Friday, April 15, 2005

Today's rant - the evils of auto-reply

I hate auto-reply. It is, in a word, SPAM - directed at your colleagues and paying clients, who are otherwise treated as the good guys. It is a declaration of non-service. Why would a lawyer want to send to his clients an e-mail that says I'm not helping you? Get someone to read the e-mail!

When I am gone, I access my e-mail from afar and/or before I leave, I make a list of the usual and unusual suspects, and implement an e-mail rule that forwards all the messages from them to my assistant and to our receptionist.

Fortunately, those on the forward list (which is saved, and never changes much) are the people for whom or with whom I actually do paying work, and so they are not going to send messages with pictures of the Swedish Bikini team (and if they did, I guess I'd have to charge them extra, after my assistant and/or the receptionist punched me in the nose).

Also, almost as an unrelated matter, I hate auto-replies that get on list servs. In the old days, it happened on a few lists I've seen, that every post would generate an auto-reply from some poor schmo who went on vacation. When he got back to Omaha, an angry mob of list serv-reading lawyers had flown in from every corner of the nation and joined in burning his office down to stop the escalating flow of auto-replies into their respective inboxes. (OK, that never really happened, but it was often proposed.)

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