Letter to the Data Apparatus of my Alma Mater’s Autoresponder

| September 16, 2013

Dearest Apparatus,

Just a quick follow up. I know you are busy. I can tell, if you don’t mind me teasing you a bit, because you seem to have inadvertently sent out the same letter to me fifteen times. Clearly you are distracted. I recommend breathing exercises. Do you breath? These things can spiral out of control if you don’t do something to sustain yourself. You get stressed, you inadvertently send out fifteen duplicate emails, then you’re more stressed because there are so many emails to send out, and before you know it your dreams are waking you up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat with visions of spam filters and lost data. What if all those emails are landing in an inbox that is defunct, the intended recipient blissfully unaware of the data request and the increasingly missed deadline?! Think of the inaccuracies! This is precisely the scenario that the 125th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory would prevent!

It’s OK. Breath. You’ll be fine.

Or is it that you have already become jaded? Passed through to the other side, so quickly, of your hopes for a data collection job well done, where all respond promptly and with all of the proper precision? Oh the inefficiency—can we say it, the laziness—of people. As if they do not care for the proper distribution of data, even when it is in their own best interests. Are you sitting there now, collecting the hours, collecting your data-collecting pay, while collecting dust and resentment? Going through the motions. Another email, no problem. Resend.

What’s that, beyond resentment to peace?! Have you left the building, automated your own task? Are these emails finding their way to me, simply waiting for the response that will finally flip the switch into a Thank You email you wrote long ago, in more naive but less peaceful days, when you statistically were thrilled to honor us with the collection and commemorative redistribution of accurate data?

I am half tempted to reply, just to see such an email.

But I must run, and so I will have to, in the name of expediency and efficiency, content myself with setting up an autoresponder for your emails, letting you know that I am out of the office, but am in turn eagerly waiting for your reply confirming your health and breath. Upon receipt, I have set up an email that will say how glad I am to hear it, and share with you some photos from my summer, which I think would make a lovely spread in the Commemorative Alumni Directory, 125th Edition.

Yours as always and repetitively,