Thursday, February 19, 2009

Proper e-mail etiquette

Dear hypothetical friend or friends,

I love you, but you are driving me crazy. Is it your constant need for attention or your not-very-funny jokes? No. Is it the pet turtle you're always making me babysit? Nope. Is it your bad hygiene? Not at all. My sense of smell isn't all that great anyway; by all means - stink the place up. (Lest you're wondering "is it me about whom she speaks? Do I, indeed, have the bad hygiene?" No. I don't actually have any friends with bad hygiene. Or a pet turtle, while I'm at it.)

No, hypothetical friend. It's your poor e-mail skills. 

Lest you think this will be another grammar rant, let me correct you: it isn't. This is an e-mail etiquette rant. More specifically, this is a rant about the times that a lack of e-mail etiquette that really ticks me off.
  • For goodness sake, check before you forward me crap. There are no HIV-infected needles in theater seats or cell phone numbers being released to telemarketers. Do your homework before you forward.
  • I do not need an e-mail acknowledging that you received the e-mail I just sent you (unless I ask for some kind of confirmation). I know you got the e-mail. If you didn't, it would be sent back to me by the magical bounce-back auto-replier.
  • If you can pop your head into my office or call me to say something insignificant, you probably don't need to e-mail me about it. 
  • Don't forward me something unless you truly think it will interest me. If it has some variation of "if you hate Jesus, you'll delete this message" at the bottom of the e-mail, chances are it will not interest me.
  • If someone that I don't actually interact with will be out of the office that day, don't bother telling me about it. If I e-mail them for something, I will find out that they are out of the office when their Outlook Out of Office Assistant auto-replies and lets me know.
  • If I have to scroll down for ten minutes before reaching any kind of content, you should have edited better. If it really bothers you to remove content from the e-mail, feel free to type "snip" where you've removed content, like my friend Greg does.
  • If it takes more than 5 e-mails to solve an issue, get on the phone or get in person to take care of it. Same goes for text messages, by the way.
  • Don't "reply all" unless you have to. Your response probably wasn't all that clever anyway.
  • I know there's something to be said for formality in an e-mail, but if it's a one sentence e-mail, I don't need a "Dear Mandy" and a "Yours truly, Doofus-pants." Just say it, already.
  • And, I realize you thought this wouldn't be about spelling and grammar, but read over your e-mail before you send it. You look like an idiot when you misspell words and have a spell-checker.
I have enough out of my system now to be finished with my rant, but there are definitely more. In fact, if any of the above were news to you, you really need to read this article about e-mail etiquette. Except you can ignore number 30 because I think it's stupid.

Happy e-mailing, hypothetical friend.


Tiffany said...

Look out! She's on a rampage!

Jacky said...

Totally agree on #30, it is stupid. Especially if you're only emailing to one gender! =)

Amanda said...

Yeah, my mom is one of those who forward those "You're a souless loser pants who works for the devil if you don't forward these emails" emails, and the ones that haven't been checked by snopes. I have not heard the one about the aids chairs in the movie theaters though. That'd be sad if it were true...