Email Travails - The problems with email

Let me get on thing straight. Just because you have sent me an email, and you received the insecure read receipt request you stick on every meaningless piece of drivel that leaves your outbox, don't think I actually downloaded the contents of your note straight into my fucking brain, OK?
So don't walk up to me in the hallway and say "What do you mean you don't know why the new product is taking so long?" when the only information you provided me was embedded in the 6th email in a 823468723 long series on the purchasing of toilet seats where Raghavendra Rao said he needed more time because he had fucking tulsi pooja in his grandmothers house.

If you want somebody to know something, send out a specific note and request a response. That way you know that your desired information found it's drowsy mark and didn't get drowned out in a sea of meretricious blather.

And while we're on the topic of email, just because you have received an email, it does not mean you have to reply. A response is required only if you are adding value to the conversation at hand. And you can add value in the following ways:
An approval or rejection per your company's authority level procedures
Providing a requested response: For example, if you receive an email that says "Please confirm your attendance at the free lunch mindfuck that is going to be our quarterly project status update". You are required to respond if you intend to attend. Don't ignore and then show up only to find that there is not enough samosa chat and/or oil-onion-rice-masquearding-as-biryani for you. 
A disagreement with a proposed follow up action: For example, if you receive an email that explains a proposed prop for an upcoming presentation, and you disagree with the choice, you should reply and say "I dont think you should use a moose with irritable bowel syndrome to the company premises, even if that is a prop for your presentation on the output of the committee on employee benefits. Can we meet tomorrow to see if I can explain myself better?"
And most difficult - if you have some insight not apparent  to the distribution, but relevant to the discussion: For example in an email chain regarding how to handle an upcoming audit, you might have a flash of insight and so you contribute: "While we discuss how to painfully castrate the certifying auditor, I think we should also consider extending this action to our quality consultant - HE'S the one who actually tells our bosses we need this dude coming in here every six months and peeking up our rectums!
And continuing with the suggestions to maximize pain during castration, what about using a baseball bat?"

As you will note, in all examples I gave above, I followed my own advice about requesting a response by adding a question. So I know - if I don ot get a response from my desired mark, that the message has not been sufficiently imbibed.
So on a related note, just because you have a reason to respond, does not mean you copy the entire original distribution.
While responding to confirm your attendance at the aforementioned free lunch status update mindfuck, you don't need to copy everybody when you tell the sender that you're going to be 15 minutes late. Unless you want our VP of product development to know that you're too cheap to hire a decent man, so you hired a lecherous prick for a driver, as a consequence of which you have to go pick up your daughter from school yourself, and are perennially late to office. So chose your distribution wisely.

And finally on email signatures. Don't add your sign-off remark (warmest regards, heartfelt thanks, greatest day and other such superlatives that you put in above your name) in the standard signature. It looks really weird if you get an email from somebody that says, "Sorry to hear about the incident with the lecherous driver and your daughter, THANKS A LOT!!!, Fuck Nut."
"I am deeply disappointed with your performance over the last 3 months. This email is to put you on official notice. Warmest Regards, Thanking you, yours Sincerely, Always affectionate, Dumb Fuck"

So make your sign off specific to the email at hand, and only put your name and contact info in the signature.

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