Please stop replying to the new mailing list you were added to to ask why you were added. If the 40+ messages in your inbox from other confused coworkers haven't made this abundantly clear, nobody knows. And we're all sick of hearing about it. There are over 3,000 of us.

I fail to understand how this sort of thing happens. This is almost 2005! Have you never used e-mail before? Do you not understand that a ton of us are possibly getting this? Do you realize that there's probably a human who owns the list?

Please contact that human or just chill out.


This leads me to wonder what the worst example of this particular problem is. Anyone seen one of these little eruptions go more than a few hundred messages?

Update: How could I forget Bedlam 3?!

Update #2: I guess I'm not the only one to find this amusing and frustrating at the same time.

Posted by jzawodn at November 08, 2004 03:18 PM

Reader Comments
# eric said:
on November 8, 2004 03:46 PM
# Stomaphagus said:

Ahhh, I remember Bedlam. I was lucky enough not to be on Bedlam DL3 myself, but my boss was. She had *thousands* of messages in her inbox by 10am. Before the mail went suddenly, eerily, quiet. Managers wandering the halls, cut off from their information lifelines. We at MS Press carried on more or less as before, just a bit slower since we had to walk around to tell each other anything.

on November 8, 2004 04:39 PM
# Cory said:

I don't recall how many idiotic messages were sent around, but it was quite an annoying afternoon at a major corporation based in Atlanta. It went so far as to get the attention of VP's using BlackBerries, complaining that it was clogging up their inbox. It absolutely amazed me how people couldn't realize it was going to 5,000+ users for each message.

on November 8, 2004 04:47 PM
# ct said:

First thing I did was contact the list-owner. As soon as I got the reply (it was a snafu and now it's almost fubar), I forwarded it to the group. The mistake I made was not to _change the title_ to something like "PROBLEM SOLVED". So it just got lost in the noise.

Next time, I won't even bother.

on November 8, 2004 04:59 PM
# Jeff Boulter said:

Damn, you beat me to this post. I was going to tally up and categorize all the responses.

I remember this happening a few times when I worked at Microsoft and each time it would take down the whole email system. D'oh!

on November 8, 2004 05:07 PM
# Bill said:

Hey man, at least you have email. Those of us down south on borked exchange servers envy you & your me toos.

on November 8, 2004 06:12 PM
# Mike said:

Is 'moronic' the most skillful way of addressing people, including coworkers ? Seriously.

Granted, sometimes people aren't clear sometimes when there are things beyond their technical understanding, but calling them morons doesn't paint them as dumb, it paints you as condescending.

on November 8, 2004 07:13 PM
# Rasmus said:

Somehow I managed not to get subscribed to this thing.

on November 8, 2004 08:36 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Mike, you must be new here.


on November 8, 2004 09:47 PM
# naveen said:

I wasn't subscribed to this list either. which list was it? wonder what kind of other wholesome goodness i'm missing out on.

if i was the type that slowed down to look at accidents, i'd check out the ilist archives..

on November 8, 2004 10:40 PM
# Ernie said:

HA! I was going to write some catty post about today's e-mail list on my blog, but you beat me to the punch.

I blame the facilities staff - them and their zany "let's use comic sans to write about the gym" e-mails. Heh.

on November 8, 2004 11:08 PM
# Jacques said:

Rasmus count yourself lucky. At one company I was at we started up a mailing list which turned into a email blog of sorts of one staff members life and picture collection.

on November 9, 2004 09:22 AM
# fogcat5 said:

ha ha ... I'm not sure what this says about you -- that you were so distracted by a few hundred emails that you actually stopped to blog about it.

It does show you are more polite than the people who all replied "me too"...

and also, what does it say that I'm replying to your blog about too many people replying?

on November 9, 2004 01:36 PM
# Miles said:

> ha ha ... I'm not sure what this says about you -- that you were so distracted by a few hundred emails that you actually stopped to blog about it.

Uh, after the 90th message (yes more than 90!), this moved into the bloggable rhealm.

on November 9, 2004 08:56 PM
# fogcat5 said:

I also work at yahoo, and I got all 95 emails.

my reaction was not to blog about it, but to write a procmail filter after the first four or five of them, and get back to work.

The whole email flurry lasted less than an hour, from 2:00 exactly when the list was created, to 2:46 when the last email was sent.

maybe I've seen this email reply-fest too many times to worry about it anymore.

"It's technology gone wild!"

on November 10, 2004 11:22 AM
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