Thursday, July 24, 2008

I is for Idiots

The Evil Corporation uses Microsoft Outlook for eMail. As far as it goes, it's the kind of software that perfectly fits the Evil Corporation - it's too big, requires too many resources, and fails dramatically whenever you need it most.

When you open an eMail with Microsoft Outlook, you can do several things with the eMail ... all laid out in exactly the wrong order. Since the buttons to "delete" or "navigate to another eMail" are all the way to the right of the top toolbar, it is so much easier to click one of the first available buttons - "reply","reply to all" or "forward".

Thus with the click of a single button, some well meaning and considerate person sent everone in the Evil Corporation an eMail today. It let every single one of us know that there was going to be a fire alarm test in one part of one building at precisely 1:30 this afternoon. Fortunately, I was not privy to the replies that said "I don't work in that building" and "I don't care." Unfortunately, I did receive the 61 different "Reply to All" eMails that let all 23,000 of us know that someone either did not work in that building or did not care.

The "Reply to All" button should come with a battery of mandatory tests before it could be used. One of the tests must determine if the person who is actually capable of lifting their knuckles up off the ground when they walk. Maybe this could be done by optically sensing a low, sloping forehead crowned with a prominent and single furry eyebrow. Not to specifically "profile" the Great Apes, the viciously territorial "Lesser Included Proto-simians" could be uncovered by pattern matching algorithms that detect "me makem" couplets containing {favorite bodily functions}, {political party blathering}, or {bumper sticker bliss}. Since it seems to be too difficult to detect the sounds of "an ass braying in the field", could we at least check senders for a prehensile tail in order to help keep the "fecal flingers" out of my Inbox?

A special place in Hell is also reserved for the self-appointed Authority who replied to all 23,000 employees exhorting them (in all caps) to "READ THIS - DO NOT REPLY TO IT OR ANY OTHER EMAIL". That person will be joined in the Fiery Lake by the NINE IDIOTS who did reply.


david mcmahon said...

That's hilarious.

Oh, no - I hit the ``Reply To All'' option!!

Kookaburra said...


I have done something very similar. I had wanted to ask a particular work-group about the whereabouts of a secondary storage carton. You guessed it! The e-mail was sent to the whole organisation. I did receive some rather juvenile replies ... "Have you looked in your locker / under your chair / is it in another folder.. stuff like that.


Harshita Kamal Mehta said...

I have been bearing the brunt of such REPLY TO ALL mails a lot in office for past to 2 yrs...

Ironically most of the times, people tend to RTA to mails that read a subject line : DO NOT REPLY,THIS IS A GENERAL NOTIFICATION.

Your story abt the same is truly funny... lol

I hope the fire-alarm did buzz after all this.

CIELO said...

Hi there Atomic Zebra! I know what you mean--I've always dreaded doing something like that...the finger in the wrong key, the incorrect action and puff!—message sent. We heard the story of a man who was having an affair and was sending a “love” message to his mistress…. Only problem was somehow he clicked the wrong key and sent his message to every one of his contacts…. well, that did it…. Caught in the act by no other than himself…….

My regards...


TerriRainer said...


:) Terri

bindhiya said...

Dear Skeeter,
Hope you had a good day.

From my Pappa's office I will get their morning messages every day...somehow they got my email...maybe that is a reply all too :))

♥ & ((hugs))

Eva said...

"Simian Profiling": the algorithm of the future.

My co-worker had an email incident recently: she emailed our IT contact with instructions on how to assist a remote user who also happened to be a big pain in the behind. The IT person replied to my co-worker and CCd THE PAIN IN THE BEHIND TO COMMUNICATE HER PLAN FOR RESOLUTION OF THE ISSUE. My co-worker was totally mortified.

Robyn said...

LMAO! Skeeter! this post is a riot since I am dealing with that at my job now...all very new!

kylie said...

hi skeeter,
i dont use email at work so i manage to avoid most of those email faux pas. i'm exceptionally good at sticking feet in my mouth but the good thing about that is it's not sent to everybody
thanks for all your comments at my place and have a great weekend.

zirelda said...

Oh boy..... we have four companies who routinely volley emails back and forth for decision making. I understand in a small way. Our corporation is much smaller I think and yay for that.

I do feel for you. Takes simply forever to delete every reply.

Louise said...

Ahhhh, how I miss the office! (Totally lying.)

Funny post! Arrived from Authorblog.

CrazyCath said...

Over from authorblog and what a post! Funny and frustrating at the same time. I have had loads of email like that - mainly chain stuff at work. I love the way you write about it.

Mrs4444 said...

"One of the tests must determine if the person who is actually capable of lifting their knuckles up off the ground when they walk." Hilarious; you caught me off guard with that one, Skeeter :) And I thought I was having it rough to keep getting forwards from people who don't have the sense to see that I already received it (when they did!)