Do NOT Reply All

Last week all Marion County teachers received a crazy email from a school board member. A few hours later the same school member sent a second email warning teachers to only use the US Postal Service to send her correspondence since the school system mail was not secure. Then a couple of hours later a second school board member sent an email about the “two unusual emails” received from the first school member. (The joys of working for elected officials!)

And that’s when the fun began! Now teachers started weighing in on the validity of the messages sent by each school board member by hitting the infamous REPLY ALL button and with every new message another “ding” to alert every school board employee that a message had arrived in their inbox.

My favorite message (and one of the few that should have been sent as a reply all message) read:

I am trying to teach using smart board with speakers, every e mail is disruptive to students.  Please click on respond to sender not all.  Thank you for your consideration.

This isn’t the first time employees in the school system have been plagued by the discourteous REPLY ALL. It usually raises its ugly head once or twice a year.


Then the following day, I heard an interview with Stanley Bing, the author of The Curriculum: Everything You Need to Know to be a Master of Business Arts. He spoke about the first chapter, or as he calls it, the first course in his book, “How Not to Look Stupid” and the first thing he mentioned? Don’t REPLY ALL!

The “How Not to Look Stupid” chapter in this humorous book goes on to provide advice on topics like how to nod to avoid looking dumb and how to discuss a spreadsheet you don’t understand. It even provides advise about always drinking less alcohol than your boss, but the one I hope you’ll remember first and foremost:

DO NOT REPLY ALL! (You don’t want to look stupid!)