Emails Say the Darndest Things

By: Mark Meshulam

The advent of email has created a new environment for human interaction which is simultaneously more and less personal, but much less private. Above all, it is unforgiving. Once you click the "send" button, it is as irretrievable as a nickle down a sewerpipe.

Consider these actual emails which floated around my office, but probably shouldn't have. The names are changed but the text, other than being shortened, is in its full original glory.

In the first vignette, Mark (me, the customer) asks Jim and Ron (the vendors) to add special markings to their shop drawings...

From Jim 12/28/2005 2:49:43 PM:
We cannot provide the glass mark details you requested. We cannot accept the liability of putting an incorrect glass mark on an elevation.

From Mark 12/28/2005 6:25:29 PM:
There is no liability at all for you to put marks on your drawings per our instructions. Your other point is being perceived as uncooperative.

From Ron 12/28/2005 6:47:49 PM:
Mark who is uncooperative??:???? We have jumped thru Hoops for you on ever project you handle, we are the only supplier who could have got you thru The Village project, and many more, Why has this become A ONE WAY STREET???? You question why we will not put YOUR marking on our drawings? Why can't you just responded to our adds? We are making every effort to make your Van Buren job a great job, and I mean EVERY EFFORT, but for some reason, you are being a fist class P----k, This cannot continue on this path, We in the past have always been FAIR to each others company, WHY THE BIG CHANGE??????

From Mark 12/29/2005 8:38:01 AM:
I think you are overreacting. I stated my perception on this particular point. Don't go nuts on me.

Ron's boss (who was copied on all of this) called me quickly to apologize. I said, "Don't worry about it, I have done equally stupid things. If I hadn't gone ballistic on customers myself, I would have more of a right to be mad."

From Ron 12/30/2005 1:28:29 PM:
The Best to all of you and your families and a Happy New Year, and as usual thanks for your continued business and support,

In the next interchange, Tom, the supervisor is upset with Frank, the driver.

From Tom 12/14/05 4:30:03 PM:
Yesterday I asked you to remove the glass off the sides of the box truck. You didn't do it. You took the lazy way out and just threw a skid in the back and walked away.

Also yesterday, you delivered the panels between 9:00 - 9:30 am as asked. You left before 10:00 am and it still took you 4 hours to pick up checks. Why? After 10:00 am traffic out of the city moves pretty good so I don't understand the large quantity of time lost. I don't understand it, Frank.

Maybe I'm too lenient about things regarding you, because I like you. I don't know what to think anymore but at this point you are starting to get a tag as being

From Frank 12/14/2005 4:40:03 PM:
God, this is so embarrasing, but since the office holiday party I've recently inherited a hemoroid the size of a grape. Squatting, standing, walking, sitting, and amongst all of those things the constant moving around practically destroys my will to live.

As for Yesterday when I was walking out the door Jackie waved me down to go to two extra locations. I usually drive fast, not too fast but fast enough to make sure that I'm utilizing the least ammount of time on the road as possible. But due to my recent child attached to my bottom end I've been driving alot more carefully, especially in the box truck (you know how bumpy that ride is)

As to tagging me as unreliable, I think that it's pretty premature to say that since you havn't really heard my side of any of those complaints. Yes I've been late in the morning occasionally. I really do hate that I can't get up for my alarm some days. I do everything that I can from going to bed earlier to setting two alarm clocks. I belive that since I've been working here that those occurances have gone down. I'm trying to rectify this but it doesn't work over night.

From Tom 12/14/2005 5:07:42 PM:
Your hemmoroid is not my problem. Get some Preparation H.

As for being labeled unreliable, I hear things you don't. I choose not to pass it on and try to go about other ways of approaching it. Also, there have been times when I have asked for things to get done and they get pushed aside. Such as busting down crates, moving materials in back, picking up the tools after you use them. 9 times out of 10 I'm picking up what you have left laying around and it's getting old.

In short, I have been way too nice about things. My New Years resolution is to be more of an a*[email protected] to people to get my point across. At this point, that seems like the only way I can get my point across directly.

As for over sleeping, go to bed earlier. It's hard to hear your alarm clock at 5:00 am when you go to bed at 3:00 am. Your personal life is your issue not mine.

In short Frank, be more prompt, pick up after yourself and finish the things you start before going on to something else.

From Mark 12/16/2005 10:48:03 AM:
Big Brother is watching.
Make sure scheduled times are met, come hell, hemorrhoid or high water.

From Tom 12/16/2005 10:50:53 AM:
Thanks for the clarification on the spelling on Hemorrhoid. My spell
check just laughed at me when I asked if it was spelled correctly.

From Frank 12/16/2005 11:01:31 AM:
Spell it however you want. But it won't stop calling me "daddy".

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Mark Meshulam sends communiques from the front lines of small business in his "poingology" series at

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