Reply To All (Except Me)

Hi again!

Let’s talk about technology.  It’s good, right?  I obviously love the interwebz.  I don’t think I could get through a week at work without e-mail, instant messenger, and/or internet access.  I think that if Liz stopped sending me adorkable pictures of baby animals five times a day I’d go a little bit nuts.  From the first IM I get in the morning to the weird picture of a dog in a diaper on my desktop, my computer is probably my work BFF.  Every now and then, though, technology is just friggin annoying.

About two days ago, someone who works for the same agency as me accidentally forwarded one of those chain letters to me.  You know the ones.  They start out with some sad sob story or something, then they end with “If 9000 people sign this petition then (fill in the blank) will donate (insert amount of money here) to (whatever charity)!  Send this to everybody you know!”  It popped up in my inbox, I eyed it warily, and then I disregarded it.  I didn’t even take the time to read the whole thing, it was so obviously a scam.  I decided that the sender (who I have never met) sent it to me by accident and I just ignored it.

Is that irrational?  Is that not EXACTLY what you would do?  Is there something about my actions that makes you raise an eyebrow and exclaim “You did WHAT?!”

Because here’s the thing: that e-mail got forwarded to EVERY employee at my agency whose last name starts with the letters A-C.  And it’s a BIG agency.  And I’m sure that most people did exactly what I did, because it just makes sense if you don’t want to be ridiculous.  But apparently, some people decided that they needed to tell the original sender that he had made a mistake.  And at least twenty eight full grown, educated, gainfully employed adults couldn’t tell the difference between the button labeled “Reply” and “Reply To All.”

Oy.  So the first e-mails that came back were pretty harmless.  “This is a scam,” they said, or “I don’t think you meant to send this to me.”  Ok, whatever.  Then the “helpful” people started giving the “confused” people computer lessons.  “Please stop hitting ‘Reply to All.’”  Because I guess your best advice only applies to everyone in the world except you.

Then the “helpful” people were replaced by the “hostile” people. “STOP HITTING REPLY TO ALL.  We are all adults, we know how to use e-mail.  The next person who hits REPLY TO ALL is getting reported to I.T.!”  Uhhh…ok?  And what, pray tell, did YOU hit, immediately before sending that e-mail, “hostile person”??  Yeah that’s what I thought.  You’re annoying.  Besides, what is I.T. going to do?  Remove the “Reply To All” button from the e-mail system?  Order the offender to complete 3 hours of e-mail training on the agency’s dime?  Time-travel back to this morning and give me my wasted time back?  But whatever, I guess sometimes it just feels good to threaten somebody you’ve never met.

So eventually, an entire page of my e-mail was taken up by the responses, and I did exactly what any of you who know me would expect me to do.  I got out a sticky note, titled it “Idiots,” and started a tally.  At last count, I was up to 28.  And counting…


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