Episode 42: The Email-Archiving Grasshopper

“So a few years ago, I think you purchased a subscription for Elaine? Do you have an email of that?” the current IT secretary asked me.

A few years ago? I’m supposed to find an email from a few years ago? And all I know is that it’s a subscription. You just never know when somebody at work will ask you for an email… from a few years ago.

“Let me look and I’ll email you,” I said and she left my cube.

This is where the “grasshopper” in me comes in. This is the side of me that doesn’t prepare for the winter, like in Aesop’s fable about the ant and the grasshopper. One of the big reasons I am a grasshopper is because of distractions. They easily divert me down some other trail and before I know it, I’m splashing and playing in a waterfall at the bottom of the mountain instead of summiting at the top. So. Easily. Distracted.

So this grasshopper started looking in her email folders for something sent to Elaine back in 2005. Nearly four years ago.

I opened my archived sent folder. It took a while for the folder to load, due to the fact that its size exceeds 1.8 GB. Yeah, that’s over 1,800 megabytes. This is what happens when you save emails for years in case somebody happens to ask about an obscure one.

Once loaded, I had a VERY DIFFICULT time ignoring all of the other, interesting emails I scanned past:
“Sudoku-a-day”; “Mmmm Mmmm Good!”; “FW: Jet skis are not for everyone!” That last one even had AN ATTACHMENT! With subjects like those, I really wanted to just take a quick peek, but I resisted. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I resisted looking at those, which clearly WERE NOT magazine subscriptions for Elaine.

I kept looking.

Scrolling down.

And down.

Found it.

HOORAY for this grasshopper!

Subscribed to a Better Software magazine for Elaine.

And THEN, I started reading through all of the other emails sent to Elaine. (No, I didn’t go back to those “interesting” emails from before, but I will. Yes, I will.)


Because in 2005, she was just another supervisor in the department sending me, the IT Secretary, her requests.

Today, she is my boss and I am NOT her secretary.

But let me tell you something… there were some humorous emails sent years ago. NO WONDER SHE WANTED ME TO BE IN HER GROUP. I’m a shining star when it comes to email communication. Here are the favorites I found:

  1. The copy machine died and I had to tell everybody: “[Our copy company] will not be able to load staples into our copy machine… the correct size has been ordered… until those come, don’t ask the machine to staple; it will be upset with you.” And Elaine couldn’t resist responding: “You need to get the copy machine some therapy.”
  2. I found a few follow-up emails regarding Elaine’s magazine subscription: it had been months and she hadn’t received even a first issue yet so, of course, she asked where it went and I called their customer support. “I called … first issues… will be arriving next week.” Elaine replied back saying “guess that must mean it’s a quarterly publication,” which you would THINK would be true, but it wasn’t. I told her: “I think they rolled some dice and the number came up 9 so they decided that’s how many issues they would have… and it is.”
  3. I asked Elaine if I could move one of her meetings to another conference room and apparently, the meeting was no longer reoccurring on the calendar so she DENIED my request. Fine, I said and emailed: “Thank you for denying my request. Your meeting has been abolished.”

I.T. humor is THE BEST.

Why did the programmer die in the shower?

He read the shampoo directions: Lather, rinse, repeat.


One comment

  1. Wonder what I’d find in my archives. Your joke at the end reminded me of an assignment in one of my programming classes. You had to write instruction for how to get from point A to point B. Point A was sitting in a chair on one side of the room. However, if you didn’t include “stand up” in your instructions, you couldn’t stand up.


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