Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The "We're all gonna die" Chain Mail Epidemic

I'm starting to feel like I've been teleported back to 1997. Fuckwittery, Inc. is in the midst of a full blown chain email epidemic - but we're not talking about cutesy stuff like dancing babies or hamsters. No, ours is an epidemic of fear. As I write, death stalks Fuckwittery, Inc.'s cubicle farm, callously waiting for some unsuspecting schmo to answer their mobile phone, fire up their laptop or pop an over-the-counter pain relief tablet.

Since Sunday, ominous chain emails have swept through the office like a prairie fire, leaving pure, unadulterated terror in their wake. So far this week, we've learned it's virtually certain we'll die from one of the following:
  • Mouse shit residue on soda cans
  • Dried rat urine on soda cans
  • Exploding mobile phone batteries
  • Mobile phones that incinerate when you answer a call while they're charging
  • Laptops that spontaneously combust when turned on
  • Laptops that catch on fire if left sitting on a bed
  • Panadol and Tylenol, as they are stored as poison in your liver
  • And, my personal favorite, being electrocuted while taking flash photographs when you happen to be standing on top of a train.
Nightmare on Fuckwittery, Inc.'s cube farm
In the Sand Landian workplace - or, at least, my Sand Landian workplace-  the senders of such emails are hailed as life-saving heroes. Back home, people may have been annoyed by such emails, but in Sand Land sending "We're all gonna die" emails is one of the fastest and easiest ways to gain the admiration and adoration of your colleagues. If you wish to raise your profile in the office, firing off one of these emails is pretty much a sure bet.

Here's a quick how-to guide for sending "We're all gonna die" chain email to your Sand Landian co-workers:

#1. Get your hands on a "we're all gonna die" email. This shouldn't be hard as these things are plentiful, but I've attached a sample at the bottom of this post, just in case you're busy or feeling lazy.

#2. Make sure the email will grab your co-workers' attention - this is serious information, afterall. The email should be written in a scare-mongering manner. It should also employ attention grabbers like garish colors, a crap ton of exclamation points, 24+ font size, or ALL CAPS - preferably all of these.

If you don't believe your chain mail is panicky and strident enough, take a few moments to embellish it with some underlines, RED ALL CAPS, etc.

#3. Gather as many email addresses as you can. Sand Landian workplace etiquette dictates that you copy the entire company email directory from MS Outlook and paste it into the "To:" line of your email.

If you really want to be a good Samaritan, try to track down the emails of all your company's customers, suppliers and business partners. I mean, how shitty are you going to feel if, after warning your co-workers about mouse shit residue on soda cans, you come to find out that the accounts manager of your paper products supplier has succumbed after cracking open a Redbull??

#4 Add your own screechy warning at the top of the email. Something along the lines of:
THE PERSON IN THIS EMAIL WAS A FRIEND OF A FRIEND OF MY BROTHER’S WIFE’S COUSIN! THIS IS SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
#5 Hit Send.

#6 Run! Run for your co-workers' lives!!! Quickly dart from office to office, cube to cube exhorting your co-workers to click "Send/Receive" until your email shows up in their inbox. Tell them to drop what they are doing and read that email - stat!

#7 Do a quick check. As you roam about the cube farm getting people to read your email, take time to make sure no one is engaged in the very behavior you are trying to warn them about. For instance, when the "rat urine on soda cans" email went around, the sender found me sitting in my office happily swigging from my ever-present can of Diet Dr. Pepper.

#8 The Intervention. If you find an employee courting death by doing that which your email warns them against, it is your duty to stop them. Follow the lead of the Rat-Urine-on-Soda-Cans-Whistle-Blower:

RUOSCWB: "Muh - Muh - Muh - Madam! Please stop doing that. Now!!!!"

Me [jumping in seat]: "What? What am I doing?"

RUOSCWB: "Drinking out of that...can! Haven't you gotten my email? There's rat urine! Rat uuuurine!! Hit send/receive, hit send/receive! Now!!!!!"

Me [clicking send/receive]: "Oh, um, ok. Rat urine on soda cans, eh? You know, I've been drinking diet Dr. Pepper out of cans all my life. I think I'll be ok."

RUOSCWB [neck muscles straining, eyes popping out of skull]: Noooo!! Please, please stop. Give it to me. I'll put it in a glass for you."

RUOSCWB trots away, holding my soda can at arm's length.

#9 Foment mass hysteria. Once you've gotten everyone in the office to read the email, go to the chattiest, loudest person in the office and start talking in an animated manner about what a miracle it is that neither of you have died from rat urine on soda cans, etc. Your co-workers will be drawn to the two of you like moths to a flame and a collective freak-out will ensue.

#10 Pat yourself on the back. As you stand in a sea of panicking co-workers, give yourself a mental pat on the back. You have saved not only their lives, but the lives of countless others. Once the mass panic dissipates, your coworkers will scuttle back to their desks and spend the remainder of the workday forwarding your email to everyone they know.

At the end of the work day, your co-workers will peel out of the parking lot seatbeatless and hit a fast food drive-thru for the second time that day. On the drive home, they'll tail-gate the car in front of them and run a red light or two...all while basking in the knowledge that they're gonna live to 101 now that they know not to talk on a mobile phone while it's charging.

"We're all gonna die" Chain Email Sample:

BEFORE READING THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This incident happened recently in North Texas . ITS A REAL STORY
A woman went boating one Sunday taking with her some cans of coke which she put into the refrigerator of the boat. On Monday she was taken to the hospital and placed in the Intensive Care Unit. She died on Wednesday.

The autopsy concluded she died of Leptospirosis. This was traced to the can of coke she drank from, not using a glass. Tests showed that the can was infected by dried rat urine and hence the disease Leptospirosis.

Rat urine contains toxic and deathly substances. It is highly recommended to thoroughly wash the upper part of soda cans before drinking out of them. The cans are typically stocked in warehouses and trans ported straight to the shops without being cleaned.

A study at NYCU showed that the tops of soda cans are more contaminated than public toilets (i.e).. full of germs and bacteria. So wash them with water before putting them to the mouth to avoid any kind of fatal accident.
Please forward this message to all the people you care about.


  1. lol: http://howtolivelikeanomaniprincess.blogspot.com/2010/10/lesson-learnt-do-not-ever-give-your.html

  2. hahahaha, OPNO! I love the screenshot, that is classic.

  3. Love the blog. Do you ever get any real work done or is your job to try to remove the countless "issues" distracting the team from functioning!!??

  4. Anglo-Omani, glad you are enjoying the stories. I tend to get alot of my stuff done before/after regular office hours. I police people less than when I first arrived, but I still spend a good chunk of my time making sure people are focused on the tasks at hand. Even so, things don't move as fast as one would like.

  5. Keep up the good work Miss Adventures ;-) (yes, I've been here too long)