Sunday, March 1, 2015

Email Legalese

Have you ever received a footer on an email that reads something like this?

This electronic mail and any attached documents are intended solely for the named addressee(s) and contain confidential information. If you are not an addressee, or responsible for delivering this email to an addressee, you have received this email in error and are notified that reading, copying, or disclosing this email is prohibited. If you received this email in error, immediately reply to the sender and delete the message completely from your computer system.

How stupid is that?  A lot.  Let me elaborate.

Of course I was an addressee, because I received it.  That makes the remainder of this dire warning pointless.  Why further mention that I might have received this in error, when by its very definition, I couldn't have?  Wouldn't it make more sense to say that if I, the sender, made a mistake and accidentally misaddressed my email so that you unintentionally received it, that I would appreciate a heads-up?  It is, after all, their mistake, not mine.  This part is just plain rude.

Assuming the first part mysteriously applies to me, how in the world am I suppose to avoid reading it?  Did the sender really think that any human being reads their emails starting at the bottom and moving up?  There are languages on Planet Earth that are read right to left, but nowhere in existence am I aware of one that’s bottoms up.  This part is just plain stupid.

If I did receive this email in error, which of course is the sender’s mistake, why does the sender think, no, demand, I somehow owe them an immediate response and take my time to “completely” remove the email?  I might if I was asked nicely, but making it a demand is the least likely way to gain my assistance.  This part just pisses me off.

That’s it, there’s no part of this email footer that in any way makes any sense or entices me to help out the sender in any way.  

They shouldn't piss people off, particularly those of us with blogs.  Take the hint.

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