Every day they pour in, in bursts and in trickles, constant then sporadic, always keeping me on the look out, never giving me a moment’s respite.
The first ones are there waiting for me in the morning challenging my under-caffeinated brain. I attack them first, cup of coffee in hand – the only weapon I have. The next ones arrive as the rest of the world wakes up, time zone by time zone. These are a little harder to handle as I have to juggle them and other tasks. Already a few slip through the net and remain unprocessed. The rest of the day sees one or two arrive every ten to twenty minutes with slightly less around the lunch break. I see the little bubbles pop up out of the corner of my eye.
By the end of the day despite my best efforts, my inbox is a mess. Subject lines on every precise and ambiguous subject. Emails that need replies. Emails that need to be forwarded. Emails that require action. Emails for my information. Emails from newsletters that I cannot remember subscribing to but do not unsubscribe from because from time to time they have relevant content. Lots and lots of headachey, time-wasting emails.
I take the time. I read. I sort. I reply. I delete. Late into the evening, I treat them one by one until finally my work is done (only this is not the job I’m paid to do!) and I go home. On the way home, in the train, I deal with any latecomers. Finally freed from the email burden, I eat and sleep, only to find that another army of emails has snuck up on me during the night.
How many hours do I lose in this pretty pointless battle? I don’t know.