#352: Use a read receipt

18 Dec

If you are lucky enough to not know what this is, I’m reluctant to introduce you to it, but I also understand it’s my duty to do so if you are to have any chance of comprehending this post (not that your comprehension really matters in the grand scheme of things, but in the grand scheme of things, this post doesn’t matter, and if we’re going to think of it like that, then either does this sentence, or these words, or these letters, and why even bother with any of it when none of it matters, and I think that’s partially why I place so much meaning on inconsequential things–because the alternative is too depressing).

Read receipt: the email equivalent of a note attached to your letter saying, “I have little to no faith you will read this out of your own curiosity or sense of duty, or even if you do read it, that you will pay attention to what it says, so I’m adding this receipt as proof that you have opened it so I can wave it in your face later when you blatantly ignore what I said.”  See also: an annoying way to suggest your recipient is neither responsible nor mature enough to follow basic workplace etiquette.

This might come as a shock to you, but I don’t like read receipts.  Do I wish I could attach one to every single personal email I send?  Do I think they would come in handy when I’m wondering whether you’ve even bothered to open the email I poured my heart and frantic soul into?  Yes and oh yeah.  But are they appropriate to use with colleagues?  I don’t think so.  Therefore, I always click “no” when the message asks whether to send the read receipt back to the sender.  You think I’m so inept as to not carefully read this email you sent with an urgent flag just because every single email you send has an urgent flag?  I’ll show you–actually, I won’t show you because you’re never going to get this receipt back.  

Sometimes at an office job, it’s the little triumphs that matter.

Anyway, yesterday I was asked to send a read receipt with an email and when I didn’t immediately say okay, I was then directed to do so.  When I still seemed hesitant, I was then required to do it.

So I did it.  But I didn’t like it.  And I didn’t receive a receipt back, which either means the person didn’t open the email–which is definitely a possibility–or she took her own small step of defiance by clicking “no.”

It’s completely unprofessional of me, but I hope she clicked “no.”

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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Computers


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