email idiocy

I knew this was going to happen. As noted before, a message was sent using an outdated list with the LIST name in the “reply to” field. I use Thunderbird, which shows this field, but my informants tell me that Exchange does not show it by default, which may explain part of the problem. Complaints about not belonging on the list go to the whole list, then complaints about getting the complaints go to the whole list. A wise head (an econ prof) sends to the list telling people to stop sending to the list, to direct concerns to the original sender (whom he names) but people don’t get the message. After four days, the original sender sends a note to the whole list (once again with the LIST in the “reply to” field!!) telling people to contact her directly if they want off the list and giving her email in the text body. More people hit “reply” to say they want off the list, and then more people hit reply to complain about getting all the replies. Then a guy announces to the list that he is tired of getting all the messages, so HE is going to reply to the list to complain every time anybody else sends to the list!! He persists in arguing that this is a good plan even after I send him a private message telling him why this will do no good. Several other people adopt the practice of hitting reply to echo his complaint every time he complains. At this point, about 20 messages an hour are being sent to the list, with no end in sight. The original sender is not on the list.

Author: olderwoman

I'm a sociology professor but not only a sociology professor. I keep my name out of this blog because I don't want my name associated with it in a Google search. Although I never write anything in a public forum like a blog that I'd be ashamed to have associated with my name (and you shouldn't either), it is illegal for me to use my position as a public employee to advance my religious or political views, and the pseudonym helps to preserve the distinction between my public and private identities. The pseudonym also helps to protect the people I may write about in describing public or semi-public events I've been involved with. You can read about my academic work on my academic blog --Pam Oliver

5 thoughts on “email idiocy”

  1. I’ve had a similar experience before and it’s not fun. Apparently many people are so self-centered they have nearly no empathy.

    Maybe you could set up a temporary filter where all messages to that list go directly to your trash.


  2. I know, it’s weird how in life one often thinking things like “What is this, junior high?” But then with technology it becomes, “What is this, 1997?”


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.