Tag Archives: email

A Day in the Life…..

A Day in the Life…..

An employee sends an email to her boss requesting to leave early for the day to get a flawed lens replaced in her new glasses. After 30 minutes the boss has yet to respond and it is now only 45 minutes from the time requested to leave. So the employee sends an Instant message to the boss because she is sure that the boss’s attention will be grabbed and she will get a quick response to her simple, practically trivial, question. No response.

Thinking the boss maybe out of her office, she asks another employee if she has seen the boss. The other employee answers, “yes, she’s there, so she definitely saw your IM.” A wave of dread crashes over the employee. “What problem is she going to find with such a simple question? Or at least she could let me know if she is busy…”

After 10 minutes of wondering, the boss finally messages back… “Can you come in here so we can discuss it?”

Head down, the employee walks into the boss’s office. The boss is sitting there with a fake botox smile, points to the employee’s glasses and says suspiciously, “so, are those the glasses you’ve got there?”

The employee quizzically responds, “yes.”

“You don’t have another pair?” asks the boss, who, unlike usual, hasn’t removed her reading glasses.

“No,” says the confused employee as the boss squints over her own ornate, out-of-style glasses as if trying to see a problem with the employee’s glasses. The employee thinks to herself, “Why would it matter if I have another pair? No matter what, I’d still have to get the lens replaced in this pair before the place closes.”

“Well don’t you think you should call the optometrist first and let them know you are coming?” asks the boss.

“That’s the whole reason I need to go, they called and told me the lens was ready, so I need to get there before they close so they have time to fit it properly,” answered the employee politely.

“Oh, so you have called them,” says the big-eyed boss, now looking through her reading glasses. “I was going to say it would be much more productive if they know you’re coming, so it’s no problem, you can go.”

The employee, confused, heads back to her desk…. “Did she really call me in there to tell me how productive it would be for me to call the optometrist first?”

Bipolar Behavior

Bipolar Behavior

The most annoying aspect of an over expression of annoyance or anger is the transition by way of guilt . How one passes from positive to negative emotions I think plays an important part in their behavior towards other people. If I were to get into a positive mood by relaxing, reading, playing golf, etc. and completely moving into a positive mood unrelated to the negative state of mind then the forthcoming actions, when presented with that negative situation, is different than if I convinced myself that I have gone too far and used that realization to further “make up” for my previous over expression of emotion. Thus being able to be overly nice later is not honest because it would not have happened had I not been in a bad mood yesterday. Some people just need to be bitches in order to get to that super nice state of mind they probably wish they could always be in.

In reality, it is best to simply own your bad mood, possibly admit to those who took the brunt of it that you were wrong to get that heated or at least, completely address it to yourself so you can better understand yourself. Then, and this is key, return to homeostasis! Don’t go on a super overly nice spree because it is way, way obvious that your doing it because of yesterday’s behavior and just don’t want to address it by admitting you read way too far into the email for some stupid, emotionally reactive ego protecting reason. Beyond that, you’ll burn yourself out because most probably the people you are now trying really hard to be overly nice to, probably don’t deserve THAT much niceness. Knowing this, you will eventually get bitter and play the game called “Look at how nice I’ve been to you” and end up getting really, really pissed off at nothing once the wick of your Nice candle gets blow out by some common minor annoyance, which, had you been maintaining homeostasis, would have hardly been noticeable.

Miscommunication

Miscommunication

I wrote the below email titled “[insert work document here] – who is reviewing?” to the other members of my department this morning:

“Good Morning!

I’ve almost finished my review of [insert work document here]. Let me know whom I should give it to when I am finished.

Thanks!”

I instantly got a “reply to all” message from one of the managers saying that she doesn’t know who is going to review it but she will hold on to it in the meantime and also since I am almost done with it she has something else I can do.

My boss called me into the office a few minutes later (with some smoke coming out of her ears) to remind me that when I need more work to do, email only her first! She knows what is top priority. (She had told me to do this same thing last week, so she was annoyed because she had to do it again).

I explained that the email was in no way written to imply that I needed more work… my evidence is that fact that I had more work to do. I told her the tasks that were next on my list and even showed her where I was going to pick up again on a previous task I had to put on hold and that I wrote that email asking who I should pass my last project to. so simple and not worth the interrogation.

Once I finished explaining this to her, I politely asked if there was anything else she needed from me and she said “You’re going to make sure you ask me before you send an email like that the next time, aren’t you?”

With an extreme expression of confusion on my face I replied, “Emails…asking….who is…..reviewing certain documents when I am finished? Okay, no problem.”

She said, “No! emails requesting more work!”

I responded, “I didn’t write an email requesting more work, but I will ask you before I do next time. [Insert manager’s name] is busy and must have been hoping I might have time to help her out. If you open the email you can see I clearly wrote that I needed to know who to give the project to when I was finished, that’s all.”

She cut me off without rereading the email with a smart-ass, “I read the email, and you IMPLIED that you needed more work to do.”

Instead of starting all over again, I went into a explanation of how “I’m having a hard time because I am being as direct as possible when I communicate but I am constantly having to clarify that the words on the computer screen do not have other meanings. It is a simple miscommunication and I’m sorry if it was taken that way.”

Saying I was “almost finished” could also mean that I didn’t want someone to think I could hand it to them right away because I wasn’t done yet… or I want them to take note of how long it took me to do it…or anything…. but in reality, I just wanted to know who to give it to when I was done with it.

I feel like the Gods have cursed me to have the ability to say things clearly but few are able to believe that that is all I mean to say.

Or the boss is cursed to continuously think people are saying more than they really are.

Ultimately, before putting on their critic’s hat, it is the reader’s responsibility to make sure he or she understands the writer in order to avoid loosing what little lint of my respect happen to stick to their clothes as they passed by on their way to the kitchen.