Well, you can thank the DH for the title to this blog because when I went into a rant yesterday on the flurry of rude emails I’d received he told me I was turning into “Old Lady Rodriguez.” Though I prefer to think of myself as Kramer in that Seinfeld episode when he puts in the screen door and starts screaming at those damn kids in his apartment building. Anyway, I have issues with impolite electronic communications.
This includes all forms: text, email, Twitter, MySpace, you name it. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not technology averse. I love these forms of communication and am addicted to some of them. But I’m polite. Emily Post taught me well. And since she’s not alive to teach the younger generation (well, I think there’s actually someone from her estate still writing books in her name, but whatever), I’ve decided to assume the role.
Please take into account that this blog does not apply to fan letters. Fans can send me communications in any tone of voice they want, because fans are awesome and I love them. Send me smoke signals, and I’ll still be thrilled.
But for all others, behold….
Old Lady Rodriguez’ Guide to Email Etiquette
1. Introduce yourself. If I did not go to high school with you, if you are not my old college chum, if we do not share blood, then it is safe to say you are contacting me in a professional capacity. We don’t share pints at the pub. So if you email me, especially if it’s for the first time and I don’t know you, then say hello (not “What up!”), write in complete sentences, and leave a closing (with your name).
2. Say thank you. If I take the time to proofread your manuscript, give you a referral, edit your query, introduce you to a contact, then the next time you contact me, say thank you. It doesn’t need to be calligraphied on parchment; a simple “Thank you for your help” is just as nice. Think karma.
3. Don’t use odd slang. Now, I’m not a huge stickler here. You can see that throughout all of my blogs and novels, I use plenty of slang. But in a professional email, think about whether “OMG let’s tweet up, yo!” is really appropriate.
4. Be nice. I may be alone in this, but I think one-line emails are rude. No greeting, no closing, just “Let’s meet” or even worse, “Call me.” If you want to talk to me, then pick up the phone. Don’t send a one-liner with no explanation for the conversation.
5. People forward emails. If you need any more incentive to be a bit more polite, don’t forget that all important “forward” button. Millions of people could see that communication. Don’t believe me? Ask the professor I know who shares every incoherent email he gets from a student with his entire base of friends and family. Take note, college freshmen.
Okay, rant’s over. I’m getting off my soapbox now. And I’m sure in a few hours I’ll get a bunch of one-liners saying “What up spanky?” in a ALL CAPS and comic sans font. But in the meantime…
Thanks again! I appreciate your time.
POP CULTURE RANT: Tik Tok by Kesha
I warned the DH I would be doing this since he titled my blog, but yes, Tik Tok has invaded my husband’s brain. He manages to find it on the radio every time we’re in the car (and that song is on a lot). He even has a little dance, and once he walked into a meeting saying, “The party don’t start ‘til I walk in!” Kesha has gone too far. So I must appeal to DJs everywhere to consider reducing its rotation down from every two seconds, or SNL will soon be doing another sketch like this in its honor.