So, a while back (some of you may remember), disaster struck over at NYU. An innocent, unimportant email from the Bursar’s Office glitched into an auto-reply-all email that suddenly became a galloping firestorm of boredom, anxiety, horse-duck hypotheticals, and utter hilarity. (Incidentally, the news of the reply-all horror terrorizing New York quickly launched a similar tragedy on the Wesleying listserve.)
We at Wesleyan never suspected that this could happen to us. We were safe. How little we knew.
Several days ago, the Athletics Department at Wesleyan sent a holiday greetings email slash donation request email to a massive listserve of Wesleyan Athletics alumni, which was horrifying enough on its own (you can read it here).
Like at NYU, the first few replies were innocent:
Ditto, Mike. And thanks for given me the opportunity to rag my urologist, a Williams grad, about the Little Three Football title. Never been so eager for a visit my urologist!
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
But they went to everybody. Everyone was subjected to the knowledge that that guy has a urologist, a BlackBerry, and AT&T. I am not sure which part is more uncomfortable.
Slowly, the power of reply-all was realized. Some replied in jest:
Giants won. So that’s good…
Others replied in confusion:
Please stop emailing me. I don’t know what this is.
Thanks and happy holidays I guess.
Many in annoyance:
Stop Stop Stop
Sent from my iPhone
A few with shockingly little to say:
Let’s add to all the e-mails…This is hilarious!!!!
Some tried to ask for removal from the list. This only added to the bombardment. Others (yes, plural) tried to clarify that one can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom. This didn’t seem to help.
Some bizarre side conversations managed to sneak their way in, too:
Congratulations Nan on your grandson! My nephew is a soph at Loomis, and would be happy to be Wes ’20.
The conversation has yet to turn to horse-sized ducks or duck-sized horses.
All told, the possibly-ongoing email cacophony carried a strange mix of donation solicitation, snarkiness, frustration, and holiday cheer. You can read all about it here.
Beware the reply-all monster. You never know if it might haunt your listserve next.