I just don't understand this filing methodology



  • Earlier today, one of our users comes to me to say that when he deletes an email, it no longer goes into his deleted items and just disappears. After checking various things, I confirmed that it's set to move deleted items into the appropriate folder rather than just permanently nuke them.



    For the next hour or so whilst he's in a meeting, one of my colleagues and me are trying various things on both the server and client to make it go back to the expected behaviour, with no luck. As it's an IMAP account, and we find it's happening on both Windows Live Mail (yeah, I know... that truly is a WTF by itself) and Thunderbird. I thought that the server's folder contents, which also includes a couple of files for the server to index and track the mail content, may have got corrupted, so I move that folder somewhere else, and create a new, blank folder. Desired effect now achieved.



    Our illustrious user returns from the meeting, and before I get to tell him I'd only moved the files, blows a stack at me when he finds his Deleted Items folder is empty. Reason: "What the f*** did you do that for? I keep all my important emails in there!"



    Why?!! Just WHY?!!



    Related Question/Analogy: If I put my USB stick full of important information in the trashcan next to my desk, and then I find the next day the cleaner has emptied it into the exterior bin, and that the truck has collected it and taken it to the dump, who should I be angry at?



  • Other places to store mission-critical documents:

    • Z:\\temp
    • 3.5" floppies
    • Recycle bin
    • unsaved documents open in your favourite document editor
    • \\qa01\ciserver\data


  • @MeesterTurner said:

    ...who should I be angry at?
    The cleaner and the bin-men, obviously.



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    Other places to store mission-critical documents:

    • Z:\\temp
    • 3.5" floppies
    • Recycle bin
    • unsaved documents open in your favourite document editor
    • \\qa01\ciserver\data

     

    Special hot tip for Linux users: try /dev/null. It's super safe!



  • @MeesterTurner said:

    Why?!! Just WHY?!!
    Because it's a one-key/one-button archiving method. Do you know of another way of quickly 'saving' an important e-mail with the minimum of key strokes or mouse clicks?

    Obviously, the analogy of a dustbin should have rung a bell with the  user, but since we've seen this pattern before, there appears to be a need to 'quickly save' an important file, document or e-mail, and operating system and application developers haven't really given this much thought, if any.

    I think Thunderbird can do this since fairly recently, although I have no idea how it works.



  • @Severity One said:

    @MeesterTurner said:

    Why?!! Just WHY?!!
    Because it's a one-key/one-button archiving method. Do you know of another way of quickly 'saving' an important e-mail with the minimum of key strokes or mouse clicks?

    Obviously, the analogy of a dustbin should have rung a bell with the  user, but since we've seen this pattern before, there appears to be a need to 'quickly save' an important file, document or e-mail, and operating system and application developers haven't really given this much thought, if any.

    I think Thunderbird can do this since fairly recently, although I have no idea how it works.

    Is clicking-and-dragging an important email into an 'Important Emails' folder too complicated a task for someone to handle? One click and a small movement of the wrist sure is a lot to ask, but we all have to make sacrifices.



  • @TGV said:

    @pkmnfrk said:

    Other places to store mission-critical documents:

    • Z:\\temp
    • 3.5" floppies
    • Recycle bin
    • unsaved documents open in your favourite document editor
    • \\qa01\ciserver\data

     

    Special hot tip for Linux users: try /dev/null. It's super safe!

    Special advantage: The storage capacity of /dev/null is huge! No need to keep buying bigger hard disks.

     



  • @PJH said:

    @MeesterTurner said:
    ...who should I be angry at?
    The cleaner and the bin-men, obviously.
    Never ever ever get angry at the cleaners ().

    IMHO they are some of the most important people in the office. If you didn't have people emptying bins or cleaning the crapper it wouldn't be long before you hated coming into the office and having to work in a pigsty. A clean office is boon to productivity.

    I should qualify that as "to their face"



  • This seems to be a recurring pattern. When one of my users complained about not enough space on her limited exchange mailbox, I went over to her and proceeded to right click her Deleted Items folder. When I was about to click "Empty Deleted Items folder", she shouted "What are you doing! This is my archive of important stuff!". I gave her a blank stare, and then proceeded to explain that that is not how the system is supposed to be used. She preferred to delete other stuff instead and kept using her "archive folder" the way she always did for at least another three years.WTF!!!

    So, you see, you are not the only one.



  • In response to this, a quick training process for all users...

    The system will automatically empty all things older then three days from the deleted items folders in all mail boxes.

    After this first few instances of someone losing something, they will get the picture and your email server will be happier, at least until they start saving everything elsewhere.



  •  Yeah, I saw the same thing many years ago, I discovered the receptionist had this complicated folder structure within her deleted items folder, literally hundreds of subfolders arranged in hierarchies 4 or 5 folders deep, and discovered that while this wasn't exactly an 'important stuff' area, that it was genuinely emails she 'probably' didn't need any more, she was paranoid about 'needing to recover an email I deleted when I shouldn't have' and had come up with this system of filing her 'deleted' emails just in case she ever needed to recover one.

     of course, the obvious 'half-way house' to this paranoia would normally be 'well, ok, lets permanently delete everything in there older than, say, 1 year, as you can be pretty sure after that long that you really don't need it' but because of the hundreds of subfolders I couldn't easily delete all based on age.



  • @Severity One said:

    @MeesterTurner said:
    Why?!! Just WHY?!!
    Because it's a one-key/one-button archiving method. Do you know of another way of quickly 'saving' an important e-mail with the minimum of key strokes or mouse clicks?

    Are you... serious?

    I can't speak for other email clients, but Outlook and Thunderbird both have the "star" button on every email to mark them as important. (Actually I think Outlook has a red flag icon, either way it's the same damned thing.)

    The biggest problem here, IMO, is the idea that your inbox must be "empty" of emails. Bah. Why bother deleting anything? It's a waste of time and effort. "Star" the important stuff, file into folders if you need to, but just leave it sit in the inbox. You already have an "unread" marker.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Severity One said:
    @MeesterTurner said:
    Why?!! Just WHY?!!
    Because it's a one-key/one-button archiving method. Do you know of another way of quickly 'saving' an important e-mail with the minimum of key strokes or mouse clicks?

    Are you... serious?

    I can't speak for other email clients, but Outlook and Thunderbird both have the "star" button on every email to mark them as important. (Actually I think Outlook has a red flag icon, either way it's the same damned thing.)

    The biggest problem here, IMO, is the idea that your inbox must be "empty" of emails. Bah. Why bother deleting anything? It's a waste of time and effort. "Star" the important stuff, file into folders if you need to, but just leave it sit in the inbox. You already have an "unread" marker.

    Or use GMail. I like having an empty inbox, but I never delete anything. All my email just goes into the big "Archive" pile, and I let Google help me out if I ever need to refer to it again (which only rarely happens)



  • @KattMan said:

    In response to this, a quick training process for all users...

    The system will automatically empty all things older then three days from the deleted items folders in all mail boxes.

    After this first few instances of someone losing something, they will get the picture and your email server will be happier, at least until they start saving everything elsewhere.

    I suspect that the purpose of the company is to make money by doing some kind of business activity, not to become a model in inbox configuration - therefore deleting emails to "train" people is basically sabotage. It is also the kind of approach that gives a bad reputation to IT and opens the door to expensive management consultants who are experts in "alignment of IT with business" (i.e.: fire them all and bring in IBM).

    This being said, seeing that a lot of people are using Deleted Items or the Recycle Bin to store important documents, there is apparently a need that should be addressed. Lousy workarounds appear because of obstacles to productivity, real or imaginary.



  • @Speakerphone Dude said:

    @KattMan said:

    In response to this, a quick training process for all users...

    The system will automatically empty all things older then three days from the deleted items folders in all mail boxes.

    After this first few instances of someone losing something, they will get the picture and your email server will be happier, at least until they start saving everything elsewhere.

    I suspect that the purpose of the company is to make money by doing some kind of business activity, not to become a model in inbox configuration - therefore deleting emails to "train" people is basically sabotage. It is also the kind of approach that gives a bad reputation to IT and opens the door to expensive management consultants who are experts in "alignment of IT with business" (i.e.: fire them all and bring in IBM).

    This being said, seeing that a lot of people are using Deleted Items or the Recycle Bin to store important documents, there is apparently a need that should be addressed. Lousy workarounds appear because of obstacles to productivity, real or imaginary.

    +1


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    @Severity One said:
    @MeesterTurner said:
    Why?!! Just WHY?!!
    Because it's a one-key/one-button archiving method. Do you know of another way of quickly 'saving' an important e-mail with the minimum of key strokes or mouse clicks?

    Are you... serious?

    I can't speak for other email clients, but Outlook and Thunderbird both have the "star" button on every email to mark them as important. (Actually I think Outlook has a red flag icon, either way it's the same damned thing.)

    The biggest problem here, IMO, is the idea that your inbox must be "empty" of emails. Bah. Why bother deleting anything? It's a waste of time and effort. "Star" the important stuff, file into folders if you need to, but just leave it sit in the inbox. You already have an "unread" marker.

    Starring messages works great until you are dealing with 50 different customers, each of which has several projects. At that point, it's easier to move email out of the inbox into a customer or even project-specific folder than to star it and leave it in the inbox. Yes, you mentioned that but it seemed like almost an afterthought.

    One advantage of the subfolder system is that you get to treat the inbox as "stuff I haven't dealt with yet," and then an empty inbox signals you don't have anything to deal with.

    But yeah, using deleted items as your archive is stupid.



  • @Speakerphone Dude said:

    @KattMan said:

    In response to this, a quick training process for all users...

    The system will automatically empty all things older then three days from the deleted items folders in all mail boxes.

    After this first few instances of someone losing something, they will get the picture and your email server will be happier, at least until they start saving everything elsewhere.

    I suspect that the purpose of the company is to make money by doing some kind of business activity, not to become a model in inbox configuration - therefore deleting emails to "train" people is basically sabotage. It is also the kind of approach that gives a bad reputation to IT and opens the door to expensive management consultants who are experts in "alignment of IT with business" (i.e.: fire them all and bring in IBM).

    This being said, seeing that a lot of people are using Deleted Items or the Recycle Bin to store important documents, there is apparently a need that should be addressed. Lousy workarounds appear because of obstacles to productivity, real or imaginary.

    No it gives IT a means to look like a hero if you do it right, while at the same time teaching users that deleting it means it will be gone.

    Go ahead, back it up, make users wait a day before you can recover anything they want you to get, make sure they know this is not trivial, but do not throw up the wall and say it is impossible.

    Also do not let them continue to think that deleted means saved, that is as wrong as anything else.  Your IT should grow a pair.  Show them they way, and don't just immediatly turns this auto empty on, give them warning, but do it.



  • @Speakerphone Dude said:

    @KattMan said:

    In response to this, a quick training process for all users...

    The system will automatically empty all things older then three days from the deleted items folders in all mail boxes.

    After this first few instances of someone losing something, they will get the picture and your email server will be happier, at least until they start saving everything elsewhere.

    I suspect that the purpose of the company is to make money by doing some kind of business activity, not to become a model in inbox configuration - therefore deleting emails to "train" people is basically sabotage. It is also the kind of approach that gives a bad reputation to IT and opens the door to expensive management consultants who are experts in "alignment of IT with business" (i.e.: fire them all and bring in IBM).

    This being said, seeing that a lot of people are using Deleted Items or the Recycle Bin to store important documents, there is apparently a need that should be addressed. Lousy workarounds appear because of obstacles to productivity, real or imaginary.

    The problem with this is that this is destructive behaviour. Deleted Items/Recycle Bin is NOT just another folder. If you start running low on disk space, Windows will offer to empty the recycle bin for you. Mr User, already not having made the connection between Recycle Bin and Deleting things, won't have any problem saying Yes, and then complaining to IT that all his reports that are due tomorrow are gone. Not to mention that many email systems already delete old items from the trash, so it's not like the current situation is any better.

    Education is the key, but some people are not willing to learn about areas outside of their amazingly narrow focus without being physically or financially compelled.



  • @KattMan said:

    @Speakerphone Dude said:

    @KattMan said:

    In response to this, a quick training process for all users...

    The system will automatically empty all things older then three days from the deleted items folders in all mail boxes.

    After this first few instances of someone losing something, they will get the picture and your email server will be happier, at least until they start saving everything elsewhere.

    I suspect that the purpose of the company is to make money by doing some kind of business activity, not to become a model in inbox configuration - therefore deleting emails to "train" people is basically sabotage. It is also the kind of approach that gives a bad reputation to IT and opens the door to expensive management consultants who are experts in "alignment of IT with business" (i.e.: fire them all and bring in IBM).

    This being said, seeing that a lot of people are using Deleted Items or the Recycle Bin to store important documents, there is apparently a need that should be addressed. Lousy workarounds appear because of obstacles to productivity, real or imaginary.

    No it gives IT a means to look like a hero if you do it right, while at the same time teaching users that deleting it means it will be gone.

    Go ahead, back it up, make users wait a day before you can recover anything they want you to get, make sure they know this is not trivial, but do not throw up the wall and say it is impossible.

    Also do not let them continue to think that deleted means saved, that is as wrong as anything else.  Your IT should grow a pair.  Show them they way, and don't just immediatly turns this auto empty on, give them warning, but do it.

    He never said you shouldn't stop them from storing important documents in the trash. He said you are a failure as an IT person if your response is "Just delete everything and they'll learn eventually". He also made the point that the reason people are storing things in the trash is because the company's IT training sucks or due to some other failure.



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    Filed under: tldr: users are stupid

    I know you are joking, but it's precisely this attitude which Speakerphone Dude was protesting. More often than not, I find it's IT departments who are idiots and if I encounter dumb user behavior you can bet there's a hostile, arrogant IT department involved somewhere.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    He also made the point that the reason people are storing things in the trash is because the company's IT training sucks or due to some other failure.

    Hasn't pretty much every office job posting created in the last 10 years or so listed proficiency with basic office applications among its requirements? If some dipshit wants to store important documents in the deleted items folder or the windows recycle bin, is that really the fault of the company's IT training? Even if you've never touched one of these blinky miracle boxes before, what happens when you leave stuff in a physical recycle bin? It sure as hell doesn't stay there forever. Coddling idiots is not the answer.



  • @Smitty said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    He also made the point that the reason people are storing things in the trash is because the company's IT training sucks or due to some other failure.

    Hasn't pretty much every office job posting created in the last 10 years or so listed proficiency with basic office applications among its requirements? If some dipshit wants to store important documents in the deleted items folder or the windows recycle bin, is that really the fault of the company's IT training? Even if you've never touched one of these blinky miracle boxes before, what happens when you leave stuff in a physical recycle bin? It sure as hell doesn't stay there forever. Coddling idiots is not the answer.

    A good IT orientation will usually prevent people from doing things that are not a good practice; if the company has a proper on-boarding process this should be handled easily - before people get used to do something wrong. These directives can be complemented with many basic, stupid things like FAQs or "the IT tip of the week" on the break room whiteboard. No magic there, just plain ol' common sense. If you ever flew with Delta you may recall the video with the lady shaking her finger at the camera when talking about smoking in the lavatory - these things work. Maybe not for all users all the time, but for most of them.

    If push comes to shove, there are non-destructive ways to avoid undesired behaviours, such as group policies on Windows. With some products it is even possible to prevent people from doing things like "reply-all" when there is more than X numbers of recipients.

    As for "cuddling idiots" - I guess you disagree with the "IT as a service" approach... IMHO it is unfortunate that some geeks feel so protective of files and hardware while dissing the people who are using (and paying for) them. It's like having the Jiffy Lube Oil Change Specialist calling me a moron because I waited 500 miles more than recommended before changing the oil in my car; I'm sure he feels pretty righteous about his position but in the big scheme of things he was just an annoyance in my day.



  • @Smitty said:

    Hasn't pretty much every office job posting created in the last 10 years or so listed proficiency with basic office applications among its requirements?

    And software engineering positions want people who know how to build software, but look where we are...

    @Smitty said:

    If some dipshit wants to store important documents in the deleted items folder or the windows recycle bin, is that really the fault of the company's IT training?

    Not necessarily, but the response to it should be to find out why he's doing it and correct the issue, most likely by training. Simply deleting his documents so he'll learn is destructive to company property and probably grounds for termination (although I'd also terminate the guy who left the documents in the trash).

    @Smitty said:

    Even if you've never touched one of these blinky miracle boxes before, what happens when you leave stuff in a physical recycle bin?

    The Mexican cleaning lady dumps it into her big trash can and its ends up in the landfill.

    @Smitty said:

    Coddling idiots is not the answer.

    Coddling would be "Let's modify things so this guy can continue storing his documents in the trash". I'm saying the guy should be trained. Also, I'd want to know why he was doing it that way; it's probable he's just ignorant, but it's possible there's something wrong with his setup that prevented him from doing things the correct way. You'll note that nowhere in there is a requirement to treat him like shit or to intentionally destroy company documents. If I come to work and notice that somebody has left a door propped open, I'm not going to tell some homeless guys to rob the place to "teach the person who left the door propped open a lesson". Then again, I didn't get into IT because I wanted to compensate for feelings of inadequacy caused by bullying in school.



  • @Speakerphone Dude said:

    It's like having the Jiffy Lube Oil Change Specialist calling me a moron because I waited 500 miles more than recommended before changing the oil in my car; I'm sure he feels pretty righteous about his position but in the big scheme of things he was just an annoyance in my day.

    Just wait until he logs on to his Oil Change Specialist forum! He and his virtual friends are going to have a good laugh at your stupidity, and may even open up to one another about how vaginas are "scary and icky".



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Then again, I didn't get into IT because I wanted to compensate for feelings of inadequacy caused by bullying in school.

    Because you were a more than adequate bully in school, right?



  • @Speakerphone Dude said:

    As for "cuddling idiots" - I guess you disagree with the "IT as a service" approach... IMHO it is unfortunate that some geeks feel so protective of files and hardware while dissing the people who are using (and paying for) them. It's like having the Jiffy Lube Oil Change Specialist calling me a moron because I waited 500 miles more than recommended before changing the oil in my car; I'm sure he feels pretty righteous about his position but in the big scheme of things he was just an annoyance in my day.

    I'm a firm believer in IT as a service; I just have to draw the line somewhere. At my last job we had mandatory monthly safety training, consisting of gems like 'don't text while walking on stairs' and 'don't plug too many christmas lights into one outlet'. Mandatory. This kind of "training" is not only useless to all but the few truly stupid among us, it's insulting. I equate "don't store important stuff in a recycle bin" with "don't plug too many christmas lights into one outlet".



  • @boomzilla said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Then again, I didn't get into IT because I wanted to compensate for feelings of inadequacy caused by bullying in school.

    Because you were a more than adequate bully in school, right?

    Naw. Basically went unnoticed, which was fine by me. Occasionally a G or redneck would try to hassle me, but after carefully considering the consequences of smashing their skulls against the cement, I decided to just ignore them. I mostly felt sorry for them because I knew they had peaked in high school and were going to be working a dead-end job* for the rest of their lives, divorced by 30 and ending up in the same depressing little cemetery their parents lay in.

    (*By "dead-end job" I don't mean tedious office work, I mean working for $10 /hour stacking boxes or driving forklifts. I come from one of the poorest, least literate parts of the country. Think West Virginia without the charm or wealth.)



  • @MeesterTurner said:

    Our illustrious user returns from the meeting, and before I get to tell him I'd only moved the files, blows a stack at me when he finds his Deleted Items folder is empty. Reason: "What the f*** did you do that for? I keep all my important emails in there!"

    I had a boss who did this once. Not completely identical, but he had an inbox rule that moved anything unread older than 14 days into his trashcan, which emptied every 60 days or so, the idea being important stuff [1] he'd read and it'd stay, unimportant stuff he could safely ignore which would magically vanish after time but he could still get it back before the 60-day deadline.

    However, one day he was unable to send, getting an over-quota message. Turns out his trashcan was full of neglected emails containing some large attachments that hit the limit which prevented him from sending, so I emptied his trashcan and he could simply click send.. but no, he then ranted about how he wanted to keep all those emails and his trashcan was actually being used as storage.

    To cut through his tirade, I simply picked up his mobile phone and dropped it in the bin. When he asked why I'd thrown it away, I replied that I was simply storing it in there. He could leave it there for a few days, it'd be safe, no?

    He still didn't get the message.

    Some years later I added a rule on Exchange that would purge trashcans of mails older than 30 days and just sat back. I only had one user complain that they couldn't retrieve an older email from there, and I explained that if they'd thrown it away, the next day they'll be searching through empty bins for something that was currently in the trashcart from that morning's pickup. It surprised me that even with the name and the icon of a bin, people STILL didn't equate it to discarded data.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I mostly felt sorry for them because I knew they had peaked in high school and were going to be working a dead-end job* for the rest of their lives, divorced by 30 and ending up in the same depressing little cemetery their parents lay in.

    +1. I knew several of these types growing up.



  • @Smitty said:

    I equate "don't store important stuff in a recycle bin" with "don't plug too many christmas lights into one outlet".

    I'm not saying you need to give multi-day seminars to all employees on not using the trash to save documents, I'm saying you need to do your damn job and assist the wayward employee in using technology more effectively to accomplish his tasks.



  • @Speakerphone Dude said:

    therefore deleting emails to "train" people is basically sabotage.

    But it isn't "deleting emails to train people", it's technology following what these people have asked it to do (trash emails) versus preventing technology following its intended purpose because people are using it wrongly (treating a trashcan as a storage location for important data).

    The auto-purge is simply raising people's awareness that if it's in the Inbox, it's considered business-critical, and will probably be included in the backups. A user moving it to the Recycle Bin indicates is it no longer of importance, and it can be cleared out to free up space for more important content. That is a user decision.

     



  • @FrostCat said:

    Starring messages works great until you are dealing with 50 different customers, each of which has several projects. At that point, it's easier to move email out of the inbox into a customer or even project-specific folder than to star it and leave it in the inbox.

    Perhaps TRWTF is believing the only way to track progress with 50 different customers and their multiple projects is by storing email conversations in the mail client.

    Don't you have some CRM system in which all this can be logged, outside of email?

    If I wanted to know the progress of one of my projects, hearing "hang on, I just need to find your email" as a response starts to ring alarm bells.



  • @Cassidy said:

    @Speakerphone Dude said:

    therefore deleting emails to "train" people is basically sabotage.

    But it isn't "deleting emails to train people", it's technology following what these people have asked it to do (trash emails) versus preventing technology following its intended purpose because people are using it wrongly (treating a trashcan as a storage location for important data).

    The auto-purge is simply raising people's awareness that if it's in the Inbox, it's considered business-critical, and will probably be included in the backups. A user moving it to the Recycle Bin indicates is it no longer of importance, and it can be cleared out to free up space for more important content. That is a user decision.

     

    That's an abysmal way to raise awareness. For whatever reason, the emails aren't being deleted regularly and you are deliberately intervening and destroying company property. The user has made his intent clear: he doesn't want the emails deleted. He's going about ensuring that incorrectly, but he clearly doesn't mean for them to be deleted.

    It would be like a guy putting it into reverse on the freeway--nothing happens--then you decide to destroy his transmission anyway because "That's what the driver was trying to do."



  • @Cassidy said:

    Don't you have some CRM system in which all this can be logged, outside of email?

    Hang on--I'll check the status of the CRM system, I just need to find your email.



  • @Cassidy said:

    @FrostCat said:

    Starring messages works great until you are dealing with 50 different customers, each of which has several projects. At that point, it's easier to move email out of the inbox into a customer or even project-specific folder than to star it and leave it in the inbox.

    Perhaps TRWTF is believing the only way to track progress with 50 different customers and their multiple projects is by storing email conversations in the mail client.

    Don't you have some CRM system in which all this can be logged, outside of email?

    If I wanted to know the progress of one of my projects, hearing "hang on, I just need to find your email" as a response starts to ring alarm bells.

    Have you seen a lot of CRM systems that do not rely heavily on emails? The ones I've seen are all based on tags and checksums, they don't replace emails.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    ... because the company's IT training sucks or due to some other failure.

    @Smitty said:

    ...is that really the fault of the company's IT training?

    In both cases, it's not failures of "IT training", it's failures of "company training".

    IT training is more a how-to.

    This issue of not storing important stuff in an inappropriate locations is more "why-to" and "why-not", and should be policy determined outside of IT - something more at corporate level, educating all staff in the safe use (and dangerous practises) of organisational data.

    Sadly, many organisations don't really have a decent data policy, and leave it up to IT to safeguard stuff they've left carelessly lying around - the same people they bawl out for locking it away for them. IT can be blamed for not fighting their corner, but sometimes they do the best they can in the absence of senior buy-in.



  • @Cassidy said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    ... because the company's IT training sucks or due to some other failure.

    @Smitty said:

    ...is that really the fault of the company's IT training?

    In both cases, it's not failures of "IT training", it's failures of "company training".

    IT training is more a how-to.

    This issue of not storing important stuff in an inappropriate locations is more "why-to" and "why-not", and should be policy determined outside of IT - something more at corporate level, educating all staff in the safe use (and dangerous practises) of organisational data.

    Sadly, many organisations don't really have a decent data policy, and leave it up to IT to safeguard stuff they've left carelessly lying around - the same people they bawl out for locking it away for them. IT can be blamed for not fighting their corner, but sometimes they do the best they can in the absence of senior buy-in.

    I'd still consider that IT training, but I'm not interested in arguing semantics. I do think it's an issue IT can address. Now, if management is holding that up, sure, that's a WTF.



  • @Speakerphone Dude said:

    Have you seen a lot of CRM systems that do not rely heavily on emails?

    I've not seen that many CRM systems, but those I have seen don't rely on emails. If anything, they rely on a database, and upon the end-user capturing data of importance.

    @Speakerphone Dude said:

    The ones I've seen are all based on tags and checksums, they don't replace emails.

    I think that latter bit was what I was alluding to. I've been in organisations where their staff treat email as a document storage repo and workflow system; I took your post to mean you were tracking project progress by storing customer emails in a 50-folder structure, rather than in some other system outside of an email system.



  • I see my job in IT as a both "providing services to allow people to do the stuff they are doing now but faster, more effiently and with more confidence" as well as "teaching people better ways to do things that what they are doing now".

    Not sticking important stuff in the trashcan is firmly in the second item.


    I don't think it is right to actively punish people for being stupid but on the other hand I feel no obligation to protect them from the consequences of their stupid actions.



  • @havokk said:

    I don't think it is right to actively punish people for being stupid but on the other hand I feel no obligation to protect them from the consequences of their stupid actions.

    Fair enough, but what I've found is that being helpful in these situations is often well worth the time. When you do good things for people, it comes back to you. I've received numerous recommendation letters and references from people I've helped at work, which has greatly helped advance my career.



  • I've seen on some systems that the inbox has its own, low quota and the deleted items bin doesn't. Such systems reinforce the aforementioned behaviour.



  • @nexekho said:

    I've seen on some systems that the inbox has its own, low quota and the deleted items bin doesn't. Such systems reinforce the aforementioned behaviour.

    That'd do it.



  • @Smitty said:

    @Severity One said:

    @MeesterTurner said:

    Why?!! Just WHY?!!
    Because it's a one-key/one-button archiving method. Do you know of another way of quickly 'saving' an important e-mail with the minimum of key strokes or mouse clicks?

    Obviously, the analogy of a dustbin should have rung a bell with the  user, but since we've seen this pattern before, there appears to be a need to 'quickly save' an important file, document or e-mail, and operating system and application developers haven't really given this much thought, if any.

    I think Thunderbird can do this since fairly recently, although I have no idea how it works.

    Is clicking-and-dragging an important email into an 'Important Emails' folder too complicated a task for someone to handle? One click and a small movement of the wrist sure is a lot to ask, but we all have to make sacrifices.

    You're now presuming that all users know (and can be bothered) that you can create sub-folders. And that they can be bothered to drag e-mails to a diferent folder.

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Severity One said:
    @MeesterTurner said:
    Why?!! Just WHY?!!
    Because it's a one-key/one-button archiving method. Do you know of another way of quickly 'saving' an important e-mail with the minimum of key strokes or mouse clicks?

    Are you... serious?

    Of course I am. 'MeesterTurner' asked a question that he probably thought was rhetorical, but I gave it some thought and came up with an answer.

    I'm not saying it's a smart thing to do, because obviously, it isn't. But it's something that we see regularly, and we IT gurus should therefore stop and think: "Why indeed?"

    It reminds me of the time, somewhere in the nineties, where I was showing a young woman who'd never used computers before how to use Netscape on a Mac. She asked: "So why do I single-click here, but double-click there?" Good question.

    One consequence is that, with the web applications we write, users have the tendency to double-click on a 'Submit' button – not very nice if that means that a transaction will be processed twice. It's one reason why I changed my desktop to single-click-for-default-action/hover-to-select: consistency.

     



  • @Severity One said:

    One consequence is that, with the web applications we write, users have the tendency to double-click on a 'Submit' button – not very nice if that means that a transaction will be processed twice.

    This is bad design. Transactions shouldn't be able to be applied twice, or the second save should be idempodent. You can also use client-side scripting to disable the submit button, but I wouldn't rely on that to guarantee uniqueness.



  • I think the real issue here is that a lot of systems don't automatically purge 'deleted' items after a period of time. That's what results in the disconnect between the "deleted items" and the "rubbish bin" next to their desk -- their daily experience of the rubbish bin is that anything put into does disappear, never to be seen again. Their daily experience of the "deleted items" or "recycle bin" folder is that items put in it stay there and are easily accessible for as long as you want them to be.

    Using terms like "delete" doesn't really matter if that's not what it actually does. So for the average user, the deleted items is simply a folder with a nice distinctive icon that they can place items in with a single keystroke. It's little wonder it's often seen as a convenient place to store things.

    It also means that if you tell people not to store things in there, but don't follow that up by actually purging items from it, you'll get a lot of confused users. Some will play along and not store items there because they've been told not to; but for people who've recognised the "deleted items" folder shares none of the properties of their actual bin they'll just shrug and go on with what they're doing.

    You can't really expect people to treat a particular folder differently to other folders unless it actually behaves differently.



  • @nomdeplume said:

    their daily experience of the rubbish bin is that anything put into does disappear, never to be seen again.
     

    ...oh god, is this really where we got to? "everything i put in this magic bin magically disappears by the next day!"

    back when i was born, people usually knew there were actual people who had to take the trash out, and sometimes they even did it at home themselves.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I come from one of the poorest, least literate parts of the country. Think West Virginia without the charm or wealth.

    Ah - Baltimore.



  • @nomdeplume said:

    You can't really expect people to treat a particular folder differently to other folders unless it actually behaves differently.
     

    This.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    The Mexican cleaning lady dumps it into her big trash can and its ends up in the landfill.
     

    That's where I keep all my documents!

     

    And everything else, like food and pets.


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