Like the Dash, Bar of the Week, Cabaret, Olympics, national weeks and Champagne Fines, logoff messages are a tradition at INSEAD. This is a prank which occurs when you forget to log off from a computer in school. Someone else discovers it and sends naughty emails using your name. Some even consider it an art to write a convincing message that gradually reveals itself to be a fake. My Greek groupmate in particular is a Master in this art.
Our batch has seen several good logoff messages so far. One of the best ones - right before the Dash - was sent from the account of a pretty Italian classmate who announced she was going in a bunny suit and asked if anyone wanted to accompany her as carrot. Immediately many men announced that they would be her carrot, a few even claiming have to purchased carrot suits already. Finally, the real girl replied to confirm it wasn’t her, with a humorous rebuttal. However it wasn’t the end of the story as our marketing professor got wind of it, and inserted a bunny and carrot in his lecture slides!
An Asian female classmate forgot to log off twice in a day. Both times, logoff messages were sent, e.g. about how she was so stressed and needed an Italian ‘stallion’ to comfort her. The message didn’t deride the victim but simply praised the sexy Italian men (which kind of indicated who exactly might have written the message!). Her rebuttals to both fake messages were impressively witty as well. It doesn’t just happen to girls. Guys who forget to log off are usually made to sound like sissies who need security blankets and children’s toys. Other logoff messages announced the victims’ supposedly secret feelings for unlikely people (like Accounting professors or admin staff).
However today I was informed of a more malicious type of logoff message that wasn’t so funny. It was sent from the account of another Asian classmate and implied that sexual favours would be given in exchange for a place in an elective. However many times I re-read the message, it didn’t look funny at all. My female classmate replied to tell everyone on the list that this was not in very good taste. The thing is, the message was sent while my section was in class, and a lot of unfamiliar names were CC’d as well - presumably our P5 seniors. I think it’s not so bad if the joke’s sent to people you know, who will understand it’s a prank and laugh it off, but it’s worse if it’s sent to people who don’t know you.
Thing is, I didn’t even receive the email myself, as I was in French class this afternoon. I guess the IT Department deleted it off the server before the rest of us could see it. I don’t think we need to ban the logoff message tradition because 99% of the messages have been roaringly funny so far, and rather harmless as we all know it’s fake. However, one requires a certain skill to craft such messages well. Even if you want it to sound kinky it should be done with class.