corporate pet peeves : email

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Similar to my scheduling pet-peeves, these email offenses are cringeworthy and annoying. If you ever work in a corporate environment, please read and consider whether or not you subscribe to these behaviors.

1. “Confirming receipt” — Why do we need to confirm receipt? Either you provide an answer or an update. Not sure why writing “confirm receipt” is necessary.

2. Not answering all the questions asked — and only answering the first or last question or some of the questions, making me follow-up to say, “thanks but you forgot my other questions” in a much passive-aggressive way. 

3. Not replying all — not sure why this isn’t the default email setting in 2018.

4. Not replying at all — why do I have to send numerous “just checking in” and “bumps” to get you to do your job.

5. Not using the right email — for instance, emailing a Chris instead of Tom, when you are sending an email to Tom.

There is no real explanation other than negligence and/or stupidity, but surprisingly, it still happens. When I receive an email that’s wrongly sent to me, I wonder — should be a good Samaritan and reply back to the person saying “hey you got the wrong person?” Or should I just let that person figure it out on their own?

My reasoning is that if you are stupid enough to send it to the wrong person in the first place, then you are are probably too dense to realize it. My rule of thumb is to reply back to the careless emailer and let him/her know that you forgot the basic rule of email, but in a nicer way.

6. When someone starts a new thread every time they send you a note, instead of replying back to the thread originally started with all relevant discussions and/or parties involved. Why is this even a thing?

7. When someone sends a note without proper context, such as which project they are referring to, and why this is important, and when they need something by. Again, basic rules of communication.

8. When the email is super unclear and you have to put on your Sherlock hat and piece together the mystery. This is downright annoying and a waste of time, so I simply write back “can you please clarify xyz?”

It’s also aggravating if the action item or what the sender wants from you is unclear, which often happens with senior leadership. It’s as if they regressed and forgot all basic rules of email, and think that we can read minds.

9. When you receive an email that reads like a third grader stole your email account and decided to bless us all with horrible grammar and semantics. Please capitalize as needed and use professional sentences and refrain from colloquial words and phrases as “LOL” or “LMK” as much as possible, unless you have an internal casual, non work related thread that you are participating in.

End rant. Surprised that I only listed nine offenses. Sadly, they are more common than you anticipated.

What are your pet peeves when it comes to corporate emails?


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