The miscellaneous writings of Mark Bridgeman

Read Receipts

I got a lot of email.  I get email from friends, colleagues and customers, but not one of them would dare to send me a read receipt so you can imagine how hacked off and annoyed it makes me when I get a read receipt request from some dirty rotten spammer on the other side of the planet who having sent me some badly targeted email claptrap that I have no interest in would like to know how well his email marketing campaign is working.


Just for the record, I hate read receipts and you should too.  What’s the read receipt really saying?  It’s saying ‘… well I’ve just sent you an email and I don’t actually trust you enough to actually read the email and act upon it so I would like you to confirm that you’ve actually got it because it puts me in control and you are now my bitch!’


I first started hating read receipts when I worked for a large company a couple of years back.  We were individual workers that had to work across multiple projects which wasn’t the deal when we first took the job.  The deal changed that’s life, but with each new project came a new manager, so being in the reasonable position of working for one boss, suddenly you’d have two or three or even four.  Of course each boss considered themselves just as important as all of the other bosses they knew you were working for and became just as demanding insisting that you prioritise their work ahead of the other bosses, thus putting you in an impossible position (it’s starting to sound like the NHS).  Hence the demanding emails.  It was tempting enough just to ignore the emails with the ‘i’ll get around to it later when i’ve got time,’ sort of mentality or better yet, ‘what email?  I didn’t have an email.’  So along comes the read receipt.  If you were dumb enough to actually click the yes option on the read receipt then all hell would break loose with areshole bosses saying things like ‘it’s not done yet, I emailed you ages back, I know you got the email you confirmed it with the read receipt.’


Needless to say I started clicking ‘no’ and still do to this day, especially as I now run my own business and answer to no one.  


So to all of the spammers out there I would like you know that I will never, ever click ‘yes’ on a read receipt and that sending one will not make me look at your crappy, spammy email.  Secondly I never opted in to your marketing campaign, I am not one of your marketeers or test subjects in your marketing lab, so kindly ****off and die!  Thirdly being a spammer is all about exploitation it’s not a fair and equitable business relationship which is why it gets such **** results , go and wash your hands and find something genuinely useful to do with your life, paint some sunsets or something or download some internet porn for a few hours, you know something worthwhile…


To all of the bosses out there that like to send them, please be advised that each use of a read receipt makes you look like a controlling arsehole.  Every request sent lowers morale and lowers productivity which in turn makes your company less successful.  Yes it is possible to be consigned to the economic waste bin through the use of these insidious and disrespectful digital turds called ‘read receipts’.  If you want to make it big, this is not the way to go about it.  Read receipts always have the snooty feel of surveillance about them and nobody likes being watched.  Way to go Mr business champion.  look forward to seeing you in the street begging for small change soon at which point I sincerely hope that someone will piss in your cup and then ask you to confirm that you’ve received the aforementioned item by clicking yes to a beating!


A useful link : How to prevent outlook from answering read receipts.


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