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Comment: Re:Fuck 'em. (Score 2) 229

by dskoll (#47697345) Attached to: Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

"Long story short, if someone did that to me I'd take my business elsewhere, I don't appreciate having my time wasted . Fuck 'em."

We used to have customers like you until we fired them.

The correct protocol (and the one we follow at my company) is to use role addersses such as sales@, support@, info@, etc for things that absolutely must be read by a human being in a timely manner. Think requests for product information, price quotes, requests for technical support, etc.

We guarantee that those addresses will be routed to a person who can respond quickly. All bets are off for personal email addresses, however. I see no harm in asking a requestor to redirect his or her request if a person is away on vacation. Odds are the requestor will appreciate being able to resend it to someone who can respond quickly rather than waiting for the original person to return.

Comment: Re:Physical mail vs. email (Score 1) 229

by dskoll (#47697279) Attached to: Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

"Great. Here is a stack of 100 letters. I give you 2 seconds to sort them by sender. Go!"

First of all, that's not what faces me when I get back from vacation. I have a stack of flyers, etc. which are nuked very quickly, a few bills, and then (if I'm very lucky) *one* actual letter. Secondly, why would I want to sort them by sender? I sort them by priority and that's really easy to do with physical mail.

"If you don't have separate work and personal email accounts ... Oh I see. I'm being trolled."

I have multiple accounts, but I do get some personal email on my work account. I also get email of varying importance at work, ranging from unimportant to urgent, and there's no obvious way to sort it without at least reading the subject and sometimes the body. Why should I have to sift through all kinds of stuff on my return? Once senders know I'm away, I can trust them to refrain from sending me unimportant stuff, and to send urgent stuff to the contact person in my initial auto-reply.

Comment: Re:Not a bad strategy (Score 1) 229

by dskoll (#47695433) Attached to: Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

No, replying to each and every message is really a bad idea. I worded my auto-reply something like this:

"Hello, you've reached D.... Skoll. I am out of the office until .... Any messages you send me before I return, including the one that caused this auto-reply, will be deleted automatically and I won't see them. For urgent matters, please email .... or call .... Otherwise, please get in touch with me after I return."

Also, in the subject of the auto-reply, I put: "Out of office: D. Skoll will not receive your email" just to make it clear.

Comment: Physical mail vs. email (Score 1) 229

by dskoll (#47694459) Attached to: Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

Physical mail costs money to send, so you are unlikely to come back from vacation to a pile of 2,000 letters. Email costs virtually nothing to send, so it piles up far more quickly than physical mail.

Also, people who send physical mail tend not to Cc: 25+ recipients just because they can, and there's no physical equivalent of the hellish "Reply to All" button.

Comment: Not a bad strategy (Score 2) 229

by dskoll (#47694349) Attached to: Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

I did this once and it worked really well. However, in order for it to work, you need a couple of things:

1) The auto-reply needs to be very clear that the original message was discarded and will never be read.

2) The auto-reply must contain contact information of a person who can help out with urgent matters.

It was so relaxing to come back from vacation and not have to face an inbox with 1000 messages...

Comment: Re: False dichotomy. (Score 2) 198

by dskoll (#47673471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

I am not a big fan of having the primary documentation for a product off-site. Unless you take a lot of care to set up version-specific pages, people who are running an older version of the product end up reading the documentation related to the current version and get very confused.

A wiki has its place as supplemental documentation to answer frequently-asked questions or to help with troubleshooting.

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340

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