Herein lies the story of the dastardly case of “reply all.”
This past Tuesday at work someone accidently CC’d a global email option into a personal email chain about a minor business issue (nothing major). This automatically copied thousands of people that make up the Strategic Business Unit (SBU) I work under as part of a really large corporation.
What resulted was madness.
Within a few minutes, dozens of people responded to the email chain with question like “I think you made a mistake.” “Why am I on this email?” “What is this?” And many more….
This is a dumb move because rather than reply to just the sender and let that individual know of the error, these people hit “reply all.” That meant that the same thousands of people who got the first email also got their ensuing replies.
After a while people began replying with variations of “Please stop hitting reply all. This was obviously an error.” In order to make sure their obvious display of intelligence stood out among others, these people changed font size, color, boldness, underline and so on. Some even added quite a few exclamation points to drive the point home.
Oddly enough, these same people were doing what? Hitting “reply all.” Again, thousands of people got these emails.
Some people realized their hypocrisy and would add a tag line to the end of their “For the love of god, stop hitting reply all” emails that said “Yes, I know I did it too, but really you guys need to stop.”
Some people started arguing back and forth about their use of “reply all” by . . . continuing to use the “reply all” feature. Therefore, thousands of people saw further proof of their idiocy.
During this time, there were still some people continuing to respond to the original email with “I think this was sent to me by mistake.” “Can someone remove me from this email chain?”
You would think that with several hundred emails in their inbox (all with the same subject line), these people might want to pause and see what was going on before replying at all to the first email.
The best response during this two-hour study of absurdity was one person who didn’t write a single word. He just responded with the picture below.
Admittedly, I thought that was actually a good use of “Reply All.”
This went on for several hours and since I work for a large GLOBAL company several of the emails were in other languages such as Spanish, German, Swedish, etc.
In the end, 270+ unnecessary emails were sent to an entire SBU simply because people didn’t think before responding and most importantly, did not understand that the “reply all” function should only be used with the utmost discretion.
A partnership formed. A friendship grew. Both are tested. Neither may endure.
The City of Pillars: The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel, Vol. 2 is available on Amazon.
If you do not have an ereader or a phone capable of acting as an ereader and are interested in reading the story, you can always download the Amazon Kindle application for your desktop or laptop and read it from your computer.
The paperback will be available at Amazon later this week for just $11.99.
Here is a brief synopsis of The City of Pillars.
A partnership formed. A friendship grew. Both are tested. Neither may endure.
Andrasta and Rondel have spent months in the city of Zafar, obtaining knowledge they will need to steal the famous Jewel of Bashan. Something goes wrong when pilfering an artifact crucial to their goal, bringing the wrath of the local authorities against them.
A beautiful woman helps them escape Zafar in exchange for their help recovering a family heirloom.
The seemingly simple job turns complicated as they learn the heirloom is in the possession of the feared Hubul’s Host, a band of warriors devoted to the Erban father of the gods.
Andrasta and Rondel face powerful creatures and unforgiving landscapes, none worse than the City of Pillars, a place once thought lost to time.
The City of Pillars is the second standalone novel in The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel.
Volume 3 (The Tower of Bashan) is also planned for a summer release.
To read an excerpt of The City of Pillars, click the “Sample” button below.
If you enjoy the story or any of my other works, please consider leaving a rating or review at the site of purchase as well as other places such as Goodreads and Librarything. Like many other indie authors, I do not have a marketing team working for me and a positive review (even if only a couple of sentences long) can go a long way in enticing others to give my works a try.
Deadlines can be, and will be, a point of stress in everyone’s life. Lately, my life has revolved around deadlines. New duties at work have brought on a wealth of deadlines that grow by the day. My personal life is always full of deadlines, especially now that we’re in the process of getting our house ready to try to sell at some point in the next few months.
However, no deadline causes me more stress, aggravation, and frustration than the ones relating to my writing. In part, this is because I push myself more and more to outdo the last one. However, it is also because no matter how much I try to plan for everything, ultimately too many things are out of my hands. I can write and edit as fast as humanly possible, but I’m beholden to how fast alpha and beta readers give me comments or to my editor’s and cover artist’s schedules.
I plan and then plan some more, building in buffers and so on. Yet, things pop up that almost always cause me to either alter my schedule or work thrice as hard once the ball is back in my court to meet my original deadline.
I wish I was the kind of person who could shrug and say, “Oh well, it comes out when it comes out.” But, I can’t. Missing a deadline or knowing that I didn’t do everything possible to meet my goal is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night, makes me nauseous, and makes my ADD go into overdrive. To me, missing a deadline is a poor reflection of who I am.
Am I the only one who has trouble just letting things fall into place as best as they can? What do you do to keep from stressing out when your deadline is affected by things outside your control?
Writers often talk about how reading your work out loud can really help during the editing phase. I know I’ve mentioned it in the past myself. I found that early on this helped me most when trying to ensure my dialogue sounded “real” and “natural” rather than mimicking my prose.
As I’ve become more experienced, I’ve read my work out loud less and less. In part, I feel that I’m a much better writer than I was several years ago so the necessity isn’t quite as great in my mind. However, the biggest reason why I’ve gotten away from doing this is because the process isn’t always easy to implement.
I can’t exactly read my work out loud in an airport (which is where I am typing this blog post), can I? I mean, I guess I could. But considering what I write, I’m sure I would get a lot of strange looks (and maybe a call from security as I describe a mace smashing someone’s skull). Well, maybe I might not get as many looks as the guy yelling into his phone about his hot new co-worker. He seems to be pretty oblivious to the people around him shaking their heads in disgust at him.
Anyway, I do most of my writing/editing at home in the early mornings. I can probably read out loud then in a low voice without any issues. However, I also try to write/edit on lunch breaks and any other spare chance again. So, if I decide I’m only going to read the WIP out loud during one editing pass, the process could take a lot longer if my window for doing so is smaller.
Now, here’s the bright side. I’ve been traveling this week for work and had the “luxury” to be in a hotel the last few nights. I took advantage of the opportunity and decided to make a pass through my current WIP by reading it out loud.
I wanted to read it out loud for several reasons.
1. Because it actually worked out where I could.
2. Since this will be the first book in a new series (hoping to release it in October or so after the next two Andrasta and Rondel books), I want to make sure it is as good as possible before sending off to beta readers.
3. It is in 1st person, which is something I’ve only done in short story form before. I really want the change in style to work.
I’ve found that, as before, the process to be really beneficial whether tweaking a word or two, adding a sarcastic comment, or smoothing over a scene transition. The WIP has improved.
I think I may have to start making time to do these sorts of passes in the future.
Sorry for the lack of blogging or updates lately. The picture above pretty much sums up how I’m feeling these days. Self-imposed book release schedules involve a lot of work. Not to mention family, my day job, and a slew of other obligations. Then to top things off, I just picked up the virus everyone in my area has.
I’m hoping I can start treading water by the end of the month, but until then there is little light at the end of my tunnel.