Sunday, January 4, 2009

Reply All

Let’s review a few things. Your presence has been requested at a meeting. This request has been sent via email from our department head, who in an effort to appear accommodating, has suggested two possible meeting times. You are being asked to decide which meeting time you can attend. You are being asked this question by the meeting organizer. Nowhere in this email are you asked to expound upon your daily activities, nor are you asked to share this information with all of your colleagues. It all boils down to one answer sent to one person. Yet many of you have failed to respond appropriately. I know you have failed because I got that email; I too am invited to this meeting, lucky me. But instead of receiving one email about it I now have 16 emails clogging up my inbox about it. Why? Could it be that this meeting is really exciting and we are all chitter-chatting about the amazing meeting coming up? The one where monkeys are purported to perform a dance routine and we will all get giant raises? No, that meeting is scheduled in January 2046. I have so many fucking emails about it because many of you have decided to “reply all” with your typo-ridden babblings about the relative merits of each meeting time based on your personal schedules. Please stop.

For you, person upstairs from me, thanks for the detailed description of your oh so important previously scheduled meeting with that oh so important person. I am sorry that your meeting, which you have told us all about a thousand times, has not received what you deem an appropriate degree of praise. By sending that “reply all” we will all immediately “reply all” with sufficient admiration of your ability to sit in the presence of greatness during a time we could be sitting with your greatness. Damn. And you, strange temporary person, thanks for the “reply all” with 28 questions regarding the meeting agenda. Look, we get it. You are trying to look engaged, like you are infinitely fascinated with the workings of our department, an invaluable member of our team. Whatever, your “reply all” will not make your job permanent. Sorry.

For all of you perpetual ass-kissers: Yes, the meeting is about those issues you discussed privately with the Department Head over martinis. And yes Parent, we all understand that you need to pick up Junior at his clarinet lessons. But thanks for the detailed account of his musical genius. I am truly thrilled he has improved (I have been concerned that his clarinet skills have not been honed to their full potential ever since he assaulted all of us with that hideous, utterly craptacular, “performance” you forced upon us at your dinner party last year). People who just selected a day—congratulations, you got things half right! But why did you send this email to everyone? Not necessary, please re-read the first paragraph of this post. For all of you silent responders: Thank you. We will prevail (I happen to know that we are the only ones invited to the exciting meeting with the monkeys).


  1. I don't know how I missed this post before, but I am so glad to have found (and to have guffawed at) it tonight. Dr. No, you make the absurdities of academic life so much shinier.

  2. I fucking hate Reply-Allers. There are a bunch of them at my work.

    It's like the semicolon - it has its place and purpose, but most people don't know how or when to use it appropriately.

    That is why I never use the semicolon.