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To have filed all work emails received last week without reading or doing anything with them?

(67 Posts)
MrsBertMacklin Tue 21-Jul-15 23:00:44

I had a tantrum in my head today at work about emails. I was on holiday last week, came back to 20 or so emails in one chain which seemed to just be a conversation about something. Others amounted to about 100 in total.

I've just filed them all with the reasoning that if there's actually one in there that I need to act on, the sender would have seen my out of office and will chase me at some point this week if they need to.

I know that puts the onus on the sender to nag and I will read the filed emails at some point to make sure I don't miss anything important, but 99% of mail I receive is a load of wank about stuff that has been covered in meetings, or is just decision making in progress.

I wonder if at some point business culture will just calm down about emails and start treating them as letters, or whether this is it now.

MrsBertMacklin Tue 21-Jul-15 23:01:46

Sorry, that's really incoherent. Tired and not a great start back at work today.

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 21-Jul-15 23:04:24

I work on the principle that I shove it to the end of my desk and eventually it falls in the bin.

If no one shouts, it wasn't important.


Peshwari Tue 21-Jul-15 23:04:47

I know people who have a message on their out of office along the lines of - I'm currently out the office, all emails will be deleted. Please resend on x date if important/outstanding

chocolateyy Tue 21-Jul-15 23:05:41

YANBU. My old boss used to delete every single e-mail on his return from holiday, on the following basis:

a. If it was genuinely urgent, it will already have been dealt with
b. He had an "out of office reply" and if the sender hadn't factored that in, then, he reasoned, it wasn't his fault.
c. Most of them were bound to be total & utter shite.
d. If it was imperative that he do something, someone would pick up the phone to him on his return, and actually, y'know, talk to him

Caboodle Tue 21-Jul-15 23:05:47

Yanbu. I often operate with the mentality that if it's important enough someone will shout.

PuntasticUsername Tue 21-Jul-15 23:06:27

Hard to say YABU, under the circumstances!

Some people I know set up email rules in their absence to automatically delete (or at least hive off into a separate folder) emails they are only cced on, leaving just the ones that directly address them. That can help.

The really hardcore people set ALL emails to be deleted, with an out of office message going back to sender saying that, giving date of return and names of alternative contacts in the meantime for anything really urgent. I haven't got that brave...yet.

EBearhug Tue 21-Jul-15 23:06:57

People will chase the important ones.

I too have colleagues who do the "all mails will be deleted" message - or, "your mail will be read with unknown delay."

MrsBertMacklin Tue 21-Jul-15 23:07:10

So glad that the 'Fuck It' principle is at work elsewhere, I was feeling a bit guilty / paranoid about it!

DoTheDuckFace Tue 21-Jul-15 23:10:59

I love the idea of you email will be deleted, please send again on X date for an out of office reply. That is fantastic .

TheClacksAreDown Tue 21-Jul-15 23:15:58

It will depends on the ethos of your workplace. It would not be acceptable at mine and an OOo that said emails were being deleted, resend on x date would be considered hugely unprofessional and would be very damaging come review time as would be taken as indicative as a poor attitude. So be very careful.

buffythemuffinslayer Tue 21-Jul-15 23:38:24

TBH I would at least read them, with the expectation that my replies would be minimal, and only in genuine need.

A lot of people will send an email, read your out of office, and expect some sort of reply to a matter that isn't urgent now, but will be in a couple of weeks or so. In my experience anyway. Anything ridiculous, just delete.

But I would just skim them. Just in case anyone has sent an, 'I know you're on hols but when you get back could you just...'

governmentworker Tue 21-Jul-15 23:38:55

I think the assumption that "if it's important they will chase it up" comes from the mindset that that employee only has that one issue to deal with (ie the one thing that involves you) - They will probably be spinning dozens of different plates with various different people and won't have time to be making follow up e-mails/phone calls to chase you to do the thing that you are supposed to do - It also assumes that your time is more important than theirs. I periodically (ie when I get a moment's breathing space) go through all my (100+) cases, looking for ones that have got stuck for x amount of time due to someone not having provided the necessary information/completed their work but I have a (more than) full-time job just doing my own work without constantly chasing other departments and, yes, it does delay things if someone else isn't carrying out their role. If it's a lengthy piece of work, I'd think that you will have started doing it and would only chase it when I expected that it would be completed - I wouldn't expect you to then say 'oh well, I didn't bother starting it because you didn't chase it up immediately to make sure I was doing it'.

EmeraldKitten Tue 21-Jul-15 23:44:48

Yabu. It's just rude. Have a quick scan, surely you can work out in half a minute whether it can be deleted or not.

And 100 emails is not that many really. However I may be biased as I usually come back to about 300 after 2 weeks leave, which takes a day in itself to sort. 100 would seem a luxury!

2rebecca Tue 21-Jul-15 23:48:06

This is an issue to sort out with your work.
If you are employee then your employer should sort out who deals with your workload including your emails when you are on holiday, they shouldn't be saved up for you. Deleting them all sounds stupid if you have an important job and haven't put an out of office reply on specifically saying you will delete emails sent now and want them resent after x date or sent instead to Ms Y, otherwise people just see an out of office reply and presume it will be dealt with on their return.
I send my accountant stuff and sometimes get an out of office reply. If she deleted my emails without looking for them I'd consider her very unprofessional and would look for another accountant.
If she didn't want me to send any emails whilst she was away I'd expect her to have a message specifically saying that.

CrystalSkull Wed 22-Jul-15 00:09:12

Set up an automatic file shortcut so you can speed-read and filter them really quickly, leaving only those that need a response in your Inbox. I have done 80 in two hours using this method.

I agree with some PPs that it is rude to do otherwise. I also think that it will come back to bite you and leave you with more work in the end.

Patspanandjam Wed 22-Jul-15 00:19:44

Well I guess whether you're being unreasonable or not would boil down to the type of job you do.

In my line of work deleting emails & not responding would be very much frowned upon.

FryOneFatManic Wed 22-Jul-15 02:40:26

I don't think that 100 emails is that many, tbh.

I've also returned to work this week after a week off to just 25 emails, so was able to go through them in about 10 mins, flagging up the 4-5 that needed any action.

When I've had loads (and in my last post I certainly did, my old boss routinely copied the team into his emails), I generally sort by subject, so I can work through them quickly, deleting earlier versions of emails as I go. I also use colour coding so I can see which emails are from my most important colleagues (in terms of work, that is, they are all lovely personally). I can then flag and prioritise the few remaining, slotting any actions required into my general work plan.

My out of office message specifies that my emails are not being forwarded and giving a phone number to call if it's urgent. I can't add an alternate email yet, as there's some changes being made.

A lot of stuff comes into a team email inbox and so gets dealt with before I return in any case.

Eminybob Wed 22-Jul-15 02:55:13

Yanbu. When I'm out of office I change my phone message to - not in office, do not leave message, call this number instead. And still some knob head will leave a message. I just delete them and figure if it's important they'll call back complaining I didn't return their call.

Silvercatowner Wed 22-Jul-15 06:39:50

If you were a member of my team and you were deleting emails and telling me to resend I'd be considering disciplinary proceedings. I don't have the time to remember who is on leave and who needs an email resent.

feezap Wed 22-Jul-15 06:56:45

100 emails is nothing! After 4 weeks off sick I had 1500. On my first KIT day I had about 5000.

We have waaaay too much email communication at work.

On both occasions I had ooo on but I did scan the senders and subjects so that I was able to file them appropriately, read them, or delete as necessary. I couldn't have done anything else, I would have worried I missed something important, even if it was internal staff stuff.

I don't think YABU, I know many people who do the same, I just can't bring myself to do it. And 100 emails isn't a lot.

tbtc Wed 22-Jul-15 06:59:15

I have messages that I do need to attend to when I return from holiday e.g. from Systems telling everyone if a change.
It would have been sent to everyone, and no way would I expect to be reminded.

Or a seminar I might want to go to.

Or from HR.

Actual work ones will either be dealt with by someone else (but I like to skim and check before I file as done) or they will still need addressing.

Takes a morning to sort them all out.

What I don't tolerate is people getting snippy about something not being done when they will have seen my out of office message which tells them who to go to if urgent.

Bubblesinthesummer Wed 22-Jul-15 07:00:22

If you were a member of my team and you were deleting emails and telling me to resend I'd be considering disciplinary proceedings. I don't have the time to remember who is on leave and who needs an email resent.

I agree with this. I do actualy know of two people that were given written warnings for doing it.

surroundedbyblondes Wed 22-Jul-15 07:13:43

Another one who couldn't get away with deleting emails here!
My colleagues should have dealt with any issues, but it's often important for me to know what's happening with my clients.
What I do though is go through my inbox most recent first and don't start taking action on things till I've read through my whole inbox as often conversations/siutations develop during the course of a week and either resolve themselves or require me to do something different.

MackerelOfFact Wed 22-Jul-15 07:24:44

In most jobs I've had I'll have nearly that many every single morning. It doesn't take that long to skim read them. If you use Outlook, sort them by conversation and just read the most recent one in the chain.

I got hooked up to a recently departed colleague's inbox the other day and there were nearly 2000 unread messages. I dealt with them within a couple of hours, it's not too onerous a task to delete the ones that are obviously irrelevant, file the ones that might be useful later, and respond to ones that are important.

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