The Dangers of Reply All

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The uses and personalities of reply all

Through our experience we learn a basic fact,

A guiding principle in our social contract,

A lesson learned early, and the lesson still stands,

That power is dangerous if in the wrong hands,

This risk surrounds us, a virtual wrecking ball,

Found in corporate settings, the feature ‘Reply All’,

So quiet in person are the timid and meek,

But reply all with lengthy and detailed critiques,

And the alphas, first to offend and take offense,

Reply all to be sure everyone hears their 2 cents,

The insecure, without praise their days are hallow,

Email their success, love the reply alls that follow,

The eager, who worry that the silent can’t lead,

See value in sharing with all that they “agreed”,

Meanwhile the innocent step right into the trap,

Click the wrong reply option, very public mishap,

The careless, who earn reputations they can’t shake,

Try replying to sender, reply all by mistake,

Meant for only one friend to learn all the details,

But shared with everyone in finance, HR and sales,

So we work around this noise and mask our frustration,

Dream how to put offenders on email probation,

Where they will lose all rights to reply all again,

And we won’t experience moments of panic when,

We open our email and see hundreds unread,

And we can focus on something productive instead.

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