Sorry April Fools Day, but it’s no laughing matter!
Earlier this week I was downstairs in the living room, watching Netflix, when I got an email from my husband, who was upstairs in our bedroom. He wanted to set a time to meet with our tax advisor. It wasn’t the first time that he’d sent me an email, instead of talking to me face to face. Now, you should know that my husband and I are definitely on talking terms. In fact, we really have good conversations – about everything. We see each other daily, share a house, a bedroom, etc. I stomped upstairs, and before opening the bedroom door, took a few deep breaths to calm myself. Although it wasn’t the first time he or I told each other something via email, this time it felt like the last straw in a labyrinth of emails that I just can’t seem to escape.
Please cut me off!
My work email now has a bright red warning on it that I’ve reach my quota and soon I will be unable to send mail.
You know what, Microsoft Outlook and school server, I eagerly await that day! Please cut me off! Every time a colleague wants to inform us of what they are doing – it’s done by email. Same for the management, and the students think that they can send emails to ask anything from ‘What time is our lesson?’ (It’s on the schedule!) to ‘Why did you give me this grade?” (Read my elaborate feedback form!)
Oh Fatherly (newsletter) – leave me alone!
Like my many emails from school aren’t enough, I’ve got 2 private email accounts – a gmail account for my life coaching and Intuitive painting classes, and a ‘regular’ private account, which I recently changed since the previous one was so full of spam that I could never find my ‘real’ email messages. Why I ever started getting newsletters from Fatherly, for example, is beyond me. And why can’t I unsubscribe? No clue.
When we started using email, it seemed so miraculous… Friends and family could be contacted the same day, without the crazy costs of a phone call. Nowadays, a phone call is so much easier than a bunch of back and forth emails that waste my time and that of the person I’m talking to, but most of us don’t do that any more. We don’t want to disturb the other person by intruding on them with a voice call. Hello, I’m drowning here in emails!
Tip: Read mail LIFR (last in, first read)
When I read my emails from work, which I have learned to do only twice a day maximum, when I can actually answer them, I read them last to first. That way, half of them are already answered. For example:
First email (from a student): Sunday @9:45 pm. “Do you know when we are meeting for our mentor meeting?”
- Second email: Sunday @11 pm. “I don’t know why you’re not answering me, I have been waiting for an hour already.”
- Second email: @11:15 pm. “Oh, wait, I’ve found the email you sent last week. It’s on Monday, (tomorrow), at 12:00, right?”
- Third email (which I’ve read last, thankfully): Sunday @01:30 am. “I’m sorry but I won’t be able to make this meeting, as I have a driving class tomorrow. Sorry for the late notice, but you didn’t answer my emails earlier.”
I don’t know what to do at this point in my life with the mountains of emails or how to get out of the labyrinth. Do you? In the past, when I worked in customer service, I’d get a similar pile of emails per day, and after I had read them, and answered them, I’d have done my job. But nowadays, it’s not an integral part of ‘my job’ to solve problems via email. The majority of my work is done on my feet, meeting students face-to-face, in class. Apart from that, I prepare lessons, I correct homework reports, I design new courses. My job doesn’t actually entail email correspondence. Except that it does.
Email has become an allergy that makes us all itch with irritation and like that allergy that you have but don’t know what’s causing it – it’s not easy to get rid of. If you really want to talk to me, better pick up the phone or wait to see me face to face, cause I’m happy to go fast forward to the good ol’ days before we were enslaved by all these piles of ‘You’ve got mail.’