We write a lot about culture and play on this blog, and we aren’t kidding, CodeScientists are as serious about fun as we are about our work. That is never more obvious than with our annual Holiday Out-of-Office message competition. (And please revisit last year’s winners).
And the 2016 winners are…
BEST DESIGN – JAKE WILLS
Subject: OOO (Shhhhh… I might be onto something)
Thanks for writing, but I’m on vacation. Or at least I was… now I have some serious work to do. I’ve been filling my time writing a long holiday poem about CodeScience and clients and Salesforce… but while researching this year’s verses, I stumbled across something much more important. Explosive even. I’ve shelved the writing and am focusing on investigating this theory full time. If it doesn’t cost me my job, I should be back working on apps and product ownery things again on Jan 3. Until then, if we have a meeting scheduled, I’ll probably be there. If you need help, send me an email or text, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. If I don’t, the dead man switch should have already been activated, but just in case, please send these images to Wikileaks immediately. Thanks for your discretion and support.
BEST HUMOR – KELLY KANCHES
Subject: Out on “Holiday”
I am out of the office until December 27th for the “Holidays”. In reality, I am most likely standing in my kitchen, 9 months pregnant, with my toddler daughter hanging on to one leg asking for candy. My brother-in-law and husband are arguing over politics in the living room. Thanks 2016 for this election so we can have these “fun times” in our household. I’m so thankful I have an unmarried, childless brother-in-law who knows everything about literally everything so he can tell me what I am doing wrong as a parent and a voter. Oh thanks, Uncle David, for bringing the 10-year-old a hoverboard. I was hoping for a trip to the ER and with any luck, it will explode in the garage and catch my house on fire. Speaking of fire…do you smell something?…Crap! Something is burning in the oven and my daughter is DEFCON 5 and about to go nuclear if I can’t find the right candy, not that one, the other one…. NO MOMMY…NOT THAT ONE!!!
Did I mention I’m pregnant? Like – REALLY pregnant. I can’t sleep, I have unbelievable heartburn, my legs are restless and swollen like overstuffed sausages, and I can’t put on my own socks because I can’t even SEE my feet (certainly not reach them). Being pregnant is wonderful, especially around the holidays with a house full of….”Why is the carpet all wet?” “Don’t you give me that look – you’re going to get it!”
Fun fact: I have 2 daughters and another girl on the way.
Have you seen Annie? This woman is my spirit animal.
Oh – did you need something? I’m sorry – yes, you have reached my “out-of-office” email response. I’m sorry (seriously) for not being at work right now to take your message. Let me try and route you to an adult capable of helping you out.
Have money and want to invest it in awesome things?
These people are amazing and I love them. They will help you spend your money and make you feel awesome doing it.
Emailing about a project?
She is pretty much the only reason I have remained somewhat sane, quite a feat, I assure you. I am sure she can take care of you too.
Thanks for your email. I am truly sorry I am not here right now to handle your mature, adult concern because I am on “holiday” enjoying this special time with my family and being SO pregnant.
Best Holiday Wishes!
BEST STORY – JASON DODDS *warning, grown-up words*
Subject: It’s that time of year…
Ugh, Christmas again. It’s the time of year that really just saps my soul. I mean, I like setting up the Christmas tree and putting the lights on it, but most of that is due to the fact that I like a well lit home. It pains me to pay $80 for that slowly dying light stick, and the fam seems to like it, but it’s quite the endeavor to undertake. All the shopping and creativity you have to summon to make sure you get the perfect gifts for everyone is really a lot of unneeded pressure at the end of the year too. I am thankful I got so adept at using Amazon so I don’t have to step into a store or see another human while buying all this stuff. It takes a month to buy a bunch of crap that you and your family mows through in 10 minutes in a tornado of hideous paper. I’ve got enough going on where I don’t need this neutron bomb of holiday-ness dropped in my lap. I can’t wait until New Year’s Eve because I will then know that Christmas is dead and buried.
Why can’t Christmas be like Thanksgiving? In my book, Thanksgiving is waaaay better. You eat, drink and watch football. That’s it. That is a holiday. What I don’t get is that there are so many people that immediately run out after the Thanksgiving meal to start buying gifts for a clearly inferior holiday. Why not stay at home and have more turkey and whiskey? It beats the hell out of me. Christmas is a lot colder than Thanksgiving too. What’s the big deal with a “white Christmas”? I live in Atlanta, and we don’t have the best track record with snow, so if I’m dreaming of specific type of Christmas, it’s one that is sunny and 80 degrees. Labor Day > Christmas.
Let’s also throw in the really shitty music everyone has to listen to. When someone plays Christmas music and I don’t like it, I’m always viewed as a grinch. Why? On it’s own merits, the music is really bad. I mean, Run-DMC and Run the Jewels both have good Christmas oriented songs, but they both sound a hell of a lot better than Jingle Bells. I’ve heard people talk about how charming carolers are. Really? If you are going to come loiter at my house, you better bring something stronger than Silent Night and O Come All Ye Faithful. Otherwise, I’m turning the hose on you. Find something better to do with your life.
I’m also not the biggest fan of Christmas “traditions”. Someone got my son an Elf on the Shelf, so every night I’ve got to remember to move that little bastard around somewhere new. I started running out of options after the first week, and I’ve pulled myself out of bed at 2am because I forgot to relocate him before climbed up the stairs. I wish they shipped that thing with a tiny coffin, cause that would be a great place for him to find himself in. While we are on that track, this whole “Santa” con is a big crock of shit. I’ve got to pay a ton of money out of pocket on gifts for my kid and then say it was “Santa”, so some overweight, random stranger who broke into my house can get all the credit. When I’m at places that have a fake Santa, I feel like walking up to him and punching him and the face and say “Look kids, Santa bleeds too”. You will get no cookies from me you fat bastard.
Another thing that Christmas brings is contemplation of the past year, and you know what, this last year sucked. I had to listen to politics all day, every day leading up to the weirdest election I have ever seen, David Bowie, Prince and Mohamed Ali were amongst the legends we lost this year and my dog died Thanksgiving weekend. So you know what Christmas? I hate you. Oh, and I forgot this….this is the first year I am hosting my whole family at my house for Christmas. I’m sure it will be just great, considering I’m just now getting over a stomach virus that caused me to loose 6 pounds in 4 days. The best part of my week has already been expelled from my body. Maybe while I’ve still got a bit of that bug I can crap out a better Christmas special than Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or any other claymation turd that everyone deems as “nostalgic”. I hope that deer gets mange. This is the rage you bring in me Christmas and why I die a little bit when your season knocks on my door.
Christmas is a disease in need of a cure. I’m going to spend the next year trying to eradicate it. If things go well, I’ll be the Jonas Salk of holidays. I’m sure there will be some kids and adults who will be disappointed, but they will get over it. If not, they can dance in hell alongside Rudolph, eggs, milk, Comcast, Bill Walton, anything kind of licorice, peeps and Taylor Swift. No regret. No remorse. No Christmas. I’ll make 2017 great again!
By the way, I am out of office.
A giant thank you for all of our contributions! I wish I could share the voting slack channel with all of you. We truly have the wittiest, most creative, sometimes sarcastic, non-traditional folks as part of this merry band of awesomeness. Congratulations to our winners! Well done, Kelly, Jake, and Jason!
And yes, we are getting Jason the help he so clearly needs.