Log Off, You Losers! Electronic Flatulence Must Cease!

“Put your hands in your laps. Close your eyes and ask yourselves: Is the e-mail I’m about to send necessary? And if not, is it at least fun? If you cannot answer yes to either of those questions–don’t hit that send button.” Stanley Bing

[Bing offers an interesting list of guidelines, on which I’ll comment…

  1. Stop telling people you Will Do something. [Fair enough… either ask permission or announce a completed task.]
  2. Stop thanking people so much.[Thanks, Bing. Oh –whoops. Now I’ve got to e-mail him an apology.]
  3. Stop using e-mail when there’s a damn phone on your desk. [This advice isn’t so useful in academia, when professors and students often don’t keep the same hours.]
  4. Never hesitate to send an e-mail that has actual data in it. [But be sure the recipient wants that e-mail.]
  5. Stop copying me on transitional crud. I want stuff that’s fully baked, not half-baked! [Depends on how involved in something I am… the people Bing supervises will start hiding from him, and he’ll have fewer opportunities to offer input until the people who work for him think that they are already finished with whatever it is they are submitting, which means they will be less receptive to Bing’s suggestions.]
  6. And absotively posilutely no e-mail chains of more than ten individual communications! —Log Off, You Losers! Electronic Flatulence Must Cease!Fortune)

He says that it’s time for a meeting if the chain gets that long… but what if the chain includes people in different time zones? Sometimes a meeting simply isn’t practical.]