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To Reply All Is To Fail Humanity
The white-collar “reply all” e-mail remains is an epidemic.
How the “reply all” e-mail is the scourge of the office and how to fight it.
I’m old enough to remember the halcyon days when they said e-mail was going to make our life easier.
That’s not exactly how it worked out.
It’s no secret that we got way too much e-mail these days. And if you work in an office environment, odds are it’s worse. Much worse.
E-mails jam your inbox…unless your IT team has given you unlimited inbox storage…which seems unlikely. I’m guessing your IT team is like so many others — lording over their dominion the way a dog guards his bone.
I’m sure you have run across the colleague who says, “Pshhhhhhhh, I take one week off and I come back to 1200 emails. I need a vacation from my vacation. Hahaha.”
I’d bet dollars to donuts this is the same type of person who hits “reply all.”
Hitting “reply all” results in a larger time drain than sifting through regular e-mail if only because, relevant or not, you have to look at it.
We all know the one time you don’t look at all of your e-mail will be the one time you needed to look at it. You never want to be the person who asks a question that’s already been asked and answered somewhere on the thread.
Now if we consider the psychology, or reasoning, behind hitting “reply all” we’re left to conclude that the person:
Is trying to publicly shame a colleague.
Wants to feel superior in their knowledge.
Is an idiot.
Is a sociopath.
Made a mistake.
Is a smart ass.
Number six is typically my go-to, although number five has certainly been part of my work life.
That said, it should be clear that the wanton use of “reply all” should be considered an act of white-collar terrorism and attended to accordingly.
To those of you trying to shame someone, be advised that internet and email justice comes fast and furious.
To those of you wanting to feel superior, be very careful because if you so much as put a misplaced comma in your reply, someone will jump on you. And you will deserve it. Be careful superior beings and make sure that you know the difference between “there” and “their”…and how they’re used.
To those of you that are idiots. Stop it.
Sociopaths? Seek help.
To those of you that made a mistake, fair…don’t make it again.
To those of you that are a smart ass, well played & keep it up.
Oh, and hitting “reply all” to say thank you? Don’t. Just don’t. I understand the urge. I do. Resist that urge.
Avoid the Contagion
Now certainly, there are times when you must reply to everyone. Of course. The majority of the time, I mean about 98% of the time, a simple reply to one person will suffice.
Recently, there has been an outbreak of “reply all” at the office. So much so that the same colleague has taken to reply to the thread by saying “Please don’t reply all unless necessary.”
Naturally, I hit “reply all” and type “OK” each time.
I’m not sure what I find more pleasing, the giggles and laughs percolating through the office or seeing the steam blast out from my colleagues’ ears.
Should you encounter the “reply all” pandemic, you have a civic duty to act. And act accordingly. We must remain steadfast in our battle against such buffoonery.
The first line of defense would be sending a blank e-mail and attaching a picture of Nicholas Cage. It will make as much sense as the individual who hit “reply all”.
We must hold the line on this war my fellow white-collar soldiers.
May I suggest the following picture: