The following is an e-mail I wrote while working in an office in Boston which enjoyed a very lively patter of non-work-related email threads that often included the entire office. While I don’t mind this in theory, I soon realized that one can only read so many threads about how the Patriots and/or Red Sox Rule and/or Suck before one grows resentful. Anyway I don’t think this email helped much, but apparently it still got sent out occasionally at that company, even after I’d moved on.
I would like to suggest some guidelines for consideration before you hit ‘send’ on an e-mail to your entire office.
1) Has someone already stated this? Or is it very likely that there are ten other people who have just hit send and stated the same thing at this very moment? Don’t be like them. Be mysterious. Play hard to get. It’ll make us want you more.
2) Does your e-mail contain more than five words? If you are going to fill the e-mail boxes of a hundred people with a personal statement, does that statement really need to be sent out if it’s simply the words “I’m in”, or “ha ha good one”? Is this statement funny enough that you’d shout it out in a crowded room full of people who are trying to work? If not, hold your fire.
3) Is this an in-joke, and if so, will this in-joke be understood and appreciated by more than five other people? If not, why not just e-mail those five people? Then you can all share a good laugh, and it won’t be over the sound of me grinding my teeth because my computer has essentially become a paperweight due to an overloaded server.
4) Did the person in the original e-mail tell you NOT to reply to Everyone, but just to Them? Then, yeah. Maybe do that.
5) Is this a question that can be answered verbally by someone in your immediate vicinity? Or maybe with a quick Google Search? Questions like, “Where can I catch the Red Line from here?” or “is Beer Pong that game with beer and ping-pong balls? I like that game.” Maybe go ahead and ask the people around you first, before you fling yourself on the mercy of the entire office.
Thank you for your time. I hope this has been helpful, or at least passive-aggressive. I’m not trying to stifle creativity or spontaneity here. By all means, keep the brilliant bon mots coming. I’m just saying I’d appreciate a little more selectivity. For the love of pete, don’t ask the entire office what time the game starts.
PS- a really funny thing to do, would be to reply to everyone in the office on this e-mail, and say something like, “I’m in.” Someone do that, it’ll totally be funny.
January 8, 2009 at 12:01 am
I think you should change the title of this post to “A Guide to Winning Friends and Admirers in Your Office.”
Too bad you’ve moved on – it would be fun if you could either program an innocuous virus (or find a programmer who could write you a virus) that would scroll “PATRIOTS ROCK!!!!” for 5 solid minutes across the computer screen of anyone who responded to a mass email chain with specific words in the body of the email (i.e. lols that’s great.)
Curious – what was the response to this?
January 8, 2009 at 3:44 am
Oh man, that would have been a BLAST!
The response was overwhelmingly positive and nice; lots of people emailed me to say they completely agreed and enjoyed the note, although it did absolutely no good at all and five minutes later everyone was back to dissing on the Yankees.
One day I think I caused the company to lose about a half a day’s worth of productivity when I started the Email Thread to End all Email Threads: I pasted a picture of a Pound Puppy, with the words, “Hey, remember Pound Puppies? They sure were huggable.” And with that, it was ‘post a picture of crap you remember from your childhood!’ time, for about four hours. Man, that was awesome.
January 8, 2009 at 11:21 pm
January 9, 2009 at 4:06 am
We had the email detailing how to properly use the bathroom. We have adults in our office.
January 9, 2009 at 6:30 am
I am the one who tends to send this out again at work. But I have also had at least 5 instances where someone else who remembers the glory days of Molly and her acerbic yet lovable wit asks me to resend this email to the company. At this point, I have to preface that email by saying “You probably never met her, but this comes from the funniest employee to ever work at this company…” because the sad truth is that so much has changed and so few know the joy of you personally. But I can say that my favorite days recently are the ones where I look through my Outlook archives and find the delirious joy that comes from reviewing old email conversations with you.
January 9, 2009 at 1:17 pm
T. Love, I miss you too. You pretty much saved that job for me. You don’t even know! We’ll always have the Pour House…
January 20, 2009 at 1:59 am
Molly, I loved that email! I still love it when that email ends up being sent around. It’s been a while, and people are a little more disciplined about it now, but it was so timely when you wrote it.
Hope you are well! Oh, and “do you take a check over the phone?”