Thursday, May 29, 2008

A silent epidemic

It's time we started a internet-wide conversation* about a silent epidemic that is killing productivity across the country -- certainly at my university, and I presume at yours, too.

What is that silent killer of time? Reply-All [cue melodramatic music]

Seriously, when an administrator sends out to the entire university-wide faculty mailing list an invitation for a casual, drop-in coffee hour, do I really need to know if so-and-so from the business college is coming? Or even when the chair of a large committee sends out a message saying we need to meet, and asks which of the three following times works for the members, do I need to read everyone's reply in order to make up my own mind? Does the chair need for every member to know every other member's choice?

Ack! People! Stop hitting reply-all! I have enough e-mail and junk-mail to wade through as it is!

*The conversation isn't really necessary. I feel better now that I've ranted. Feel free to rant in the comments.


dance said...

I'd like to count the time wasted by scrolling through the headers when my chair forwards something from the dean.

Or the time wasted because I have to open a PDF to discover that the "upcoming talk" email is for a topic I have zero interest in, on a day when I'll be out of town anyhow.

The other day a Reply All listserv went crazy on me because no one understood it was a listserv. People were sending messages like "why am I getting these messages? Is this a virus?"

TheCrankyProfessor said...

I'll design the poster for the public awareness campaign!!