At famed magazine luxury-liner Condé Nast, a day of living without ... email

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From 'The Devil Wears Prada.' ()
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For a long time, the most fun thing about writing stories about life inside Condé Nast, the magazine starship now residing for the most part at 4 Times Square, was to point out the luxuries and perks.

Then it was to treat minor belt-tightening (no more free Orangina!) with mock-serious shock and concern.

Today came a reminder that Condé Nast is swimming in the same water as the rest of us (and, no, it wasn't the mixed results of today's report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.)

For most of the morning and afternoon, the company's email system, Entourage, was down. And not for the first time in recent months.

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"Huge pain," a frustrated staffer moaned to Capital this afternoon. "I'm sure people were going nuts."

Apparently they were, judging by the accounts of inter-office grumbling that insiders relayed to us.

"It's very silly," one told us. "This happens much more frequently than it should."

"This happens way too frequently," another agreed. "Everything practically stops. I mean it is insane!"

We're told this is the latest in a series of email outages that Condé has experienced since at least last September.

Consider the impacts: There is the publicity department, which sends out press releases every day to publicize the magazines. There are writers on deadline waiting for emails to confirm things, and editors who have copy to shepherd, photo shoots to coordinate and, well, the other million things people use their work emails for on a daily basis.

In today's case, the problem appeared to have been resolved by 2:40 p.m., which was the time-stamp on an email we received from a spokeswoman who said: "I do believe things are largely back in order."

Asked what was causing the problem and if Condé's tech gurus were working on a permanent fix, the spokeswoman said she had put out a request to someone who would know such information, but that she couldn't guarantee a response.

On the bright side, as one person affected by the recurring email blackouts put it: "Unless you're on a deadline, it's a good excuse to not do work."