I make my money as a Provisioning Manager at a Telecommunications Reseller in Chicago. What does this mean exactly? It means I read and write emails all day for five days out of the week. I also do a lot of basically what boils down to customer service. Not exactly a glamorous job but hey, it pays the bills so that I can spend my nights writing shows about people who hump trees.
As it turns out, there are a lot of ridiculous emails at the intersection of "customer service" and "email writing." As a result, I've developed some pet peeves. First and foremost among these is the use of exclamation points in emails.
These are not personal emails. These are not poems or David Mamet plays. These are emails that business people write to other business people with the hopes of performing business functions. One might expect business people to conduct themselves like professional business people in such an environment.
For example: "This is fucking unbelievable!!!" or, from another email "These circuits are STILL not operational and you guys began billing for tem"
Now, did you need three exclamation points for that? Do you feel that 'fuck' is an appropriate term given the context? Did you really need to capitalize 'still' to get the proper emphasis? Tem? Are you a fucking child? Seriously? Can we act like adults?
I understand why people get frustrated sometimes. Anyone who has ever had to call AT&T customer service for anything knows that the have a propensity for messing things up. I get frustrated all the time. It's the same deal with any telecommunications company. It's kind of just the way it is with this business. And I don't even work for a company that can actually do anything; we resell this crap to other businesses because we get cheaper rates than they can. So my job is basically to ask AT&T or whoever to do something on behalf of my angry customer. And then I pass information back to the customer when it becomes available. Sometimes, though, there's just no information to give, at which point the messanger gets shot. Which is how you end up getting something like this, from a guy I nicknamed Mount Kramer because he was like a volcano:
"Until you have that information no ambiguous wording like the one below will satiate my frustration!!!"
That's a response to an email from my boss. Three exclamation points, but he gets a bonus for using the word 'satiate.'
"This needs to happen “TODAY”"
Jesus, is it lunch yet?