"Best Warmly, Barb."

Dear Future Clerk using the B2B Email Procedure template on the H drive:

There it is, eyeballing you from the screen. Gurglechoking on its own hot spit:

“Best Warmly,


Gag. Barf. Whaaat? My name - not my words.

The document is our official template for the B2B email procedure you’re learning. Based on the thoughtful and deliberate steps outlined, go ahead and close with “Best Warmly”, K? See how that goes. That my name follows such a narsty ending is just the icing on the cake of this feelgood nightmare of a place. At least you can still go home and wash it off at this point.

But you love it here, don’t you?

Everyone’s so nice, aren’t they?

Give it a minute. You’re new.

Right-click on ‘Properties’ and you’ll see my closest office ally is the author of this crackerjack direction: Sweet sweeter sweetest Janice. Janice and her secret life of snark. Lovey gooey Janice with her glib whispers about every eye-roll and exasperated sigh in this magnum opus of an organization. We had this one colleague who always used “Warmly” in his email signature and Janice told me that reading it made her feel like every exchange figuratively ended with him peeing his pants to keep warm in that AC-hole they call the office.

That’s a conversation that connects two people. At least that’s what I thought before she made an example of me.


My heart, head, and guts retch from the crusty froth it leaves. Cringe. Shudder. Shrivel. A farewell signature that is the undercover lover offspring of “smegma” and “ointment” - who are also first cousins that doink sometimes. Sick. Un-funny. Don’t type that. That’s not how you do it.

I’m mad because “Best” suggests this is my handiwork. “Best” makes it believable because we have a somewhat unhealthy dynamic. I overuse “Best” and “Take Care” (instead of “Sincerely”) to lie. These signoffs say: “fun” and “casual” even though I am: “boring” and “awkward”. Separately and individually they’re kind of iffy terms but smushed together they make me feel like Skeever Scumbag trying to finger your squishy pink brain tunnels and its soft gray parts.

She got me. She got me good.

So fine. Now “Best Warmly” has been attributed to yours truly and you get to judge me and feel like a virtual hostage, jumped by the gnarliest word spouses of all time. Fine. Please just don’t follow the procedure, whatever you do. Unless you’re in the culinary arts or sex trade, best warmly has no place in your hustle. They have no place in your hustle unless they do - you feel me? We save those words for kinky sex and killer Bechamel sauce and wonderful, gluttonous depraved hedonism.

Which are the things you really wish you were having/eating/doing now, aren’t? You dirty little so and so…

I’m at the end here so guess it’s fitting to quietly close the document and retreat in silent rage as usual. That said, once this becomes your job (and it’ll be soon) will you please delete my name and replace it with Janice’s on that f*%$ing template? Maybe start out on a good foot and tell her first.

Good luck and thanks in advance.

Best Warmly,


Nicole is a freelance writer and nonprofit burnout from Calistoga, CA. She currently lives in Sebastopol, CA. Check out her website here: www.lestrangenicole.com


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