I work who use that as a closing salutation, and I’ve never known what it stood for – thank you for the enlightenment!

    10. allathian*

      I hate, hate, hate abbreviated closing statements, they make me quite irrationally ragey. If someone can’t be arsed to write out the whole word, or even put it in their sig so it’s included automatically, just leave it off.

    11. Brendan*

      I’m former military and I continued to use “Very respectfully” as my signoff in work emails after I transitioned. But V/R always seemed passive-aggressive to me, like how respectfully am I supposed to take it if you can’t be bothered to type out two whole words? May as well say “Very whatever”

  31. Procrastinating at work*

    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

    1. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

      While that is really unprofessional, I do actually find that meme funny in a dark way. But yeah, not good for external clients …

    2. Formerly in HR*

      Several people at my company seem to have a blurb added to the standard signature template, about how sills were created so cats can lounge on them.

  32. Chai Latte*

    To make myself happy this year I change my email signature with any department-wide or staff-wide email every time, and so far no one has noticed.

    Mother of Dragons
    Department Adirondack Chair

    It makes me happy.

    1. Carol Z*

      A colleague did this, but only on emails to her boss. She was soliciting suggestions from a group of us and it’s the most fun I’ve had at work in ages. It took him almost a month to notice.

    2. I went to school with only 1 Jennifer*

      There used to be a food place near my house with the name “Pizza vs Burrito”. Literally that.

      They did not survive the pandemic and now that space has a truly excellent Mexican restaurant that is part of a tiny local chain of 3 locations.

  33. aixing*

    Men’s Health Clinic owner listed himself as the CEO (Chief Erection Officer)

    …yes, he spelled it out

    1. Robin*

      Is that work appropriate? Absolutely not.

      Would I laugh if I saw it? Yes. And then I would seriously question his judgement.

        1. Slow Gin Lizz*

          I feel like that makes it even less appropriate. What if he’s supposed to be helping clients who have ED?

    2. Shira VonDoom*

      there are 2 (3?) local T clinics that advertise on the radio. this sounds like something the owner of the clinic with the most cringe (such toxic masculinity, so incel, wowe) ads would do, LOL

  34. ZSD*

    What I MISS being able to put in my signature is that “Hear my Name” function that Alison referred us to about a decade ago. I have a hard-to-pronounce name, and I LOVED being able to set people straight before they met me in person! The company that offered it went under pretty quickly, though.

    1. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

      You could make your own version — just record a SoundCloud clip of you pronouncing your name correctly and link to it.

    2. Hard Name*

      The format might not be what you want/what your IT will allow but it looks like you can do it with Name Drop – namedrop.io

    3. bennie*

      name-coach dot com! I use this for work and for my personal email address. my signature is

      Full Name
      Rhymes with (word) – Listen to a Pronunciation (hyperlinked to name coach)
      Address and Contact info

  35. Just Another Zebra*

    We had a new hire who’s signature was pretty standard, but she would add a little picture next to her name. She changed it every day or so, but some ranged from a Christmas tree and snowflake, to a full raw steak, to an axe, to a horse. Once, she was asked to change midday because the icon she chose was offensive (a certain purple foodstuff was involved)

    I could write a dissertation about all the problems she caused, but this was the tip of the iceberg. Luckily, she only lasted about a month before being let go.

      1. Shira VonDoom*

        I’m going to guess eggplant, since that’s a common emoji used to signify a male body part

        1. Timothy (TRiG)*

          Unicode includes hieroglyphics. There’s no need to be coy with when one can just use directly.

          (And it’s called an aubergine. Unicode does not use American English to identify its characters.)

          1. JSPA*

            1. This is a US site that defaults to US usage. The US term (in popular use, that being the appropriate choice because this is not a tech blog) is “eggplant emoji.”

            2. If somebody wanted to post a dick pic, they could use an actual dick pic, if they didn’t mind being fired. Not sure why someone would split the difference and use a penis hieroglyphic.

            3. JA Zebra’s post leaves open whether the emoji-poster intended the eggplant as food or as allusion.

            4. “Yo, why not just post an actual ascii penis”–as a comment here? Really?

            5. Many sites and browsers black-box that emoji. And it’s for a reason; you’re not supposed to be able to drop dick-ascii (or other genitalia for that matter) here.

  36. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

    Worst, by far, was my own when I was young, new to the workforce, and had yet to be on the receiving end of a cluebat beating. 40+ lines of random quotes that almost created an incoherent, attempted humorous, conversation. I have no idea how I or my career survived that phase of life.

    1. The Eye of Argon*

      The best part about time is that it’s taking us further and further away from our young adult selves, when we knew everything because we knew nothing.

    2. Blue Cat of Castleton*

      You have my sympathies! I once took a class in office productivity and one of the tips was to make this really info-laden voicemail greeting to inform folks of your usual work hours and your email address, so they could email you instead, etc. I finally realized it was over the top when one of my coworkers left me a mocking voicemail, spelling out his own name, letter by letter and telling me what hours would work best for me to return his call. Needless to say, I took the hint!

  37. sc.wi*

    All of the woman’s college clubs (not academic-related, more like “Intramural Tennis” and “Garden Club”) listed in her signature. There were like, 7 of them. The weird part is that she was in her early thirties and well out of college. I don’t recall any of the clubs having anything to do with her actual work.

    1. NotBatman*

      That seems like it’s gotta be someone who ported her email signature over from college and hasn’t thought about changing it since she was ~21.

  38. LJK123*

    I work in healthcare admin. You know when you send an email from your iphone and if you don’t change it, the default signature is “sent from iphone”?

    Well we had a doctor who I sent an email to and at the end of his response it had:

    “sent from iphone, I named her Velma”

    It was really weird and gave me a good chuckle.

    1. Jamie Starr*

      That reminds me — someone I worked with had their default iPhone signature set to say, “Sent from my landline.”

        1. Jamie Starr*

          I thought it was funny, too; and a clever comment on technology. The person turned out to be a complete jerk with zero sense of humor.

      1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

        I’ve seen them changed to “sent from the toaster” or “sent from the refrigerator” etc. but never in a work signature.

        1. OtterB*

          I worked on some projects with a professor whose line said “Sent from toaster, please excuse crumbs”

      1. Retiring Academic*

        One of my former colleagues changed the default to ‘Sent from my piece of overpriced technology’.

        1. Curmudgeon in California*

          That one I like.

          Seriously, I get annoyed by the “Sent from my iPhone”. IDGAF what brand your phone is. My branded Android phone doesn’t do that. (If it did I would remove it.) I consider it a default bragging about an expensive phone.

          But ‘Sent from my piece of overpriced technology’? An awesome comment on the cost of common gadgets.

    2. Dobby is a Free Elf!*

      Oh hey! I name my laptops (they have been some variation of Shiny with numbers for the last 10 years or so), but haven’t thought about naming my phone. I should do that.

      And fix my auto signature, because I always forget it needs one, since I have one saved when I send from desktop.

      1. Worldwalker*

        I name my devices because I generally have so many of one sort or another floating around (or still stuffed in the closet because I’m a tech hoarder) and I need to make it clear which one I’m referring to. I think I picked it up from reading Jerry Pournelle’s columns. I get more creative with the computers (this one’s Mike) — my phone is just iThing3. But it is handy for keeping track.

        1. Curmudgeon in California*

          Since I have a lot of computers, tablets, etc, I name them too. Since my Linux boxen need hostnames anyway, I just keep up the habit.

      2. IT Squirrel*

        All my smartphones have been named Rameses Niblik – I started at III, I believe I am now up to Niblik the 7th…

        I also have a laptop called Gary.

    3. Nea*

      I have heard rumors of someone adding “sent from my iPhone” to their signature block in a high-security building.

      1. LabMan*

        Was it on a secured network email? Because that’s hilarious, even if it’s far too much of a, “I will have to explain this to a future clearance investigator,” sort of thing for me!

          1. TrixM*

            As amusing as it is, I personally would not want to be hassled by the IT security team if it found its way to them. Kind of in the vein of making bomb jokes to airport security.

            Sure, they would be able to check where the message originated from at the back end, but they would *definitely* want to have “a wee chat”. To stop giving other people ideas, if nothing else.

    4. Grumpy Biologist*

      My former boss’s wife (who also worked for him, but spent most of her time doing genealogy research, and that was the least egregious thing about her…) had her iPhone signature set to “Yes this was sent from my iPhone expect incomprehensible msg.”

      The messages were always fine, but combined with her irritating (to put it mildly) personality, the signature always elicited an eye-roll from me.

      1. Curmudgeon in California*

        Ooooh, how about:

        “Sent from my iPhone, autocorrect is ON”

        To explain incoherent spoonerisms

      2. The Not-A-Fed Fed*

        If you want to have carte blanche for typos even while on desktop, add “Sent from my iPhone” to your signature in Outlook.

    5. Elitist Semicolon*

      I had a student whose emails sometimes ended with “God blesses you from my iPhone.” Something about it struck me as so funny that I really enjoyed getting messages from him. (He’s in seminary now, after ~5 or so years as a professional in STEM.)

    6. Kayem*

      I named mine “in quicksand” because at the time I was still using iTunes and it made me giggle to see it say “syncing in quicksand.” I don’t know how it happened, whether someone did it as a prank or I did it myself while half asleep thinking it was hilarious, but emails now say “Sent from my iPhone, in quicksand.”

      I rarely use that email, so I haven’t bothered to change it.

  39. Former Young Lady*

    One of the meanest, most disingenuous emails I ever got (packed with false accusations and CCed to three levels of leadership) came with the hashtag #Stronger&KinderOnTheOtherSide.

    Sure, Jan.

    This woman has since retired. I hope she is kinder on the other side, but I have my doubts.

    1. Ali + Nino*

      I feel like I’m missing something obvious, but…the other side of WHAT? The computer? The rainbow? Is it a reference to the after-life??

  40. Rachel*

    I have 2 that I still think about from many years ago –

    1. Below the regular signature was a picture of the employee in black & white similar to a confirmation photo with hands in a prayer next to his face (50’s man). Tilted head and prayer hands in a non religious company.

    2. The other was also a picture below the signature, younger woman, extremely low-cut shirt that showed breast tattoos of husband/boyfriend name in large script on 1 side and large rose on the other. Picture was also large, maybe 4″x4″ on each email received.

    This office was the most dysfunctional, yet entertaining office I’ve ever worked in. The stories I could tell from working there almost 10 years.

  41. We’re No. 1!*

    At a former workplace we had to have standardized email signatures (which is fine, pretty normal), but the company required signature was so long it filled the entire length of an 8.5×11 sheet of paper (which, I know, stop printing emails!).

    1. kitryan*

      We work with a lot of those companies, and the signatures tend to stack at the end of the email chains sometimes, so when I make PDF compilations of some of the client communications (part of my job) I can often trim off 5+ pages of signature text! It’s satisfying to see the page count drop when I get rid of all those useless pages.

  42. Miss Fisher*

    I, many years ago in college, would have any number of alternating quotes from the move Empire Records.

    1. SeluciaMD*

      You are my people. My best friend and I celebrate Rex Manning day every year – with cupcakes, of course.

      “I don’t feel the need to explain my art to you, Warren.”

    2. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

      LOL, I am glad to know others watched and found the fun in that movie too. It is hard to explain unless you watched it at the time, it seems.

  43. Bridie*

    I don’t see anything crazy, just a lot of variations thanks to coworkers from around the world at all different ages. It’s fun to see how the standard sign-off varies by region. And I do communications so whenever I write a memo from my Australian boss, I have to end it with “Cheers!” It just wouldn’t sound like him without it :)

  44. Ankaret Wells*

    From an eBay buyer many years ago:

    ”A fart is nothing but, the lonely cry of an imprisoned turd ‘ ‘

    In kelly green Comic Sans. The buyer was perfectly pleasant in the actual email!

  45. Rage Against The Pusheen*

    Not sure this counts, but about 20 years ago, I worked at a place where employee email handles followed the first initial, last name format so, for example, jsmith@company.com.

    One of the guys at a branch office had the last name Estes, first initial T.

    I think they finally figured it out, but it took awhile.

      1. Definitely Anon For This*

        My Dad used to work with his brother Peter. Not even a joke, their parents really did give both sons that initial.

    1. Lady_Lessa*

      Currently one of our marketing assistants has with the same protocol has hers as “baby chickens” @ company Not sure if it is embarrassing to her or not, since I don’t have much contact other than brief pleasantries in the break room.

    2. Caledonian Crow*

      Oof! That’s worse than the one from a place I used to work. Last name Odom. First initial S. They eventually added a middle initial.

    3. Charlotte Lucas*

      I worked somewhere that did the same. Then we had a woman with a first name that started with K and the surname Ill.

      Apparently, the woman with a first name that started with S & a last name Exum was OK. She had that email for years.

    4. Other Alice*