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User Journal

Journal Journal: Signature

"You're so vain, you probably think this signature's about you."

At work my e-mail signature for the past three years I've been working there has been:

"There are only two things that are infinite, the Universe and Human Stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the former." - Albert Einstein

I work tech support for local government, and this was as much a comment on both the stupid beaurocracy I must work within and the idiotic design of the systems and software I must support.

One day, a user called saying she wasn't recieving e-mail. So while I was on the phone, I fired off a test e-mail to her and sure enough she didn't get it. Went over to her building, was a quick thirty second fix. Told her have a nice day and to call me if she needed anything else. She was a slightly elderly lady who had started working with Environmental Quality less than a week before and a self proclaimed computer neophyte. I made special note to check up on her later to make sure she was settling in well. After three years of sending and recieving mail on the city network, my signature had completely left my mind. It hadn't left hers.

The next day I was called into a coworker's office who explained that she'd gotten a call from the head of EQ that one of her employees was hurt by my signature. The user was upset that Tech Support would "call the people they're supposed to support stupid". Of course I'd done no such thing and the head of EQ said she understood that my signature was innocent, but asked me to voluntarily change it, so that her employee wouldn't pursue the matter further.
My coworker told me she couldn't TELL me to change my signature, but she advised me that doing so would probably save a lot of trouble. So for the time being my signature became:

This space for rent.

I spoke w/ a few other coworkers about it as I passed them in the hall (avoiding mentioning specifics, just that a user had complained and I had to change my signature) which led to surprise and shock amongst them, as most people had found the signature funny and incredibly appropriate. I recieved a few suggestions, but none seemed to fit. And then as I was talking to someone I began humming "You're so vain..." Don't really know why I did, but I did.

So when I sat back down at my desk, I rewrote the signature to:

"You're so vain, you probably think this signature's about you." and fired off an e-mail to the first coworker to bring this to my attention. She found it hilariously appropriate and just warned me about sending it to the user who made the initial complaint.

So a few weeks later this obviously superior signature replaced my old Slashdot signature--a lousy attempt and mis-quoting Newton's laws of motio--and the rest is History.

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