I made a total pig’s ear of this job last autumn, I’d underestimated how much cross-referencing I’d have to do. I got it all done in the end, but it was something of a nightmare to sort out. So this time, I’ve spent the last hour getting prepared for all the information I’m going to get back – if all goes well, this will be four different items from each of 25 people, plus one or two each from another dozen. Some of the information has to be entered in more than place, and I’ll also receive 25 cheques to record and keep carefully to give to the treasurer. And I know that the forms they send back will just be filled in, resaved and returned so won’t have a specific society heading. I didn’t twig this back in the autumn and found myself with a lot of documents, all labelled the same. A few people didn’t send theirs back at all until I’d reminded them several times.
That was most of the problem, actually. I’ve deliberately sent out the request for information a fortnight later than last time to bring it all into a more reasonable period of time. In the autumn, I merrily filed everything until I wanted to correlate it all, then couldn’t find everything because I’d received it so long ago and dozens of emails in the meantime – this was in a folder, not the inbox, where I’d had hundreds. And some sent everything back in a single mailing and others in four.
I know that a lot of people, in the course of their work, receive hundreds of emails a day. How do they cope? I find it quite daunting enough dealing with fifty or so.