But just one day later, we received this email from Ben:
From: Dr. Ben Gontolong
Subject: Dr. Ben Gontolong signing off from Darfur ...
To my formerly esteemed colleagues at IDEM: After consultations with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the spirit of Mother Teresa, Oprah, and Al, it is with considerable regret that I, Dr. Ben Gontolong, do hereby announce my immediate resignation from my esteemed position at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
My humanitarian aid trip to Darfur has made it clear I am needed here more than in the Heart of Central Indiana. As I will not be returning to the Crossroads of America, please donate to charity the contents of my extremely uncluttered office. I will expect you to forward the donation receipt to my attention here in Darfur as I will need it for my tax returns. (My accountant is very picky and I cannot afford any hint of impropriety).
Also, I have recently received an important email from a Barrister Hokmu Nomombi who needs to permanently deposit the sum of USD $2,000,001 from the unclaimed account of a local deceased sultan without next of kin into the bank account of someone he does not know in America. Therefore, please forward your bank account number (and PIN) to me here in Darfur as well.
Thoughts of my empty office back at IDEM will haunt and hinder my humanitarian aid efforts here in Darfur, so please find a new occupant who can move in immediately if not sooner to carry on my legacy of patriotism, environmental cleanliness, and celebrity hobnobbing.
Yours in Darfur,
Dr. Ben Gontolong firstname.lastname@example.org
Even though I missed meeting Ben, it’s my honor to sit in the same office he once occupied. It’s only a matter of time until a bronze plaque will mark this spot. Thanks, IDEM, for covering for me while I was away and for welcoming me back in the IDEM tradition. You rock!
Yours in Indiana,