Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: Are you too old to be in IT? (Dec. 10)

I am a senior systems analyst who has been unemployed for all of 2002; I am far from being alone. Most of those I know to be in the same boat

as myself are in my age bracket. I am in my 40s. Those of us in our 40s, or worse yet 50s, are apparently considered to be old, out-of-date and over-the-hill. We are no longer employable. Why hire someone with experience when s/he costs more and is not as familiar with the latest technology?

It is the old Catch-22. How can I get experience in the latest technology when no one will hire me without it?

Marnie Shaw

Re: Bell tests WiFi demand with hot spot targets (Dec. 10)

Great to hear about Telus and Bell’s public access WiFi hot spots. I would like to mention that for rural B.C. there is a battle going on to get wireless connectivity through the valleys. In Nelson, B.C. we already have hot spots.

Jay T. Marshall

Re: You haven’t got that much mail! (Dec. 9)

I use multiple sorting systems on my mail server (maildrop software) to put the incoming mail into folders before it even gets to my mail client, and since I use IMAP mail, it doesn’t even download those messages unless I go to those folders. That way, only mail I wasn’t expecting ends up in my inbox at all; customer messages are in “”Clients”” (to be sorted into their appropriate client folders after being read) and so on and so forth.

A second tip is to either use Outlook’s group-by-sender feature (a co-worker does this) or Mozilla’s threading feature to sort discussions together into series of replies (to keep it all together).

I think a much more useful article might be some tips or pointers to tips on how to actually accomplish something like this (to feel more efficient and organized). Most people I train feel overwhelmed because, unlike paper, they have no idea how to organize their e-mail or e-work in general.

P.S.: We all enjoy newsletter at our office.

Michael T. Babcock
FibreSpeed Ltd.

Re: You haven’t got that much mail! (Dec. 9)

The problem I find is that people hide behind e-mail as a way of avoiding having a discussion. They send you a note and then they’ve passed the buck onto you. Well, now the ball’s in your court and I don’t have to do anything until you get around to reading your e-mail. Also, I’ve covered my butt, because there’s an audit trail.

The other problem we have at our company is that people have conversations through e-mail. Sometimes I return from a meeting to find 10 e-mails with the same title and they go back and forth between two people or (God forbid) a whole group of people having a discussion. I’ve been cc’d on all of them. Why don’t they pick up the phone or have a meeting? I still don’t understand it.

It really bothers me when someone sends me an e-mail and I also get a voice message on the same topic. The voice message usually says, “”I’ll follow this up with an e-mail.”” Why are they wasting my time (and theirs) leaving two messages?

Pam Butler
Project Manager, IT Services
Maritime Life

Re: You haven’t got that much mail! (Dec. 9)

Within the global network of my employer, I handle an average of 50 incoming and outgoing e-mails per day. Fortunately our network is reasonably free of spam — only two or three invitations to visit trade shows or various and sundry Web sites per day, and almost none of the porno or “”free money”” spams get through on average.

On my personal e-mail account, it is a different story. I receive approximately 25 to 35 spams per day (and that continues to increase), and a handful of legitimate messages from friends and associates. That means I must carefully pick through and make sure not to delete the good e-mails. I’ve gotten fast at it, but if I am ever away from my personal e-mail account for a few days, the mailbox is stuffed with junk.

I have come to consider it the “”cost of doing business”” for that fantastically useful application called e-mail.

Ingo G. Nessel
Logistics Account Manager
Schenker Stinnes Logistics

Re: You haven’t got that much mail! (Dec. 9)

I think the volume of e-mail you receive is dependent on corporate culture and the industry you play in. Working for a tech-related company, one that actively uses and promotes the use of tech for business efficiency, I get a minimum of 60 e-mails a day. Most are internal — info requests, questions, planning, etc. We work this way more than other companies. My friend who works for RIM, as you can imagine, is on e-mail all day and most of the evening with co-workers. Using their own products is part of their lifestyle. He receives and sends hundreds of short e-mails per day.

Comparatively, my contacts in non-profit, and some in financial services, see far less volume.

Simon Townsend
Manager, Corporate Communications
Softchoice Corp.

Re: Advisory group gives feds recruiting tips (Dec. 9)

I have watched my son spend about a year since graduation with high honours trying to land any government job. My observation is that most of the “”competitions”” aren’t competitions at all.

A department has one or more people in temporary contract positions, and the competition is a process whereby these temporary employees can apply for a full time position and usually get it. The 200 to 300 people who go through the short list process, of written test, interview, more testing, security check, etc., probably have little or no chance of getting in.

So tip number No. 1 would be to terminate these fake competitions, stop wasting so much time and money and just promote the person doing the job to full time employment. Or, if they are not satisfactory, do not renew the contract. But most importantly, stop wasting the time and energy of all those applicants who think they may have a chance.

W. Hugh Chatfield I.S.P.
CyberSpace Industries 2000 Inc.

Re: And a child shall lead them (Dec. 3)

Your article brought up a memory from my past.

My son’s grandfather was telling him how, when he was a boy, there was only radio and they’d all group together to listen. There were no computers, TVs or Nintendo systems, he explained.

“”Wait a minute,”” said my son, if you didn’t have TVs, “”what did you do with your VCRs?””

Ah, kids!

Warren Fee

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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