April 03, 2006

Gosh, Some People are Stupid!

A bit of backstory is in order--close to a year ago (or more, I can't keep up), we had some martinet in the department who promulgated a series of rules for using this new "e-mail" technology. Part of the new protocol was that if you received one of the "e-mails" from someone, you had to reply to it to make sure the person knew you received it. Even if you had nothing to say in response, even if you were just one part in a long chain of addresses, you must write something.

In the spirit of liberty, it was allowed that this response didn't have to be long-winded, and the person who came up with the rules supplied several words one could use to reply, such as "Understood," or "Received," or "Acknowledged." (And no, it was never fully answered if the person to whom you were responding had to answer back YOUR "Understood" with a "Received" of his own.)

So, then, today--I get a courtesy message of a meeting on Thursday, at which my attendance is usually wholly superfluous. I deleted it, seeing as how I have never answered back any of these things unless it really concerns me.

An hour later, someone else on the distribution list decided to send his acknowledgement, and yes, as you can probably guess, he replied to everyone. He used the simple and pointless, "Ack." He's the type of good bureaucrat who just can't ignore orders, no matter how stupid they might be, but he does understand writing out "Acknowledged" burns up valuable nanoseconds that could better be used to enforce other stuff. So he abbreviates. He's clever that way, you know.

Anyway, I just got back from lunch, and there was another message.

Someone else on the distribution list (who, for the record, is not in public service) who had taken the time to hit the Reply All button, and typed up the following:

Huh? What is this Ack?

However much I'd love to believe this is a joke, I know it's not--he's really that dim.

Just remember what Mark Twain said, "It's better to keep your finger off the Send button and people think you a fool, then to click it and remove all doubt."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at April 3, 2006 12:50 PM

And for some silly reason, the read-receipt doesn't work or doesn't suffice?

There are days when I can't stand e-mail - people think because they can instantly ask you for things, you can instantly get them for them. Because we know they are the ONLY people in the whole universe who want something immediately. Grr.

Yes, bad first day back from vacation.

Posted by: Diane at April 3, 2006 01:56 PM

Oh, it probably would have--IF THEY KNEW IT EXISTED! It's a regular duncery around here.

But we're glad to have you back from vacation! NOW GET TO WORK!!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 3, 2006 02:05 PM

That Mark Twain, he was always ahead of his time, eh?

Posted by: Stan at April 4, 2006 09:08 AM