Every once in a while all of the minor piddling bits of annoyingness swimming around in my brain find themselves bumping around with all of their little annoying friends and screaming for their freedom. You, my dear reader, are the true beneficiary of this spewing. Both of the below items are small chunks of brain matter that have arisen in recent months in the category of emails that I feel are necessary to release to allow a little more room for cranial breathing. Let’s take them one by one and try to ease some of the pressure from that section of my brain.
The Terse Reply
I recently had occasion at work to do some actual work. I know that many of you “in the know” will find this somewhat unbelievable, but it’s true. Because of this new found “work” thing, I went into a local computer system and added a new contract. To do this (because I would NEVER do anything from scratch) I copied a previous entry and then just made the necessary changes. However, despite my incredible grasp of thoroughness and detail, I forgot to change one date. No big deal, just notify me that I made an error and move on. Here’s the email from the “System Nazi” that I received. Note that this is the email in its entirety:
Please don’t enter leads that are incorrect. LTP with an RFP that’s already passed.
Oh! I was honestly not aware that that I was supposed to enter data correctly. My whole work life would have been altered if I knew that fact. Moving forward, I’ll CERTAINLY adhere to that principle. Here are the things that could have made this a better email.
- Throw a stupid ‘Hi’ before my name. That automatically softens the hammer blow of criticism.
- Don’t throw acronyms at me in a two semi-sentence email. Are you that busy that you can’t spell out the words? Why don’t YOU just go LTP your RFP, big guy.
- Sign your stupid name. What are you – the King of England?
What makes this even worse is that my response (of course I had to respond) started with:
“Obviously this was not intentional.”
And ended with
“I’ll certainly be more cognizant of this in the future so that you don’t have to trouble yourself.”
With the sarcasm literally dripping off of each letter of each word. Yet his response?
“No trouble. Thanks for updating.”
Completely non-satisfying. Sarcasm is a work of art and needs to be appreciated. Oh – and I can’t WAIT to add another entry and leave a date incorrect – just to see if his head actually explodes.
The Weird Digital Signature Man
Last week I was exchanging very professional emails with a client. These emails, believe it or not, were almost business-like in quality. I mean, we were talking about real things like contracts, financials, agreements and even a few ‘fiscal year’ and ‘paradigm shift’ comments thrown in for good measure. After the last email, I noticed something strangely disturbing. I’ve seen bad signature lines in emails before, believe me – but this thing was CREEPY. Here, without editing, is this person’s signature line in EVERY EMAIL that they send:
What the heck is that little person? Male? Female? It seems to have exclamation marks for breasts and it is winking at me. Is this person putting some sort of voodoo curse on me with this little beast? Also, I find it odd that ‘they’ would put their ‘nickname’ in ‘quotes’ in the very first line. The fact that this ‘nickname’ is COMPLETELY not related in any way, shape or form to their given name is besides the fact. It’s like me signing a letter as – Timothy ‘Al’ Blahblah. This is why I never call people on the phone – what they heck am I supposed to use as their name? In an email, I can just start it with my traditional “Greetings”. Formal. Distinguished. Elegant.
And I don’t put a creepy little voodoo figure at the end of an email.