“No Exit” by Sartre: a modern reboot

Premise: instead of being trapped in a room with Inès and Estelle, Joseph is trapped on an email chain with hundreds of people where Inès and Estelle, in particular, keep replying-all.

Plot: A large group, including our pro(?)tagonists, Joseph, Estelle, and Inès, receive an email as part of an email list they are on due to their employment at a giant multinational corporation. Estelle replies-all to the email to ask to be removed from the email list. Inès then replies-all and asks for the same thing. A bunch of people start replying-all to chime in, “+1” and “me too!”

Estelle replies-all to ask people to please stop replying all. Joseph replies solely to Estelle to point out that in doing so, she is perpetuating the problem she herself caused. In an attempt to win over Estelle, Inès also replies-all to also tell people to stop replying all. Instead, Inès’s reply-all irritates Estelle because she did exactly what Estelle had just asked people not to do. Estelle decides Inès is a bitch and writes to Joseph to tell him so. She then attempts to prove to him how smart she is by replying-all to Inès’s emails to tell Inès that in replying all, Inès was perpetuating the problem, but Estelle fails to see that she herself is doing the exact same thing — which Joseph had already pointed out. Joseph is disgusted by this, and he writes to Inès to complain. Inès, feeling snubbed and petty, replies-all solely to point out that Estelle had also replied-all.

Joseph doesn’t ever reply-all himself, but he is unable to remove himself from the email chain, despite the Valet, whose uncle is the head of IT, writing to him directly several times with instructions on how to do so.

Seminal quote: “So this is hell. I’d never have believed it. I thought hell would be something like being crammed into an un-air-conditioned BART car during a Monday morning commute and then finding out there’s a delay due to police activity at Embarcadero. Or trying to get onto the 5 on Olympic Boulevard in LA at 4pm on a Friday. Or being forced to fly cross-country on American Air, in January, with a layover at O’Hare. But now I see that’s bullshit. Hell is … hell is people who reply all to email chains to tell people to stop replying-all to email chains!”