Out of Office Replies for These Political Times, by Kimberly Harrington


I’m sorry I missed your e-mail. As you may have heard, women are no longer allowed to use computers so I’ve actually missed every single e-mail since January 2017. Please write your question(s) on an old white man and have him walk over to my hut. Thank you and Namaste.

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Due to the collapse of the health care system, I’m currently out of the office operating on myself. Because I’ve never operated on myself before, I will either be out for approximately two weeks, will return not knowing who I am or what e-mail is, or I will be dead. If you haven’t heard from me by mid-October, please contact my assistant Laura. Have a great rest of the month and/or life!

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Thank you for your e-mail! I am currently participating in a “Russian exchange program” and I definitely typed this myself without any coercion. If I haven’t “fallen out of a window,” “run into a knife,” or “caught a bullet with my face,” I will respond to your e-mail on Tuesday. In the meantime, be sure to cHheEcLk PoMutE our company blog!

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Please note I will be working from home today so responses may be delayed. And by “working from home today” I mean I will be “spending too much time on the Internet” and “sharing memes on Twitter in order to make light of issues that really require about a 3,500- word think-piece per hour” and “Instagramming a floral arrangement as a desperate cry for help that only my most progressive friends will understand” and “hoping my neighbor shows up with a jelly jar full of whiskey before I seriously lose it.” And by “delayed” I mean “I will obviously not be working while I’m ‘working from home’ so please expect a response when I’m back in the office and actually working, dum-dum.” 

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Hello! I’m currently out of the office roasting rats over a garbage fire. Just kidding, of course! I’m actually out of the office casting for three-eyed fish in our now unprotected local waterways. I will return e-mails next Monday if my hands haven’t dissolved. If you need help urgently, do what the rest of us do and scream into a trashcan in the restroom. Cheers!

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Valued client, apologies for missing your e-mail but I am currently embedded with rogue park rangers in one of our national parks. I can’t be any more specific than that. I will occasionally be checking e-mail in between slapping baby animals out of tourists’ hands and lighting campfires to ward off our national existential darkness. Until my return, feel free to reach out to my supervisor Dave. Literally every supervisor here is named Dave or Brian/Bryan, just pick one. Thank you and remember, only you can prevent absolutely nothing, as this is all beyond our national control, and may God have mercy on our souls. 

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Hello! I’m sorry I missed your e-mail. In all honesty, I was only supposed to be out of the office for a dentist appointment. But in just the 9 minutes I spent reading headlines on my phone in the waiting room it became clear that the world could end in a number of different ways before the Novocain even hit. I had two choices: 1) Ask them to quadruple the Novocain in hopes of putting the fear center of my brain into a suspended state, or 2) Cancel my appointment, quit my job, leave my marriage, and finally live the life I was always meant to live.

I chose no. 1 and am now only able to write e-mails using my eyes and no longer understand dates or time. I look forward to catching up with you when I return to the office on Timberday, Hatuary 237th!

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Remember 2016? I miss 2016. That’s really all I wanted to say. I’m actually in the office today.

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Kimberly Harrington is a contributor to The New Yorker and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and is the co-founder and editor of parenting humor site Razed. Her first book, Please Don’t Get Murdered at School Today, is forthcoming from Harper Perennial in May 2018. Follow her on Twitter if you’re always ready for a knife fight.

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