At some point in his or her life, every person winds up being stuck in a highly uncomfortable situation involving an unanswered email. But just how do those situations develop? Here's a breakdown.

Republished with permission from Matthew Inman aka "The Oatmeal," a former web designer turned comic artist. You can see more of his work on The Oatmeal. Matthew is a one man operation, so be sure to check out posters and prints from his shop.