In last week's post I talked about sending an e-mail to the staff that might have had some negative reactions. It doesn't always happen that way. I try to interject a little humor, usually disguised as sarcasm in my e-mails. Since it was a slow week at work (only us 12-month workers had to be there and most of us used vacation time) I dug this one up from last spring.
It all started with this e-mail from a 3rd grade teacher:
"Lorraine, I don't know if you're aware of this, and I can't imagine how it happened, but the large paper cutter in the lower faculty room is broken."
No I was not aware and, oh yes, it was broken all right. We're talking about one of the guillotine-type paper cutters. The metal hinge that attached the 30" blade to the wooden base was snapped off, and the blade, which is a pretty dangerous thing while attached to the base if not used properly, had become a lethal weapon just sitting there. It's not really the kind of thing that spontaneously happens, but I couldn't imagine how someone could do this and not let anyone know about it. So, here is what I sent out to the staff:
"Subject: Death In the Faculty Room
I am sad to report that the large paper cutter in the lower faculty room has been murdered. The arm is completely broken off – unrepairable – dead. There were no witnesses and there hasn't been a confession, in fact, we were only made aware of this dastardly deed today. Who knows how long the poor thing lie there unattended.
I'm thinking that we might have a serial killer at large. I don't know for sure if it was the same person that broke the laminator earlier this year (and we do know who that was by the way – thanks for your honesty (not!)), but I'm pretty sure that we'll find out that the perpetrator is "It Wasn't Me" or perhaps "I Didn't Do It".
Thank you for reading this and allowing me to vent – there will be a moment of silence today at 3:05.
BTW – I will be adding this to the book I'm writing as Chapter 6 – Honesty in the Workplace."
And the responses that I got included:
"My family always has a gathering after the services….
I will bring a Mississippi Mud Pie (traditional celebrations (good or bad) food…
Who is bringing the keg?"
"I hope you are writing a book. You're a good writer.
"It Wasn't Me" and "I Didn't Do It""
"HAHA! You are funny!"
"You are funny. You are not going to pick us off one by one with the blade…. Right? Are you?"
"that's awful: (But very funny, I can't wait to get my signed copy of your book!"
"Oh well, please make sure the sunshine fund sends flowers."
But the phone call I got was priceless:
"Geez, you scared the shit out of us!"
"What are you talking about?"
"The e-mail you sent! We thought someone really was killed in the faculty room and we got worried!"
"And you really think that we would notify you by e-mail?!?!?!?"