Email Commandments Vol. 2: Work Edition
MoveUpOrMoveOut and NerdsOnSite posted this mutation of The Ten Email Commandments chain letter on their sites.
It is different from The Email Commandments Volume 1 the mutation I fell for in my newb days, so, hang on tight, folks, another smash coming right up!
😏Meme: Email Commandments Volume 2
The 10 Commandments of Email
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: If there aren't duplicates from one version to another, this brings the whole list up to 20.
😏Meme: 1. Thou Shalt Keep it Clean. No porn, no pictures of your body-business, no sharp language.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Ewww. of course not, obviously!
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Because you should be decent and considerate of others and not be a vulgar idiot. - oh, wait, you probably wanted to explain that. Oh, well…
😏Meme: Look at this button, it says: “Forward”.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: What button? And I thought forwarding was what you wanted done?
😏Meme: You can’t unring a bell so choose your words (and images!) carefully.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Duh! This looks more like additional "commandments" rather than an explanation.
😏Meme: Always use a subject line, appropriate greeting and a smart signature ~
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: So this really brings the commandment count in this fwd up to three instead of one. You still haven't explained why it's not a good idea to send porn and vulgar images and language. Guess my little explanation was necessary after all.
😏Meme: no need for fourteen lines about your academic and professional accomplishments,
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Yeah, so, you explained the explanation? And it is a bit unclear why you included that link here.
😏Meme: if we work together every day.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: which we don't. :p
😏Meme: 2. Thou Shalt Not Rant.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Rant? That covers a lot of territory. Some rants can be pretty funny if they're tastefully done and made in support of the recipient who needs to know the sender is seriously on their side about something. But that's probably not the sort of rant you mean.
😏Meme: Freedom of speech is a right, but exercising that right means using it the right way.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: No, really!? Yeah, freedom shouldn't be abused. But people don't just abuse freedom of speech via email, they do that on discussion boards and social networks too, and when they do, what else can one do about them if one is not in the position to put a stop to it? Rant and express their displeasure with the person's abuse of the freedom of speech.
😏Meme: If you disagree with the recent policy announcement, going off in an email is probably not the best way to convey your displeasure.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: So what you really mean is, don't yell your head off in an email to some policy maker. Okay, got it - common sense.
😏Meme: How does ranting get any meaningful results?
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Well, if you write out a rant and not send it, it can still relieve some pressure.
😏Meme: Sure, you may feel better…until your boss comes in to discuss your attitude. Or, your employment!
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Oh - okay, so this set of commandments is the on-the-job edition, well then, yes, that makes sense. Don't scream at your boss or fellow employees or anyone in a position above you. Common sense again, no kidding.
I.E. don't send such unprofessional emails.
😏Meme: Seeking real change is about putting your emotions and passions into action, not (just) into an email so you can feel better.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Yeah, obviously… I have figured this out by now.
😏Meme: Could you convey your ‘elevator pitch’ in an email?
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Convey my - what?
😏Meme: Tweet it or tell it – What’s your story?
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Consider that privileged information.
😏Meme: 3. Thou Shalt Not Reply All. Resist the temptation and it will flee from you.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Don't give me that twisted attempt at the KJV-speak to get some demand across which I do not subscribe to. Replying-all is not even a 'temptation'. Sometimes it is necessary, even if you do not think so.
If someone sends that $250 recipe hoax chain letter to a bunch of colleagues, it is necessary to do a reply-all to help keep that hoax from being believed and spread by others who received it.
😏Meme: 4. Thou Shalt not SHOUT AT PEOPLE. Laziness, plain and simple. Surprising, but people still do it. Why? STOP IT! (whoops, sorry. Moving on…)
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Yeah right, cute attempt failed. Didn't you already cover that in "Do not rant" thing? if you mean, "don't write in all uppercase" then say it that way, and explain that it is equivalent to shouting, which is rude, and hard on the eyes.
😏Meme: 5. Plan that time-sensitive info will FAIL, via email. Planning is not a good use of email.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: I think you meant to say that email is not the best way to plan something when you don't have much time. Planning is actually a very good use of email, unlike, say, forwarding chain letters for instance. If you have a lot of time, you can make plans, and others can reply-all to give you and all others included in whatever it is you want to plan, a heads up if they can't be part of it, or the go-ahead to count on them.
😏Meme: “Who can make the meeting on Thursday?” is an email topic that will create endless spin and rescheduling – assuming everyone sees the message before Thursday.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: So, send it out early, and not on Wednesday night.
😏Meme: What works best in email: Information, Instruction (or confirmation) and Documentation. Let people know that the meeting has been scheduled, and send out the meeting request. Verify key players via telephone or face-to-face.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Like that's any better. Do you have any idea how hard it is getting a hold of people on the phone? Sometimes it isn't much easier trying to get a face-to-face either with everybody running around madly with their own busy schedules.
😏Meme: Email can’t do it all!
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: It can if there's enough time.
😏Meme: 6. Beware the “BCC” and use it wisely. When used with the “Reply All” button, you can get some surprises that no one wants and you didn’t intend. Caution!
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Oh, right, the BCC thing. Not the greatest email feature when you actually want to get communication going among multiple people. Fine for sending one-time blast messages to the whole company where further discussion via email is not wanted or required.
😏Meme: 7. Do not covet the ability to cc: 3 or more people.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Huh? Why would anybody 'covet" this? Is the person on such a crippled email programm that it actually won't let them send a blast message out? I have seen people on Facebook griping about the limits FB places on the numbers of invites one person can send out per day or friend-adds, but these people are whining about not being able to add thousands. Why anyone would want to in the first place is a bit mind-boggling, but that's another subject altogether.
Get a better email program.
😏Meme: It’s not always off limits, but it’s a yellow flag if you are cc:ing a multitude. Especially if you are cc:ing your boss’s boss, or otherwise going up the chain. Ranting or other violations, when combined with copying every singer in the choir, can be a real CLM (career-limiting move).
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Oh, so you mean, don't gripe when your employer sets some limits on how many whoever can mass-message at once or per day etc. Irritating as requites are, I think the reason some people leave all the previous stuff in when making a reply is so they can delete the actual previous email and just keep the latest ones as needed, without actually losing the whole exchange. Yes, time constraints and laziness also factor in, too.
😏Meme: 8. Remember that email is never the first/last/only communication tool.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: DUH! But it is the best for some of us who - can't produce hand-written or type-written paper letters or faxes, can't text, can't get hold of people on the phone, and even if social networks aren't banned at work, not everyone is on the same social network or instant messaging client. I might be on Facebook, you might use Twitter. I might use MSN messenger but you use Blackberry Messenger.
😏Meme: Are you the gal who pontificates via email?
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: No, that's what blogs and some other places on the web are for.
😏Meme: Are you the dude who issues edicts, not emails?
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: I'm not a dude. So, it can only be an edict, or an email? If you actually send a real edict via email, it's actually some unclassifiable thing because it is no longer one or the other?
😏Meme: It’s easy to hide behind the keyboard and assume a different persona.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Ah yes, let us never forget that Behind The Keyboard pontification chain.
😏Meme: Step out of the Matrix from time to time and don’t let email be your only connection to your team, your co-workers, or others.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Hel-lo!? My job actually does require me to be physically present, to receive instruction face to face, and respond likewise. So no, email is not my ONLY communication, but it sure does help when I am not actually in the work environment but need to issue an invoice or inquiry about something.
😏Meme: 9. Thou shalt not choke your co-workers inbox with enormous attachments.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: DUH! Why would I? People who are addicted to sending forwards are the most likely to do that.
My own personal files, usually videos, mp3s and the odd picture that's got something personal to do with me, are posted to Youtube or some other site with which I have an account.
😏Meme: Just put that file on the server, or use Dropbox or some other service. Be smart about large file transfer. ‘Nuff said.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Yeah, 'nuff said…
😏Meme: 10. Send commands via email wisely.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Yeah, as in, don't send them at all.
😏Meme: Please. And, thank you.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Oh, can it.
😏Meme: Because even if (or especially if) you’re the boss, how you ask for something is even more important than what you need.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: DUH! Yeah, I get it. ask nicely if you need something. At first, yes. But if people continue ignoring or denying you, you do have to get firm, even stern when necessary. When a "Please refrain from sending these political chain mails, and at least make sure they are true before spreading them any further." gets ignored/denied, you have to take more of a stand. If someone fires off an email riddled with obscenities, blond/racial jokes, and other derogatory junk making fun of people because of appearance or perceived station in life, I am not going to gently ask them "Could you please not do that?" They will get an earful, and they'll deserve it, too, for being such morons.
😏Meme: Before you hit “send”, ask yourself if you are being lazy, or being effective, with email.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: And remember, chain letters sometimes call you lazy for not passing them along, yet they go on about how easy it is to save the world with a click of a button. So, by not beigneg lazy, you are being lazy according to them.
😏Meme: Set an email policy, or open up a discussion within your department, so that others know where you stand.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: I'm not the head of any department, so this doesn't apply to me.
😏Meme: Email protocol is a bit of an unwritten law – there’s no ‘manual’. But, there are expectations. What are yours?
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: That's for another post another time.
Over and out.