What should you do when stranger sends high priority email?

I asked this question on twitter – here are the best responses:

  • “Hey, thanks for the email; please enjoy this viral cat video.” (Daniel)
  • forward it to someone else (you don’t like), w/ explanation “too important for me to handle, you should really take this” … :-) (Dossy)
  • I’ve got an auto reply for messages sent high pri: “thanks for your high priority message. http://bukk.it/tldr.gif ” (Lincoln)
  • Delete / No Response / Ignore (5 votes)

Have another entertaining suggestion? Leave a comment.

6 Responses to “What should you do when stranger sends high priority email?”

  1. Christopher Dillon

    Hi Scott,

    Last month, I delivered a presentation to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce here in Hong Kong about how to turn a luncheon speech into a promotional video.

    The video (http://youtu.be/ounqPnh7JNQ) and the accompanying handout include a plug for your site, which I found very helpful. I also recommend “Confessions of a Public Speaker” to anyone who asks.

    Kind regards


  2. Mike Nitabach

    Actually, I don’t have anything funny to say, but something practical. I have my e-mail clients set to not display the priority flag, so I never even know if someone sends me a “high priority” e-mail. I don’t really give a fuck whether the sender of an e-mail considers it high priority: I’ll be the judge of whether it is high priority or not.

    1. Scott Berkun

      That’s a good idea – It’s so rare to see a high priority email as a self employed person, I’d never thought to turn it off before.

  3. Drew

    So, this guy keeps badgering [John Wayne’s] secretary and badgering her and she finally interrupts John and said, “So and so from the studio is calling back now every hour and he says it’s urgent.” John Wayne’s answer was, “Well, the next time he calls back ask him who it’s urgent for, him or me.”


    Because it’s someone you don’t know, that seems like a fair question to auto-respond with.

  4. John Foreman

    I used to be a consultant for the gov’t and I’d get a lot of crap marked high priority. Whether it was there of not had no correlation to actual priority.

    What I discovered though was that if you want someone to read your email GUARANTEED (out of confusion), just mark the low priority blue down arrow in outlook. People have no idea what the low priority icon is. They invariably read the email. Suckers.



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