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WARNING: If you didn’t happen to be sitting at your desk or near your computer at work in the MDCPS at around 12:30 today, this blog post might not be particularly funny or make any sense at all. If you missed out on the greatest act of district email subversion since the blue flu sick out email hit back in April of 2015 (see also https://kafkateach.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/a-week-in-the-life-of-a-public-school-teacher/) and would like a recap of the highlights of the chain email from hell, keep reading.

Tuesday May 2, 2017 started like any other day during Teacher Appreciation Week. A couple of district robo calls in my voicemail expressing their deepest and most heartfelt gratitude for my cheap labor, an email with a video message from the Superintendent stressing the importance of great teachers (of which Miami Dade will never be able to find any again with that ridiculous salary “schedule” they have posted on their website), and a horribly tacky and useless gift. Today I received what may have been the tackiest teacher appreciation gift of all time, a bright red watermelon print tote bag. Everybody loves to give teachers tote bags. I must have amassed at least fifty tote bags by now in my career, each one cheaper and uglier than the next. I can’t even put any books in this watermelon tote bag because it’s made out of that cheap material that Publix uses for its free green reusable grocery bag. As my career has always been filled with synchronistic moments, a student actually gave me a small watermelon today as a teacher appreciation gift. What better thing to put in a watermelon tote bag than an actual watermelon!

After weeks of testing, proctoring tests, missing half of my students due to tests, and being kicked out of my classroom and dumped in the auditorium due to testing, I was ready to sit down and get caught up on my district email during lunch. Little did I know what a Herculean task that would become as the most frantic and epic abuse of the “Reply All” button in MDCPS email history was about to ensue. Earlier in the week, an email from http://teachersmatter.info/ regarding the Grandfathered Inc. lawsuit against MDCPS and UTD for failing to comply with SB736 with the illegal and involuntary removal of veteran teachers from the grandfathered salary schedule managed to sneak by the district email police. Unlike the last “blue flu sickout” email escapade, where all traces of the email were mysteriously erased from our inboxes in a matter of hours, this email lingered for a few days before the first outraged teacher reply all “REMOVE ME FROM YOUR LIST!!!!” email appeared. What would follow in the next 60 minutes of email hell was a blood bath of “DELETE ME!!!” reply all emails interjected with attempts to stop the incessant email dinging with desperate pleas to “STOP. PLEASE STOP!” the madness. As if receiving an unsolicited email in their district inbox was the worst form of psychological torture a teacher could be forced to endure.  You can tell a lot about a teacher by their use of the “Reply All” button. Here is a recap of the highlights of today’s machine gun paced chain email from hell episode categorized by the type of response.

The Generic ALL CAPS quadruple exclamation mark !!!! response (because one exclamation mark just isn’t good enough):

“TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST!!!!

Followed by: “ME TOO!!!”

After the fiftieth “DELETE ME” email appeared, one could tell the emailers level of desperation by the amount of exclamation marks they used. Here is one example:

“PLEASE STOP!!!!!!!!!!” (that’s ten exclamation marks! Count them, 10!!!!!!!!!!)

Some teachers were more courteous and professional in their responses. Maybe this person was from the South.

“Greetings All,

I am getting this email too; how do I unsubscribe or report?” (They are either an English teacher or a robot because they used a semi colon correctly).

There was the master of the obvious email response.

“Please remove me from this email chain. It’s extremely annoying.”

Then there were email hoarder teachers who were obviously having a nervous breakdown as their inbox was already at 184 MB (I fall into that category).

“STOP…. YOUR FLOODING THE SPACE I DON’T HAVE. ” 

That was the polite version. Others had clearly already had their breakdown after the twentieth “DELETE ME!!!” email and committed the ultimate teacher email faux pas by using curse words to get their point across.

“STOP…. YOUR FLOODING THE SPACE I DON’T HAVE.

STOP EMAILING ME !  I HAVE OPTED OUT AND YOU ARE STILL SENDING ME THIS BOGUS BULLSHIT!”

Finally, you have the teacher snitch emailers who immediately take it upon themselves to report any suspicious emails to ITS.

“I have requested you to unsubscribe me and I reported your emails as junk and I can’t get them to stop fulling up my email!!!  I do not have time to delete dozens of junk email!!!   Please take me off this and ALL future lists like it!!! I will drop out of the union if this will you stop sending me this junk???  I will try this approach next if you can’t get it to stop!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!

This person was clearly confused and didn’t understand that the email would not have been sent by UTD as it was about filing a lawsuit against UTD.

There were other versions of the nark emails. One person seemed to be suffering from battered teacher syndrome.

“IF YOU ALL DON’T STOP SENDING THIS STUFF!!!!!! I WILL REPORT YOU TO THE PROPER OFFICIALS!!!

Followed by another email headed: “Abuse Report: It Has not stopped! Please make it Stop.”

At this point all of the teachers involved in this disastrous chain email were all wishing that somehow, someway, somebody would come to our rescue and end this digital dystopian nightmare.

Enter teacher cop hero Reply All email.

“LISTEN UP!!! If everyone wants this email chain to stop, then everyone needs to stop replying with “stop!” (and yes, I know I am replying all now, but that’s because someone needs to END THIS).

MAKE THIS EMAIL THE LAST EMAIL. NO ONE RESPOND. NO ONE SAY ANYTHING!!!! READ THIS, AND DELETE. DON’T REPLY TO ME, DON’T RESPOND AT ALL. JUST PRESS DELETE.”

This teacher either has a great future in law enforcement or hostage taking, I’m not sure which. Either way, the emails seemed to stop after this email was sent.  I guarantee this teacher has no classroom management issues.

To make this all even more amusing, to the point where a had to run out of my room for thirty seconds to regain my composer from laughing so hard, there was a simultaneous thread going on in the “MDCPS Employees You Are Worth More” Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1595027954050806/ (This is a great Facebook group to join for all things happening in the MDCPS. Just be warned that there are downtown types as members of the group who may be monitoring what you say).

Here are some of the highlights from the commenting thread regarding the uncontrollable display of the lack of email etiquette by the MDCPS.

“I’m embarrassed by my profession at this moment . This is going to give me a nervous breakdown. My inbox is already at 180 MB!”

“This is embarrassingly hilarious and sad all at the same time.”

“Yeap and then you wonder why people don’t take us seriously. Exhibit A: reply all….”

“The best one is the last one from the district payroll manager who forwarded it to ITS. It will surely disappear now!”

My personal favorite: “If I was the district, I would just print out a copy of all of these e-mails and tell UTD, “You want us to give 5% raises to these people?”

Followed by: “Or we can get the superintendent on this email list and keep sending “delete me” messages until we get a 5% raise or our steps back.”

“Now someone is threatening to drop UTD if they don’t stop sending these emails! The master plan is working.”

“Seriously, THIS is why we can’t have nice things.”

“This thing is replicating itself faster than the Zika virus. Now I have 8 separate delete me chains. My next blog post title: “Teachers are Morons.” Happy teacher appreciation week!”

OK, so I softened my blog title a bit. In all seriousness, I did get one ALL CAPS response that I found appropriate and it’s the only one we all should have sent, by hitting the reply button to the original sender.

THANK YOU!  
IT IS INCONCEIVABLE TO ME HOW THIS HAS HAPPENED. “

Happy teacher appreciation week MDCPS and for the love of God never hit the “reply all” button again!!!!!!!!!!!!

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