Things I Know and Wish I Didn’t, Courtesy of “Reply All”

1.) You are bringing blueberry muffins to the faculty appreciation breakfast. Every time a organizer of a potluck situation sends out a group email asking recipients to bring something along, I groan. Because for the next two days, 80% of the emails in my already overloaded inbox will contain phrases like “I’ll bring a potato dish!” and “I’ve got the juice situation squared away!” I know there is an argument that everyone wants to see what everyone else is bringing so there is no overlap, or because the impending arrival of a quinoa/feta dish gives you the idea that a beet salad might be just the thing to complement it.

But can we just agree that only the organizer needs to know what you are bringing? I have faith that, if every single person replies “I’ll bring cheese pizza,” the person in charge will send another, single email to say, “Too much pizza, please bring something else instead.”

You gotta believe. Just hit “Reply” next time.

2.) One of my friends hopes another friend and her husband will have “a sexy weekend.” Ewwww. Now I am not only pondering why the couple in question is in need of a sexy weekend – are they having problems? He did seem really terse when I ran into him at the grocery store – but also wondering what level of disclosure my friends have between each other and how I can continue to avoid it.

3.) You will be attending a meeting that will be held regardless of your presence. Don’t get me wrong; you’re important with a capital I and your presence will be missed. But unless you’re running it or driving me there, your absence from a monthly PTA meeting or a city planning hearing is, how do I put this diplomatically, just not that interesting. You don’t even have to hit “Reply” on this one. Just don’t come.

4.) You sent an email to the wrong distribution list. Actually, I knew that when I received the email, because I obviously am not part of your carpool for driving to basketball practice, or a member of the small team researching ad agencies for your employer. But the point was really driven home when every other person who also mistakenly received the email  immediately hit “Reply All” to say, “You must have sent this to the wrong list!”

Talk about kicking a person when he is down. He knew, the second he hit send.

5.) Those blowhards in sales are to blame for every one of our problems. A perennial favorite, this is where the veil of intraoffice diplomacy falls and the email that was supposed to be sent from one desk to the coworker two partitions away in fact carpet bombs three departments, causing rancor and a general feeling of, “I KNEW that’s what they were saying behind our backs.” In some cases the single touch of a Reply All button can cause senior level management to get into fistfights.

6.) The inventor of the Reply All function loves a good prank.

Here’s “Baby You Don’t Wanna Know,” by the band Sum 21, which is evidently Canadian for “Green Day.” I like the song, though the video makes me wonder if they’ve got health insurance that covers a stay in rehab. Mostly I’m including it because I dig the name of their 2002 album: “Does This Look Infected?” If it does, baby, please do not hit “Reply All” to tell me.

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  1. says

    “Does this look infected?” Omigod you’re killing me.

    Just a few minutes ago I got an email where someone stepped in to stop a rash of unnecessary reply-alls. I was so grateful that I nearly sent her a thank-you reply…then realized DUH!

  2. says

    OMG, this is one of my all time biggest pet peeves (and I have a LONG list)!!! My favorite is when Reply All is used when there is a perfectly good tool called Teamsnap, to let the coach know if your kid will be at the soccer game this weekend…WTF??? Loved the song choice, and I see an intervention in their future.

  3. Alison says

    “Sorry. This video is not available in your region.”

    Wish I could Reply All to the Chinese censors.

    btw: Canadian for Green Day. Hilarious.
    (Don’t tell Marcella I said that.)

  4. Su-san says

    Too funny. Choked on the popcorn I’m eating at my desk when I read this phrase, “But unless you’re running it or driving me there…”

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