Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Email Theater of the Absurd

I have a team in India that reports to me. Since they are twelve and a half hours ahead of me here in San Jose, email is of primary importance for communicating with them. However, when we were acquired we were moved to a new corporate email server. Since that time messages from my team in India have been getting caught in our spam filter.

The spam filter deserves a mention. By default it sends an email to you every time it flags an incoming message as spam. How this is better than no spam filter escapes me. You can set it to notify you less frequently, either once a day or once a week. I changed my settings to once a day.

Still, notification isn't my problem. Email from my team being flagged as spam is the problem, and it happens to about 75% of the messages they send to me.

So I sent am email to IT Help with my issue. A day later I received the notification that a ticket had been opened with a tracking number and an email from an IT staffer asking for the email addresses of the people who have been intercepted. I sent my response with the addresses right away. Some hours later I received a notification that the incident with my tracking number had changed status. I checked the incident on the internal IT web site and it was marked as "resolved" with the resolution listed as "transferred to the email admin."

Resolved means "somebody else's problem" in this context.

The next day I got a new notification that another ticket had been opened, presumably by the email admin.

The day after that I got an email from the email admin. He wanted to know the details of how these messages from the addresses I provided ended up in my spam manager account. No, really, that is what he asked.

Sarcastic replies bubble up in me like water from an artesian well, revolving around key points like, "don't you run the email server and the spam manager?" and "shouldn't you be telling me that?"

It seems that internal email, such as from the addresses I provided, do not go through the spam manager so we have a big "does not compute" issue going on here.

Anyway, I know enough about Outlook to grab the full email header information. I sent that along as part of my reply. I will see what happens.

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