I thought one of the best things about not being part of an organisation is not having to deal with Lotus Notes on a daily basis. It was as though writing emails was a necessary evil and the most preoccupying thought while writing a mail was who do you mark it to, and in what order. It has always been a tough one for me, so I took the alphabetical way out and pretended it was the norm and nothing untoward happened, so I kept at it.
Sometimes, figuring out who stands where in the order of hierarchy and therefore in your mail is enough to give you ulcers. How do you decide who’s the recipient and who’s the cc when there is a very thin line? Do you have to cc all that cc you? Can anyone butt into a cc chain, even though they haven’t been addressed/spoken to? Does every mail have to be grunted to, even though nothing in it is of any consequence to you? As for the bcc, well, that’s another can of worms. Whoever invented it had a devious little mind and I am sure is having a hearty laugh.
May be all HR departments should conduct an email orientation to new employees explaining the fine nuances of mail protocol, because sooner or later, it will become the bone of contention.
Ironically, I am married into a reply-all family and one of the toughest things about the marriage is keeping people ‘in the loop’. I did it for a while, and even believed in the theory that cyberia is the best thing that happened to the modern family, but after a series of back-patting and wowing at pictures and things, I realised it is not my scene, so I have now left the husband to do the dirty work, which of course he hasn’t done in months.
Having said that, I am still slightly embarrassed about having mailed people to “Become a fan” of this column when a friend set up a Facebook page for me. It seemed vulgar. But as my friends and husband suggested, it’s the age of self promotion, and the whole world is doing it, so what’s wrong with it? I am still ambivalent about it, but the damage is done.
As for forwards, it’s plain lazy. And the closer you are to me, the more I hate a forward from you. That’s about it. There are mails about making the world a better place, but only if you forward it to nine other people, else you will be doomed. Then there are those about life-threatening substances in your blood or deodorant or garbage liners and how, if you don’t do anything about them, you will die in 64 days.
The joke spammers are another lot. I know funny is funny and sharing laughter is such a noble thing and all that. And there are the inspirational messages on how to be happy (while all you are thinking of is how to get rid of this person without hiring a supari killer) and what is life and love and other deep four letter words. But do me a favour. Surprise me. For once.