Printing Sound to Work Harder Not Smarter

So, earlier, I had an alert that a email had been quarantined due to its attachment content. This is a pretty normal occurrence, but this occasion warranted further inspection, as the alert email showed known senders and recipients.

I use GFI's Mail Security as one of our anti-spam layers, and be default it blocks emails that have media attachments, such as sound video. I thought about turning it off, but then it is a good idea to see who is filling my exchange server with the latest funny video of a guy on a scooter, riding into a wall.

The email in question, as I said, was from a known sender and had four audio files. As the sender was one of our clients, and the file names looked legit, I tested one of the sound files. It turned out to be a radio add for one of our products. So I released it from quarantine, then sent an email to the recipient, here at the office to let her know that if she is expecting an audio file, it may get blocked.

What follows is an interesting email thread between us;

ME: I have released a quarantined email that was sent to you, that was sent by [CLIENT NAME]. It was quarantined by the server because it had multiple MP3 attachments. FYI – MP3 attachments are usually held in quarantine until released.

USER: You want to take a look at this first and give me the ok? Thanks

(now this is actually pretty good, as I didn't say I had checked them, only released them. So her asking me to verify they were virus free (aside from shifting the responsibility) makes me proud that I have [some] users who will ask for help before opening pandora's box)

ME: They are valid audio files. Sound like radio spots.

USER: Is there anyway that I can get these to print out in script?

Now, at this point, I am a little intrigued and wondering how to play this one. So, I replied.

ME: Yes.
1. Open them in Windows Media Player. At the same time open MS Word.
2. Click Play.
3. As you listen to the audio file type the audio out into the word document.
4. When finished, click File then Print.

After about two hours I hadnt heard from her, so i cautiously wandered down the hall, and peered into her office.

ME: er... Hi...

She presses pause on Media Player, stops typing

USER: <sigh> HI.... smartass</sigh>

Now, this story, in itself, is funny. To me. But it gets a whole lot better. She continues telling me about these radio spots that she is typing out.

It turns out, that she needs a 'written' copy so that she can submit them for an advertising reimbursement from the manufacturer. So far, so good. Here's the real kicker; the radio spots she has received from the client and is busily typing out to send to the manufacturer, were actually downloaded from the manufacturers marketing-portal website, where they have photos, radiospots and SCRIPTS. This is the same website *she* sent the client to and walked them through to download them.

Sounds like a make-work project to me.