Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

This Stresses Me Out

, , , , , , , | Working | June 14, 2021

I’m working for a multinational company that employs tens of thousands of staff; our site alone has about 700 employees. One afternoon, as I am merrily doing some design work, I get an email from someone at the corporate office. It’s completely blank and has been sent to everyone. I figure that someone accidentally sent this to everyone, hit delete, and go to get back to my work.

Then, a little message pops up.

Message: “[Email Sender] has requested a read receipt when the email has been read. Do you wish to send? Yes/No.”

Oh, dear. I hit no, figuring the sender probably wouldn’t appreciate a reminder of what they did. I also wonder how many people have their settings to automatically send the receipt without prompting. I manage about twenty seconds more work when I get another email alert. It’s a reply to the original email.

Reply #1: “?”

Someone has decided that the best response to a blank email was responding with a single question mark. But the “best” way of doing this was to hit Reply To All. I hit delete.

Message: “[Reply Sender] has requested a read receipt when the email has been read. Do you wish to send? Yes/No.”

The reply had inherited the Read Receipt request. I imagine the IT departments across various sites not being very happy as the email server starts to fill. I imagine their collective moods worsening when the next message appears.

Reply #2: “??”

This is followed shortly by…

Reply #3: “???”

…and…

Reply #4: “????”

…as a few people decided that this is funny. I guess it is, to a point. I and a few of my nearby colleagues laugh at the stupidity of these people and how they are going to get some grief for clogging the mail servers. All of these want Read Receipts, too. I think we reach “????????” before the emails start to change.

Reply #5: “Please remove me from this email chain.”

This is sent to everyone, of course; there are a few of those.

Reply #6: “Please stop using Reply To All as you are making the problem worse!”

The odd thing is that it wasn’t one person who sends that message; there are several. And they aren’t doing it independently. Each email includes all the text from previous emails, and I can see the previous warnings there.

Reply #7: “You’ve just hit Reply To All to send the message; don’t do that!”

…and so on. I have no idea if those who are adding their warnings are trying to be funny or helpful or are just desperate to be the one who gets everyone to shut up by having the last word. In any case, the last word comes through a few minutes later with a site-wide email from our IT manager.

IT Manager Email: “Please stop responding to the email that was sent in error. These responses are clogging the servers. The email network will be down for a period while we remove these emails”

This email does not request a read receipt. 

A day or so later, I see one of the IT staff and ask him about the events of that afternoon. He visibly deflates as the memories come back.

IT Guy: “We had to disconnect our server from the global network to stop anything else getting through and then go through the servers and strip out every single one. It took hours!”

Me: “What started it all?”

IT Guy: “One of the accountants at corporate was trying to test something and accidentally managed to send a blank message to everyone. You know the rest.”

Me: “What about all those who responded? I noticed that there were a couple of senior directors from this site who joined in the, uh… fun.”

IT Guy: “They were all spoken to. They were told in great detail about server space, exacerbating problems, and exponential growth!”

1 Thumbs
480