I still remember how email first came into my life. Initially I had a hotmail account and one that was given by my dial up internet connection. The idiots had spelt my name incorrectly, so my email account had an extra “a” in my name and half the emails were thus lost. Then came the official mail account. Believe it or faint, in those days it was a status symbol to have your own official email account :). And it was a rumor that the IT guys snooped around our accounts. That did not, however, stop anyone from sending love letters :). Then came yahoo and AOL till I found the partner I had always been looking for — gmail. And, thus I have stayed like a faithful muse with him all these years.

Emails seriously are so convenient. As much as I go back and read handwritten letters, I have never gone back to writing letters after them. And now we have email groups and forums at work and even in the communities where we live. They are indeed useful for sharing resources, information and opinion. But they can also be a source of fun and frustration, inhabited as they are by these exotic species:

Obsessive compulsive emailer: What do you say about this person? They are completely committed to the cause of solving all of society’s and nation’s problems on email. So, this enthusiastic person after an aarti of the computer early morning sits down writing about each and every issue, replying to each email on issues they clearly have no clue about and bringing to fore pathbreaking information that our species absolutely needs for survival. They slog till late at night not letting up on their social responsibility of being a responsible citizen via email! The hose of their opinion is perpetually unplugged. Ah the joys of seeing their prose in every conversation!

The spiritual adviser: Your eternal optimist, he/she can give all the babas a run for their money. They liberally dole out spiritual, philosophical fart complete with youtube links peppered with their thoughtful insightful crap. They spend a lot of time culling this information, and they must convey it to you for your good, you nimwit!

The Angry man/woman: This species loves to spew venom at the touch of a key. They are angry at the society, netas, babus, environment, people living in the community, those living outside the community, rain, drought, onion, garlic – I am sure you get the drift. They enjoy making personal attacks. Never interested in actually solving an issue, they use email forum as a WMD to unleash their rage. Counseling may help them, but who’d dare bell that cat?

The humorist: God bless these folks who try to lighten up things. They can infuse life into the most morbid of conversations and keep emails worth looking at despite all the other aforementioned pesky creatures.

The informant: These are resourceful folks who will tell you about kickboxing classes half way across town, wedding planners that hopefully you will not need, travel agents who do packages to Mars, chilli and ice cream flavored bubble gum makers and supplier of fresh cow dung for your terrace gardens. What saviors these people are, I tell you! Most of us just don’t recognize true worth.

The self promoter: These people do not let go of any opportunity to peddle their wares. Every conversation or conversation thread is gently nudged towards their coaching classes, beauty parlor, article writing, crèche services, jewellery, or clothes on sale. Yes, email forums are absolutely meant for advertising and none of us has heard of google, just saying!

The confused English writer: These people communicate in a language that looks and reads like English but strangely enough makes no sense. Perhaps it is Russian or Spanish masquerading as English! God bless their bosses and coworkers who have to decipher that on a daily basis. I know it is totally my comprehension of English that is at fault here. After all I studied English way back in school!

The activist: These fiery individuals are always badgering you with their views on environment, women’s rights, elections et al. Perhaps they can take a leaf right out of my tree and start a blog for their verbal diarrhea! We have blogs and social media profiles for our esteemed opinions. Those who know me can totally vouch for that.

The colorful folks: By no means a statement on their dressing sense, these people seem to have only recently discovered the delights of font colors. So they enjoy going red, green, and blue with bold vengeance. They also absolutely love making their point by using all caps, italics and underline tools to their complete advantage giving one an experience of being bruised in a roller-coaster gone awry by the time you are done reading their email. And let me not even go where there punctuation marks have gone?!?!?! Such talented artists, I tell you! Their true calling is yet to discover them.

The moh-maya brigade: They are the kind religious folks who are always propagating the word of God! They entice you to religious celebrations of a  grandeur that can put a loud Indian wedding to shame! Sab bhakti aur moh maya hai! Haath mein ant mein aakhir kya aaya hai!

The essay writer: I so envy these people. I could do with some of them working with me with their sharp analytical skills and their steep fall towards verbosity. Seriously they can churn essay-like emails that very few even dare to wade in. They clearly need to find a place in the “theek hai” writing brigade with their exceptional talent, for the larger good of this nation!

I tell you, what would we be without these email forums! They add so much color to our dull and boring lives.

Have you come across any of these in your daily ew-mail interactions or am I the Chosen One?



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75 Thoughts on “Ew-mail!

  1. E mails have certainly changed the ways of communication heralding a new era! Well, all the categorized e mailers reflect their persona as one sees in real life too:)

    • Actually there are some emailers who are very contrary to their real life versions. I guess writing something online gives them a sense of freedom. Thanks for reading, Rahul!

  2. Interesting list 🙂 I get a lot of self promoters though I wish i got humorists instead !

  3. mahabore on September 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm said:

    Well, first up, apart from e mails at office I don’t have anybody else who sends me mails. Even my friends occasionally send a FB message or a normal SMS but no mails.

    The only mails I receive are from Feedburner with blog feeds and other promotional mailers, that’s all.

    So I guess all the mails I receive would fall into the self promotion category 😀

  4. This is terrible and you are wicked. I fall into almost every category!! You missed out a couple though. The monosyllable types, who respond to long expositions with an “ok” or a “will see,” and the strong, silent types, who never reply, no matter how urgent or ardent the plea.

    • Sometimes it is fun being wicked ;-)! But really, you belong to all those categories? The non repliers are annoying too but less annoying than the loud kinds. Thank you for reading!

  5. The Forwarders. They just love to forward quotes, inspirational stories and jokes.

  6. I know one of the humorist from my office. Reading his emails was such a fun 🙂

  7. I have come across most of these characters..especially the self promoters..who are constantly trying to market something.How about people who have an itch to forward jokes and other chain mails. They also forget to use the bcc option and conveniently expose your email address to all and sundry.

  8. Rachna this an interesting and informative post.I do not get mails from so many’well wishers’. I do get emails from some,who promote their wares online.and so many downloads, which I just delete.

  9. Haha interesting list. i guess i belong to the category u missed…the ever so enthusiastic but also grateful to those who emailed message forwarder. But sadly now all lost due to whatts app…

  10. I am amongst those who term as Confused English Writers

  11. I am part of a few email groups too. In one of them, there was this gent who had a compulsion to add his smart ass comments to ANY exchange going on between two people. It was as if we had to operate under his watchful eyes always. His comments, almost always in poor taste, irked me no end.

    Two months ago he passed away very suddenly… while all alone in the house. His body was discovered by a neighbor after he’d been dead three days.

    Somehow, I felt very ashamed. The poor man must have been trying to deal with his loneliness. This is probably his way of reaching out and keeping involved.

    You touched a chord again Rachna.

    • Ah Dagny, that was tragic. I just wish that people could open out in ways that was easier for others to understand instead of becoming nuisances. I know of a few folks who love leaving smart ass comments everywhere. And I really wonder what are they trying to compensate? Thanks for reading, Dagny!

  12. Oh, did you miss the Chain-saw Massacrers? By God, these folks will send you emails that were initiated in Saturn 14 months ago and after traversing the Solar System have now (unluckily for you) found their way to your friend/acquaintance. And now that this person had kindly forwarded them to you, you must make sure to send it forth for 5 (or 15) new victims because if you don’t, your cat is going to catch measles and DIE!

    Then there are Messers Curt and Rude. They begin their emails sans greeting or closing. They are also the masters of precise and monosyllabic answers. Most of their emails bear just one word – Yes, or No. It is a totally different issue that your question to them was – Do you prefer Red or Blue?

    This was very amusing! 😀

    • Thank you! I had so much fun writing this one :). Indeed I missed those two categories. People who don’t communicate really frustrate me. I guess I never liked the silent types, and bad etiquette is another pet peeve.

  13. Interesting classification of e-mailers. I remember once a brand manager from another division and I had an issue regarding some usage of common resources so we had chains of mails sent back and forth ‘discussing/sharing’ our arguments with marking copies to bosses from both the divisions, till the CEO mailed ‘Will you two pick up a phone and talk?’ 😀

    • Haha Now that was hilarious :). Loved the CEO’s response! That reminds me of the people who love sending long threads so much so that you cannot figure out where the real message is!

  14. Rachna,you have scared me.I am trying to find out to which class I belong.I do forward interesting mails that I receive and also impose on a few friends my good morning mails with some quote.May be I should go slow.

  15. Hahaha…Have you noticed we have look-alike personalities on facebook as well. Handwritten chithi’s are thing of the past now n I think soon email system will be gone due to watsapp …words images videos hell even audio songs is just a click a away.

  16. LOL Good one. I never joined groups on google and yahoo, and now I join so many fb ones

    • Being a popular author, I am sure you must be deluged by spam email, Ritu :). Unfortunately, these days one has to be a part of the gated community’s mailing list where such inhabitants start bothering you. Thanks for reading!

  17. Surprisingly, I haven’t encountered most of the above types. May be because I am not in any groups. The last one, I did encounter 🙂

  18. ahh this post reminded me of those days when I had just startedmy first work, after my graduation. I found my first date, (a guy from Nainatal or somewhere there) through email and chat. Found out that he was working for Infosys and I was in infosys BPO then. We decided to meet in food court after deciding over a mail (then hotmail) and he had got crazy about me, we went for lunches so many times during weekends. One day I wanted to introduce him to Lalbagh and when we came out of the park, we realized that his bike had been taken by traffic police for parking in a ‘non parking’ zone :-p. It was too much fun for me. But somehow he never wanted to marry me but wanted to marry a girl who his parents chose (loser!) so had to ditch him :-p
    This was one of the most exciting experience but an eye opener as well. :-/

  19. LOL Rachna. A fun post and I can relate to almost all.For me G+ and FB is more annoying right now :).

  20. Thank God i do not write more than a few emails or i might have fallen in one of these categories.But my inbox is full of promotions and suggestions to like this & that.Don’t i know what i like and what i do not like?

  21. 🙂 My first email was hotmail too. From there to yahoo and then GMail, which is home. I believe mostly in the KISS principle, keeping it short and precise – depending on the situation, Rachna. Still laughing at the descriptions.

  22. I was of the last brigade – essay writer – till I discovered blogging 🙂

    Hey! Hvnt you forgotten the ‘send this mail to 20 people for great good fortune failing which your PC will be afflicted with every virus under the sun including the HIV virus’ brigade? 🙂

  23. Interesting analysis. I usually subscribe groups on my Yahoo Account and never check them.

    • There are groups that I have to keep checking and the interactions that go on there tell you so much about the people there. Each one of these categories exist as I can vouch from personal experience. Thanks for reading, K!

  24. Yes it did.
    Well, I can put such people under ‘frustrated, sexually oppressed/obsessed people outside hometown emailers’ 😀

  25. The first time I used email I thought it would cost more if sent overseas like std and isd 😀

  26. All through it I was figuring out faces I could attach to each of the categories. Honestly I am really thankful to emails, because communication’s so much easier with them and search tool is a boon. I couldn’t help but laugh at the official mail id part, because that’s something I too have witnessed back in the year 2000. Very well-written and beautifully categorised. 😀

  27. hahahaha amusing way to group all the mailers 😀 I have this lady who keeps sending all kinds of fowards but I don’t even know her!!! I can always ask who she is but I am like chalta hai 😀

    Earlier I used to mail a lot but now I hardly do…..whatsapping & SMSing is my kind of thing right now 😀

    • Ah so you are a Whatsapper, Smita! Me, I haven’t caught that bug on till now. And forwards, jokes I still enjoy but again promotional stuff gets my goat. Thanks for reading!

  28. I have come across all the categories and I specially hate the self promoters. They do it so easily and it gets irksome at some point that I have to request them to remove me from the list.
    This one is hilarious and just strikes the chord 🙂
    good day

  29. My God. This post here is a treasure trove, considering how it, so funnily, peeps into all our inboxes and lays them bare. I was ticking each one of the kind from my list in the head and going – Yes, yes, that too, yes, exactly, yes, oh yes! FUN post! (PS – Does make me wonder which category I belong to. And I don’t want to know the answer!)

    • Thank you, Sakshi! You are always so generous and your comment is a pleasure to read. Of course, with your normalcy you cannot fit among these freaks :). For that I am grateful. Thanks for reading!

  30. Dear Rachana, I loved this post and the way it is written. Just the right amount of humor to leave your readers amused. For me, I started even thinking if I was fit in any one of these categories and I find I might have fitted in any such category at some point of my life. Now, I am a mix of everything 🙂 So, won’t blame you if you don’t reply to any email from me 🙂 smiling away….

    • Thanks so much, Poornima, for your kind words. I liked the last bit. Don’t worry I will read your email with complete dedication :). Thanks for reading. Glad I brought a smile to your face.

  31. I do come across the confused English writer and the spiritual adviser every now and then. But now I have become deaf and blind to these things. Anyway, awesome read. It put back a smile on my sour face 🙂

  32. It seems that all these people have happily shifted to Facebook!! 😀

  33. I am the mum one and when I do reply I can’t write beyond a couple of sentences. I think I am e mail challenged.

  34. It’s the colourful folks I find most irritating. And the huge fonts and CAPS LOCK. Yuck!
    Interesting list, you’ve there.:) I am more like the essay writer. 😉

  35. The angry man/ woman is the one I have seen n number of times i can say . Spitting venom at everything they see , hear .. sometimes I have thought how much energy they have to vent out at everything …

  36. Seen many an angry emailer and trying hard to stay away! Those who know me know I love colours but so far, I have kept them away from emails. And oh gosh, the self promoters and moh-maya brigade – man – even if I spam those in email what do you do with the ones you have to encounter on a daily basis in real life?

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