We had a little email drama at my school recently. Okay, it was only a little email drama to me and one other person, Miss Reply All.
A little background: although we are not a primarily aged teaching staff, we are a primarily middle-aged teaching staff, and many of us have been rather sloooow to adapt to email. Yes, I know, it’s 2008 and many people are talking about web 2.0, but some of us are still learning about the web circa 1998. Anyway, in the past year the Prince has made it clear that most information and announcements will be circulated via email, and that everyone is responsible for reading their emails.
Finally, we are making progress. And in the last year, we have started some email conversations as a staff, which have been useful. For example, one teacher will send an email about the graffiti problems in the bathroom to the whole staff, or another will post an announcement about an upcoming concert, and many of us will hit reply all to add to the discussion.
Reply all does have its uses.
Miss Reply All, however, thinks that reply all should be used in all circumstances. She hits reply all to say “thank you.” Or “sounds great!” Or “Sorry, I don’t have the thing you’re looking for.” Or “I’m in!”
This drives me insane. I once emailed her and asked her if she realized that she had hit reply all, and maybe could she use reply instead? She ignored me. The inane reply all emails from her continued to fill my inbox.
Finally this fall another teacher sent out a carefully worded email about reply all, clarifying when to use it — or not. Miss Reply All replied to his email….using reply all! Twice!
So I sent out a reply all further clarifying what the first teacher had said, and then yes, Miss Reply All sent out TWO MORE reply alls, both of which contained only about three words. I thought I would have a heart attack (ever notice that I don’t handle stress well?) but couldn’t figure out what to do next.
Yesterday I saw her and for once she did not greet me in the halls, the way she always does. And I realized that it has been TWO WEEKS since I got any reply all emails from her. So she is, at last, silent.
But perhaps a little resentful.