Email hell.

Published .

For a reason I will explain below, I decided to count how many institutional email addresses I have. The answer? I have a whopping ten email addresses, as a result of the administrative mille-feuille that is French academia. Here are the domains of my email addresses (but not the addresses in full, for spam-related reasons):

  1. for the Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu. I have actually two of them, one formatted as first-name.surname@domain and one formatted as login@domain.
  2. for the Mathematics department of the former Université Paris Diderot (Paris 7), now the Mathematics department of the Université de Paris. I also have two of them (full name & login).
  3. for the former Université Paris Diderot.
  4. for the new Université de Paris.
  5. for Sorbonne Université. I have one because my research unit, the IMJ-PRG, is a joint venture between Université de Paris, Sorbonne Université, and the CNRS.
  6. for the former Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC, Paris 6), now part of Sorbonne Université.
  7. for the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS).
  8. for the Institut national des sciences mathématiques et interactions (Insmi), a division of the CNRS.

Why did I count my email addresses? It is clearly unreasonable to check ten different mailboxes every day. Up until recently, I managed to set everything up so that all these addresses redirected to one single mailbox. But last month, the CNRS decided to forbid email redirections, for “security reasons.” So now, I have an email address which is disconnected from the others.

Fortunately, I have never given that email address to anyone, so I do not receive much mail on it. But some of the staff just use the CNRS’s webmail, type my name, and just send their email to the first email that pops up from the directory… Which happens to be the one. As you can imagine, this is… frustrating.