Reply to all



  •  After a string of company wide reply-to-all fests about chain letters my company decided to put in place the following policy:

    outlook wtf



  •  I guess "fixing" software is easier than fixing idiocy.

    Still they could have handled this differently. Say... inappropriate use of the Reply All button = x hours of extra unpaid work / scrub the toilets / wear the dunce hat. Take your pick.



  • So much for "may not be distributed outside the thick black line" then, huh?



  • @Zecc said:

    So much for "may not be distributed outside the thick black line" then, huh?
    I'm sure it said "outside the internet".



  • We've got a little animated GIF we like to use for these situations.



  • @db2 said:

    We've got a little animated GIF we like to use for these situations.
    That's pretty awesome.



  • @DOA said:

     I guess "fixing" software is easier than fixing idiocy.

    "Fixing" software really is easier than fixing idiocy.  Of course, this will severely impact team productivity because I'm guessing that the 'Reply to All' function is used 98% of the time for good reason and 2% of the time by morons.

    A better software fix would be to only disable it on specific clients.  Like, those 2% who have been doing Reply to All on company communications.

    But since it's probably the senior executives' admins who are doing it then it is more politically correct to remove the function for everyone rather than single out the offenders.



  • @MrsPost said:

    "Fixing" software really is easier than fixing idiocy.  Of course, this will severely impact team productivity because I'm guessing that the 'Reply to All' function is used 98% of the time for good reason and 2% of the time by morons.

    A better software fix would be to only disable it on specific clients.  Like, those 2% who have been doing Reply to All on company communications.

    You're right with your second point, but I'm not sure about the first point. I actually thing this is pretty well thought out. Yes, there will be an initial drop in productivity, but once people realise they can use the keyboard shortcut, their productivity will be pretty close to what it was originally with one exception. They'll need to think before they act. 'Do I need to hit the keyboard shortcut or the button in the toolbar?'. I suspect it would actually be quite effective at limiting the occurances of this problem.

     I do agree that there are better solutions, but someone's actually thought about this move!



  •  Yeah, that's much easier than just restricting access to the All Users group in the address book.



  • @DaEagle said:

    @MrsPost said:

    "Fixing" software really is easier than fixing idiocy.  Of course, this will severely impact team productivity because I'm guessing that the 'Reply to All' function is used 98% of the time for good reason and 2% of the time by morons.

    A better software fix would be to only disable it on specific clients.  Like, those 2% who have been doing Reply to All on company communications.

    You're right with your second point, but I'm not sure about the first point. I actually thing this is pretty well thought out. Yes, there will be an initial drop in productivity, but once people realise they can use the keyboard shortcut, their productivity will be pretty close to what it was originally with one exception. They'll need to think before they act. 'Do I need to hit the keyboard shortcut or the button in the toolbar?'. I suspect it would actually be quite effective at limiting the occurances of this problem.

     I do agree that there are better solutions, but someone's actually thought about this move!

     

    However there are so many better things to do:

    1.  Pop up a dialog when you are sending to more than say 100 users.

    1 b.  If people ignore dialogs then put a textbox on the dialog and say "There are 343 users you are about to send this email to?  Please type the number 343 in the box below:"

    2.  Disallow access to large mailing lists

    3.  BCC when sending to wide distributions

    4.  Allow individual emails to have the reply to all disabled.



  • @tster said:

    However there are so many better things to do:

    1.  Pop up a dialog when you are sending to more than say 100 users.

    You've failed.

    If you're sending a reply to a mailing list which is not on the server to which you are directly sending the message, it's probably not possible for your mail software to tell how many users are on that list.  I feel fairly confident that there are companies which are using 100% Microsoft software with a single mail server for the whole company yet still occasionally send email to external mailing lists with many internal members on them.

    For any company of significant size and intelligence (that is, one that doesn't put all of their eggs in one email server), this solution is even less feasible.



  • @tgape said:

    @tster said:

    However there are so many better things to do:

    1.  Pop up a dialog when you are sending to more than say 100 users.

    You've failed.

    If you're sending a reply to a mailing list which is not on the server to which you are directly sending the message, it's probably not possible for your mail software to tell how many users are on that list.  I feel fairly confident that there are companies which are using 100% Microsoft software with a single mail server for the whole company yet still occasionally send email to external mailing lists with many internal members on them.

    For any company of significant size and intelligence (that is, one that doesn't put all of their eggs in one email server), this solution is even less feasible.

    For the sake of fucking fuck...

     

    Mailing lists have abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with "Reply All".

     

    Zoddammit. 



  •  Do you happen to work at State Street?



  • @MrsPost said:

    @DOA said:

     I guess "fixing" software is easier than fixing idiocy.

    "Fixing" software really is easier than fixing idiocy.  Of course, this will severely impact team productivity because I'm guessing that the 'Reply to All' function is used 98% of the time for good reason and 2% of the time by morons.

    A better software fix would be to only disable it on specific clients.  Like, those 2% who have been doing Reply to All on company communications.

    But since it's probably the senior executives' admins who are doing it then it is more politically correct to remove the function for everyone rather than single out the offenders.

    I don't know why I didn't think of this before but I just realised have done the exact same thing. I've had all kinds of crap input on our custom-made logging system (think a couple of forms on a LAMP setup for writing down work we' ve done for clients). We have a certain user who simply has to write in all caps. Another didn't quite grasp the logic behind certain fields putting "ok" in the Details field to indicate that the work was done.

    A couple of extra lines of code solved the problem far more efficiently than chasing after my colleagues. Sure any acronyms we enter look crappy in lowercase, but what are you gonna do...



  • @MrsPost said:

    But since it's probably the senior executives' admins who are doing it then it is more politically correct to remove the function for everyone rather than single out the offenders.

    We had one here recently where a couple of senior executives themselves actually posted "Please take me off this list."  It took a few days for it to die down because every few hours, someone would send "Please don't use reply-all" to the entire list, which generated another 20 "Please remove me from this list" responses.  Most of our large mailing lists are locked down so that only specific people can post to them.  However, it didn't stop someone pasting 6MB of addresses into an email. 

    I like the idea of removing the toolbar button but leaving the keyboard shortcut untouched.  That would immediately eliminate the clueless users without actually impeding people like myself who learn the shortcut.



  •  Wow, that's pretty amazing considering we can't get people here to use "Reply to all" ever. It's like the buttons invisible. You send an email out to person A, then CC B, C, and D and you will get an email back from most of them sent only to you with questions about the email.

     Then you have to take to time to add people back to it in order to make sure everyone gets the information. It can get pretty frustrating when the discussion is longer than an email or two.



  • @Lacutis said:


    we can't get people here to use "Reply to all" ever.

    Odd, isn't it?  It seems within an organisation the vast majority of people conform to one of these two trends, seemingly influenced by a combination of precedent and/or the prevailing company culture.  Both are equally fucking annoying IMO - on the one hand being endlessly bombarded by reams of repetitive irrelevant shit, on the other not knowing WTF is going on because you keep getting cut out the CC loop.

     



  • @tgape said:

    @tster said:

    However there are so many better things to do:

    1.  Pop up a dialog when you are sending to more than say 100 users.

    You've failed.

    If you're sending a reply to a mailing list which is not on the server to which you are directly sending the message, it's probably not possible for your mail software to tell how many users are on that list.  I feel fairly confident that there are companies which are using 100% Microsoft software with a single mail server for the whole company yet still occasionally send email to external mailing lists with many internal members on them.

    For any company of significant size and intelligence (that is, one that doesn't put all of their eggs in one email server), this solution is even less feasible.

     

    I have never heard of a reply to all fest occuring that isn't confined to a single company.  BTW, why wouldn't you have only 1 (active) email server?  Maybe companies with a quarter million employees need multiple email servers, but I think most of the fortune 500 would be fine with 1.



  • @Qwerty said:

    We had one here recently where a couple of senior executives themselves actually posted "Please take me off this list."  It took a few days for it to die down because every few hours, someone would send "Please don't use reply-all" to the entire list, which generated another 20 "Please remove me from this list" responses. 
    Bedlam DL3



  • @tster said:

    @tgape said:

    @tster said:

    However there are so many better things to do:

    1.  Pop up a dialog when you are sending to more than say 100 users.

    You've failed.

    If you're sending a reply to a mailing list which is not on the server to which you are directly sending the message, it's probably not possible for your mail software to tell how many users are on that list.  I feel fairly confident that there are companies which are using 100% Microsoft software with a single mail server for the whole company yet still occasionally send email to external mailing lists with many internal members on them.

    For any company of significant size and intelligence (that is, one that doesn't put all of their eggs in one email server), this solution is even less feasible.

     

    I have never heard of a reply to all fest occuring that isn't confined to a single company.  BTW, why wouldn't you have only 1 (active) email server?  Maybe companies with a quarter million employees need multiple email servers, but I think most of the fortune 500 would be fine with 1.

    It's not uncommon for companies to have different mail servers for each satellite office.  Regardless, tgape was wrong wrong wrong anyway.  He shot down your idea because "the client doesn't know who is on the mailing list" but this has nothing to do with a mailing list, it has to do with "Reply All" functionality.  So your original idea is actually quite good and some email client software (including custom ones I have written) do provide such a feature.


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