Does anyone work anymore?

When did the definition of “work” become answering a few hundred emails a day? Yes, I know there are people out there who are waiting tables, building houses and curing the sick, but I also know a ton of people (including myself) for whom a workday begins when we open up our email and ends when we close it.

And we’ve elevated this ridiculously mundane task to the level of nuance usually reserved for things like psychotherapy. We have emails that require our immediate contribution (usually, but not always, indicated by a little red exclamation point). We all know people who ‘cry wolf’ whose every email has that mark. That’s another posting though. There are emails that need our involvement, but aren’t urgent; and the best ones…emails that we’re copied on that require no action but are just ‘for our information’. Sheesh.

I’m wanting some new Outlook patch that will proactively delete all redundant emails, all email strings longer with longer than three messages, and deliver an electric charge to anyone who more than one acronym in an email. Once all these changes were made, I envision other drones like myself, emerging from our cubes blinking in the uncertain flourescent light, seeing each other and actually speaking in words that don’t include a paper trail.

It’ll never happen and while I’ve written this, my email has stacked up so I have to go.


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