The Smell in Building 2

Last week I led a class in Vancouver, British Columbia, for a group of IT (Information Technology) folks. They work in Vancouver for a company headquartered near Seattle.

Right now you may be wondering what a group of IT people in Vancouver have to do with the smell in Building 2, the title of this post. Well, that is exactly what they were wondering. Building 2 is near Seattle, 150+ miles from these Canadian workers, but they received an email asking them if they knew the reason for the building odor. That’s because they are on an email list of all company IT people. So they get messages about the smell in Building 2. They get messages about things like free donuts in the conference room, which is three hours away by car. They get email about all kinds of things that have nothing to do with them.

This irrelevant email wastes the time of the Vancouver workers–and any others across the globe who receive it.

Solution: If you send email to people in many offices, break up your distribution lists. Yes, have a list of all employees, but use that list only when the message pertains to all employees. Have lists for Vancouver, Ontario, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, London, etc. Or at least include a note at the beginning of the email:

You may delete this email if you do not work in the Seattle office.

For those in Building 2, sorry–we can’t help you. We don’t smell a thing.