More and more I am realizing that email can be a piss poor form of communication, so much inevitably getting lost in translation as nuance and inflection fall flat when leaping from a smudged monitor. I got an email yesterday morning from a co-worker, and don’t misunderstand, there was no nuance or finesse, just your basic too-obnoxious-to-stomach-audacity from a person who I should be used to having butt in by now.
Is this all too vague, too hard to follow without being given proper context?
I realize that I might be a tad touchy of late, what with the whole misshapen mules and algae blonde bob episode bringing me to my knees and a few other things that out of preposterous vanity I’ve not posted, but I argue that my pregnancy hormones have little to do with this other than encouraging me to hit send on an email I drafted in the spirit of a sitcom zinger. This particular person has been a bit of a stilted jig on my last nerve for several years now, yesterday I sent a response that was the, “Ooo, damn her, I wish I’d thought quick enough to tell her what I really thought.”
It all began with a 3 o’clock email Monday asking me if I could take care of something the next day at 8am, why not? I’m pretty affable that way. Next, could I do a little thingy thing on the blog? Sure, no problem. Fast forward to the next morning, the little 8am thing being far greater than was suggested, thereby illustrating to me that this was along planned thing, something that could have been shared with me with greater lead time, but whatever. I returned home and began working on the task, dring which time I received three emails.
“Where’s the thing from last night? And, x,y,z is no longer true, remove it ASAP!”
2 minutes pass.
“Is it up yet? Remove the other thing ASAP! Thanx!!”
2 more minutes and some deep breathing.
“Hello again. I was just looking at the site. Please remove the thing asap as I said it is no longer valid.”
Furious pecking on keyboard followed by an emphatic, but unexpected, smack of the “Return” key. Seriously, my hands hovered over the button as I reread the three unedited lines. I imagined sending it, relished the idea of following through and ignoring the “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” adage, but i wasn’t going to, no need, right? Like a letter to Santa, write it, read it, burn it. All done. But I hit return.
And it felt really, really good.
Turns out if you write with honesty, crafting a concise and timely message, people pay attention.