This one’s for you, Simon

Posted on April 28th, 2008

NOTE: As written, this script was about my punishing Jamie for using me as a human spell check.* But there's something about the way Jamie drew himself in the last panel that, to me, changes the whole meaning of the comic. Look at his expression. Is it the chagrin of a man stabbed in the back by his friend? Or does he look exactly like someone who just offered his heart and is terrified of being rejected? I'm starting to wonder if I altered the text of his e-mail at all.

This comic is dedicated to Simon Creet: gifted creative, inspiring leader and the reason I no longer step away from my desk without shutting down Outlook. Over a period of several days, that seven-foot-tall man-child used my account to e-mail several of my colleagues and no less than four vice-presidents. Here's a sample:

Just wanted to let you three wonderful women know how much I enjoy working for you. Every day I learn something new and everyday I feel I grow as a writer and a man.

Do you see? Can you even begin to comprehend Creet's evil genius? Sending a negative/insulting message would have been transparently fake and led to trouble, to say nothing of being inelegant. But fawning compliments put me in an extremely awkward position. I had surprised and delighted executives, several of whom could have had me fired on a whim, telling me how touched they were by my kind words. One even wrote an equally flowery response, save that his sentiment was genuine while "mine" had been faked. How do you tell someone that you never actually intended to compliment them?

A little earlier I was thinking how bad it would be if I had never met you and it made me really sad. I realized at that moment that you are much more than a just a boss and a mentor – you are a source of genuine inspiration and constant encouragement for me. I just thought you should know.

Yes, that's the one that went to my boss. This next one's short but sweet. And creepy.

I like you. Just the way you are.

My favourite has to be the one he sent to an executive vice-president notorious for not taking any shit:

I've been thinking. About you. And I just wanted you to know how much I like you and respect you. I also think you're a very dapper dresser and your vocabulary never fails to impress. You inspire me to be a better employee and a better person in general. Don't change a thing.

I invested a lot of energy struggling to devise a revenge worthy of his game. Using his e-mail to send fake messages would only be regurgitating his idea. I wanted to be more original than that. Then it struck me. By this point, I'd made sure people knew what Simon was doing and that any weird e-mail from me was almost certainly sent by him. I realized that fact gave me carte blanche to send inappropriate messages to whomever I wished. I could say anything I wanted and people would know – know – it had been Simon.

Then he called a truce and I let it slide. Crappy ending, I know.

Let's just pretend I stabbed him.





*I tried sooo hard to come up with a punchline that wasn't homophobic. I wrote bald jokes ("Dear Boss. I can tell by your eyebrows that you used to have nice hair. Good for you!"), vulgar jokes ("Dear Boss. Your wife looks like she sucks a mean cock. Good for you!") and random nonsense, but nothing struck us quite so funny as me using Jamie's e-mail to make a clumsy pass at our boss. Our sincere apologies to any readers or relatives who might have been offended.

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