There are some things in life that you can let pass you by, that irritate you slightly, make the hairs on the back of your neck start to tingle, but that you will let pass like pooh sticks in a stream, floating away over the horizon until you can’t see them anymore.
And then there are things that you simply cannot. Whether it is the girl on the train who has bagsied a seat for her bag, or the kid on the aeroplane kicking the back of your chair, it annoys you too much to simply let it go.
And mine is “reply all”.
There are instances where reply all is totally necessary, or else they wouldn’t have invented it, but there are times when an email comes round, and you want to grab the nearest stapler and start attaching bits of paper to your face to distract you from what you know will be a mass flurry of “reply alls”.
We have just become part of a much bigger company at work, and so “reply all” has far more of an issue now than it ever had before. Previously, an email would go round, the same people would respond, copying in all of us (mostly about their Playstation football league) and a mass sigh would go round the office, till one of them had the common sense to remove everyone who wasn’t relevant. Clever chaps.
Now however, the reply all is the bane of my life. We are being merged with a team of people who, in some cases, we have met once and in other cases, not at all. And names and faces are difficult when you are presented with well over one hundred people, so should we have met them, we probably would still be at a loss.
So when an email came round this week to “All (department specific)” it annoyed me. It was one of those emails about a leaver, an envelope and signing a card.
“Please come and put a pound in the envelope, he is a jolly good bloke and we want to give him an awesome send-off” read the email, or something to that end.
An hour later “As of yet there is nothing in the envelope, and as (we shall call him Paul) Paul is a good ole fellow (?!*) let’s give him a good send-off”
I looked at the guy I sit next to. “Do you know who Paul is?” “No” he replied. “Come to mention it, do you know who (let’s call him Ed) Ed who is sending the email is?” “No” he replied.
I’d just like to point out at this juncture that we are currently still working in different offices, so even if we knew who Ed was, there was no way we could throw our contribution far enough for it to reach the envelope, on the other side of London.
This went on for three days. We received regular updates on the envelopes contents, how many signatures were on the card and what a ‘jolly ole fellow’ Paul was. People responded about times they had shared with Fun Guy Paul, and how the too encouraged people to reach into their pockets and go and sign the card, until it all became too much. I snapped.
I sent Ed an email.
“Hi Ed” it read “I don’t want to come across as at all rude, but please can you take us out of this “All” email? None of us have a clue who Paul is, and although I am sure he is, as you say, A JOLLY OLE FELLOW, we can’t really contribute, as none of us know who he is. Or who you are for that matter. Many thanks, Belle”
It’s hard making friends.
What drives you past rational sanity?