Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The tyranny of the inbox

On Easter Sunday, while attempting the acrobatic feat that is draining potatoes so they could be mashed, I kicked my own foot.






Now friends…this is the sort of feat I swear nobody else could pull off. I have no idea how I did it. I have no idea exactly what I did, even. But the net result is, my right foot kicked my left foot on the big toe, and tore that toenail halfway back and all the way across.

Yeah. It felt awesome. And now, it’s all hot and tender and a tiny bit swollen (great, just great…I’m grimly determined to believe that this is just ‘healing at work,’ but must admit I am keeping an anxious eye on it because staph infections, they love me)  (and that, America, is why there was a sudden run on Neosporin) – which is why I decided that instead of going to do something more constructive that involved standing, I would simply stay right here at my desk and do something computer-y.

I know! I said to myself, cheerfully. That email of mine is getting a bit out of hand, let’s deal with THAT…

And then, I opened my email client.

And then, I made this weird noise that sounded a bit like a parrot trying to swallow a box of rubberbands bigger than its whole body, because I have over 900 unread email messages sitting in my inbox right now. If I were to be precise (which would take up more time which would mean I didn’t have to face up to dealing with them just yet, so, do let’s), I have nine hundred and sixty-seven unread emails waiting breathlessly for me to acknowledge them.

I have no idea how many there all altogether, because I am far too chicken to actually look. The grim, bright-blue 967’ staring at me is quite enough, thank you, I don’t feel the need to explore how many additional items – from Gah Alone Knows how long ago – I actually did read (or at least glance at) (or accidentally open and immediately close), categorize as ‘something I should probably do something about, like, maybe respond to’ and leave there so I would do so and then, erm, well.

I…got distracted…?

Knowing as I do that 99% of these are junk mail and adverts, I also know that I should theoretically be able to rip through the whole inbox and pare it down to less than two dozen in less than half an hour.

You’d think anyway.

But first of all, sometimes, well, I’ll be ripping along deleting stuff and then I’ll suddenly go, “Wait, what? 3 herbs that will improve your ability to focus? You have my attention, Farmer’s Almanac…

{…two hours of Internet surfing go by…}

And secondly, well, I’ll be honest: It’s not exactly high on on my List of Fun Stuff I’d Like To Do. I’d say it’s somewhere right above reorganizing the cable-barf in my desk drawer (which is also rather epic, and consists of charges for electronics we may or may not even have any more, earbuds with jacks that do not plug into any device that I know of, and the like), and below things like nailing down once and for all which of the too-many pens in my drawer still write, and throwing away, with BOLD and DECISIVE movements, the ones that do not write any longer.

I know. My goals are lofty. And also epic. Additionally, I would someday like to have all my socks matched up in pairs again. (It would likely be faster to simply start throwing away all the singles, but we all know how likely that is emotionally. Ya. Not gonna happen.) (Plus, you know the missing sock would immediately turn up…if I could just somehow manage to throw them away without actually throwing them away-away, I’d have so many pairs of socks that I’d need to buy a second house just to store them.)

PLUS, there is always the danger that I will become irrationally annoyed about something like the overuse of the word ‘hurry’ in these emails.


And then I might do something silly like perform a search on my inbox to prove my point, so that I can put statistics around it and write some big long rambling blog post in which I put forth said statistics with something like, “Did you know that if I have 974 emails in my inbox, probably about 94 of them will contain the word ‘hurry’ in the subject?! And that’s almost 10%? Which pretty much proves that the people who write advertisement-emails have very limited vocabularies and probably all went to the same marketing school, where they were told to action learnings by using the go-words with verve or something equally nerve-jangling.”

(Aside: 974?! Really!?! Crap. They’re worse than rabbits!)

For a good long while, true story, I had a rule on my email client that automatically deleted any email with the word ‘hurry’ in the subject. Because it does rather irk me, you know? “Hurry! Our sale is far more important than whatever else you planned to do today, ONLY A FEW HOURS LEFT!!!!, so, put that coffee cup down right now and HURRY!!! BUY SOMETHING! HURRY! NOW! BUY SOMETHING!”

…alternatively, heck with you, imma-gonna DELETE your advertisement AUTOMATICALLY, so THERE…!

{sips coffee defiantly}

Buuuuuuuut, then a rather (cough-cough) high maintenance person in my little circle started sending me increasingly urgent emails about something (you see where this is going, right?); and the subject was something like “hurry up and answer dammit!”

Which later became “Re: hurry up and answer dammit” or “FW: hurry up and answer dammit” and all of which went straight to the trash folder because that was the rule.


So, rules are not my friend.

Likewise, whenever I try to elevate my spam filter in a desperate attempt to prevent myself from being crushed beneath the crazy number of stores eagerly telling me that they have the perfect Christmas present for my tree-frog loving Schnauzer (wait, what?), well, it promptly starts screening out things like dinner invitations or birth announcements or things that say stuff like “I am taking your non-response to be agreement. See you on the fourteenth. p.s., you could also try checking your voicemail once in a damn while, honestly, what are you, nine?!”

But it still lets through all the “HURRY!” and “Adorable and very expensive dresses you’ll never in a million years actually wear because have they MET you?!” stuff.

All of which really leads me to this: Holy mackerel, this is SO. STUPID!

Push come to shove, I could probably right click on my inbox, select ‘delete all,’ click ‘yes,’ and you know what would happen out there in the Big Bad World?

Exactly. Nothing.

Because since 99% of them are junk, and the other 1% were sent to me by people who were probably muttering something like “I don’t even know why I bother, she’s never gonna {get / see / read / respond to} this…” but inexplicably love me anyway…well.

Really, I don’t know why I should even bother with it any further.

Which is why instead of dealing with the inbox, I’m going to head on into World of Warcraft now, see if I can get into raid finder and score me some good gear.

Or level one of my alts.

Or something, you know, meaningful.

Thanks for helping me work through the issue, gang.

For the Horde!!!!


Chesney said...


By the way.. i have 30k YES 30,000+ emails in my gmail account <3

Moira said...

I promise never to send you another email about burlap...

PBear said...

I have to tell you, this makes me want to send you emails.... :-)

Tola said...

aha, this explains So Much.