ONE SIDE EFFECT of ruthless anti-spam measures is the blocking of e-mail intended for day-to-day business. I'm one of several people who push e-mail through a minimum of two scrubbers before it gets to my in-box and that means I am deleting at least 50% of the e-mail destined for my address. Some of my in-box rules cause student mail to land in the gutter because students often don't use subject headings or they FWD mail with attachments. Doing those things vaporises the e-mail before coming down to my in-box. If you're a solicitor, you need to know that your clients might need paper back-ups to ensure their cases get heard. That's a lesson well learned by Simon Kelly of Henry PF Donegan and Son, South Mall, Cork. He sent some correspondence to the Employment Appeals Tribunal for a client but it never arrived in time for consideration at an unfair dismissal hearing.
Kieron Wood reports in The Sunday Business Post that Kelly thought he had filed a claim by e-mail to the Employment Appeals Tribunal three days before its deadline in November 2004. But thr tirbunal did not receive any e-mail. Nor did Kelly keep a printout of the e-mail.
It turns out that two "proof of sending" documents showed that the solicitor had left out the "p" in the word "entemp" and had not used the underscore in the recipient's name.
Kelly, the solicitor, told the tribunal that the underscore in the e-mail address "threw him". The tribunal told Kelly he should have ensured the correct address was used and that he should have sought confirmation of receipt of his application.
Underscores? People have a hard enough time with the spelling of my surname, which helps reduce requests for assistance. It's why I think many State officials maintain Irish spellings of their names--to confuse us non-nationals when we raise claims for assistance. Is the presence of confusing names, uninvited underscores and contorted department abbreviations part of a conspiracy to long-finger those who need government assistance? When thinking about it, those little electronic snags are no worse than voice mail hell.
Kieron Wood -- "E-mail is blamed as EAT refuses to hear dismissal case" in The Sunday Business Post, April 16, 2004.