Are you an e-mail boor?

How can employees improve their corporate etiquette? Email is a good place to start.  


From The

The very basis of etiquette, according to Miss Manners, is the concept of empathy, or, as your grade school teacher told you, ‘consideration.’ The idea is simple: would someone appreciate the thing you’re about to do? It’s all about the Golden Rule.

Email allows us to be digitally inconsiderate all day long. Not only are most of us offenders, we have become inured to accepting it from others.  So, before you hit the ‘SEND’ button, pause and think if you are informing or inflicting. Ask yourself “is there another way to do this?”

In the example above, an inconsiderate person didn’t bother to file something she found useful, so she sent a co-worker off to find it for her. Thanks for wasting someone else’s time! But if the second worker had bookmarked  the link first with a enterprise social media platform like Lotus Connections, the second person could merely reply, “Oh, I bookmarked that for you, just look in Connections!” while batting their eyes.

Social enterprise tools are a great way to elevate good manners in your company and return some of your precious time back to you. Are you frequently asked the same question many times? Do you slavishly re-type the same answer in e-mail? How about posting that Frequently Asked Question (yes, we all have personal FAQs) in the corporate wiki? When the request again comes you way, just direct them to the wiki with some helpful search hints. Eventually, most of them will learn.

A friend has a special remedy for rude coworkers who keep asking him to look things up on the Internet for them. He toys with them by sending them HERE. Miss Manners would not approve of this approach, I am certain, but it’s the Internet Way.

This month the Oatmeal site posted “If you do this in email, I hate you.” It went viral within a day. When it got to me, I was gasping with laughter. My favorite was the lengthy signature with the “we communitize engagement” slogan.

There are so many ways coworkers can be inconsiderate with email and voice mail. Care to share any examples? How do you deal with it? 


The Ten Commandments For Fitness Centers

Public gyms and fitness centers have a unique culture and mode of operation. You can always tell long-time gym rats from newbies because the fitness veterans NEVER make any of these mistakes, below.

I.     Thou Shall Not Stink.  Do you clear the weight room when you enter it? Never have neighbors on the treadmill? BO and yellow armpits have no place in the gym. And a special addendum for the morning crew: brush your teeth before coming to work out. Your death-breath forms a cloud around you.

II.     Thou Shall Not Leave Thy Foul, Skanky And Inside-Out Underwear On The Locker Room Floor.

III.     Watch Not The Food Network During A Cardio Session. What are you doing?!!! Watch Emeril make artichoke-chevre cheese dip and you’ll run home and eat all those paltry 200 calories you just worked off – and more.

IV.     What Are You Doing In There? Wait, don’t tell us. Just hurry up, please, and hose the walls down before you come out. Thank you very much.

V.     Disdain Personal Trainers; They Are The Chiropractors Of Fitness. Their real goal is to keep you coming back while you make little progress. Truly fit people never use trainers because they know you can’t outsource your will; 90% of fitness is in your mind.

VI.     Touch Not The Video Or Audio Controls. Just try switching to ESPN when the 10:00 AM mommies are bouncing on their bosu balls. See what happens.

VII.     Thou Shall NOT Pray. Hey, see that person hovering in the background? It’s someone waiting to use that equipment while you seek the seventh level of consciousness.

VIII.    Wear Only Modest, Loose-Fitting Clothing…  Unless You Have A Really, Really Good Body. Our opinion, not yours.

IX.     Pick Up Thy Crap. And put it back where it belongs. If you can hoist six 45 lb plates above your chest, you can take them off and put them back on the rack. No, the 120 lb woman waiting to use the bench right behind doesn’t appreciate you leaving it “set up” for her.

Men, ‘Crap’ means ‘gym bag.’ Almost all gyms have a sign telling you NOT to bring a gym purse onto the floor. Yes, it’s a purse.

X.     Thou Shall Not Have False Gods Before You. Get real; you will never go from a 44-inch waist to a 32 ever again. You will always have cellulite. If there never was a six-pack, then there never will be one.