I'm the co-chair of my department's graduate student advisory committee (GSAC), which is basically student council! For grad students! I have, for the most part, enjoyed planning and carrying out a variety of activities on behalf of my colleagues. Fun things include the annual welcome reception, fall picnic, and post-Master's-exam potluck. We also plan a graduate student conference, which requires a lot of work but is usually a rewarding experience.
This year's conference was thwarted by one of the many snowstorms that have swept across the country this winter. We canceled the morning before the conference because the weather threatened to be treacherous. The cancelation turned out to be an over-reaction as the bad weather never really materialized. Still, better safe than sorry, right?
Wrong. Once the weather turned out to be less-than-threatening, the emails started arriving from department professors (not even grad students, mind you) about why we had chosen to cancel the conference instead of postponing it. Our reasons for canceling were many and varied, but really came down to the fact that we were all exhausted. Blargh. Bad choice of words, we should have said postponed.
Therein lies the meat of today's complaint: when did people get so nit-picky about a) email and b) things they don't even plan on being involved in? It's one thing if the email in question directly involves or insults you. It's quite another if you're just being a know-it-all pain-in-the-butt. For example, in addition to the aforementioned chastisement over semantics, as a committee we have also been skewered for a misplaced 's' and criticized for being both too prompt and not prompt enough in sending the emails.
Is it any wonder that I procrastinate sending anything to department-wide listserv? That my palms begin to sweat and my mouth gets dry as I begin to write? That I feel physically ill as I push send? That my stomach drops each time I see "Inbox (1)"?
Yes. It's official. I'm afraid to send email.