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October 4, 2005

Email Standard Time

Someone, please, for the love of God TAKE THE TECHMOLOGY AWAY FROM ME.

And the fact that I call it "the techmology" should tell you... I have issues.

Back when I was a single girl -- before I got married and had my soul sucked out and withered to a bitter shell of a human -- I used to go on dates. Like normal girls. And in this chess game we called "dating" there were rules about the telephone and when you could call, or expect a call, that were intricate and varied and full of loopholes. Kind of like tax law.

Being of good Southern stock, and having been schooled in the ways and means of Making Him Wait, Making Him Want More and (of course) Making Him Think It's Over But Really You're Just Making Yourself Unattainable So He Will Want To Attain You More, I knew how to use (or not use) the telephone properly.

And then I got married, and now I am about to disclose to you a teetiny factoid that will make you realize I am old, very old, and withered and my ovaries are practically petrified with age, ya'll. Because I was married before email became a well-accepted method of interpersonal communication. When I was a person who went on dates, THERE WAS NO EMAIL. And also, NO INTERNETS. They may have had internets in some places, maybe in cities, but I lived in the country and we had fishing nets, fishnets, and interbreeding. No internets.

So the ENTIRE time I have been acquainted with this thing we call The Email, I have been a Married Emailer. And, unlike my husband, I did not use email to find dates and flirt with members of the opposite sex, so I was unaware that there were Rules and also Regulations in Co-ed Email Correspondence, and now I am really kind of screwed because I CANNOT DO EMAIL TIMESTAMP MATH FOR COED EMAILING.

At work I try to answer the 37,342 emails I get each day in a timely fashion. When it comes to personal email correspondence, however, I kind of suck. There are some impediments to my personal email, such as:
1) my personal email is often blocked by the firewall at work
2) spam spamspamspam spam
3) I forget
4) I just answered 37, 339 emails at my job, and I am tired.
5) spam spam spam

And so in my life, email has been an annoying neccesity, kind of like voicemail or health insurance or tampons.

It has not been a way to... you know. Get to know someone better.

It just never occurred to me. See? Since there was no electronic writing component of my dating years. Now, in this crazy modern world with all the techmology, let's say you meet someone. And you don't just swap phone numbers. No. You share email addresses, too. And then there is some email, and then you realize ya'll are maybe not emailing just because it is the most expedient method of communication but that ya'll are GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER and there are probably rules, because Lord knows men cannot handle a Woman Who Emails Too Much (Note to self: check self-help aisle for email issues books).

So you -- not me of course -- YOU call your best friend, who is younger and cuter and a better emailer, and your best friend schools you in Email Standard Time Rules & Regulations, and you listen, you do! But then you kind of think rules are stupid and you go off and reply immediately, like a ... like a ... YANKEE or something. (Sorry. No! Really, that was wrong. I had run out of similes. Send hate mail to yankees-do-email-better@crazyauntpurl.com.)

Just how on earth do people handle all the pressure to NOT respond to an email immediately when maybe it was the first email all day that did not involve one or more of the following: some part of your project breaking, some SVP asking for more cowbell, an intern who is an Accounting major offering you (the Art Director) some "helpful color suggestions" for a logo or -- my personal favorite -- someone needing a whole website design in the next 15 minutes. Maybe the Good Email From The Opposite Sex Person was the only message out of 37,342 that made you not want to eat your own hand. Maybe having to wait the amount of time elapsed since he responded to your last email before you can respond makes you want to staple things to your coworkers. Maybe you DO NOT HAVE THE PATIENCE TO PLAY THIS STUPID GAME.

Or maybe you have issues, and you should back slowly away from the keyboard.


Posted by laurie at October 4, 2005 12:39 PM