I always knew that Marketing people were... different. But still...
According to an article in The Wall Street Journal (Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004), Jeremy Burton doesn't like email. Mr. Burton is the V. P. of Marketing at Veritas Software Corp. (a company that makes computer backup software fergoshsakes!) . OK, so it's a bit weird for someone working in the computer industry to dislike email. I personally think he needs to rethink his career path. But that's not the problem.
The problem is that, as a company VP, Mr. Burton is in a position of power the power to force other employees to share his eccentricity. Mr. Burton has declared Fridays in his department (i.e. the entire Marketing department at Veritas) to be "email free". Uh huh. Offenders are charged $1 per message (the penalties go into a fund for charity).
The ban (of course) only applies to email within the Marketing department. Mr. Burton's influence does not extend to other departments at Veritas (thank goodness). And (for similar reasons) the ban does not apply to email between Marketing and other departments. But employees in Marketing can no longer send email to employees in Marketing on Fridays.
Mr. Burton urges his underlings to use the phone, "walk over and chat" or, we must suppose, set up meetings. All of which are, of course, disruptive and interrupting modes of communication. Perhaps Marketing people don't care.
Personally, I hope someone in Marketing stands up for written communication. I hope the President of Veritas suggests to Mr. Burton that he lay off the social experimentation. I also hope this silliness doesn't spread to any other departments within (or beyond) Veritas.
Ironically, the initial announcement of the ban was made in email.
Note: The original title of this post was "Luddites Among Us." After reading Michael Wooller's comments (below), I have changed the title. Although the popular modern meaning of "Luddite" is anti-technology, the original Luddites weren't so much fighting technology (and they had assuredly never heard of email. :). Given that I myself wish the word "hacker" wasn't so often misused, I have a lot of sympathy for Mr. Wooller's position. -- Vicki, Dec 26, 2007.