Clerkships, Vicious Infighting

Clerk Email War Update

We’ve gotten a flurry of updates on the email war. Here’s a sampling:

At the risk of incurring the wrath of everyone…, I have decided to throw myself out in front of the train in an attempt to alleviate the inevitable eruption of spiteful emails that continually come forth over a list serve designed to meet the needs of a specific population. When said list is overbroad and incorporates those to whom the subject matter is inapplicable, the first response is generally, “interesting, glad this does not affect me and good luck to those people.” As the first response or two arrives to the PAC solicitation, those in the nilist camp think, “oops, looks like someone accidentally hit the ‘reply all’ button instead of reply. Well, good luck to those people.” Eventually, ten to twenty replies appear, making an inbox look like a gathering of lemmings – yes the electronic communitcation apocalypse is rapidly approaching. Mildly annoyed, those who were involuntarily drafted into this convention think, “everyone has started to make my inbox their soapbox. I hope someone suggests to everyone that they should not hit the ‘reply all’ button, because i don’t want to come across as the person who forgot to have coffee this morning, was shafted out of a fun memorial day vacation, and just got a 30 page handwritten pro se summary judgment motion with 12 counts in it. I still wish those people well, good luck to them.”

No, that’s not the whole message. It continues, after the jump.

Continuation of the same email:

Then, as in all cases like these, more replies to all continue to show up as if everyone failed to read all the previous polite requests to stop sending out mass emails. Funny, especially since they want to keep the list overbroad so they can read all the emails because they might apply to everyone. Despite the all-to-common attempts to break the monotony with tater-tot recipes, movie reviews, animals sounds (meow was classic), directions of where one can and should go, and complex theories of mathematics, those to whom the emails do not apply remain annoyed (albeit while a chuckle or two is interspersed). Its at this point where the internal monologue metamorphasizes (should be a word, consult wikipedia) into an overbroad jihad on all those to whom the email does apply. Sometimes this is coupled with manifestations of physical rage, which can result in severe workplace accidents should some piece of printing equipment sustain a paper jam or the phone rings twice in under a minute. Inevitably, an opposing faction is created, no doubt led by an email on the same list requesting that all who now oppose this measure ban together to wage some horrible outcome on all the others – a true jihad. No more good luck to them. Indeed, very bad luck to them. So, in order to appease those who are not interested in this subject and prevent those who are interested in this subject from having to fight both the government, citizens of the U.S. who are not in the legal field, AND temporary law clerks, I suggest following the original plan of responding to the original author to create a specific list, or even signing up with a discussion board to create a true list serve. To those who undertake this task, I wish you well and good luck to you. As a disclaimer, I should note that I am on the fence about signing up for the list. I’m interested, I do care, but I have some sort of OCD problem that wont let me simply delete emails on the rare chance i miss something important, unless you are trying to sell me an enhancing supplement or are an attorney from Nigeria or the Ivory Coast and have located my long lost and recently deceased millionaire relatives.

Perhaps one of the more reasoned responses, even if very long and therefore contributory to the very problem complained about.
And then there’s this one fanning the flames:

Hi all,

If there are any term law clerks out there interested in supporting the
cost-cutting proposals targeting career law clerks, please let me know by replying to all.

And then there’s this jewel:

If you don’t want to read the responses then please just delete them. Those of us who ARE career law clerks are interested in the responses. This issue affects our futures.

Ah, yes, the old “if you don’t want to read it, just delete it” argument. A classic from every email war ever. What about the fact that it takes precious time to delete the 40+ emails basically gang-raping your inbox?
A couple of ironies in this whole thing: 1) the original email specifically requested that people respond to a specific individual, and not to “reply all”; 2) about 1/4 of the emails were people complaining about receiving the large number of emails.
We’re still receiving tips on this, so any particularly hilarious nuggets will be posted immediately, and Lat may have more tomorrow.

(hidden for your protection)

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