Email Violating Personalities


Yes, Email is Still the Way to #fail in a Deep, Meaningful Way

However, there are some ways to fail in smaller ways on a daily basis:

  • General etiquette violators
    • bcc: everyone – There are times when bcc: is desirable, e.g., when sending out a broadcast email to a large group to limit the damage of those who are too quick with “Reply to All” button. In this case, however, a person is conducting a business transaction of some sort and not revealing who else is “in the know”. Results in a lot of, “I don’t know if you’ve seen this or not,” email forwards.
    • Thread trimmer – selectively deletes one or two people periodically from a large email chain, confusing every participant on the list.
    • Reply to All abuser – distinguished from the casual Reply to All user by the use of the button in replying to department-wide email distributions.
    • Subtle Humor User – keeps you guessing on whether the person is joking.
    • !???!! – really is enthusiastic and/or concerned.
    • Priorities are out-of-whack – uses high (or even stranger low) priority markers to try to get attention for what is generally little more than an FYI email.
    • Receipt requestor – Good grief, do you really need a read receipt from the 100 people you emailed about the pot luck on Friday?
  • Appearance violators
    • Pastels and Cute Fonts User – Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
    • Script kitty – uses a nearly illegible cursive font for a default font.
    • Noisy Backgrounder – uses a background that obscures the ability to read the text on top.
    • Reverse video – loves light on dark appearance settings, which completely wreck havoc with anyone else’s replies.
  • Signature violators
    • The signature that never ends – Really, if you need to be contacted so badly that you leave your mother-in-law’s home phone, you probably should have a company cell phone.
    • Motivation spreader – Puts motivational sayings in the signature.
    • Massive signature image – Uses an embedded image in the signature that often dwarfs the email body itself.
  • Attachment violators
    • Media mailer – Those who try to attach mp3s and videos and somehow manage to fly under the “attachment size limit” radar. Unaware that audio and video actually take up a lot of storage space.
    • Sender of abnormally large documents – Someone who manages to send “office” documents that somehow violate the normal proportions and end up hitting the attachment size limit after about 10 pages.
    • Image embedder – Someone who doesn’t realize that Outlook converts embedded images to the most inefficient format possible. May use PowerPoint as an email formatting tool.

Bookmarked: Multitasking is still a lie

Multitasking is still a lie | Christopher S. Penn’s Awaken Your Superhero.

I love this:  “If you are multitasking, you are either doing work that is trivial or you’re doing a poor job.”

Try this experiment if you doubt the reality of the above statement:  Next time you’re on a date with your spouse or significant other, be sure to stay buried in your smartphone the whole time.

Okay, so that takes focus, huh?

Well, certainly, watching your favorite football team play requires far less focus.  Try watching the game while reading up on some complex instructions.  Did you comprehend the instructions?  Did you enjoy the game?  Or did you lose twice?

Realistically, multitasking can work if one of the tasks is trivial or tedious and the other more enjoyable:

  • running on a treadmill and listening to music
  • sorting and folding the laundry and watching a movie

Of course, one activity is primarily physical and the other primarily mental.

However, in the work world, we’re never talking about tightening lug nuts and financial analysis in the multitasking context. We’re talking about two knowledge-based tasks.

I want my crappy coffee; I need my crappy coffee

A person might not be evil for planning a large team meeting in the break room. Or placing a makeshift sign on the door informing me that a meeting is in progress and I am not invited.

But when said meeting occurs between 7:30a.m. and 9:30a.m. on a Monday morning … I know I am dealing with pure evil. Who in their right mind would place a barrier between dozens of Monday-morning workers and their crappy break room coffee? Too much of this, and a grumpy coworker uprising is inevitable.

Snore at your own risk

Sleeping at your desk is a very risky thing to do.  It can quickly lead to a drastic reduction in income.  There is always someone who doesn’t seem to get this.

If you don’t know whether you snore when you sleep, please ask someone. If you do snore when you fall asleep, and you still allow yourself to fall asleep at your desk, can I just say that you deserve what you get?  When you feel your eyelids getting heavy, stand up, man! Take a walk.  Get a cup of coffee or a soda from the breakroom.Just don’t glare at the rest of us when they escort you out the door, like somehow it was our duty to become co-conspirators in your stupidity. We are not going to cough really loud, throw something soft at you, or inconspicuously walk to your desk to pretend we actually need your help with something.  You are snoring at your own risk.