TL/DR: I broke a rule, became temporarily famous and nearly got a publishing deal. Details removed to avoid doxxing myself.
I was working in Customer Service, bored out of my mind, and got a silly joke e-mail from a customer. I thought it would be funny to reply with a joke e-mail of my own, and, as I often did, I typed one up to pass the time. Normally I didn't hit send after writing these, but my mother ha just been diagnosed with cancer and I felt like nothing in life mattered, so I hit send. I briefly wondered if I'd get in trouble, then decided nothing would come of it.
Something came of it.
The guy who wrote the letter sent my reply to a famous science fiction author. He shared it with a lot of other authors, calling it a piece of found fiction or something. Then it started to spread.
Soon it was in every major newspaper in the country, and a few outside of it. It was even in Malaysian newspapers.
Everyone wanted to know who wrote the letter, so they contacted my company. My company denied that it came from them, said they didn't approve of it and tried to apologize to the recipient. He refused the apology, of course, and the story changed from "Great company sends funny letter" to "repressed worker sends funny letter".
On the advice of some friends, I took the opportunity and gave an exclusive interview to a newspaper in exchange for a link to my writing blog. The story spread even further.
Margaret Atwood tweeted that I was a "promising young writer". Tons of people started clamouring for me I get published. And the biggest literary agent in the country called me and asked me to adapt a horror story that was on my blog into a novel.
The sad ending is that I convinced myself I needed to write something funny and, against my agent's advice, sent a pitch for a comedy about China that she warned me probably wouldn't be as strong. It fell flat, and I'm pretty sure that if I'd listened to her I would be a famous author right now.