We are in a culture of heavy e-mail (see my posting on nobody calling). I get about 300 e-mails a day. I have several pet-peeves on what I believe to be poor e-mail etiquette. Here are some examples…
- “Please find the attached document” – One of my favorites is when people write this on an e-mail about an attachment. It is like I am being invited to look for hidden treasure. I always want to reply by saying “I found it….now what”
- Thanks - Gratitude is nice but I struggle with how far to take it. A message with nothing more than “thanks” gives me mixed feelings. While one should thank others, it also fills up people’s inbox. Also if I thank someone, do they need to say “you’re welcome?” And then do I have to reply “any time…” How far does it go?
- Reply to All - Ah yes, the classic “reply to all” message. I love these especially when there are large distributions on copy. This is the person asking for a clarification or with a specific request to the sender but then clicks on “reply to all” so everyone on distribution sees it.
- Telling People Not to “Reply To All” – Almost as good as the idiot who did “reply to all” are the dozens of people replying to everyone telling them not to reply to everyone. Doesn’t this make them just as guilty…or more guilty since they did it intentionally. And why, after the first one is sent, do others feel inclined to do it more? And where is the “unsubscribe” link so I can get off of this thread?
- Writing paragraphs – I have absolutely no patience for messages which are several paragraphs deep. A lot of the time I check messages on Blackberry and to scroll through a large message is painful. It is also inefficient as, most times, the key message is buried somewhere within the text. If things need that much explaining, please set up a meeting.
I am sure that there are other examples of poor e-mail etiquette so please reply with them (or ask me to find them, I am getting good at that)….