Jul 19, 2006

self selection for underperformers

We had one of those email events today. I'm sure you've seen this before if you have worked for a company with a decent number of people:

Employee A: Mistakenly sends out an email using a broad distribution list when it was meant for only a few people

Employee B: Replies All that he doesn't want to be on the distribution list and doesn't know why he is receiving this email

Employee C: Replies All to that email screaming (in all caps) for people to stop sending email to everyone.

Employee D: ad nauseum

The irony seems to be lost on these people that they are telling others to stop doing what they are doing. Meanwhile as my email inbox starts to fill up I become frustrated both with the task of deleting my already overflowing list of email and also the stupidity of the average person.

And then it occurred to me. If I owned a company I would randomly send these types of emails out twice a year. All people who 'replied all' would be instantly fired. This is a great way to get rid of those bureaucratic idiots who clog up the operations of a company. In fact I would purposely not fire employee A to drive home the point who the real shitheads in this situation are. Brilliant!


Anonymous said...

I love the people who upon departing an organization use the widest possible distribution list so that everyone sees how beloved they are when the unstoppable 'reply all' idiots chime in with compliments, kudos, regrets, etc.

Anonymous said...

the 'reply all' phenomenon is could be a symptom of many things (stupidity, carelessness, egotism). in many cases, it's often indefensible. it's not, however, surprising.

all one has to do is look at Usenet and the endless flamewars that reduce good discussion groups to mindless volleys of nonsense. this is the reply-all phenomenon taken to its extreme, since every post is effectively 'reply-all.' ultimately, i think it boils down to people either (a) liking to hear (or see) themselves talk, or (b) people liking to demonstrate their relative worth in a public forum.

or they're just stupid and should be fired. :-)