Publisher’s Comment: Love it or hate it, e-mail is here to stay

by Rob Wilkins

E-Mail. Either you love it or hate it. It has made society better informed and businesses more efficient.

Or has it?

From a business point of view, if I don’t click on that pesky e-mail icon every day or two, I’ll wind up having to sift through 80 to 100 messages. In the grand scheme of things, on an importance scale of one to 10, most business-related items would rate around a three or four.

These ones usually start off with “FYI.” There are always some that require my immediate attention, but certainly the majority wouldn’t warrant a phone call in the “pre-computer” days. E-mail perusal usually requires an hour or more of my time each morning.

Shame on me if I don’t delete these or move them into a folder after I’ve read them. I’m sure our I.T. department takes great delight in sending “Your mailbox is over its limit” messages. If my allotted Giga-a-something is over, they won’t let me send anything. Power is a dangerous thing in the wrong hands.

I’d also like to know how my name wound up on every North American direct marketer’s database?

I’ve never ordered anything online, yet I get a continuous stream of offers from pharmaceutical discount drug marketers (yes, including Viagra, nothing to assume here, move along to the next sentence.) Unless my local drug store has put the word of my level of consumption on the street, there’s no way they should know who I am.

Another time waster these days seems to be the number of very wealthy widows living in other countries (mostly third world) wanting me – of all people – to manage their multi-million dollar inheritances.

And to think all I’d have to do is give them my personal banking information. Freedom 55, here I come! On a sad side note here, I did hear of someone who actually replied to a number of these in the hopes that at least one would pan out. Fortunately, they didn’t lose the house but I can’t believe they’d be so naive to think these were legit.

The last but not least time waster would have to be jokes sent in by friends. They’re okay, when you’re not busy, but come deadline time and when the pressure is on, it’s really easy to hit the “delete” button without actually reading the little gems.

You need to be careful here. I’ve been caught a few times pretending to have read their jokes. The jig was up quickly when I responded to “What did you like best about the joke, Rob?” with “Can I buy you a beer?”

So there you have it. Time saver or time waster, it doesn’t really matter. E-mail is most definitely here to stay.

– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-510-5123.

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