Daddy, what do you do at your job?
I answer emails.
Sweetheart, Daddy sits in front of a computer all day responding to emails.
Why do you sit all day doing emails?
Because if I don’t respond to them, then I get even more of them. And then some get lost or forgotten and maybe something important doesn’t get done or I hurt someone’s feelings because I didn’t write back.
Oh. That sounds bad. Why don’t you do something else then?
I thought I was doing something else, I was managing money for people and helping them invest for their future. At least that’s how it started out. And I didn’t notice how much time I was spending reading and answering emails at first. But then one day I looked up at the clock and realized I had spent over an hour straight answering emails and while I was doing that another hour’s worth of new emails came in.
I know, and then I began to count them. It turns out that I get between 300 and 400 emails every day between three email addresses. Some of them I don’t read because I know they are not important – but there are so many of them that they bury the ones that might be important. It’s a treadmill. I feel like Lucille Ball on the assembly line stuffing chocolates into my blouse and apron as fast as I can.
What are you talking about? Who’s “Lucille Ball”?
Never mind, an old reference before your time. Before my time too, actually. Anyway, your Daddy works on an email assembly line, one that runs 24 hours a day and follows me everywhere. It never stops, I get done answering emails at work and on the way home, more are coming in, so I answer those on the train from my phone. Then I get home and eat dinner and answer even more emails. Then I go to sleep worrying about the emails I might have missed or have forgotten to respond to. So I wake up and search for those to be sure I follow up, but while I was sleeping another hundred emails came in.
You sound like you need a vacation, Dad.
Ohmygod! That would be the most stressful thing ever! Can you imagine the amount of emails I’d be returning to?!?
Then what if you just told people not to email you?
You don’t understand, that’s what we have to do in order to get things done and communicate. The alternative is more phone calls, which are the only thing in the world worse than emails.
So maybe you should just stop answering all the emails. Would people be upset?
Maybe. yes. Depends which people. It’s Daddy’s job not to make anyone upset. I think.
Oh. But what if you are the one that’s upset?
Yeah, I guess that’s how it has to be. I don’t know.