That wasn’t my first choice for a title to this blog. I had come up with what I considered to be the most clever, humorous, and brilliant title to this subject that anyone in any nook in any office in any country had ever come up with. That title? Sit down ladies and gentlemen –
“Entering the eMaelstrom”
I was SURE that no one had ever thought of the word ‘eMaelstrom’. Just like I’m sure that I’ve invented so many other phrases and words in my life – like ‘willy-nilly’ and ‘hunky-dorry’. But Google quickly proved me wrong (as with all other phrases and words in my life). So I’m stuck with a second-best headline – still good, but definitely second best.
The subject of this blog is my top three bothersome email issues. Please don’t misunderstand, there are over a thousand things that bother me about email, but I’ve managed to comb through my thick skull of fun and come up with:
My Top 3 Email Annoyances:
This type of email is your basic ‘Out of Office’ reply but with so many strings attached that it results in completely confusing the normal human being. I don’t mind the normal “I’m Out of the Office today, please contact…. if you need assistance” – but check this one out that I recently got:
I will be out of the office the morning of Wednesday Feb. 13th, 2013. I will have my cell phone, however I may not be in a position to answer it. Please leave a message.
What position is this person exactly in? I sent them an email and they tell me to leave a message on their cell phone – but they may not be able to answer it? A picture of this person as they eagerly await my phone call:
Another type of eMaze that I found confusing was this auto-response that I got from a local business person:
Your email is in my Inbox and I will respond as soon as possible; certainly within one business day.
Am I supposed to respond to this with anything? That would probably just generate another email saying that THAT email was now in their inbox as well. Or should I just sit all fat, dumb and happy knowing that yes, my email is in safe hands?
I KNOW that none of you have a signature line that extends your email by 50%. Because you all are intelligent human beings that know that nothing like that on the end of your email has ever helped anyone, has ever helped YOU, and more importantly has ever been READ by anyone. These signature lines can be a quote from Ghandi, the Bible, or something completely generic like this that I recently got on a professional business email:
“Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to your Maker.”
Not a single point to putting that in your email. In addition to these type of quotes, there is the normal ‘Notice of Confidentiality’ that some people put in their email signatures – not only in their initial email, but IN EVERY REPLY THEY MAKE. Here’s an example of a recent email with a confidentiality notice. This is a 7-character email expressing their gratitude to me, their customer:
15 Stupid Email Street
Pointless Town, MT 20159
W: (733) 533-5328 C: (232) 234-2342
Notice of Confidentiality: The information that is included or attached in this electronic transmission (E-Mail) may contain confidential and/or privileged information and is intended for only the person or entity to which it is addressed. Any unauthorized review, dissemination, disclosure, reproduction, distribution or other use of, or taking any action in reliance upon the contents of this information is prohibited. If you believe that you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply transmission and delete the message without copying or disclosing it. Thank you.
Let me also note in the above email that this person put their actual email address in their email signature. Isn’t that like answering a telephone call with your telephone number?
The following email exchange occurred earlier this week. Three people in the email exchange, Person A apparently only wanted Person B to talk with, but felt obligated to include Person Tim – even though neither A nor B obviously had any intent, desire or need to listen to Person Tim’s opinions. This email exchange can be detailed as such:
That’s right – my reply was treated as if it was as important as a common housefly at a Labor Day Weenie Roast. It obviously prompted a reply from me:
“Is this thing on?”
So if you’re doing any of the above….just please stop. Remove your signature lines, your confusing out of office auto-replies and please, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t ignore me.
Thank you for your kind attention. Any comments will be in my in-box and I CERTAINLY will respond within a business day.