Emojis in work emails don't make you look dumb, doing these 7 things do

The other day I was riding the elevator, watching that Captivate board because my cell service craps out inside enclosed spaces like elevators and it was the only way to avoid any interaction with everyone else for those long 60 seconds it takes to get to the fifty something floor I work on.

I cannot find the source because I don't know how to link back to elevators, but every six months or so, some guru writes a thing about proper email communication.  Yes it's okay to use the smiley face.  No it's not.  Whoops, now it's okay again.  Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

some of these might be a little too informal when asking for time off

Some of these might be a little too informal when asking for time off

Here are some things that really make you look like an idiot and make your coworkers hate you.  Note: there are caveats and exceptions to many of these.

Requesting info previously provided within the same email thread

Nothing says lazy reader than someone not scrolling down to see if the information was already provided.  Obviously if the thread has gone one for weeks, you don't want to re-read a Lord of the Rings length email just to learn the name of the 6th wraith.  But if you cannot scroll down a few paragraphs to see the relevant information, you really need to get into a different line of work.  You are taking up value dollars from the meager 3% merit increases allocated for the group.

Receive email with multiple questions, only address one

This is really the worst, especially if your job is to answer these questions and you know you are just going to get asked in the next round.  You're either doing it on purpose or you really aren't paying attention to life.

(When to) Drop people from email thread

Reply or Reply to All is more art than science.  That said, the number of times this gets messed up is insane.

Don't list to me

Copy boss on trivia email

The boss needs to be informed of high level occurrences and the view from 30,000 ft.  She really doesn't want to read a 20 volley thread about how you decided that Appleby's is better than Olive Garden for Justin's going away lunch.  Everyone hates Justin anyway.

Forwarding an email without any additional contextual text

We really cannot read your mind.  Also even if we kinda know where you might be going with the screenshot or the forward, it really won't kill you to include two sentences to clarify what you expect us to do with this information.

Mix up thread or bring up something unrelated to thread and subject line

It's hard enough finding information buried in the inbox when someone does use an appropriate description Subject Line.  But when the Subject line is New Hire and you use it to talk about who's doing what on Project X, it is annoying.  The lone exception is when you are need to relay some info stat from your phone and you honestly don't have the time to create a new email.

What is the status of ticket 7932139450304943023?

This is a  Corporate America Felony that your Pointy Hair Boss is likely to commit.  He's usually looking at something, perhaps an SLA report and has the info in front of him but is too lazy to cut and paste so you have a frame of reference.


What Common Email Sins do you encounter and how do you deal with them? Tell me about it here in the comments, then swing by my Facebook page and LIKE it! You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures. Don't worry, your FB feed won't get overwhelmed.

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