What if…

January 18, 2007 jeansdream

This post is not about dreams.

What if… you get an email from a colleague who CAPITALIZES SOME WORDS TO ORDER YOU TO DO SOMETHING, what would you do

What if… ditto above, plus this email is addressed to you and have some other colleagues in cc’ed, what would you do

What if… diitto above, and this colleague is your new supervisor, what would you do

Please post your comment on what you will do. Note “you”, not what “I” should do. Thanks. 🙂

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Entry Filed under: Getting to know each other

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kempton  |  January 18, 2007 at 7:31 am

    Of course we are talking hypothetically here. Just “What if”s. So I will view it as a business case study.

    I would think this new supervisor probably wanted to show off his/her power and authorities. But casual people on the “cc” list will see through these kinds of message quickly as an act of lack of management skills and politeness.

    Not having seen the email, it is difficult to judge how rude the original message was.

    Assuming the message was absolutely rude, I probably would “reply all” to the message but I will still avoid using the same style of “CAPITALIZED WORDS” on selected areas. There is no point to sink as low to fight back. Other methods include just replying to the new supervisor or even have a chat with him/her directly without using email. One question I will need to ask myself is — should I give this new supervisor the benefit of the doubt or is him/her too old to not know what she/he was doing.

    As an aside, I am listening to the audio book of “The Devil wears Prada” by Lauren Weisberger (nicely written) after previously watching the film. I suppose those acted like “Miranda Priestly” with or without all her abilities would look ridiculous sooner or later.

  • 2. Simon  |  January 18, 2007 at 8:51 am

    I am a retired man. In the middle of last century, we used to work on orders via cable with all contents capitalized. Later, we used to read and write telex with short form words and sentences also capitalized.

    If I got an email from a new colleague asking to do something, I would proceed in the normal way and “reply all” in the SIMILAR FORMAT as expected.

    I would put aside the issue of politeness.

  • 3. bgj  |  January 21, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    I would want to quickly reply-all and react as other folks commented. But, what I should do, is count to 10, calm down, go to the boss live, possibly with a hardcopy of the email, and explain how you interpreted the email. It’s possible he/she was having a bad day and was taking it out on you. If you come across as wanting to know if everything is ok and what you can do to help it diffuses the situation. If you reply-all and ALL CAPS you will do exactly what he/she wants you to. Stay positive, stay calm, stay professional, all the things your boss should be doing. Let him/her know how it made you feel and see how he/she responds or reacts. I am sure the folks on the cc: list consider the boss unprofessional with this behaviour and you replying to everyone, although fun and making you feel better, will not improve the relationship with the boss. Anyhow, just my 2c.

  • 4. jeansdream  |  January 25, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    I will post a “wrap-up” to this post.

    Tentative release date is April 1, 2007.

  • 5. "What If" - Part 2 «&hellip  |  April 1, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    […] 1st, 2007 jeansdream I said I would post the rest of how What if… had developed. Here it […]


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