I have no clue how would I have fared if I was born in those times when Pandavas and Kauravas were dueling it out. I am not known for my prowess with physical sports but I would have made a very good archer. I think. I like those games of skills. Like dart boards, pool tables etc. I tend to believe that I am good at em!
There is another skill that I excel at. Really. Those volleys of emails that fly between offices, cities, people and times. Someone sends an email. You reply with your comments added inline. They reply with their comments in red. You get creative. Choose canary yellow as your color. They add smilies. You attach objects. They make presentations. You point to hyperlinks. They include a few colleague in the discussion. You are as relentless. You add your entire address boss. And some more stragers. Just for the heck of it. They cant be left behind. They add their address book and their relatives. And before you know it, you have lost the battle because the entire world with access to emails has been added on the list.
And this is just one of those things that you will nod your head to and have experienced while working. There is something about email that makes it exciting and scary at the same time. I mean most exciting things, by the very definition, have that element of fear built in. But nothing comes close to email. For starters, email is permanent. Any email that you send out ever is sort of etched into the rock and can and will be retrieved at a later date. I know people who have spent 30 years in corporate life and they have terabytes of emails that they have sent out over the years. I dont know what computer would they hook on that drive to when they need to find something. But, its their battle.
Second thing about email is that you can choose to ignore it. You may say that the email never reached me. You may argue that it got lost in those murky waters of email filters and spam guards. You may say that the content did not get past your corporate email policy. Or maybe aliens took over your mailbox and deleted all items that were unread or something. The point is that you can leave the other party guessing all the time, if their email reached you or not. Its like playing battleship! You keep guessing.
Third thing about email is that its official. There is nothing off the record. You cant really bitch about colleagues, clients, government, Anna Hazare, BJP etc. And this is the best bit. Nothing is personal. Everything you send, it is not really personal. Most of it is attributed to your employer. all liability, is thus your employers. Dont we all love when we fuck up and someone else is blamed? And all that is left and expected out of you, is to shrug your shoulder and say, "I did this in the line of the duty" or something? There are some hilarious emails that I have exchanged in the past that I wish I could publish here. The blog would reach the Internet Hall of Fame in one hour. Lemme know if you want to see some glimpses of brilliance in email etiquette!
Finally, and this is why I love the email most, it saves me from those face to face meetings that more often than not, turn nasty and tend to stretch till infinity. In a real meeting, every individual tries to prove their worth by harping about things that are inane to be honest. Everyone is vying for their 15 seconds. Everyone merely wants to prove their worth. And obviously these meetings glug away time as if it came with a never ending supply. With email, I am assured that I can be at a beach and yet pretend to be drowning into all the work that no one but I can do.
You know, if I had time, I could have went on and on about the merits and demerits of these email battles but then I need to go send out a few emails that need urgent attention. After all I am paid to be an email jockey. I am just wiating for the time when they make email-dueiling an Olympic sport. I can guaran-damn-tee a Gold for India.
Last post of the month and of P 0811, dedicated to Nefertiti. The latest (and the only other reader apart from me) reader of my blog. Thanks for reading.