Or, as I like to refer to this topic, how to be as NICE or as ANAL in the briefest way possible.
How you you greet your friends or colleagues in an email? Is it Hi or Good Morning? Or now that we all text, it more like:
How RU? IM ROTFL LMAO.
(PS. Many years ago I thought I would have to get advice from the Navajo Code Breakers to figure all this stuff out).
Meg has a credo, and that is choose your opening lines in business correspondence wisely. Meg’s greetings are good morning or afternoon, followed by her request. She learned a long time ago that even the simple appearance of being nice can go a long way, and she never launched into a request without some sort of social grace framing it.
Meg never knew what to think about the boss that opened every memo with:
Like are you a robot or something? What the hell is that? And then the request was something crazy like do an entire estimate on a project in less than an hour. On Christmas Eve. I think that actually happened the day I was leaving that job, which explains it all.
If Meg had something difficult to discuss, many times, she would just pop into the person’s office and give it the personal touch. Or email the person saying:
“Hi, can we get together later this afternoon to go over a few things?”
It’s a nice, non-defensive way to open up a dialog and get things off on the right foot.
And how to get on the wrong foot? Anyone ever get a note that said this?
So Meg’s boss left this note on an empty pendaflex, which formerly had a file in it. The empty folder was sitting in a locked cabinet amongst 600 + other employee personnel files. You see, Meg’s offense was that she had LEFT that empty folder in the file drawer after she pulled the confidential folder and sent it off to the person’s new department.
Meg’s job required her to cover 600 people in 22 buildings, making time for people on second and third shifts, using translators for those employees that did no speak English, and even using sign language interpreters! She also had to cover phones for three other people, and blah blah, blah. But this woman considered it a major offense that an empty pendaflex was left behind in a file cabinet.
Since then, Meg has learned to phrase “see me” is used because it’s more about the person having their own hangups and issues. The last time someone emailed Meg “see me”, she casually waited several hours and popped into the person’s office, with a cheerful, “did you need me for something?” She felt she diffused the person’s little temper tantrum by waiting and simply not reacting to such a juvenile request.
Meg would love to know if you have a phrase that you find ridiculous like this one.
In the meantime, Meg sends you her very best regards for a fabulous day. If she just said “regards” you know she’d be pissed at you. It’s all in the BEST people.