Since it's obvious that people who *desperately* need to improve their e-mail etiquette have no intention whatsoever of reading the scores of articles readily available both online and in print regarding the topic, I shall proceed with my vent as follows, with names not included to protect the identity of the perps:
Item 1: Hysterical Use of the Urgent Marker
Have the aliens landed? Am I about to get fired? Will we lose our client if I don't respond to your e-mail *right*damn*now*? Are human lives hanging in the balance? Does this issue matter in the least to anyone in the universe except you? If the answer to these questions is "no", then lay off the exclamation point, for the love of God. Yes, I understand that the problem is important and urgent to you. Please understand that currently, I am dealing with several other important and urgent items, and the fact that you want to share your frustration with your inability to reach another party is NOT URGENT. Look, the longest you've ever had to wait to hear back from me, even if it's "hold the fort, the cavalry is coming" is roughly 15 minutes, and that was when I was eating lunch. Please, calm down. I'm very suggestible and you are making me twitchy.
Item 2: Answering One Part of a Two-Part Question
After I took the time to analyze the situation, determine the proper course of action, and request two stinking details, it would be really super sweet of you to actually read the whole three sentences of my e-mail. You see, I've asked for information and now I have to ask again, and wait for you to respond. This is irritating to me, as I loathe repeating the same task. Repeating the same information is no problem at all, but this is just rude.
Item 3: Total Disregard of Time Zones
Here's a news flash: in the United States ALONE, there are actually four separate time zones! They are divided based on geography, and as such, those who reside in other parts of the United States may be operating on a different time zone. As an interesting compare and contrast, when you send me an URGENT e-mail at 7 a.m. EST, it is 6 a.m. in my world, and 4 a.m. for the person you carbon copied. Here's an idea: pick up that item with buttons on it, push in the numbers of my cell phone, and hold it to your ear. It's called a phone, and back before humans started losing their ability to speak, it was how we communicated actually urgent problems. This skill may come in handy for you, as I don't think there is yet an e-mail address for 911. We can't hear your exclamation point, no matter how loudly you type.
I think that about covers it for this episode - there's a baked potato with my name on it and I'm sure that my fair readers will think I'm simmering with bile. Thank you for allowing me to vent, and please remember that a baked potato for me is ALWAYS worthy of an exclamation point.