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E-mail Layers

weather: showers
outside: 6.0°C
mood: ...
I communicate with all walks of life within the corporate environment. They can be VPs all the way down to fellow peons. They can be über-technical or complete n00b-tards (of course, I'm a complete n00b-tard in their domain too, so we all balance each other out). They have every single personality type possible =)

Most of them don't read your entire message. This is just the reality of our world and I've long since given up on any feelings I have on the matter. What's left is to structure my messages accordingly.

I write e-mail in layers.

If they don't read past the Subject line, what do I want them to know?

If they only read the first sentence, what do I want them to know?

If they only read the first paragraph, what do I want them to know?

And after the first paragraph, I go into detail. But at that point, it's actually a reference for myself. I'm prepared to have to say it or write it again in smaller chunks. I crack all the jokes about it that I can. Because, see, it is for my own health. =)

I'm always elated when, on the off chance, they do read carefully to the end. I've taken to embedding little funny turn of phrases or something funny, just as a Thank You to those who do. =)



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2007 07:21 am (UTC)
I write in this fashion also most of the time.

If a person can't be bothered to read the entirity of an email, they don't deserve to know the more intimate details of whatever it is you're saying. :)
Nov. 6th, 2007 07:49 am (UTC)
I think people are learning. I've suggested enough times that I'm repeating what I've already written =)
Nov. 9th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
It pains me that the description of your writing style is so familiar.

I've had to face up to the unfortunate truth that my tech-pubs readership, amongst which are our support engineers servicing some fairly delicate machinery, often only half-read / scan the carefully written and highly detailed documentation my department provides.

I've on several occasions been criticized for leaving out Important Procedural Step #14, only to turn around and show that, had they taken the time to actually turn over the page and read the core content of the document, they would indeed find Step #14, broken down into 14.1 - 14.5 for clarity, staring them right in the face.

Faced with that type of response to our work, it's sometimes hard to take "critical deadlines" seriously.
Nov. 9th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
I keep a running tab of the I-TOLD-YOU-SO points and lord it over them menacingly.

Redeem said points for beer later. =)
Nov. 10th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
Dude. I'd be dead from liver failure before I hit 30. (Likely be a fun trip, though...)
Nov. 10th, 2007 11:13 pm (UTC)
Get bubble tea instead then =) Or Yorkshire pudding... I dunno, what's popular over there? =)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


The Bride of the First House

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