Posted by: kerrywills | October 7, 2011

Classic Workplace Moves: The Reply to All Thread

Once every few months we have the joy of experience the “reply to all” thread on e-mail. This is usually how it goes…

  1. An e-mail is sent out with a large distribution on it – let’s say over 100 people
  2. Someone replies to everyone on the thread with something clearly not meant for 100 people to read such as (a) Please remove me from this distribution (b) Stating some detailed fact that no one else is interested in or (c) Asking the sender a question
  3. Then someone else replies to everyone saying not to reply to everyone
  4. Then it iterates somewhere between step 2 and 3 with other people replying

This is always enjoyable to follow and entertaining. I am also not sure who is more at fault though – is it the person who replied to all out of ignorance or the people who reply to all intentionally telling people not to reply to all (doesn’t that make them hypocritical)

Just thought I would share this classic activity which happens often. If you enjoy it too, please do a “reply to all” so the 200 blog subscribers can see it.


  1. Indeed! An absolutely classic. Not a year goes by without seeing this perennial favorite emerge once or twice.

  2. The record I’ve seen was about 80 Reply-alls with 47 indicating to stop “replying to all.” It got to the point where people were replying to all telling the people who were saying “stop replying to all” by replying to all, to stop replying to all. Yes…it got down to that level. It was so out of control that when e-mail 42 came by (and this all happened in a duration of about 1-2 hours) I just burst out laughing, igniting a chain-reaction of laughs throughout the cubical floor. Do IT professionals not understand netiquette? Are we all that glued into our e-mail? Sheesh….

  3. In my organization for such mails the person who intends to say “not to reply all” keeps the entire list of person in BCC and also at the bottom of mail s/he mention about the people in BCC

  4. Too funny!!!! This just happened last week. I really don’t understand why someone clicks reply all. Are people really that ignorant?

  5. This is how I received over 800 emails in two hours earlier this year.

  6. […] Classic Workplace Moves: The Reply to All Thread ( […]

  7. […] Workplace Moves which includes classics such as the Bathroom Newspaper Guy and Reply to All […]

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