Babette’s Feast

Via our good friend Teresa we learn that the latest banned phrase at the Bundestag is “Email Reply Alles”

(Reuters) – The German parliament’s email system was hampered for several hours for more than 4,000 staffers and deputies when hundreds of workers responded to an errant email sent by one staffer named “Babette” to all 4,032 co-workers.

The flood of emails began when “Babette” accidentally replied to “all” on the Bundestag email list with a short answer to a colleague: “Please bring me a copy of the new directory.”

Their exchange quickly multiplied when hundreds of colleagues responded with comments ranging from please “remove my name from your list” to “I’d like to take this opportunity to say hello to my mother.”

10 Responses to “Babette’s Feast”

  1. Teresa says:

    I found the end bit the most interesting – where the one guy was saying he thought they should do this every week… Holy crap! I guess he caught a break on having to do actual work. It’s the only thing I could think of. heh.

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    If only we could do this in our Congress.

    Think of the money we’d save.

  3. AliceH says:

    I’ve been on the receiving end of this sort of thing many times. Anyone can accidentally click the wrong send button (though rarely does the same person do it twice!). What annoys me is getting ‘reply alls’ in response to an obvious error. Reacting to an error by compounding it with responses like “please do not use reply all” wasn’t funny the first 10 times I read it.

    Of course, now I’m semi-retired and I look at it as an opportunity to feel productive (hey! I cleared 150 emails from my inbox today! W00T!) without having to actually do anything.

  4. Walla Walla TEA Party Patriots says:

    I’ve seen this before, nationwide at the Federal level.

    I restrained myself from injecting any snark, due to the visibility of the mail list, and the high levels of frustration and rage on display. That alone was quite entertaining.

  5. JeffS says:

    Oops! That was me, above.

  6. AliceH says:

    P.S. That’s “semi-retired” as in I work only standard 40 hrs/week – no more (unpaid) overtime/late nights and weekends.

  7. Mr. Bingley says:

    Alice, once a competitor of ours sent an email to everyone in his address book by accident which contained his company’s entire position, i.e. a list of all the purchases and sales (and the prices) they had made…

  8. AliceH says:

    Ha! I would guess that triggered a slight hiccup in his career path. That would be illegal if intentional, and grounds for dismissal if accidental in my industry.

  9. Mr. Bingley says:

    Yes, I’m sure the poor fellow had a rather interesting time in the office after that.

    But it sure gave us some interesting reading 🙂

  10. nightfly says:

    There’s something to be said about confining all confidential or high-level discussions to the telephone, or in actual typed memoranda. You can’t accidentally dial everyone in your phone book, or accidentally address an envelope to everybody you know.

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