Posts Tagged ‘email’

Partly because I am a basically shy, socially insecure and rather unspontaneous person, I remember having tremendous problems as a young postgraduate student in navigating the transition from regarding academics with awe and addressing them with reverence to, well, still regarding them with awe and reverence but being treated by them in a more informal, egalitarian manner. In particular, I recall the very gradual development of letters between me and my supervisor, with his signature moving from “Peter G” to “Peter” to “P”, and me trying to come up with ways to avoid having to address him as anything for fear of arousing divine wrath through my presumption. (more…)

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This morning I spent just over an hour working through the fifty-odd emails that had turned over the previous day; reading, responding, sending out other emails as a result, filing and deleting. Lots of deleting. Of those fifty-odd, over half were from subject-related email lists, most of which could be deleted just on the basis of the subject line; the rest were equally divided between departmental admin, school and faculty admin, student and student-related queries, research-related exchanges with colleagues, exchanges with external collaborators, other external research-related stuff, purely personal messages and proper junk. Responding to those messages that required or merited response involved, at least half the time, checking information on the university webpage or on external sites. At a rough estimate, given that emails continue to arrive at a similar rate, I’ll have spent at least a fifth and possibly a quarter of my time by the end of today working through them.

This is *not* a traditional academic rant about the pernicious encroachment of email on every corner of our working lives. (more…)

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