Email Overload?

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Email Overload

In my continuing quest to pass on what I’ve read in the event that you’ve missed something worth reading, I bring you something which you don’t have time to read in light of the subject at hand.

I am referring to Email Overload and a wonderful NYT article designed to help us think through our approach to it.

Among the highlights is the news that the curmudgeonly H.L. Mencken (Pictured above and right) answered ALL his daily correspondence the day he received it!

[“We all can learn from H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), the journalist and essayist, who was another member of the Hundred Thousand Letters Club, yet unlike Edison, corresponded without an amanuensis. His letters were exceptional not only in quantity, but in quality: witty gems that the recipients treasured.

Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, the author of “Mencken: The American Iconoclast” (Oxford, 2005), shared with me (via e-mail) details of her subject’s letter-writing habits. In his correspondence, Mencken adhered to the most basic of social principles: reciprocity. If someone wrote to him, he believed writing back was, in his words, “only decent politeness.” He reasoned that if it were he who had initiated correspondence, he would expect the same courtesy. “If I write to a man on any proper business and he fails to answer me at once, I set him down as a boor and an ass.”

Whether the post brought 10 or 80 letters, Mencken read and answered them all the same day. He said, “My mail is so large that if I let it accumulate for even a few days, it would swamp me.””]

Because I am swamped, I’ll stop while I’m ahead and suggest you read the article which also includes Henry Ford’s solution and Mark Cuban’s as well.

I do have to say one of my busy friends has found a solution—I sent an email, which was returned today (evidently an old address). I went to his corporate website which I swear is intentionally designed to keep you from actually ever contacting him. I hit the contact button and it took me to 200 FAQ’s but no actual contact information. He works for a Christian Publisher that evidently has gotten to big for its britches¢â‚¬¦even Henry Ford pretended to allow his public to contact him. I could lift the phone, but instead used their automated system to see if I actually ever hear from him. Stay tuned but don’t hold your breath.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in April 21, 2008 by | No Comments »

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