Consider, if you are very bored, what you would name a reptillian strategy for making subordinates write shorter emails to you. Wait. First imagine you're a "thought leader" in the dungeons of The Management Center. Would you have picked "One-Handed Emails?" Ever in a thousand years of bad ideas? No, I bet you wouldn't have.

I was recently advised at work, to conform my emails to the "one-hand test". It's another scheme that, like everything out of The Center (see: MOCHA), promises a "secret" to maximize everything that ought to be maximized -- yes, passing the buck with new forms of soul-nibbling bureacracy.

You can write your own masturbation joke about the title of this particular gem, but the prescription is emails that can be read and replied to as quickly as possible, preferably with a single digit, thumbs up, or suicide note. If this sounds like a great recipe for success, reply now with the subject line "Y."

These pointed emails are written to please the people who make decisions -- that is, management. They are written by everyone else -- the shlubs. And this betrays the fundamental, hidden conceit of all Management Center bromides: they are not about managers working bettter, they are about getting benighted staff to do more, so that their managers do less; in this case less reading and less thinking -- but more deciding. The excuse is "inbox-overflow" which has taxed poor managers' time-management skills. Inducing their staff to bullet point emails is the only thing that can save them -- at least without devolving any of the authority they've accrued; authority which is, incidentally, exercised and demonstrated chiefly by rendering decisions via email. Nevermind the root problem, we need a new Standard Operating Procedure!

Also nevermind what this scheme means for those writing emails -- vainly attempting to pre-chew the exciting business morsels that managers' greedy cheeks are so stuffed with that there simply isn't room for more. Nevermind them. Instead, consider for at least a tenth of a second the result of such advice in practice. Emails become choose-your-own-adventure for management: buy a potion of Silicon Valley disruption, level up charisma, and hire a few sub-manager vampires -- and keep that other hand busy, too.

For the peasant staff to accomodate this fun diversion and keep their jobs in the process, they must somehow continue to get shit done. As their royal audiences become shorter, they will simply have to beg more of them. Emails will naturally become more and more trivial as the powerless worker scrambles to get the called-for details and sign-offs. In the end, the "leadership team" will receive not fewer emails, but more; and they will have traded smarmy business notes for a hundred gameshow buzzers.

In fact, why not do away with email altogether? Office drones can spend their days setting up Google surveys that are sent to managers over text message, with with large, attention-getting buttons that present options like "Y/N" or "A/B/C/You're Fired." Managers can burn calories at their hip standing desks, gazing at banks of retina displays, deciding, deciding, deciding. Then, we will finally have won, because we will have turned even managing into piece-work. Then labor can outsouce its survey-building to India and take the day off -- without ever deciding a thing.

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