My next task is email. The lifeblood of corporations, as they say. A new era in communications. I know what they mean, believe me. But before the blood can flow, before the new era can set in, I always have to begin reading my list of new emails by deleting the usual junk that makes up ninety percent of it. The greatest hits of my inbox include:

Annual Progress Report, from allent.

Fwd: Annual Progress Report, from allent.

Re: Annual Progress Report, from allent.

Casual Friday Clothing Standards, from lettonm.

Meeting on the 26th -- confirm, from blj.

Re: Meeting on the 26th -- confirm, from banisters.

Re: Meeting on the 26th -- confirm, from caseyj.

Long story short, there are about ten of those. The last one is:

Re: meeting on the 26th [CANCELED], from blj.

By the way, the 26th is a Saturday.

After all of the offending emails are deleted I get to the juicy ones, with subjects like:

Be Your Own Boss, from Tony Dunne.

Clean up your bad credit ONLINE?, from Mika Deloy.

Enlarge your penis. Guaranteed!, from myself. Funny. I don't remember sending it. Schizophrenia must be settling in.

You're paying too much, from Kate. Yeah, tell me about it, Kate.

And then, just like that, my day goes down the toilet. The next subject says:

I'm leaving you, from No sender.

My first thought is, Wait! Don't leave me! Then rationality kicks in, and I realize I don't have a girlfriend anymore. And Jordan would never be so trite.

I read the email slowly, expecting to find information on the love of my life, the kind you never find, the kind that will leave you before you find it. Instead, there's all of these FACTS about why women leave me, and it ends recommending... penis enlargement.

I can smell the conspiracy. Who among the cubicle dwellers that surround me is spreading lies? Don't worry, I'll find you, sooner or later. Then I'll show you why you're wrong.

There is one more email that I haven't deleted yet. It's from allent, my manager, and it says:


I look behind me, at the flat whiteness emerging from my trashcan. Hmm.

I'm about to turn around and pick it up when a soft chime calls for my attention. I look back at the monitor. It's Sally, sending an instant message.

These interruptions... How can I ever get any work done?