Dear Idgie,

I appreciate your working girl posts.  I have two topics for your consideration:

1.  Judicious use of the exclamation point and/or emoticons in work e-mails.  Actually, all emotive language, for that matter.  While reviewing some documents provided in evidence today, I noticed a woman had received some praise from her female boss.  She responded to her boss saying, “Your comments put a huge smile on my face today.”  Is that ever appropriate?

2.  Judicious use of the exclamation point in work e-mails.  (That was not a typo.  This time I am talking about the priority indicator on e-mails.)  Everyone has a BlackBerry, iPhone, or some other type of phone that gets e-mail.  Thus, the chance that someone is separated from his or her e-mail for more than 15 minutes is almost non-existent. THUS, I WILL see your e-mail and reply to you very quickly, in which case stop using that stupid red exclamation point!  Only use it when you have something really important and it truly, TRULY requires an immediate response.  In which case — why don’t you just call me anyway????

And a third — even though I said only two —

3.  Dear former coworker — while I do appreciate hearing from you, I’d rather not spend 16 minutes on the phone during my already crazed work day listening to how stressful it is to be you because your husband is gone and you have to be at home with the construction workers by yourself.  I will try hard, but I will not have much empathy.  Thank you.

That’s all.  Thanks, Idg.


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