Originally published on posts.postlight.com on February 23, 2016. Once a year the executives hold an offsite. When the 360-degree evaluations are done they gather by firelight, and tell stories about their email inboxes.
“I get in every morning,” said an SVP, Digital Services, “and I see the wordUrgent. Not just once, but a hundred times. I deal with one thousand urgent things per month.”
A VP of Marketing cleared her throat. “Worst inbox I ever seen,” she said, “was back when I worked for [political consultancy]. We ran a campaign asking people to mail their thoughts, and it had….” (She took a swig of whisky.) “It had over one million unread.”
“That’s a lot of email,” said an SVP of Governance. “Me, I once had to be pulled out of my office because the building was on fire. I hadn’t noticed the fire. The keyboard had melted right onto my fingers. I replied to 50 messages while unconscious in the ambulance. When I came to I just said ‘Outlook.’”
Then it was quiet. Phones chimed but went unanswered. Finally, a Chief Operations Officer spoke up: “I receive ten thousand messages a day, so large is my team,” he said. “And so, I have a system.”
He began to explain the way he created folders, the wide variety of inbox sorting techniques and color codes. In minutes the sound of snoring could be heard around the embers. Back at the office, executive assistants worked through their to-do lists before going to bed.
Today’s Things (by a bot)