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Email Left Unread as Reminder to Read It

VANCOUVER — An email containing semi-important instructions regarding a workplace social event has entered its third unread day in the inbox of lab technician Carl Frumber. Frumber, who received the email on Friday, opted to leave it unread to ensure he would not forget about its existence.

“It was a really long week of sampling and I knew that if I read the email right then I might not even remember reading it, let alone what was in it,” said Frumber of the thoughtful RSVP reminder from his coworker Jan who heads up the party planning committee. “I could see by the subject line that it’s about the holiday party which is still weeks away so I have lots of time to open it.”

Jan Harland, the email’s sender spent the weekend compiling and categorizing answers from the other 134 employees of Fraser Labs in order to ensure the annual holiday party is enjoyable for all in attendance.

“Of course the sooner I get answers the better, what with it being a very busy time of year for caterers,” said Harland. “But checking emails is a labor-intensive process. I understand that after deleting the company newsletter and forwarding a question from accounting to your supervisor, not everyone is going to have the energy left to open up a calendar app on the same phone they’re using to read the email and check if they’re free on December 17th.”

Frumber left the email unread in the hopes that the bold font of an unopened subject line would make it stand out to him on subsequent checks, thus jogging his memory. But since Friday he has received several more messages, pushing Harland’s lower down the list to a position which would require scrolling in order for it to be seen. According to Frumber, these were emails he sent to himself containing backup copies of his novel.

“As an entry-level tech, I don’t get a whole lot of emails, so my work account is a great place to back stuff up. I guess this science thing is rubbing off on my artistic side because I feel compelled to keep every version of my novel just in case I ever want to revert my edits. There’s about 20 gigs of psychological thriller stored in there.”

Harland has put her hopes into the follow up text she sent Frumber on Monday morning, for which she has received only a read receipt.