Email Blues

Email is so ubiquitous nowadays, so indispensable in our daily lives that if Moses barges his way into CNN’s Atlanta studio and read God’s 11th commandment on his Palm Pilot and shouts with a thunderous voice ” Thou Shalt Not Use Email” the overall productivity of this planet will drop to a standstill . Could you imagine life without email ? I mean how can we work in the office without email? Totally unimaginable isn’t it? The email inbox and outbox are the two most important folders we work with on a given day. Take away my email for a day and it will be my office cleaning day, i.e. pruning the clutter that had been threatening to infuse that garage look into my office 🙂

The virus threat had forced most companies to restrict employees to office email only, disallowing access to personal email accounts on Hotmail and Yahoo via the company’s internet link. Spam analyzers and virus checking programs are grinding their brains on mail servers to sanitize email traffic from spam and virus bearing email attachments. A great degree of success had been achieved in thwarting viruses but spam messages continue to proliferate and are the harder ones to catch. Spammers are creative in constructing the subject field that ocassionally an email or two selling viagra slips through the cracks. Spam mails continue to thrive because they have not been declared illegal but this is altogether another topic of discussion.

Virus and spam and what not, I can live with them because they’re part and parcel of the ills that plague a technology that had for the most part revolutionized the way humans communicated for the last 20 years. I love email. In fact I saved almost all the email exchanges I had with my wife when we were still going out. It’s a great way to reminisce the good old days. But here’s my beef with email, and has nothing to do with technology whatsoever :

a. Chain letter freaks. For the life of me, I cannot comprehend people who relish the idea of inducing a threat of doom on someone, should the person fail to reproduce and disseminate the letter to 10 other people. The promise of good fortune supposedly rewards the person who obediently reproduces and forwards the emails to 10 other people. Reward? says who?

b. The email hoax freaks. Equally irritating as chain letters, these emails concoct stories of giveaways from Apple IPOD, GAP shirts, Ericsson phone, Honda car, etc. in return for forwarding the mail to as many people as you can. Surprisingly though, some people, the least of whom I expect to believe , had been sold to the hoax !

c. The “forwarding” freaks. These people are like the human version of the mail server. Everything that goes into their inbox flows out of their outbox to the rest of the world. They would forward quotes, inspirational articles, sermon topics, .wav files, funny cartoons, jokes.. name it they’ll send it except their own nude pictures. Despite my request to avoid sending lewd pictures , I got a “firecrotch” pic of Britney Spears. Not in my office email, pal.

What should I do with these emails ? I Dump them straight to the waste basket and mark the sender as junk mail originator. In fact I was too quick and included a couple of legit names on the list 🙂 People have to be a little sensitive when sending emails to an office address.

I once mediated with a couple of friends who “fought” through email. Despite our plea for them to have a face to face confrontation and resolve the disagreement, they never did. That was 3 years ago and the hatchets were never buried. Never rely on email to resolve an argument !

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48 Responses

  1. When I was still working for a multinational company everytime our server goes loco, all of us in the office ends up busy doing nothing. I kinda miss the feeling of having an inbox full of emails. I would spend my day just answering business emails . Anyway things are quite lax now because we don’t have buyers yet but I know someday soon, things will different.

    Anyway I also don’t understand why my officemates before loved to circulate those chain emails (it was not allowed actually). I mean they’re already in their late 20’s and yet they act like HS students. I would tell them not to waste their time sending me one but they never stop.

  2. It is easier to confront someone through email. You can tell the complete story. No inhibitions whatsoever.

  3. There are days when I actually thought of composing my business related e-mails similar to what I do with my blog entries, hehe. But of course that’s a no no. 😀

    BTW, are you still living the bachelor’s life, bro?

  4. This reminds me, I still have over 700 office emails to read. I’m not joking. What I hate aside from the things you mentioned is people who keep putting you in the CC list in ALL their email conversations even in single-word replies like “OK”, “Noted” and “Thanks”.

  5. Verns – emails can be a drag too! I can redirect my office emails to my Blackberry after hours which means total invasion of my privacy 🙂 Imagine sitting in the loo answering emails 😦

  6. Irrealis – agree but emails alone doesn’t cut the deal in my opinion. People still need to talk. I believe in face to face meetings where people can show their emotions and agree on a resolution. Yep, I’ve heard of high-tech break ups by email 🙂

  7. Sngl – ha ha, then you’re likely to pull out your rant mode 🙂

    Nope, not bachelor anymore starting Fri last week. My family is back and they had a swell time back home. In fact my daughter had lost her independence, completely transformed like her cousin relying on people for
    EVERYTHING 😦 She was spoiled by my wife’s family big time man. Now she’s re-learning everything back slowly 🙂

  8. Abaniko – whew, just like me 🙂 I always get the message ” your mailbox is over its size limit” and the forwarding freaks’ large email attachments are the culprit 🙂

  9. I don’t like receiving chain letters too. What’s the point of forwarding those? People doing that probably don’t have anything else better to do.

    Hi, dropping by. I saw your photos, very nice! 🙂

  10. Well, i’m a luckier lot here, except from spams letters from nigeria (some actually from cebu), I have to phone the kids to start sending emails and pictures. I have three accounts and one of them so safe that is only known to families. don’t get any spams on it yet.

    Chain letters coming from friends telling me to send to so many persons,I just usually send back to them, then they can send them again to so many people including me. somehow, someone get some boltcuttters at Canadian Tires and start cutting those chains.

  11. Rhodora – these chain letters – don’t get the feeling that you’re being blackmailed? I certainly do 🙂

    Thanks for the visit 🙂

  12. Vic – so you did get those spam emails from Nigeria eh? You know that many folks fell into that hoax, esp seniors and they lost tons of money 😦 Boltcutter from Canadian Tire ba.. LOL. 🙂

  13. @ BW and Niko

    I don’t really mind the CC’s…I like to be in the loop all the time even if the email is just a one liner or one word.

    Anyway it can be a drag..yeah…I guess I just miss it because it’s been a while 🙂 Glad to know your family’s back safe and sound 🙂

  14. Rhodora – I attempted tried to post on your blog twice, but the system rejected my post as SPAM !

  15. Verns – thanks. Yes they’re back. My daughter is sad and in fact wants to back 😦 She misses the fun with her cousins. She tells grandma on the phone to pick her up!

    I am quite disappointed with our airport staff in NAIA 😦 The girl at the JAL counter asked my wife to put ALL lotions, medicines – anything in a bottle including toothpaste in the checked in luggage. This strange because the U.S. which is extremely stringent with airport security, allows small bottles of lotions and perfumes to be kept in the handcarried luggage provided they are small and wrapped in a plastic bag provided by airport security.

    My wife refused to check in the daughter’s medicine ( cough and fever) because she was scared the little girl might get sick along the way. Anyways, the security folks x-rayed her hand hand carry bag and saw the medicines but didn’t budge an inch and let her through !

    Was this JAL counter girl making up here rules? My wife was so pissed becuase they had to sleep overnight at an airport hotel at Narita, Tokyo as part of their itenerary and they didn’t have any toothbrushes nor lotions! they took their change clothes with them
    in the handcarry bag because their luggages were checked in all the way to Toronto.

    This really pissed me off because in my experience, our airport staff are not consistent in the info they give to passengers. They’re either totally ignorant or are interpreting policy on their own.

    The good thing was the hotel had complimentary toothbrushes and that sort of assuaged the ordeal.

    But I am equally pissed because the NAIA is employing jerks who don’t know their backs from their front and causing misery on the paying passengers. Passengers are paying departure fee P550.00 since time immemorial and they can’t even train their people properly. Where’s the money going anayways?

  16. As with SMS messages, I limit my use of email, but like the convenience of an answering machine/voice mail, because there are times I’d prefer communicating with email than via phone or face-to-face. This is also how I’m able to effectively manage my inbox.

    However, what I detest the most are those who do not acknowledge/respond to my SMS or email messages. Whenever that happens, I immediately purge those folks from my contact list as well.

  17. Uhhmmm they’re consistently inconsistent. When I went home last December, AirPhil in the Centennial Airport did not ask me to checked-in my perfume. I believe I also had with me my bottle of lotion which was like 200ml or more.

    When I left Bacolod (same airline) the porter (is that what you call them?) asked me if I got any cologne in my bag, the one that I will hand carry. I said yes and he asked me to put it in my luggage, kelangan ko daw e check-in. I asked why? He doesn’t know the answer so I asked the police who was there to confirm if indeed I need to check it in. The police said yes so I asked why again. Sabi policy daw. Uhhmmm I should have asked kung ano talaga ang rason. So anyway until now, I still don’t know why hindi puwedeng e hand-carry. I too feel uneasy if I don’t have the stuff that I normally have in my bag, importante man o hindi.

    NO idea where the money is going…I just pay…:( I mean you can’t do anything about it anyway.

  18. p.s.

    Nasiyahan lang siguro talaga daughter mo sa bakasyon nya thats why. Sooner or later hindi na yan malulungkot 🙂 Iba naman talaga kasi ang effect kung kasama mo mga cousins mo. Was it her first time to meet with them? 🙂 Syempre laro lang palagi iniisip 🙂

  19. I don’t have that very busy inbox but you’re right, spams and chain letters can often make or break my day, especially when you’re expecting some important emails and then when I open it, all I’ve got are junks and mails coming from guys with strange names.

  20. I keep a small email group. Family and friends are in separate accounts. I have no problem with my family. As everyone is busy it’s all kamustahan. The funny group comes from my colleagues and friends. Wow spammers all. I hate forwards just as in your description. Likewise, they end up in the bin, never opened. I simply dont have time reading those upteenth forwarded mails.

  21. I wonder if we really need email, internet, cell phones, etc.

    We managed to live and work without all those inventions previously.
    I worked without them for a big part of my professional life. In a way it was less stressful. 🙂

  22. Eric – they say email provides concrete evidence of a particular transaction event. It covers the
    proverbial ” put it in writing ” need. As for SMS, a little courtesy is required. A response
    saying you’d revert back is all that is needed. Sometimes I am guilty of that too. I get hounded
    by vendors a lot and I take my time to converse with them on the phone and lay my cards out
    but they still insist on a face to face meeting and email me a meeting request and I ignore
    it 😦

  23. Verns – suffice to say our airport services are out of line with reality 😦 If it happened here that they tell a passenger not to bring medicines in the handcarry bag, they would be sued big time.
    The people they put in charge are ignoramuses. Maybe they should put Richard Gomez instead as head of airport services LOL 🙂

    We brought our daughter same time in 2005 when she was three. This time I didn’t come coz I didn’t want to be a distraction and I was working on getting my hunting and firearms safety courses to get the license. They stayed at my wife’s parents house the whole time – she didn’t want to see friends this time – just family. My daughter told me she wants to live in Pinas 🙂 She obviously had
    a great time !

  24. Major Tom – internet providers nowadays have SPAM email checks on the email servers. I think YAHOO is great in this regard too. Spams are are automatically routed to the junk mail folder. I haven’t checked but I think in YAHOO the originator address is also auto-tagged as spam and the next time a mail comes from the address
    it is rejected. It makes no sense to just dump suspected spam emails to the junk mail folder without
    fixing the source 🙂

  25. Sidney – so you like the scenario when people wrote inter-office memos eh ! But you know what, although the internet is great
    and had revolutionized the way we do business, browsing in the office had caused productivity to decline. It isn’t serious but if you quantify it, about an hour a day is wasted by browsing 🙂

  26. I only keep Yahoo and Gmail accounts too. I forgot all my hotmail accounts. Hirap buksan.

  27. totally agree that email is very important not only in business but also in personal matters. imagine if i need some info to my family anywhre in the world (as long as there is internet) we could easily get answers. i do hope that people will not abuse the technology like spamming or creating viruses to make profit etc etc

  28. Ipanema – ang dami mo palang email accounts he he 🙂 I never liked hotmail by the way. Masyadong oversubscribed 🙂

  29. Cruise – agree. Emails are a great tool to get in touch. I have a Blackberry with phone and internet email account kaya everywhere I go, I get my emails as long as may signal akong nakukuha 🙂

  30. i remember before when i had a problem with my email. i can’t work. as in everything is in my email. waaah! heheeh. and now when i go into a vacation and have not checked my email, it’s like i’ve been out of the circulation for the longest time

  31. Tin – so you were paralyzed when your email had a problem. Look sfamiliar he he 🙂 Same here, when I came back from vacation after 3 weeks I spent almost the entire day going through my emails 🙂

  32. I know at least two people at work who have been fired because of personal use of email at work. I guess they were the kind who would mass forward emails that they also received from someone else. We were already warned not to use email for personal use. But some people are just stubborn. And I think companies can now track your internet activities. We are also strongly cautioned not to go to other websites except for a few ones like our own company website, the Canada Post website, etc.

  33. I also don’t like those chain letters people send. They’re supposed to bring you good luck but it turns around if you don’t follow their last instructions. Those letters go straight to the trash.

  34. Jeez…that’s would be another ignoramus then hehe

    Ahay…basi every year kulitun ka na niya nga mabakasyon perme 🙂 Funny coz my cousins who grew up in the States, they prefer to live here too. So now they’re here…they still go back but when they were asked by their mom if they would like to study there, they said sa St. Scho na lang daw sila sa Bacolod 🙂 I don’t get it coz if you ask me, I of course would want to study there instead of studying here.

  35. NIceheart – yes, such tools exist and I have seen them! It actually logs ALL the URLs you visit! BTW, office emails are legally the property of the company so nothing stops them from reading your emails!

  36. Ferdz – same here – straight to the waste basket. The people who create these chain letters are playing prophet and I pity those forwarders who succumb to their silliness 😦

  37. Verns – my daughter is definitely thrilled by playing with her cousins and she loves it there :)As for grown ups – it’s a rat race here and sometimes people just want a slow paced life and I think that’s the reason why some folks like it there. I hate winter to my guts but I love the outdoors in this part of the world so I’m sticking around for a bit here, at least for a while 🙂 Eventually I might settle back in the Hiligaynon Nation 🙂

  38. My brother’s only grand daughter, three and half years old together with my nephew and mom are going home next week for holiday. They left almost 3 years ago and now she has a few cousins her age on both sides and I’m sure she’ll be enjoying the holiday and when it’s time to come back, everyone, including my brother and wife and her granma and pa on mom’s side gonna miss each others again. for the kids it won’t be lasting, but for the granparents it’s quite a little sadder, but they always wish the best for the grandchild’s future.

  39. This post reminds me that I’ve been receiving spam mails for the nth time, goading me to buy Viagra now. And I’m not even a man. 🙂

  40. Emails – it is simply unthinkable to think of life without them. Even on the road, I use my cellphone to check emails. I’ve adopted a nonchalant attitude towards annoying emails – off to the trash and forget about them! 🙂

    Glad to know your family had a great time in Pinas. My daughter also loves spending time with our relatives there. Ang dami-dami kasing kalaro. Here, she has lots of toys but no one to play with. 😦

  41. Vic – my in laws came to visit here for 1 year, just in time when my wife was due back to work after her 1 year maternity leave. THey left when my daughter was almost 2 years old good enough to get into the day care. My father in law got stricken with arthritis so the plan to migrate here was shelved. My wife plans to visit them again next year 🙂 Nawiwili na yata sa kababakasyon 🙂

  42. Jayred – those spammers fire their emails quite indiscriminately. They were hoping that you would tell your husband about the viagra sale 🙂

  43. Kathy – an occasional spam is OK but if you get too much it is annoying 😦 My daughter has lots of toys too and she was so sad the weekend she came back. When she got back to school her lights suddenly turned on albeit slowly 🙂 Now she’s back to normal, talking about her school activities all the time 🙂

  44. for spams from unknown sender, sabi nila just delete it, never reply kasi lalo malalaman nila na bukay yung email address and they will keep your email address active to them. if from known sources, kutusan mo sila, hehehe. joke.

  45. Iskoo – you’re right. The experts are saying NEVER to reply to spammers because it means you’re real and they’ll send you more! Some people are so ticked off that they reply expletives “*()&% to the spammer in their moment of rage 🙂

  46. Hi, BW! If you want to leave a message at my site, and it’s considered spam, I recover it just the same. I get reports of comments, spams or non spams and all I do is recover and post the non spams in my comment box. That’s how my stupid system works. Hahaha! Thanks for dropping by my site, anyway. Please do drop by again anytime. 🙂

  47. Rhodora – thanks for the info 🙂

  48. […] Posted on April 4, 2009 by bw This is a sequel of some sort to my previous post – Email Blues. The other day a colleague of mine phoned me and asked “how do you recall an email? “ Ayayay.. […]

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