File this under “no good deed goes unpunished.” Someone found a set of keys and sent email to a few hundred (maybe a few thousand?) of her closest friends. There was no way to really tell, because–with nothing but the best intention—she sent the message using some of the distribution lists in the Exchange Email global address book. But they were big groups of people.
Sure enough, the owner of the keys got the message and was reunited with his/her missing item. We all heard about it. And then two (or three or four) people replied to everyone about how great and wonderful that was. And then it got weird. People, uninterested in the keys saga, took umbrage at the many emails sent to so many, and started emailing the entire group again, this time saying they did not want to get anymore messages on the topic. There were another dozen messages, again sent to everyone, saying to not send those messages to everyone. It eventually tailed off and I guess people got back to work.
I’m no Miss Manners of the email world, and this incident isn’t something I’m losing any sleep over, but I’ve been asked to assemble a list of email best practices. (I guess this request stems from that “internal communication” part of my job title.) Some of it is common sense, some is covered in our required training, some of it is just convention that maybe not all of us know. Watch for it in an upcoming Impact and I’ll post a link to it from my blog. And, I’m glad those keys found their owner.