Monday, April 9, 2007

Email Frustration

As part of my daily work frustration I must sort through hundreds of pointless emails daily. Although email is a great tool, people become email junkies, simply sending and receiving, trying to avoid actually human contact at all costs. Adding to my email overload frustration is the fact that people are horrible at emailing. Below are just a few example of my ongoing email frustration.

Thank You. I like polite people, but nothing adds to the inbox like the pointless array of “Thank You” emails. You’ll have someone send out a request and then another person will answer that request. This will then prompt the original sender to respond with a thank you. Then the responder will respond back with another thank you. Sometimes another “no problem” response will be sent to follow-up on the receipt of the 2nd thank you. It gets even better when there are many users and everyone starts replying with thank you. Then you have a 20 email string in your inbox of people responding with “thank you.” Why god…WHY????

Spell Check. This miraculous feature is enabled on almost every type of program that you type with, yet I still receive emails with spelling errors. The “spell check” dialogue box comes up with suggestions on the misspelled word or words so it would seem impossible with this feature to send out documents with spelling errors. However, the numerous geniuses I work with must believe they are spelling bee champs and don’t need the help. Or maybe there is a subset of risk takers that prefer to attempt spelling on their own, throwing caution to the wind. I’m not one of them.

Caps Lock. I thoroughly enjoy the email typed in all capital letters. There are people who use all capitals when they are irritated and want to stress a point. Then there are the idiots who have the Caps Lock on and everything they write is in capitals. It’s like at some point they hit the Caps Lock by accident and just don’t know how to turn it off. You may be lucky to see this actually happen as you’ll get an email partially typed correctly, then you’ll see a point (caps lock hit by accident) in which it goes all capitals. I can just see the clueless email author as they hit Caps Lock accidentally, then scramble to figure out why things are in capitals. Then, after minutes of button hitting, they just decide to continue to type rather than ask someone about why they are typing in all capitals.

Reply To All. A company-wide email is sent out explaining a new policy to the employees. The email specifically says at the bottom “If you have any questions, please contact….” Instead of following directions an employee or employees will hit “reply to all” in their email. This is great as now everyone in the company gets to read the question that employee has. In our email system, you can see in the “To” field who you are sending the email to prior to actually sending it. Why someone would respond to all, see all the names in the “To” field and still hit send is beyond me. When the company-wide email goes out I begin my guess on how many people will reply to all.

Email Calendar. At my company, our email system has a calendar and meeting option. This is great because if you are trying to schedule a meeting with several attendees you can setup a meeting time and date and check it against the attendee’s schedules. But do people actually use the calendar with meeting option? Noooo! Everyone uses flipping day planners which makes scheduling meetings virtually impossible. You will send out a meeting invite and get 80% of people responding with “I can’t make it, I have something else scheduled.” To myself I think “If you’d use the flipping online calendar, I would know that.”

Feel free to add your email frustrations by hitting the comments section below.


Hi Turtle King, I love this! Excellent points! This goes right in line with my list of 27 email pet peeves. Read here

Great post! I have added you to my blogroll.

robert edward cenek, RODP
Uncommon Commentary on the World of Work

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