In the same way the inbox screens for SPAM, I’d love it if it screened for personality, too. For those savvy enough, there are ways to control e-mails coming in and marking those that you will give attention to first. But in the work-life environment, there are those who do not think before they click send, and all kinds of etiquette is flouted because they want to take a dump in your inbox. One reason that the inbox has become integral to office work life is that it is essentially a “to do” list that updates itself. However, sometimes items that seem to splat onto the list from a great height are just a bit too full of themselves, or they’re competing just a bit too hard to get noticed. Highlighting, underlining, bolding, italicizing, marking as urgent, creatively using the subject line; all ways not just to capture your attention, but to usurp it, to drain it, to take you out to dinner and stick you with the check. But, I digress. These e-mail “personality types” need to meet some resistance, and allow us to take back control of our inbox and force others to think about what they’re sending before they click ‘send’. Having personality filters could help us For example, I wish my work inbox came with a pedantic filter. Anytime that one particular e-mail comes in, not just giving you work to do, but also asking you to do a whole bunch of mundane and unadulterated pap – something that they could have done in the time it took them to commit this offense. A monkey flinging it’s own shit on the walls has more integrity than these bottom feeders. This pedantic e-mail would get caught in the net, and thrown back with an automated response: “Your e-mail has been considered too pedantic to merit reception. It is a drain on efficiency and the focus required for more critical matters. Please consult with your nearest available counselor to discuss a new direction in life.” Hopefully, this would encourage these neurotic careerists to think for more than a few seconds about what they’re asking you to do. Other filters could be emails that read as a “dear diary” entry, where you have to decipher what the hell they want from you. And another could be the “warning signs” email that has used all kinds of *-izing* to steal your attention in an otherwise dense piece of word salad. Without these filters, I fear I’m destined to train myself out of reading emails completely, and the world will never change. I dream of a day where my inbox is a pleasant place to hangout again.