Two Reasons Why ‘Reply All’ Should Be Removed From E-mail
There’s nothing worse than opening up your Outlook first thing in the morning, seeing 50 e-mails, and 49 of them are all in response to the first e-mail. Out of those 49, zero have anything to do with you. Total waste of time.
This scenario plays out multiple times a day in our office. It’s almost as if people think I care about the fact they’re trying to kiss butt…and that’s what most of those “replay all” responses are. “Hey, look at me! I’m somebody, too!”
Here are 2 reasons why “Reply All’ should be eliminated all together:
1. It Stops Unnecessary Butt Kissing
It never fails. the big boss sends out a memo saying something along the lines of “Great job on the TPS report last week by Larry. Our profit is up, and our costs are down. Keep up the good work!” That should be the end of it, unless you are Larry. Maybe you’ll get a few “Kudos” e-mails, but those should just be to you, not everybody in the company.
Instead, that e-mail is immediately followed by 87 “Good job!”, “You’re an asset to our team”, or “Looking forward to another great report next week!” responses. These are usually sent by people you didn’t even know existed. People like sales-staff, the secretary (not our lovely Sarah, by the way), the boss’ dog’s groomer…
Mixed in are the “We here in (name of some town I could give a crap about) are striving to reach your level of expertise” and “We’ve been doing the same thing for years!”
Let it go. You suck, and you’re clogging up my inbox.
2. Unwanted Recipients
We’ve had a few “snafus” over the years that could have been avoided by simply just forwarding the e-mail to those who you wish to see it. I can not get into details – as it could cost me my job – but there was a certain issue a few years ago we refer to as “The ham sandwich incident”.
The basic issue is, you want to talk amongst a select few about the original e-mail or sender. You push the wrong button, and they now know precisely what you think about their e-mail, religion, mother, etc. Feelings get hurt, you have to make a trip the HR ladies’ office, a certain someone won’t look you in the eyes anymore…bad things happen.
Basically, quit using Reply All. If you want to talk to everybody on the original e-mail, press “Forward”, then take the time to actually type out all of those people’s e-mails. It makes you commit to the reply, and forces you to see who actually is on the original e-mail. Odds are, you’ll notice a few folks who should probably not see what you have to say. And, it makes ding-dongs like me happy. Well, content anyway…