Are you guilty of these four email pet peeves?
Obviously, communicating with someone via email is very different than speaking to someone on a phone or meeting with him or her in person.
There are etiquettes we need to follow as communicating in print is a different animal than speaking on the phone or in person.
But, some people ignore these unwritten rules and do what they want anyway because you can go kick rocks because I’m way more important than you.
So, here are four email behaviors that annoy me, but you aren’t reading this part anyway because you just want to skip to the bullet points. Don’t worry; I know how this stuff works.
1. Abbreviating words that don’t need to be abbreviated
This really irritates me. How many times do you get emails where at the end is says, “Thx, John.”
Really? You just didn’t have the time to type out “thanks”? It’s not that I don’t understand what is being communicated. I get it. But, it’s almost like saying, “I’m too busy and important to have the kind of time required in a day to type out the word ‘thanks’.”
There was a particular instance where these abbreviations really irritated me. I don’t remember who the writer was (and I wouldn’t mention it if I did, obviously), but he was at TVGuide.com. He was going to post a story for me (which I was appreciative) and I had asked him to hold it until the following day for whatever reason. I emailed him and asked, “Will you be able to hold onto this until tomorrow?”
His complete and total and full response was “y.”
Now, I’m confused. If I pronounce that letter, it’s “why?” Or, it could also be short for “yes.” Now, I had to email him back to get clarity. Do you want to know why you need to hold it? Or are you saying that “yes” you can comply with my request?
He wrote back, “yes.” But…you couldn’t have just typed that the first time?! Now, we had to send two additional emails, surely taking up more time than the amount of time it would have taken to type “yes” the first time!
“Thx” I can live with. Some of these other abbreviations that just cause confusion aren’t helpful at all. But, I’m glad you had some extra time at the end of the day to do the types of things you like to do in your leisure time!
2. Responding to an email that has three questions and only answering one
This is another email behavior that only slows up the communication process and slows down everyone’s workflow.
Many times, you need to send someone an email to get some answers to some questions. And yes, many times there are – gasp! – multiple questions that need to be answered.
It is beyond frustrating when you send someone a few questions and they respond with an answer to one. Now, I have to send you another email asking you about the other information I requested, that’s sitting right in the first email. More wasted time.
3. Forwarding an email as-is to someone else
Have you ever sent an email to a colleague that was intended for that colleague? Yep, of course! Every day!
Ever have that colleague forward it completely as-is to someone else that you hadn’t intended to read it?
Some people just loooove to forward emails along to avoid having to do any reading, thinking, editing, work. Please pay attention to what you’re doing. Do you really think I wanted an email forwarded directly to Jeff that included sentences like “We have to manage Jeff’s ego because you know he’s very sensitive,” and/or “Yes, we’re getting drinks after work at the usual spot. Don’t tell Jeff.”
Can you see how I might not have wanted that sent directly along to him? Now, that said, there is also another rule that we should all follow about not putting information into emails that we don’t want others to see. Because of these email forwarder people, I’m very careful what I say and try to only send emails that I assume this fool will pass along unedited.
4. A ton of images in signature
I know you know these people. It’s one thing to have a company logo in your email signature; I get that.
But, some people insist on logos of their company, an upcoming trade show they are attending, some image of their top-selling item, etc.
I don’t need seven attachments at the bottom of your email. I see your name and think you included an important file….Every. Single. Time.
There is always the little paper clip next to your name. We don’t need all of that, let’s take stock of our life and clean out our email signatures.
Gah! Your turn to complain! What would you add to this list?
A co-founder of Large Media, Inc., Micah Warren has been a public relations strategist for more than 15 years. A published writer with an incredible track record of media placements, Micah has gotten his clients in USA Today, Fox Business Network, Bloomberg TV, Inc.com, CNBC.com, The Daily Caller, The NY Times, The NY Post, Esquire, Maxim magazine, ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” ESPN.com , Askmen.com, GQ, BBC, Reuters and many other newspapers, television shows, radio networks, websites and trade publications.
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