“Your new reprographics request has been received.”
That’s the subject of an email I received yesterday morning at 6am. I looked at the details and it seemed a little strange I would be receiving a notice in San Jose about a request made in Boston. Still I chose to ignore it. The email wasn’t addressed to me so I concluded I’m part of some mass distribution list added to this email by accident and that whatever this is will just go away. No big deal.
The alternative approach would’ve been to reply to the sender directly and let him or her know of the mistake. Part of why I didn’t go down this route is the number of incoming emails I could hear giving my phone good vibrations (remember this song?). Considering I was already running a little late, my only goal was just to make sure I had no project-related grenades sitting in my inbox before getting into the car.
A funny thing happened though. I scrolled to the next email and to my surprise it was a reply to the first email saying:
“I don’t know why I was sent the below information.”
Awesome. I knew from previous experience it only takes one of these reply all emails to set off a chain reaction of replies that serve zero purpose. As I scrolled to the next email, I realized I was just in time to see all of this insanity happening in real-time. This went on for another 25+ emails until 9am, including some of the following brilliant responses:
“I got it too”
and my personal favorite:
“I have no clue what this is, I haven’t requested anything to be printed”
Couple of things here:
1) Why reply all to this with one word responses like a) any of the rest of us care and b) any of us can do anything about the fact you received this email in error? Takes a real moron or egomaniac to decide replying all is the optimal move in this situation.
2) Some of these well-crafted responses were also sent from mobile devices. Was it that crucial to tell all these people who have no idea who you are that you got the same email? Probably not.
I know my response may seem a little over the top but imagine how great it would be if everyone who piled on to the original reply all got an auto-response letting them know their services will no longer be needed.
Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
I said earlier these replies served zero purpose but I guess I found one after all – instant cost savings for your business. My clients will be thrilled!