Thursday, November 12, 2009

All aboard the CC train!

I think I have earlier talked a little about corporate mail culture and how this can sometimes take amusing shapes. One very useful function for mails is how easily a CC "carbon copy" of the communication can be sent out to people who might benefit from getting the update. To say that this function can be abused is no understatement as well and it can at times take ridiculous proportions. Let me give you a real life recent example.

An e-mail was sent out from some logistic people regarding a special shipment of products concerning both our QA, regulatory and marketing people in addition to our logistics. The mail is addressed to me and another person at the European site and has around 4 people cc:ed that I do not know who they are. However, when replying, I need to involve our local Japan people, so in addition to doing a “reply all” I also add 4 people of my own. The cc train is now up to 8 people.

The other person who was in the "to" line and at another site also replies and he adds an additional 6 people I have no idea who they are; we are now up to 14 people in the cc train.

The person who sent the original mail sends out another mail to confirm and check that everything has been correctly understood as in the earlier communication. She does a "reply all" and then for good measure seem to add another few people giving a record ~16 people cc:ed in the mail. I reply back with "This is ok for Japan" and did consider to trim the cc field a little, but hey, someone made the judgement that they would benefit from the information so who am I to argue?

The more the merrier I guess...?


ThePenguin said...

I've reached the point where I just add a couple of random CCs from my address book each time the mail passes through as a sign of my importance.

I also like to go back through the mail and tweak my signature, so if you go back far enough I am "A. Penguin, Executive Vice President of Widget and Lord of Things Which Go Beep, High Commissioner of Antarctica"

Unknown said...

Haha hilarious stuff! company actually disabled the reply all button because 1. they thought emails with tons of people lower productivity and 2. to "ease the burden" on our servers. Silly, isn't it?

Mr. Salaryman said...

Penguin - Yes, but as I understand it you work in IT where people will expect you to do odd and pointless things for your own amusement... The IT people is a story of its own and I probably should write an insightful piece about that...

Stepherie - Wow, pretty great! Considering how some people use the "reply all" button it doesn'T sound too bad actually... I did like the “Who do you work for, and why do you think copying me on this is appropriate?” and will try to use that!

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