Don’t get me wrong, I love to get emails. In fact, as long as the emails are not nuked by the spam filter, I read each and every one of them. I might not give a response immediately, but I seldom skip an email. However, there are few types of e-mails that I wish I could just skip, thereby saving my and the everyone else’s time.
that starts with “Dear Sir/Madam”. Nothing wrong with it of course. But if someone knows my email address, a little check with Google would reveal my gender and my full name. However, with that Sir/Madam thing, I cast a suspicion upon the content of the email (likely a spam anyway).
that asks “how to download FooBar”. Maybe s/he reads one of my articles or a post in my blog. But normally I always state the web site of that particularly interesting program so that people can try it. Usually I give her/him the benefit of doubt and send the first few links I find by googling (or lmgify-ing) on “download FooBar”.
that only says “I tried to do X and it did not work”. Unless I have a crystal ball, how on earth could I possibly know the problems? Shall I forward this email to Uri Geller, or any of his successors, then?
that requests suggestions for a (final) project. If I do not know the sender (what s/he’s studying, what the interests are, etc), well what would I say then? I can mention anything, e.g. create a rocket that flies us to Jupiter, but that wastes more of our time.
that ends with “Please help, it’s urgent” or something similar. As much as I would like to help, I also have a life, and I have my own sets of problems, too. And so does everyone else. True, urgency requires a delicate handling but I am not in business of waving a magic hand. Beside, we are not in the kindergarten anymore, screaming does not make the solution comes faster.
that asks for some architectural diagram of my example code. It’s soooo “corporate”. Seriously, do you expect me to fire up Rational Rose and draw colorful charts (flying arrows included) for a 300-lines example program? Some people fail to see that an example, just as the name implies, is meant to be taken as an example.
that is closed with a very long signature. It’s fine for the legalese purpose, but isn’t it ironic when the mail signature is ridiculously long, sometimes up to 4x longer, than the content of the mail itself? And when the email is basically a set of some of the points above, the signature is like adding an insult (a terrible one even) to the injury.
Do you ever get other types of annoyances like that?