Laurie Taylor column

September 2, 2005

piercemuller@poppleton.ac.uk
Out-of-office reply.
Dr Piercemuller is away from his desk on annual research leave and will respond to your communication on his return.

maureen@poppleton.ac.uk
Dr Piercemuller, I know you're there. Just give me a teeny sign.

piercemuller@poppleton.ac.uk
Sorry. The e-mail account does not exist at this address. Check the address or contact the recipient directly to find out the correct address.

maureen@poppleton.ac.uk  
Now you're being silly. Come on out. Just for a little moment. I won't bite.

piercemuller@poppleton.ac.uk
Undeliverable message. Please re-send. If delivery still fails, contact your system administrator.

maureen@poppleton.ac.uk
There you are. I can see you now. Peek-a-boo!

piercemuller@poppleton.ac.uk
Really, Maureen. This is intolerable. And very childish. You should be ashamed of yourself. What is the point of having these out-of-office messages if they are treated with such disdain? What do you want?

maureen@poppleton.ac.uk
I wanted to let you know that I've put you down for some teaching on Friday next term. I know it's your research day. But it was impossible to avoid. Just the five hours. You'll be free by 6.30pm.

piercemuller@poppleton.ac.uk
Maureen. Now listen to me carefully. This is utterly and completely intolerable. How on earth can I be expected to contribute to the department's RAE submission when I'm required to spend five hours teaching on my only research day? Quite honestly, I regard this as a matter of academic principle and I have to tell you that until I receive a satisfactory answer to that question I refuse to agree to your proposal. Absolutely refuse. Please let me have your comments immediately. Immediately. Do you hear?

maureen@poppleton.ac.uk
Out-of-office reply.
Your message reached the recipient's e-mail system but delivery was refused. I mean, what else did you expect? Byeee.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments