Monday, August 30, 2004

Email as the Swiss Army CYA Tool

I have to agree with Philip Reichert's comments (brought to you via drunkandretired):
I experience of email is that people use it as a documentation tool. EG: If you have doubts about a project then you send an email.

I would go a little further and say that I've seen email shift to a "Cover Your Ass" tool over the last few years. Especially in financial and legal circles I'm seeing it used as a quick and easy method to be able to say, "I didn't drop the ball on this one...someone else did."

I think this occurred almost simultaneously with court decisions that personal email was corporate property if received on corporate time using corporate resources and the idea that emails could be subpoenaed for litigation. For better or for worse, most of my work emails (both sent and received) are of the type, "on [insert date here] I sent an email to [insert guilty party here] which detailed [insert relevant information here], and they [insert action here]."

It seems like such an awful way to run a society.


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