1783: Emails

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Hey Rob, sorry it took me a while to get back to you! Sure, I'd love to see WALL-E opening weekend! Are you still doing that, or...?
Title text: Hey Rob, sorry it took me a while to get back to you! Sure, I'd love to see WALL-E opening weekend! Are you still doing that, or...?


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: First draft. Needs more on the explanation.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
Megan and Cueball are walking together. Megan asks if Cueball has any New Year's resolutions. New Year's, to most people, is a time for thinking about the year and coming up with resolutions to improve themselves. Cueball replies that he has one. It's to finish reading and replying to his backed up emails from 2008, as it appears that he does not read his email as quickly as it comes in, and now he has to fix the mess he's made.

A common technique for the productive members of the world is to batch reply to email instead of replying to each one individually as they come. The principle is that setting aside specific times to reply instead of always being "on call" gives the messages the attention they deserve while avoiding the urge to constantly check your email when you should be doing important work. Such a technique could be to check all your emails once a day, or once a week, for instance. Cueball could be making a joke that the time he waits before checking his email goes into the years, showing that he needs to rethink his "approach". Another technique for productive people is not to answer less important e-mails; if a subject really is important, the sender will send a reminder a few days later. (If he does not, the sender can be presumed to have solved the problem himself, saving lots of time on the receiver's side.) Cueball has possibly used this technique, but became remorseful after eight years.

The U.S. Census took eight years in 1880 and was approaching ten, a crisis since the Constitution mandates a census every ten years. The Hollerith Tabulating Machine began reducing the time with the 1890 census. Perhaps Cueball's 8-approaching-10 year delay in email processing harkens to that.

The title text is a reply to an email in which Rob wished to see the movie WALL-E, a film that came out in 2008, with Cueball during its opening weekend. However, the opening weekend is now far in the past, and yet Cueball doesn't realize it and trails off with "are you still doing that, or...?"

A real (and useful) New Year's resolution would involve trying to answer emails in time (instead of spending time on old emails), which would avoid the mess he's currently in.


[Megan and Cueball are walking along.]
Megan: Did you have any New Year's Resolutions?
Cueball: Gonna finally finish dealing with those emails from 2008.
Caption: As my email backlog approaches 10 years, I'm starting to have doubts about my approach.

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Added the starting point of the explanation. Please add onto my work. --JayRulesXKCD what's up? 12:14, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

(BTW, Rob, if the offer's still on the table, I'll go with you to WALL-E if Cueball's not around. 😉 ) --JayRulesXKCD what's up? 12:15, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Dammit, another Time Ghost! 13:41, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Another thing to point out: for a long time (since 276: Fixed Width) there has been a little side debate of "should a single cueball be referred to as Rob?" (and should a single ponytail be referred to as Joanne). The title text of 1783: Emails I think officially confirms that we should not. Yosho27 (talk) 14:00, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

You mean this? That's right, Jacky720 just signed this (talk | contribs) 14:57, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes that discussion is also relevant but the Joanne part must have been discussed elsewhere... Completely agree though that there is no doubt that any generic character does not only go by one name. Only the three with hats are clearly meant to have specific traits. But even White Hat can appear very different from comic to comic. leaving only Black Hat and Beret Guy to (mainly) stay true to their general behavior. Randall uses names when he find that would be most useful in a given comic. Apart from Megan and Rob, he has hardly used any name more than a few times. And in this comic it is clear that Cueball is not Rob. On the other hand there is no reason to believe this Rob is the same as Rob from the early cartons. But still relevant that he used this name again after so long without it being used. --Kynde (talk) 11:12, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

this story is surely related to: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/606:_Cutting_Edge 19:54, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Email bankruptcy

This is related to Email bankruptcy ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_bankruptcy ) --ElfQrin (talk) 07:47, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

I've removed the emphasized "productive people" bit because I find it somewhat insulting. A person doesn't have to set aside special times for reading/replying to emails in order to qualify as a "productive person". A farmer or factory worker "produces" plenty, and for office workers, they can work inefficiently and still get things done. This implication that only well-organized people who manage their time well count as "productive people" (especially with that emphasis-added; without that it would just be a fact: productive people [often] use this technique", not "productive people check their email in batches, unlike non-productive people (cough, cough Jim!)" 06:01, 18 January 2018 (UTC)