the 8th deadly sin: reply-all

Dear sisterhood of Girlfriends, Fellow-Moms, Colleagues, etc.,

The best, most considerate kind of email blasts with a call-to-action from a large group of recipients are the ones that end with, “Please do not hit ‘Reply-All’”.

We’ve all been guilty at one point or another of the “Reply-All” sin. Sometimes we can even justify it.

I’ll admit that I still hit “Reply-All” when the email is to a close set of friends (no more than five) and I really, really want each and everyone of them to weigh in on whether my new highlights look orange or ochre.

But (!!!) as fascinating as it is to hear that you cannot make next week’s committee meeting because the woman you’ve hired through GumTree won’t be available to babysit your child who has been home with diphtheria for the past 10 days because she (your babysitter) has a hangnail that she can’t get in to see the doctor about because the motor in her extractor fan over the stove just blew and the engineer who is supposed to come and fix it can’t be there till HIS wife returns from her vacation in Nicaragua, which as it turns out, happens to fall on the day AFTER that committee meeting — other women might not be as intrigued as *I* am.

And with every layer of every other person hitting “Reply-All”, somehow, something you just wrote has triggered a thought with at least one of the other 58 women who received the same email.

So another person hits “Reply All” saying, “Actually! Before next week’s committee meeting to discuss whether or not we should add more coat hangers to the downstairs closet of the committee room, does anyone have the recipe for that amazing tuna casserole with raisins that Rita Whitehead served at last month’s meeting? I would, of course, normally ask Rita herself but as you all know, she’s away right now on holiday in Nicaragua.”

If you found reading this as mind-numbingly painful as I did writing it and would now like to cut out your eyes with a blunt dagger, then really, truly, please (!)…. do NOT HIT “Reply-All”.

Very respectfully yours,

The Reformed “Reply-All” Sinner, C.


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