Sunday, October 14, 2007

e-mail culture and the company observer

I've been working at a law firm just long enough, now, to notice some of the odd cultural differences. One of the bigger ones is e-mail. Every place I've worked before, e-mail was something you used for lower priority messages, things that didn't need to get handled right away. You generally knew when the person on the other end would get into the office, so you could send them e-mail, say, on a Saturday when you were thinking about it and figure they'd get to it Monday morning.

Not here, though. You see, they issue everyone Blackberries. And that means everyone's plugged into e-mail constantly. And that, in turn, means that they treat e-mail just like a phone call. If you e-mail someone at some unfortunate hour of the night or day, they tend to get back to you right away. And that means it's poor form to dash off a message on Saturday just because that's when you happened to think of it.

This will take some getting used to. I guess I'll have to start e-mailing those Saturday inspirations to myself, instead.

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