You know it’s bad when Senior Technology Editor Lee Hutchinson messages you on Slack and says, “Hey, check out this Reddit thread.” Since the alternative was finishing the transcription of an interview, I did indeed check out that Reddit thread. Oh boy. Posted in r/AmItheAsshole—protip, if you have to ask, the answer is usually “yes”—the thread centers on the tardy replies the poster receives to the emails he sends out. His solution? Simple: he now CCs the company CEO on any email that goes to a coworker he thinks might not respond the instant it hits their inbox.
“Ahh,” you might be thinking. “At a small mom-and-pop shop, that’s a little annoying but probably OK, because everyone knows everyone.” Well, think again, dear reader, for this fine human being has decided to implement his one-man “email the big boss” policy at a company with more than 10,000 employees.
Part of his problem, it seems, is a general contempt for fellow employees who work in IT:
My issues that I emailed IT over were very simple and could quickly be fixed on their end, but they still take forever to respond, which doesn’t surprise me as most IT people are incompetent.
He appears to think it’s working, even though his direct boss is… not so keen:
My supervisor called me up and told me to stop doing this, and I explained the problem to him. He nonetheless still told me to stop and I agreed to it. However, I am planning on resuming if my coworkers start ignoring me again. I haven’t gotten a response from the CEO either so I don’t think it’s really a big deal?
At times like this, when many office workers are quarantined, working from home, and relying on purely digital means of communication, this kind of passive-aggression seems somehow even more inappropriate, particularly when so many people are trying to get their day jobs done remotely at the same time as teaching their kids or fending off the attention of overeager pets.
Now, I’ll admit, I’ve been known to DM Ars Managing Editor Eric Bangeman in the past to let him know I sent him an email, but mainly because a) I already know I’m a troll, and b) it’s a bit of an office inside joke calling back to another former colleague who would occasionally phone you to make sure you got his email.
What I haven’t started doing is CCing Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch on every email I send, because I’m not a lunatic. Casting my mind back, I’m not entirely sure what the results would have been had I done this at my old office job at the National Institutes of Health, but I already got enough skeptical looks from Francis Collins anyway, and CCing him on my every email would surely have resulted in this famously patient man breaking down and committing some violence.
I have my own opinion about whether this fine 22-year-old—did I mention he is just 22?—is the a-hole, but what do you all think? Let us know in the comments.