Submission: Your Office Emails

For the Work Issue, we asked you to send in your amusing office email chains. This Project was a bit of a challenge.

This quarter's issue of GOOD Magazine was all about work. For our Project, we asked you to send in amusing email threads from your workplace. We'll be honest, this Project was a bit of a challenge. A lot of office humor isn't all that funny to the outside world.

But this thread, send in by a consultant in the construction industry, seemed worth publishing.

In the first email, a client, Bill, contacts two consultants on a construction project, Mike and Don, because workers on the site are confused about what kind of sand to buy. That leads to a sarcastic—and rather creative—back-and-forth between the two consultants about a universal frustration: Clients who insist on making the simple complex.

Read the chain from top to bottom. All names have been changed to protect the innocent.

From: Bill
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2010 11:32 AM
To: Mike
Cc: Don
Subject: Sand Bags


I’m learning that many questions remain about the sand-bag change order. I need you and/or Don to help clarify. I’m sure this is meant to be a simple thing, but the guys that have tried to help are confused.

It is my understanding that

S----- installs and you spec the product. All the guys know that you are particular, which from my perspective is great. But, no one wants to be responsible for getting the wrong product. Who is to buy the product and what should they buy?

You can’t buy filled sand bags.

Some of the questions I overheard were, is it supposed to be wet or dry sand, play or construction? Can it be in a bag (which could cause moisture and mold problems)? Does it need to arrive from a dump truck and filled? Can you buy sand in a bag already?

Suggestions were given to S-----, but I understand that they won’t go to home depot to get the product.

Could you please provide clarity to the appropriate individuals?



From: Don
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2010 10:51
To: Mike
Subject: RE: Sand Bags

Please also let us know the following:

Minimum percentage of Fe2O3 content in the sand?
Does the sand need to meet ASTM C-33 standards?
Does the IBC-required Special Inspector need to verify the bag seal for strength?
What color scoop do they use?
Can they add some leftover Cheetos from lunch to the bag?

From: Mike
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2010 12:20 PM
To: Don
Subject: RE: Sand Bags


What we want is Buddhist blessed Egyptian sand from Spain. It is provided by a Russian Corp. based in Vietnam. It can only be flown in and is on a 16.9 year backorder. A Buddhist monk winkles in the sand 8.2 times and it is sifted through King Tuts sarcophagus to purify the demonic content. This enhances the frequency response and eliminates the need for a psuedoacoustic infector. But, since this is not available in our time frame, we will settle for the dry, plain-jane, good ole’ sand that comes Home Depot or Lowes.

John sent me an e-mail a couple of days ago and I even sent him a picture back.

I guess I’m unclear if a permit is required for the purchase of such sand. If so, then is there a separate permit required for the installation of said sand. Do I need to provide a drawing of sand to obtain a permit? Is sand uncommon in New Jersey? We do ask that the cat poop be removed.

From: Don
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2010 12:11
To: Mike
Subject: RE: Sand Bags

Would you have accepted a Ramses III sarcophagus as an approved equal? I’m going to need a scale on that picture.

From: Mike
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2010 1:25 PM
?To: Don
Subject: RE: Sand Bags

The Ramses III sarcophagus is not an acceptable alternative. The acoustic properties of the sand are inversely aged inappropriately after sifting. If the Tut solution is not achievable we use the Roman catacombs version. This is basically the preferred method however the sand turns red due to centuries of bloodshed and an extended south Pacific bleaching is required. We typically supervise this process and it takes several years. Most clients don’t want to pay for us to sit in the south Pacific for 8 to 10 years so we just use the Tut method.

From: Don
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2010 12:34
To: Mike
Subject: RE: Sand Bags

One of these days thermostatic, UV-LED plasticizers will make this whole process MUCH simpler!

From: Mike
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2010 1:35 PM
To: Don
Subject: RE: Sand Bags

I’ve never tested this method. What do I need to do? John asked me about a specific product at Home Depot. I looked it up at Home Depot and gave him a picture, and this is confusing?

From: Don
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2010 1:43 PM
To: 'Jeff Johnson'
Subject: RE: Sand Bags

UPC code?

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