I hate the phrase, “pet peeve”.
So much so that it is, in fact, my pet peeve.
But it’s not my only peeve. Guaranteed to turn a good day into bad are those three little letters:-
Tagged onto the top of an email, these seemingly innocuous looking letters tell a much more sinister story. In fact I’d go so far as to say that FYI is a misnomer. It should be
ICBBRTECBITYM: I can’t be bothered reading this email chain, but I thought you might
PDTEEATMWIM: Please decipher this encrypted email and tell me what it means
YPDNTKTBICMB: You probably don’t need to know this, but I’m covering my back
or the real killer
TIAT: OOSOTTPMIRTY-PTSBTFYTFO: This is a test: Only one sentence of this three page mail is relevant to you – possibly two sentences, but that’s for you to find out
Anyway, I’m not a fan of the FYI.
So you might also reasonably assume that I’m in support of Intel’s “no email day”. And ’tis true, I’m increasingly on IM. In fact I phone people not ten metres away from me, or if I’m feeling particularly technically capable/irritating, I’ll video conference them too. Sometimes I even go so far as to do voice and live interface with people (“f2f”, I think it’s called, or “a real conversation”).
But although we are in comms, we are also a service industry and that means “servicing” our customers and stakeholders in the way they want us to. And a lot of the time they want to talk to us by email. Quickly as well, not just when we fancy it. Also, as some of the people we talk to are in different time zones, it’s often more practical to email. And this service industry malarky also means that, despite my protestations, I will still have to read FYI emails from time to time.
So I accept email. In fact, I’ve taken to actually recording a lot of my conversations with people by typing them up and sending them by email as an aide memoire. You see, for me, email is like my own personal Work Wikipedia. Ask me what I was doing at 10.51 12/2/07 and I can tell you – it’s filed in email, I was chasing up final images. Another random one: 4.23 4/7/7 I was saying how glad I was that it all went well.
Now. Isn’t that useful?