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Email is not foolproof

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

The USAF continues to rely far too much on email for communication, and continues to trust that sending an email is the perfect all-encompassing method of disseminating info with no possibility of failure.

Many years ago, when I was in the Army on this same Air Force base, a zoomie LT thought that a lack of getting a “reply receipt” from an email she sent was insubordinate and got very angry that I was, “deleting without reading” her emails. Of course, I was doing no such thing; Outlook at the time didn’t send a return receipt for previewing a message, and that’s how I read her missives (which didn’t apply to me in the Army anyway, but so much for logic).

Fast forward to 2011. The refrigerator is down the hall from my office, and I keep my sodas there. The fridge is in a common area, and there is a bulletin board right next to it. Imagine my surprise when my sodas were thrown away today. A sane person would have put the sodas aside, if cleaning out the fridge. They aren’t likely to spoil, after all. When I inquired, I was told that “everyone” was informed about the coming fridge purge, so wah (or something equivalent).

Obviously, I was not informed. The building manager sends an email to the squadron secretary, who sends it to everyone in the squadron. I am not in the squadron, but I had myself added to the squadron email list last year due to the necessity to stay abreast of issues in this building, and there is no email list for residents of the building. I apparently got booted out of the squadron email list sometime in the past (who knows how long ago, as I rarely care about USAF business and maybe I was just relieved at the lack of spam I didn’t care about). So, no notice for me, but complete notification to everyone in the building in the mind of the manager.

So…am I a crazy person for thinking, in addition to an email, a sign or note or post-it on the fridge or near it would have been a normal thing to do? I’m simple, apparently.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
The fridge on my office floor gets cleaned out (as in, they throw away *everything*) on a biweekly basis. We have received more than one email on the subject, but there is also a schedule with all of the cleaning dates taped to the fridge itself. I consider notification on the device to be a minimum requirement.
Jun. 17th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
It seems fairly obvious to me, and it's hardly a huge imposition to print out a sign and tape it to the ONE GIANT THING you're cleaning out. *sigh*

I was thirsty.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )