I get a message from federal@lists.university.edu, informing me of some change in the university regulations on reporting federal lobbying activity. Clearly not relevant to me, but equally clearly a generic message from the university administration to faculty and staff, though it did take to the end of the first paragraph to mention this is a university memo to employees.

Then I get a message on the listserv from a university staff member who received the message, saying “please confirm this is a legitimate address before I submit it as spam.” Admittedly, it’s not clear that this is a reply to the earlier message—different subject line, no quoted text.

At present I’m up to FIFTEEN messages from people confirming their addresses are legitimate, plus one message demanding to be removed from “your BC (blind copy) address” and one message saying “why am I getting these?” After seventeen messages, someone finally wrote “This is a LISTSERV! Everyone stop sending messages!” Four more messages, then two more attempts to explain what a listserv is.

There has been peace since the third explanation of a listserv.

Then the list-owner sent an apology—however, not an apology that explained what a listserv was, or why any of us were on this particular listserv, or anything to clarify the obvious confusion. And then resent the original email on lobbying regulations, wholly unchanged.

This is well beyond the usual “unsubscribe me from this list” mess. Doomed, I say. Doomed.

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