Okay, I’m risking offending someone, and it’s probably not worth it for such a trivial problem, but it’s kind of late, and I don’t have anything else planned, and it’s on my mind, and it’s not like it’s the kind of rant that’s going to keep me or anyone else up at night. So, I’m going for it.
Hold on. I’m not going to vent and judge. It’s too easy, and frankly there’s too much of that going on. One of my fellow blogger/slicers wrote a very serious and sincere post yesterday about listening. In her case this listening had a much more important function. It was listening for the purposes of unmuffling the voices in our society that get ignored or that don’t feel they can express their deepest truths.
I need to listen, too. In my case, this listening will really just be a tiny exercise in tolerance or understanding. I will try to listen. I will try to express my question in a way that does not show my bias. Of course, you know from my first paragraph that I have a bias, but I’m going to try to will it away.
I actually do want to understand. Here’s my question: When a person at my school sends a congratulatory note to someone else in the school, and they send it to the whole staff, everyone sees it. I know that’s not a question, but it’s leading to one. We all see that the person did something remarkable or had something happen in their life that was important, worthy of celebration. I understand that. I think that’s a great thing for a community to celebrate, and I’m grateful that I work in a community that cares so much about each other. I also understand why we, as individuals, would then want to echo that congratulation. We, too, want to tell the person, the individual, that we’re happy for their achievement, milestone, joyous occasion.
What I want to understand is why so many people use “Reply All” when they send their own congratulations to the individual?
I know that it requires an extra step to write to the individual. The note was sent to our Staff group. Reply Sender doesn’t help. That would go back to the person who announced the accomplishment. Reply All is just easier than writing a new email to the individual. Okay. Is that the reason, though? Is there also the thought that maybe it’s only after seeing the same email twelve times that some people actually see it at a time when they have a moment to respond? So, each Reply All is like a gentle nudge to the rest of the staff?
If there is more to it than I am understanding, I would welcome more insight. Maybe this has to do with my introversion? I prefer the private comment over the public? I’m not really sure.
I’m wondering if anyone has found a work-around that would allow people to do something quickly that wouldn’t require everyone else to see the same post so many times. This thought occurred to me. What if the person who was being celebrated wrote a quick, “Thank you!” as a Reply All? Would that be presumptuous? If that was the custom, then everyone could reply to that “Thank you” and no one else would have to read those individual notes of congratulation. Has this already occurred to everyone, and I’m just late to the party? Has there already been a study that shows that when Reply All is deployed, more people actually participate?
I know. I’m overthinking. I know, the irony is that the time it took me to write this is probably 100 times longer than all of the Reply Alls that I’ve had to deal with this year.
I think I’ll go to sleep now. I am deeply sorry everybody, for wasting all of this time. I only published this because I want to understand… and because I’m on Day 27 of this challenge, and because it’s a Friday, and because frankly the well is running dry. Happy weekend to All. No need to Reply.