Monday, July 22, 2013

Reply All...Not! (Does Anybody Know How to Use eMail?)

I wish the "Reply All" function from email didn't exist. While this can be a very useful tool if used properly, it's clear the (not so) civil world has decided to ignore it's actual purpose and simply click reply all 100% of the time without any thought as the context or context of the message.

Today, I realize that there may even be a chance that all hope is lost on this. Please know that what follows is not meant to be an insult to anyone but it is a real event and one that I find extremely frustrating.

I emailed all of my colleagues in the I.T. department today except for one indicating that it was the birthday of the one I left off the email. With the exception of two of us (me included), everyone works on the main campus with him and all but two of them are close enough that they can make visual contact without ever leaving their chair. My hope was that most, if not all, would stick their heads in the birthday dude's office and send good wishes.

Here's what happened: Half of the people I emailed hit the "Reply All" button and wished the birthday dude well not even realizing he wasn't on the distribution list of the original email. Now this, in my opinion, is pretty bad but worse, I replied back some of those who did the reply all to explain the error they made and one of those folks write back saying that he went to birthday dude's office to say happy birthday and "birthday dude said he never got the emails." WHAT?

How are we, the I.T. professionals supposed to teach proper use of email if we as a group clearly disregard the proper use protocols?

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