Wherein the upper echelons of a technology company display their technological ignorance about email...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Well one person. And quite possibly not 'upper' either...


    Usually, every 8-9 days (unless it falls on a weekend, in which case it tends to be the following Monday,) the whole company gets treated to a "weekly" email "from the CEO."

    Scare quotes used because

    • The subject of the email is (paraphrased) "What's happened this week" which implies that it should be sent weekly. i.e on, or around, the same day each week. In practice it seems to get later each week
    • No-one (until this incident) was entirely convinced that he actually wrote it, but some doubt lingered since it was conceivable that he actually did it, and got someone to proof-read it, change 'voice' etc.

    So, yesterday afternoon's email landed... (content and names highly anonymized - don't get hung up on what I've replaced them with):

    From: Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO
    To: Everyone in the company
    Subject: What's happened this week

    Howdy everyone, this week's email comes from the sunny climes of Ebola where I and the [CTO] have been [doing stuff].

    [more boring company stuff]

    And in other news, some of the company's employees did some charity stunt to raise money for a charity.

    Here's some adorable pictures of them after they finished:

    [pic]

    [pic]

    [Mwah, love and kisses]

    Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO

    [Signature block for Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO]

    [Signature block for Susan Darcey Jaime Spencer - Executive Assistant to Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO, and Office Manager]


    From: Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO
    To: Susan Darcey Jaime Spencer - Executive Assistant to Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO, and Office Manager
    Subject: FW: What's happened this week

    Susan, would you check this over and do what you usually do to make it sound like I wrote it please?

    Connor.


    From: Petrina Verity Irvine - CMO
    To: Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO
    Subject: What's happened this week

    Hello, this week I've been in Ebola with [CTO's first name], [doing stuff].

    [more boring company stuff]

    And don't forget about that charity bike ride for [fake charity] - here's some pics of them:

    [pic]

    [pic]

    Until next week,

    Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO

    [Signature block for Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO]

    Oops.

    In case it's not clear, or immediately obvious:

    • Marketing actually create the email and send it to the CEO
    • The CEO then passes it onto his PA for touch-up
    • In this case the PA accidentally forwarded the complete chain above out to everyone in the company.

    Your first reaction upon being a part of this would be:

    [poll]

    • PA: Oh shit
    • PA: Meh - I did something wrong
    • CEO: Why are people emailing me about my weekly mail? PA....
    • PA: Oh shit!!!!!
    • Rest of the company: [after a while] Who's spamming me now? Oh - Mwhahaha...
      [/poll]

    Spoiler....

     

     

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    Four minutes passed.

    Then:

    From: Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO
    To: Everyone in the company
    Subject: Recall: What's happened this week

    Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling would like to recall the message, "What's happened this week"

    Then 10 seconds later:

    From: Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO
    To: Everyone in the company
    Subject: Recall: What's happened this week

    Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling would like to recall the message, "What's happened this week"

    Another 5 seconds:

    From: Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO
    To: Everyone in the company
    Subject: Recall: What's happened this week

    Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling would like to recall the message, "What's happened this week"

    30 more seconds:

    From: Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO
    To: Everyone in the company
    Subject: Recall: What's happened this week

    Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling would like to recall the message, "What's happened this week"

    We got about 10 of those in total - and that's just the ones GMail caught before Outlook got its hands on them. Then

    From: Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling - CEO
    To: Everyone in the company
    Subject: What's happened this week

    Howdy everyone,

    Here's my (revised) email that was recalled earlier...

    [original email, untouched]


    I still retain copies of original and resent email, along with 7 copies of the recall in my email history.

    How people expect email-recall to work when not everyone uses a mail server that accepts/honours it is a mystery....



  • @PJH said:

    not everyone uses a mail server that accepts/honours it

    Apparently GMail's Undo feature came out of Labs recently. Maybe he's gotten the wrong memo.

    Also, I like to think

    @PJH said:

    Connor Wilmer Cary Cam Snelling would like to recall the message, "What's happened this week"

    is not an e-mail client feature, but the CEO frantically typing it out and sending it hoping it would do something.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    Apparently GMail's Undo feature came out of Labs recently.

    That's simply a delay (on a popup) before GMail physically sends the email. After the timer, the popup disappears and the mail goes on its way.

    It's not an "un-send" in the technical sense (whereby another message follows the original carrying around a few +10 Ctrl-Z's with which it hopes to fight any mailservers it comes across.)



  • @PJH said:

    That's simply a delay (on a popup) before GMail physically sends the email.

    Apparently if the other party also has GMail, it does, in fact, pull the email from their inbox. If some commenters under an article on a Polish news portal are to be believed, that is.

    It doesn't ^H^H^H^H the message away after the grace period, though.



  • @PJH said:

    How people expect email-recall to work when not everyone uses a mail server that accepts/honours it is a mystery....

    Not only that, but even systems that do support it (like Outlook and I presume Gmail) will only recall emails that haven't yet been opened. It only takes one single person who opened the email "quickly" to leak it to the rest of the company if they wanted.

    (And if you did open the email, it sends you one of those handy follow-ups like in the OP telling you the originator wants to recall it, which is like built-in Streisand Effect.)



  • Hello please take me off this list.



  • I hear Ebola is a lovely place to go on vacation.



  • You can check-out, but you can never leave.



  • UNSUBSCRIBE

    <!-- jgjffjfjfjffjfjfjgjfj -->

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    It's spelled: UNSUBSRIBE

    With your spelling, it usually works....


    On a more serious note about work emails, and the people who can't tell the difference between Reply and Reply All when whoever sent the OP didn't bother putting the Company Group address in BCC and instead stuck it in To or CC:

    My usual reply to them is exactly that. Strangely I don't get a reply to them...



  • On the other hand, I have a severe distaste for a specific colleague of mine who tends to go "Do I want person A to receive this email". "Do I want person B to receive this email" etc. He tends to try to play people against each other.



  • Reply All

    When the emailer server says,

    "You've activated my trap card!"



  • @PJH said:

    the people who can't tell the difference between Reply and Reply All

    This is a pet peeve of mine. In a not too long ago incident where a number of users did a REPLY ALL to a promotion announcement, I sent the following to all users:

    Please do NOT use the REPLY ALL when congratulating someone. Let’s keep the personnel and email system strain to a minimum.

    Please DO congratulate the person if you wish. Acknowledgements of achievements are a good thing.

    Thanks for your help. We now return you to your regularly scheduled enthusiasm! :smiley:

    A certain group doesn't seem to get the message, but the rest of the company did - and I even got a few compliments back from others who typically have lots of email traffic as it is and thus share this pet peeve. ;-)

    @xaade said:

    +1



  • My solution is if you're emailing a large group of people, put them all in the BCC list so even if the idiots do hit "Reply All" it won't actually go to anybody but yourself.

    I wish email clients had a setting to do this automatically. "You're sending to more than X people, I've put those people in the BCC list."



  • Only problem then is we have users end up sending congrats to the announcer only and not the person promoted.

    When the announcer is typically the CEO's Executive Assistant, and she's the only one getting spammed, it doesn't go over very well. :frowning:



  • They might - I'm not about to try. However such tools won't work with mailing lists.


  • SockDev

    Mailing lists should be using BCC anyway



  • Depends on the nature of the list. If they're used for announcements, sure. If they're mainly used for discussion, please no.


  • SockDev

    Why would you use a mailing list for discussions? Isn't that better suited to forums?



  • But if it's a discussion list, then you want to send your mail to the listserv, not directly to the participants.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    Why would you use a mailing list for discussions? Isn't that better suited to forums?

    Depends on things like volume. The push nature of a mailing list has its advantages over a forum.



  • Same for announcements - except for the company-wide ones they all go to <svpabbr>_org_ww@...



  • @boomzilla said:

    The push nature of a mailing list has its advantages over a forum.
    Easier logistics a lot of the time too. Mail servers are very often externally visible; internal websites, such as companies would probably use, often are not except through some kind of VPN or SSH tunnel.

    As for "Reply All", I tend to get more annoyed when I get dropped from an interesting email discussion then when I'm included on one I am not interested in. Reply all is my usual behavior.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @RaceProUK said:

    Isn't that better suited to forums?

    My steampunk group prefers a mailing list because some of them can't get on many websites at work but can check email.



  • Same here - it's probably a matter of how much volume you get.

    Also you can set email filters on the list's email address so they stay out of the way of the more important stuff.



  • @Captain said:

    Hello please take me off this list.

    I've always wanted to use this (or the UNSUBSCRIBE) in response to some reminder about a meeting or some forms that I've forgotten to hand in.



  • Reply-To: /dev/null



  • @PleegWat said:

    Also you can set email filters on the list's email address so they stay out of the way of the more important stuff.

    This is IMHO the best argument for lists.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @redwizard said:

    This is a pet peeve of mine. In a not too long ago incident where a number of users did a REPLY ALL to a promotion announcement, I sent the following to all users:

    So you, erm, Replied To All, then?

    :tropical_drink:



  • Initially only replied to the offender. Then the second one. Then the third one. :wtf:, 4? F___ it, reply all. :-p ;-)


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Reply All is literally the default course of action in my company. Usually 'Reply all and add some people'.

    Not the default in our mail clients. The de facto way to communicate any information at all. Our corporate culture is such shit.



  • Well, it doesn't help that most folks are trained to Reply All to most emails they get because of the quantity of CCs on them, and some email clients (cough Lotes Nuts hack) will only reply to the sender when you hit Reply, and leave you with no other choice than to hit Reply All in order to keep the CCs from falling off.



  • @tarunik said:

    ...some email clients (cough Lotes Nuts hack) will only reply to the sender when you hit Reply, and leave you with no other choice than to hit Reply All in order to keep the CCs from falling off.
    Wait, in what mail client is that not true?



  • It's no excuse, anyway. I usually hit Reply All, but 'and then delete as appropriate' is part of my workflow.



  • @CarrieVS said:

    'and then delete as appropriate'

    and then you get a mail back with even more people in cc ....
    :wtf:


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