Sometime ago, I made a post about why people should never be allowed to use a telephone. Today's will be about why some people should never be allowed access to a computer.
E-mail has been the bane of my existence since January 2007. That's when I started a hellacious 1 1/2 year stint handling tuition reimbursement for my office.
Handling tuition reimbursement, while looking good on my resume, put me on a road to almost complete obliteration. Because of the pervasive double standard that applies within my office, I was in a lose-lose situation when it came to e-mail.
Toddlerism is well entrenched and well represented within my office. What I'm about to show you for examples, is the end result of combining arrogance, poor communication skills and a strong sense of entitlement.
Now, not everyone that I deal with on a daily/weekly basis is a toddler when it comes to e-mail. In fact, I can say about 95% of the work e-mail I get are brief, concise and to the point, which makes them a pleasure to deal with. It's the other 5% that has resulted in the following annoyances being inflicted on me:
a} A written reprimand that sat in my personal file for 18 months.
b} A verbal reprimand that is still in my file, along with having to attend a class on professionalism.
c} A strong lack of respect by upper management to the staff in payroll.
d} One poor job evaluation.
All of these things can be directly tied into the scourge known as e-mail. So without further ado, here are a few examples of why certain types of e-mails have caused me to have a sign hidden in my cube that says, "Don't Answer Stupid Staff's Stupid Questions First Thing In The Morning".
1. Demand that I do something, then getting upset when I say no. Click on point "c" for complete details.
2. Not liking my original answer, so they spend the next few e-mails rephrasing the question in order to get me to change my answer. Union reps are notorious for this. They firmly believe that a labor contract is good only when it agrees with their point of view, bad when it doesn't. I can't tell you how many times that I quote lengthy sections of labor contracts (I know four of them like the back of my hand) to them, only for them to turn around and say, "Yeah, but...."
3. Not liking my answer, so they bring in other people to ask the exact same question and still getting the exact same answer. This was especially infuriating because this usually was asked when certain people were getting their tuition reimbursement before others. This aggravation lead directly to all four points listed above, including the links. Note: Never, ever add on the following tag--Do I make myself clear, crystal or otherwise?
4. Responding to an e-mail that I sent to you six months ago, asking the same stupid question that I answered six months ago in that e-mail. Self explanatory.
5. Your e-mail is as clear as mud. Really, do you have problems explaining your point in under 50 words? Or do you have a problem stringing nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives together in order to get your point across? Or is it a combination of both?
And finally, one of my personal all time favorites.
6. Retrieving an old e-mail from a year ago and asking me a completely different question, because you're too lazy to spend fifteen seconds creating a new e-mail. Self explanatory.
In conclusion, so long as I stay in my current dead end job (and from the looks of the labor agreements worked out between the unions and the Governor's office, I ain't going anywhere, any time soon), my work e-mail will continue to be a major thorn in my side and a impediment to a harmonious cubicle existence.