Monday, May 13, 2019

Poetry at Work, Chapter 18: The Poetry of Electronic Work

Think back 25 years (if you’re old enough). It sounds almost quaint today, but email was just beginning to come into its own. At the company where I was working, with more than 40,000 people, some 5,000 had been brought into the email system. Eventually, all would be, but 5,000 was enough to give us critical mass for a new communications venture – an email newsletter for employees. 

To show how new this was, only one other company in the United States had an employee email newsletter. I hoped we would be the second.

I had meetings with the people in charge of the email system – not only were there various departments, there was also an email council overseeing email operations. My proposal was a text-only newsletter to be sent to the 5,000 people on email.

The response was something akin to asking people to sit in a room full of rats infected with bubonic plague. I didn’t know what I was asking. There were too many hardware platforms. I didn’t understand the technical aspects of the work. The system could crash. The company was too diverse for people to care about what was happening in other divisions. To be fair, these objections came not only from IT people but also from my own communications colleagues.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Literary Life.

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