The Lost Art of Sending Email

It’s Friday and it’s been awhile since I did a rant (so much for my Friday posts idea).

<rant>

You know email isn’t some new, hot as of  the moment way of communicating. It’s been around since the 70’s. Or if you are Wikipedia, the 60’s. However, it didn’t really catch on with the general public until much later. But still we aren’t talking about something that was created just yesterday. You sure wouldn’t know it by the email I have to deal with.

I review the bounced-back emails every day (we send predue, overdue, hold and cancellation notices via email). Every so often I get a cute little message that wasn’t meant for me or anyone else at the library. “Did you return these? Meet you tonight for dinner. Give me a call.” Ah yes, you hit reply didn’t you instead of forward?! Usually I just chuckle and think if only that customer knew who might show up for their dinner date 😉

However, the other day I got something a bit worse than a dinner invite. I had sent an email to a colleague requesting that a fee be waived in lieu of work I had done for an organization with a note explaining that I was on a committee reviewing a product and had missed the first demo which was again being demoed.  Not a major request but not a minor one either.  My philosophy is – if you don’t ask you won’t know and the worse they can say is no.  Or so I thought.  Another colleague must have been sent the email by the first colleague because I got a response but not what I had expected.  I was basically accused of being a  freeloader. I responded to her (while copying the first colleague) to explain that I wasn’t freeloading and to forget my request.

I imagined a horrified look on this person’s face the next morning when they read their email but from the response I got I’m not sure that happened.  They did apologize but ended it with saying they thought they were replying to the first colleague.  Oh, so it’s okay to call me names behind my back but not to my face?!!

How on earth do you think you replied?  If you click on reply it automatically puts in the name of the person who sent it to you.  I didn’t send it to this person so nice try, I’m not buying it.   Come on, email isn’t rocket science.

*sigh*  Why can’t people learn the basics of reply, reply all (that’s a WHOLE other rant), forward (friends don’t let friends forward), etc.

Here endeth the rant </rant>

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