Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Office emails

As I've mentioned, I work in a small firm of about eight people.  If I raise my voice just slightly, literally everyone in the office can hear me.  This has led me to question our firm's practice of communicating via email. 

I just noticed that Attorney 3 sent me an email a couple of hours ago asking that I go pick up some exhibit labels for her from Staples.  She has walked past my office five times in the past hour and hasn't said a word to me about getting labels.  They seriously do this with everything.  Need something urgently?  Send an email.  Need to tell everyone something?  Send an email.  Want to get food for lunch?  Send an email.

I get that it's a reliable way to convey information, but so is walking into our lobby and saying, "Hey, guys.  Just so you know, people are coming over for a deposition at 2:00."  It's more personable and easier for those of us who are working blogging rather than compulsively checking their emails every two minutes.  Maybe I'm just old fashioned.


  1. Your firm should get on instant messenger. You'd have more storage for files that way. When I worked doc review, I was having a conversation on the phone in my cubicle. I left to go to the bathroom, and when I returned, there was a note written telling me to keep my voice down. I was incensed, and I wish I knew who wrote it!

  2. Are you sure you went to law school? Email provides a record which provides insulation from accountability.

    If that lady just popped into your office and said "I need some labels" and you didn't do it, she'd be at risk of being partially blamed.

    I'm a prosecutor and most of my detectives are military types. I can tell those guys when they are standing in my office that we have a meeting in 10 minutes, and they'll tell me "No problem, just send me an email about it."

    Email equals "it wasn't my fault" insurance when it hits the fan.

  3. Oh, "insulation from accountability." Way to use the big words there, killer.

    If you want to send emails to insulate yourself, fine. I get that. Just understand that, if you actually want something to be done, also ask in person. Things will be done more quickly and you'll come across as less of a dick than if you walk around your office not talking to anyone. Win, win.