Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Not so important emails that I need to keep.

I was called over to look at one of our salesman's laptops and I was amazed at the difference in how people manage email. I'm not trying to poke too much fun at salesman, but what I saw and heard floored me. Looking back, it's a very amusing story so I thought I'd share.

He reported having issues with his Outlook being slow, so I came over and took a look. For starters, he was archiving email, which was the cause of most of his slowness. I cancelled the archive before diving into a few other things. One thing that struck me as odd was the fact that he had over ten THOUSAND items in his deleted items folder. Of course as I'm somewhat of an exchange purist, I asked if it would be alright if I emptied his deleted items.

"No, I generally keep those for 6 months, because I'll end up needing them" he replied.

Then the most idiotic though came out of my mouth: "But if you need it, why did you delete it in the first place?"

"Oh, that's just where I put the emails I need to keep, just the ones that aren't important."

Being the good IT support guy that I am, I showed him a number of links about how large numbers of items in any folder of your inbox greatly decreases mailbox performance. He didn't really seem that interested... go figure.

I decided to ask around and see how others used this folder mistakenly named "Deleted Items." Much to my surprise, most of our sales team uses this folder in the same way as the salesman with the Outlook issue.

So what's the moral of the story? Things are not always as they appear... even ones that are named in a very simple and meaningful way (No matter what Uncle Bob says). Maybe I should inquire what the folder "Junk E-Mail" is for?