Email has been a primary form of professional communication for many years now, but despite this many people still fail to grasp the basic functionality and etiquette of it. You’ve got vendors who fail multiple times to attach a crucial file to their message before sending it. There are rookie team members who use cringe-worthy emojis and slang in their correspondence with an old-school client. And how could we forget about Brad in sales sending out explicit messages from his work email address to every guy on the company’s server and then acting incredulous when he gets fired for a litany of conduct violations. Come on, Brad! If you’re going to tell everyone to check out the rack on the new hire in your department, at least do it at the next company happy hour so you can try to claim plausible deniability due to lack of paper trail! That’s day one stuff, man.
But nothing is worse than being caught in a company-wide email thread that people will not. stop. hitting. reply all. on. You may have heard this phenomenon referred to as a “Reply Allpocalypse,” which is a fitting term for it because with the constant email notification dings, accompanying phone vibrations, and the one person in your office yelling for God asking Him to make this all stop, the whole thing really does play out as a realistic doomsday scenario.
Much like the actual apocalypse that will hopefully come soon to take us all out of our misery, a Reply Allpocalypse is symbolized by a four horsemen group of sorts. Except instead of being a symbol for something badass like Conquest and War, the riders of a Reply Allpocalypse are a bunch of numbskulls who couldn’t tell their ass from the “Reply to sender only” button. Once that fateful original email is mistakenly sent to the entire company, they start marching furiously for your inbox.
“Take me off this email” guy: I can understand where the first person to point out the mistake of an email sent to the entire company is coming from. He has good intentions in wanting to point out to the sender and it’s intended recipient that everyone can see their conversation and to move it elsewhere going forward.
Unfortunately, this also gives at least a dozen other chucklefucks the green light to chime in and request that they be taken off the email as well. You guys realize that you’re in one single LISTSERV and that unless it’s removed from the “send to” field everyone will get emails despite your friendly request to be removed? And that it does nothing to solve the problem? Of course, you don’t, which is why Betty in payroll just sent the fifth one of these asinine requests to be removed from the list in the past 60 seconds. That and you’re hitting “Reply all” like a dolt.
“Please don’t hit reply all” guy: This horsemen will spread death across the land via irony, because responding to an erroneously-sent email to the entire company by consciously hitting “Reply all” and demanding that people stop hitting “Reply all,” thus contributing to the problem even more, is the dictionary example for the word irony.
This is also where you start to see people get really pissed off about this predicament. Polite requests to stop quickly devolve into full-blown, all-caps meltdowns as messages pile up in peoples’ inbox at a rapid clip. It’s bad enough that people are responding to this thing in the first place, but if you put in the effort to type out a screed about the merits of “NOT HITTING REPLY ALL,” then maybe you need some time to reflect what exactly brought you to this low point in life.
Smartass guy: As if the hundred other stupid-ass emails weren’t bad enough, here we have this motherfucker coming in to bring some unwanted comedic relief to your inbox. The angry guy ranting about everyone hitting reply all may have been bad, but at least that could possibly be excused by the fact he did it in a fit of rage without thinking. Smartass over here actually took time to come up with some “hilarious” quip, type it out, look over his masterpiece, think that this contribution would add any substance to this godforsaken thread, and finally hit send, all with a clear mind.
Unfortunately for our little jokester, his comedic ingenuity was likely lost in the 40 other emails that were added to the thread in that same time frame and the message was likely deleted by everyone without even being read as part of a mass purge. Guess it’s back to having his annoying jokes be ignored by everyone in the break room for him.
The intended recipient who respond hours later: Incredibly enough, despite all the responses to this email, nobody’s heard a peep from the intended recipient. Maybe he knew to respond directly to the sender? It would be nice to believe that, but even that would require having way more faith in humanity than you’re capable of possessing (which already isn’t much). Instead, hours later after the Reply Allpocalypse seemingly has ceased and laid to waste an entire day of productivity, a message from the intended recipient pops up in everyone’s inbox:
No, thank you, asshole, for inciting another barrage of emails sent to everyone’s inbox, because people here have the memory of a hamster and will start this whole goddamn process over again. Did you not see the million other messages that followed that? For all that trouble we should have at least been filled in on some state secrets, not a half-assed “Thank you” that was probably sent from an iPhone.
And that, my friends, is when the four horsemen will have completed their ride to end the world and you will know you are in hell for all eternity, because you sure as hell won’t ever be able to retire from this shit. .
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