Mimes have a bad rap. Apart from the legendary Marcel Marceau, mimes have largely been relegated to a fraternity of street performers whom most people try to avoid. Sure, there was Mummenschanz back in the ’70’s and Morty the Mime (aka Billy Crystal) from Spinal Tap, but beyond that, people don’t seem to have much use for mimes.
But let me offer a defense of at least one kind of mime — the one that guards our inboxes. To avoid in-boxes being overrun with spam and malware, most firms employ a filter — Mimecast and Postini are two examples — that attempts to sort wheat from chaff. Like all mimes, these filters can be, well, annoying. But it’s better than the alternative. Efficiency experts have for years been warning about the time-suck created by email. One recent survey estimated that 28% of time in an average work week is spent reviewing and responding to email. Indeed, there’s a cottage business in advising busy professionals as to how to lower this percentage. For lawyers, the percentage is surely worse; notwithstanding the repeated examples of cases in which lawyers would have been better served not to write that email in the first place.
These filters do their best, but on occasion, a legitimate email can be caught up in the filter. So do take a moment to review the reports generated by your firm’s filter to ensure there’s no valuable email caught up in the filter. Also, most filters provide individual users with the ability to manage domains as well as individual senders. In other words, you can set your own filter settings to ensure that emails from specific individuals or domains are not inadvertently blocked.
Utilizing Mimecast or another filter frees you up to devote your time to more important matters than reviewing spam. Or, as Morty the Mime admonished a mime subordinate (a young Dana Carvey): “Come on, mime is money!”
*Trivia – What was the one word that mime great Marcel Marceau uttered in film and what was the movie? Click on the attached for the answer.