Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

04 Aug 2002, 23:19 p.m.

The horrible reply-all "I don't want to be on this…

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2002 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

The horrible reply-all "I don't want to be on this list!" cycle of nondeliberate spam just occurred again, with a UCLink list that got hit by a virus. The usual lifespan of such an event is only a few hours, yet it goes through several phases: the original message, people saying "get me off this list," people telling each other about the viruses, explanations of the problem, people saying "stop sending messages to the whole list," people saying "stop sending messages saying 'stop sending messages to the whole list' to the whole list," and silly nonsense and evangelizing. Quote from a middle phase of this cycle: "I realize I just sunk to the same level by mass emailing, by the way." Quote from the last phase: "i like hamburger."

I've hit a new absent-minded low: losing my keys while sitting inside the car.

Today my interactions with people at work ranged from mildly fulfilling to highly aggravating. I'm better now. The second half of my shift was better, since I got to shelve.

Shelving at its best is a solitary pursuit of order and form. My work, like that of Andy Goldsworthy, is by its nature ephemeral; customers cascade like the tides upon the books and sweep away distinctions. But when I get an hour to sort a shelf, to make it neat and complete, then I can bask in my accomplishment for a little while, before the next high tide.