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Email Delays (Yahoogroups et al.)

If you are a member of a Yahoogroup, you are probably aware of the incredible delays that can happen between the time the email was sent and the time it was received. We are all so spoiled and anything less than instantaneously is almost unacceptable. With Yahoogroups, it sometimes is really bad. I have seen messages delayed for hours, even days and sometimes you see answers to questions that have been long answered sufficiently. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people who are just slow and late and like to reply to messages just to say something and basically repeating what has already been said.

But delays are not just happening with Yahoogroups, regular emails can also be delayed but in all honesty, it rarely happens. If you are curious and like to see if someone’s redundant reply was just sloppy or if there was a real email delay, you can check up on that.

In Outlook, this is pretty easy. Generally, the column that most people associate with the time of the email is called “Received”. This column shows date and time when you received the email. This information is nice and good, but wouldn’t it be nice to know when the email has actually been SENT? No problem!

Rightclick any of the column heads (for example said “Received” column) and select “Field Chooser” (DE: Feldauswahl, FR: Sélecteur de champs, ES: Selector de campos). A little list pops up, scroll down to S and drag and drop the item “Sent” onto the column heads. In Outlook 2007, two little arrows indicate the insert position - I usually position it next to the Received column.

Now, I am sure you can extract that information from the email header, but there you have to deal with all the different time zones and convert from UTC to GMT or whatever else your email passed through.

Unfortunately, I cannot find a similar function in Thunderbird, which I use at home. I am not sure why because I believe this information is really valuable - but maybe I am just a snoop! So, the next time your client tells you he/she sent the file a long time ago, and it arrives in your inbox a minute later, you know if it is true or not.