I notice from the blinking icon on the top left hand side of my mobile that the message box is full. If I don’t have a system to deal with books and papers and mail at home or office, for my computer, USB drive, email folder, mobile, digital camera, etc., the situation is much worse. The mobile always contains the maximum number of messages that it can possibly store, and if any one tries to send me a message I have to perforce delete another one. The digital camera has been filled with photos and sort of left to die an untimely death underneath a pile of credit card bills. When I fill up a hard-drive I usually switch to another computer, and try to motivate the minions that I pass on old comp to by telling them it’s a real good one with lots of RAM so if they clean it up a little it will purr like a kitten and solve complicated equations automatically, while they sleep.
Likewise with the three pen drives I have owned in so many years. One brave individual finally did the unthinkable and re-formatted my most recent pen drive. I was just on my way to the store to buy a new one, because the old one was sort of bursting at the seams with loads of unrelated and mostly incomprehensible files, and three laptops (two windows; one linux) had sulked at it. So the clever chap downloaded the junk into a folder on my computer, labeled it ‘Pen Drive Stuff’ and proceeded to nuke everything. It was really liberating, sort of like giving birth.
When the folk at the office increased email box capacity to 1000 MB, I breathed a sigh of relief; I had had enough of carefully looking through junk and deleting, archiving, transferring to other locations and folders, and all that stuff, everyday. But, now, six months out, I am kicking myself because I have more than 2000 messages in the main Inbox, more than 700 of them are unread, I have at least 200 messages in the Trash (easy to get rid of this, one short ‘Purge’ I do this every few days), sundry archives, folders whose names don’t ring a bell, in short, about 500 MB of complete and utter crap. I don’t dare get rid of the entire thing of course, because of the off chance that there is something useful in there. Now I hear the faint voice of one of my colleagues cribbing that I never read his emails. I mean, come on! I have not deleted his emails now, have I? Its just that I am much more entertained reading emails such as the Lord Balaji Chain Letter (forward it to five friends in the next five minutes and earn a confirmed, AC sleeper class ticket to either heaven or the US of A, depending on your personal preference); the one from Ahmed Fasaani regarding the imminent transfer of a trillion USD into my account, as assistance to the Saudi Royal Familys deposed uncle-in-law; offers for Viagra and Cialis; PhD and MBA degrees for a whopping $2000 a pop; raves and rants about the red-tape at work-place by disgruntled, but permanent, employees; and, for some reason, emails from a certain ‘Bob’ who seems to know me real well, starts with ‘GREETINGS!!’ and gives me tips on thawing turkeys and so on. I am ruthless with these, meaning, I read them carefully and gingerly transfer them into my Trash folder. But this exercise leaves me with little time to read the emails that I don’t immediately click on, the official calls for meetings and such like, which have to be read and acted upon. Thankfully now people sort of know better and the phone rings a lot with people asking me to schedule this and that meeting into my calendar, and then this is followed up by regular updates and reminders by various folks posted in the corridors for this purpose.
Since I am not alone in this digital world to be faced with the ‘email problem’; and, in my defense, I at least have folders set up in there, not to mention a special SPAM filter and a tool by which emails from various people are highlighted in various colours – gray for my husband; red for myself (no no, its not what you think, these are reminders about things that I normally forget, attached files that I want to access from the net while traveling, such like); yellow for my father-in-law; and so on, I am confident that someone somewhere has a system that does not involve the words ‘Nuking’ or ‘Replication’; require a reliable, high-speed network; or calling my mom.