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The Etiquette of Reply All

I don’t know if this happens to you, but I seem to get ridiculous ‘Reply All’ e-mails all the damn time, and it’s time to take a stand.

You know what I’m talking about. A staff-wide e-mail goes out, and regardless of the content, time-wasting responses soon flood your inbox.

yelling at computer
Vladimir Nikulin

NEW RULE: Unless an e-mail specifically tells you to reply all to keep everyone in the loop on something (Ex. ‘We need people to sign up for 2-hour slots: reply all so everyone knows what’s still available…’) then DO NOT REPLY TO EVERYONE.

The CEO just sent out an e-mail congratulating someone on a job well done? Sure, you should congratulate them…but the ENTIRE STAFF DOESN’T NEED TO KNOW YOU ARE DOING IT.

Try replying to just that person, k?

Your boss just let you know your group achieved its goal for the month? Excellent! Let the ass-kissing begin!

How bout no. Just once, accept the praise without adding your two cents. We all want the higher-ups to know we’re team players, but glad-handing each other over every little thing is obvious to everyone and is a great way to find the brown nosers.

A company-wide memo makes you think of a smarmy or mildly amusing response? YOU’RE NOT AS FUNNY AS YOU THINK YOU ARE, NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR PUN. FIND SOMETHING TO DO. If there is someone who will truly appreciate the joke, just send it directly to them.

Listen, I get it, replying to all can be one of those bonding-type things…rarely…but most often, it’s annoying, and serves no purpose other than to distract everyone else who actually has stuff they need to get done during the day.

It’s the equivalent of being on a group text at 7 a.m. about someone’s birthday party you can’t attend. You can’t stop your phone from alerting you at every single response, and you will come to loathe the original sender and literally curse the day they were born. GAH.

Tell us your reply-all peeves in the comment section below!

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