In the organisation where I work, it appears that (for a given subset at least), we have a Directly Measurable Idiot Factor of roughly 1%. It goes without saying, if you know me at all, that this is better than I expected.
"Idiot" is here defined as the kind of person who hits reply-all when a routine but esoteric administrative request has been accidentally sent to a mailing list 9,187 names long.
Bear in mind that the last idiot to send a reply-all stating "this is not for me" had already had the opportunity to read all of the other 86 replies, plus the original. In the table below, I have not been able to show this deepening of idiocy over time. To protect the guilty, I have not recorded his name. Except in my personal records.
Total number of individuals on mailing list used in error: 9,187.
Total number of reply-all messages received in my inbox: 87.
Idiots to Total: 0.95%.
|An attempt to classify the messages:||Count||Description of classification|
|Friendly / baffled / neutral / mildly annoyed idiocy||49||"Sorry,this request is not for me, I think you have made a mistake ...", "Please remove me from this list", "I am not too sure why I have received this email" ...including blank emails repeating these types|
|Recursive idiocy||25||"I'm replying all to say PLEASE STOP replying all!"|
|Angry idiocy||1||PLEASE USE CORRECT EMAIL (other individual's email)|
|Clueless idiocy||1||"I think someone may have a virus!"|
|Constructive idiocy||2||"I can do this if you tell me how", "I have forwarded this to ..."|
|Attempts at amends for idiocy||3||Recall messages|
|Apologies for idiocy||1||From sender of original message|
|Opportunistic attention-seeking - basic||4||Attempted joke, irony, contentless wind-up responses to other idiocy|
|Opportunistic attention-seeking - advanced||1||Joke is funny|