In the 80ies the phrase “s/he is a 77” was coined. It referred to people leaving you too many useless voice mail messages. Upon hearing the first words of his or her message one would hit the number 7 to delete it, even before listening to it in full.
In the early 2000s the 77 moved on to email. Following you will find a few indicators to spot a 77.
1. Are all email sent “high priority”?
The self-inflated ego of the modern 77 cannot imagine, that his or her message is anything less than of highest priority. Probably they asked some poor IT guy to set “high priority” as their default, when sending an email. The soda machine in the company cafeteria ran out of his/her favorite drink? A high priority needs to be sent.
2. Dozens of recipients?
Not only are all 77 emails of high priority, everybody needs to get one. And the 77 is too ignorant to use cc or bcc. So the To: field usually contains his or her whole address book. Or at least the whole company directory. The toilette paper in one stall is empty? Someone left the water running? His or her favorite parking spot was taken? Yep, everybody needs to learn about it. With high priority.
3. Are all email sent “read receipt requested”?
Sign three of a 77. Since all emails are high priority, and sent to everybody, most people stopped reading them. Except for other 77s. So at one point the 77 insists on getting a read receipt. He or she is too ignorant to know, that if an email isn’t delivered, an error message is sent automatically. The creators of email systems knew what they were doing. But the read receipt gives the 77 a feeling of importance. And it keeps him or her busy. Following up on all the receipts, and calling and leaving a voice mail with those, who did not send a receipt. It also helps playing the blame game. “Well, I informed everybody via email about this. I did not get a read receipt from you. It is not my fault.”
Two other signs someone is on his or her way to become a 77 are html emails instead of txt, along with heavy use of html gimmicks in emails like bold, ALL CAPS, emojs, various colors and font sizes. I suggest they buy a coloring book and stop jamming the net.
Luckily, there is a technical solution to 77s. You can set up a filter and have all incoming emails moved to the trash bin automatically. That is even less work, than pressing 7.