What’s In an Inbox?

Once upon a time, in a barren cold land far far away–called Fargo– I was an RA. Also known as remedial parent/adult babysitter/do-gooder. I loved my job. Loved everything about it (almost) and wanted almost all of my residents to be my best friend, and a lot of them were. So, each year we wrote a newsletter article introducing ourselves in the fall. Now, I could have just written a standard “My name is Katie, I like puppies and ice cream blah blah blather.” But I’m not that girl. And I truly believe you learn a WHOLE lot more about a person by what they’re not saying: the friends the keep, the way they act, and the stuff they have. So I used to introduce myself by giving my residents a literary tour of my room and highlight things that I owned that were important or significant and why, letting them get to know me that way. I thought about doing that tonight, but I think it would be cooler on here with photos so I am saving it in my idea box for the next time I have too much creativity but no real structured idea.

Not wanting to abandon the whole idea though, I decided tonight I will give you a select tour of my email inbox. I pretty much live and die by my email– I keep all my most important documents saved there, I use it as my calendar in some ways, I prefer to send work/school communication that way and I even talk to my best friend through email more than any other way even though we only live 25 miles apart, simply because you can send an email at 3am on a Tuesday, but she would skin me if I called “just to, you know, chat” at that time.
Buckle your safety belts, and welcome to @gmail.com:
207 Total Messages
I almost never let it get this full. I love to archive my mail or sort it into the little color coded labels (which I custom made– every single one of them). The fact that my inbox spills on to a third page is indicative of the true fact that when I am stressed the VERY first thing to get dropped is organization. This is a poor coping mechanism, as disorganization is stressful. I am developing a coping mechanism to deal with my failed coping mechanism– it isn’t refined yet, but usually involves chocolate.
7 Unread Messages
I never leave unread messages. Except it made the blog more interesting if I did just for this part. I am going to check them now.
Of the 7 Unread:
  • 2 were NYTimes News Alerts. I want a job where I read the news all day/every day from sources all over the world. I would excel at it.
  • 3 were spam. Deleted.
  • 1 was a Facebook invite for a running event. Save and star.
  • 1 was from DirecTV. It is probably most akin to a very bad dog coming home with it’s tail between its legs. They were naughty, and got FULLY reprimanded tonight.
Highlights from the Other 200 Inbox Cloggers
  • Subject: Happy Hour Tonight! I super loved that the time stamp on this was 9:02am. Because this week, all the SPHers are thinking about drinking as soon as we wake up. On the plus side, we are quickly sliding in to a less stressful zone (we think).
  • Subject: One more thing you could try I asked my professor one very simple, benign question about median splitting when you turn a continuous variable into categorical, and 6 (SIX) emails later, she had given me yet “one more thing” I could try on my dataset that “might be kind of neat.” If I do it, can I have an A? I mean, it’s something you could try and it might be kind of neat.
  • Three new friend requests on Facebook! I am cyber-popular. And not sure how I should feel about it.
  • Two returned, graded papers. Sometimes I call these day-brighteners. Sometimes I feel like they are some higher power, channeled through red ink (yes, I have a professor who does in-text comments in red type), telling me to join the circus. And I think, too late, whatever-higher-power-you-subscribe-to, I already JOINED the circus. I am that stinkin’ elephant balanced on the little box holding a bouncy ball in my tail, working for peanuts. Luckily, this week my returned assignments were day-brighteners. They were much needed and appreciated.
  • Newspaper articles I sent myself to streamline reading. I think I need to learn about Google Reader, and what it can do for me, because I email myself stuff to read all the time, and it is kind of sad to see 6 messages in a row that list the sender as “me.”
  • 4 password requests. This one cracks me up because I should just use one password, but its hard to do. Some have to be 6 characters with 1 capital and 1 number. Some must have a special character (you know, they kind you swear with: @%I*#), some can have NO special characters. No spaces. No numbers. Cannot use the answer to your security question in your password. Cannot have repeating characters. Cannot be in foreign language. Must be reference to early childhood. Must be written in Webdings. Must reference at least one Prince song. Cannot be be written in “Elmer Fudd.” Entering password is not an appropriate password. So you see, I struggle to remember my passwords, and writing them down is sort of not the point of something only you can know, so I always have to click that [Forgot your Password?] button at secure websites. So embarrassing.
Okay loves, it’s tomorrow now. Today is already yesterday and tomorrow is today so I have to get some sleep so when I get up tomorrow I can go to work today.
I apologize that this was random and disjointed. I am also feeling that way. I also had 6 cups of coffee today.
I also apologize that entries are a bit biting, sarcastic, and defeatist. Of course, I know you guys know this is a phase, it is me coping with stress, and I am sort of at a point where little things that shouldn’t bug me do. Stress makes me appreciate and seek to maintain status quo. I promise to return to the more positive self that I actually am (not that this isn’t me). In the meantime, thanks for putting up with my “grad school is hard” pity party. I don’t mean to take it out on you. Thanks, friends.

One thought on “What’s In an Inbox?”

  1. LOVE IT! Google Reader Rocks…also Google Docs is a great place to keep a running list of all good things to read/look at. You and your inbox are very similar to mine! Guess great RA minds think alike. Best of luck with grad school!

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