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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Of dead barn owls and dodgy correspondence

Not in my Freezer

I think I promised you all a story about a Dead Barn Owl and a passive agressive note.

Today's events have reminded me that this is owed to you. Today's events being of course an email sent by one person sitting near a printer on one floor of the 6-storey office, emailing the entire UK operation of our company and saying:
'Some personal correspondence has printed to this printer. Please let me know who you are and come and claim it'.

Which, if you are going to send to EVERYONE in the company, must of course ellicit a spate of ridiculous emails, one of which was sent by me:

'Dear XXXX' Thank you for your email. Is that my medication form? If so, please will you remove the details about the pills I take. My boss does not know I am on medication for serial obsessive disorder.'

'Dear XXXX. Is that the fake passport I was trying to print?'

'Damn! If it's the picture of the naked dog, that is my cat's. Sorry, he has an addiction.'

'Leave that photo of my wife alone please.'

Poor boy.

But he's not as overtly passive-aggressive-obsessive as that OCD fellow in one department of our firm, who five years ago decided to email everyone in the global company - more than 15,000 people - with the following:

'Dear White KitKat thief. I know who you are because someone saw you steal my white KitKat from the fridge. Please come and admit it to me.'

I could not resist the urge to REPLY TO ALL...

'Dear XXXX. I am sorry to hear about your KitKat. I had the same trouble last week. I put a dead barn owl in the fridge and when I came back the next day, it was gone. I saw some feathers around someone's desk, and I know who it is, but they have not apologised or replaced the barn owl.'

Immediately you heard a storm of laughter ripple across the office and then the emails started coming in.

'Dear Mermaid

I am so sorry for eating your barn owl. I was trying to resist but it looked so nice.' (this was from our CEO)

'Dear Mermaid

I had the same experience with a horse. When will this thievery ever stop?'

...and so forth...

Eventually, IT had to send out an anodyne email to all, requesting people not to send aggressive emails about chocolate bars and asking that people do not reply all.

Seconds after that email came in, the head of IT rang me.

"That email was not referring to you. We are killing ourselves laughing about the barn owl. Best email we've ever seen and the man deserved it."

I had forgotten about the incident until I returned to my firm, 3.5 years after leaving it.

From the chap in the post room, through to the sales guys and even the CEO, everyone remembered the dead barn owl and said it was one of their fondest memories of me.

I am still not sure whether that is entirely complimentary, but at least I can stash my roadkill in the fridges here without people stealing them again.

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