Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Natural Experiment: Idiot Research

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:CountDescription of classification
Friendly / baffled / neutral / mildly annoyed idiocy49"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 idiocy25"I'm replying all to say PLEASE STOP replying all!"
Angry idiocy1PLEASE USE CORRECT EMAIL (other individual's email)
Clueless idiocy1"I think someone may have a virus!"
Constructive idiocy2"I can do this if you tell me how", "I have forwarded this to ..."
Attempts at amends for idiocy3Recall messages
Apologies for idiocy1From sender of original message
Opportunistic attention-seeking - basic4Attempted joke, irony, contentless wind-up responses to other idiocy
Opportunistic attention-seeking - advanced1Joke is funny


Random Cyclist said...

I think I would fall into "Opportunistic attention-seeking - basic" therefore I am an idiot.

Brilliant :)

msHedgehog said...

@Random Cyclist - hahaha - I don't don't know, I think you might have managed the Advanced.

Unknown said...

I liked this so much, I had to send an email to all my staff at work about it.

msHedgehog said...

@Rich - Muppets go viral!

RosieT said...

did anyone find the cat?