Thursday, April 12, 2012

An Email Style Guide for A$$holes

Vonnegut drew a portrait of you!

So you’re an asshole and you’re struggling with the limitations of email. In person, others know you’re an asshole because they can see you being an asshole, hear your asshole voice, watch you roll your asshole eyes and smell your asshole breath. But email is such a limiting medium: how do you convey unwarranted sarcasm when there’s no sarcasm font? How will they know how unwarrantedly angry you are if they can’t see the contortions of your dumb asshole face when you talk? What if people read your email and come away with the misconception that you’re just being a normal human being or, even worse, that you’re actually nice?

Calm down, asshole. I hear you, and I’m here to help you.

A little bit about me: I work a job that is a hybrid of customer service and tech support. As such, I deal with incredibly anti-social people at their worst, and I do it over email. As such, I’m uniquely qualified to assist you in broadcasting to the world how much of an asshole you are. And I can guarantee you, if you follow these tips to asshole emailing then you will be well on your way to showing the world your true asshole colors.

1. The One Word Forward: Did you receive an email from someone that you don’t understand because you’re lazy or an idiot, and you want your intended audience to feel like they’re not doing enough? While you could write a lengthy dissertation on how inadequate your victim is, the more efficient and assholean way to do it is to click forward and write their name with a question mark after it. This conveys the notion that you are too important to explain the problem, which would require you first understanding the problem and then figuring out what you do and do not know. To hell with that! Make someone else do it, and make them feel like garbage while they do it!

2. Don’t Read: If you really want someone to hate you, don’t bother reading the email they sent you in the first place. This gives your rambling an irrationality that conveys to your victim, “This person doesn’t give a damn, they’re going to be angry no matter what you tell them.” Nothing makes people loathe to work with you than being intractably angry despite already having what you need.

3. CAPSLOCK!!: This is how people know you’re yelling. You use the biggest letters imaginable. Loud equals big. Bonus points if you pick random words that would never be yelled in normal conversation. Bonus bonus points if you just capslock the whole thing and let God sort it out.

4. Bold/Italics/Underline: use only on things that are already obvious, so as to make them even more obvious. If it’s something that is important that you’re worried someone else might miss, don’t bother because you’re worrying about someone else. Only use these when trying to make someone else think that you think they’re an idiot.

5. Ellipses: You know that thing that’s like three periods together and means an open ended sentence? It’s called an ellipsis and it’s a great way to be unwarrantedly patronizing. The thing you are asking for is so obvious that your idiot victim should be able to guess. Bonus points here if you use more than three periods. The longer the ellipsis, the more patronizing and the more intelligent you look!

6. Excessive Punctuation: particularly when it pertains to exclamation points and question marks. Double punctuation amounts to punctuating the punctuation – it’s not important what you’re yelling so much as the fact that you’re yelling. Conversely, you could…

7. Use No Punctuation: make them guess what you mean! Nothing makes people angrier than being yelled at by some unintelligible douchebag who is incapable of separating ideas – if you want to call them that – with periods, commas or semicolons.

8. Include “Have a blessed day” in Your Email Signature: this only works if it’s abundantly clear that you want your audience to go back in time and die in the Great Chicago Fire. The dissonance between your ranting and your cheery signature acts as a double word score tile, but for asshole points. Having your signature writ in hot pink amounts to a triple word score.

"Have a blessed day!"

Remember, the important thing while being an email asshole is that you convey your own anger and insecurity through the degradation of others. If what you’re writing is coherent, earnest and meant for the betterment of humankind, consider cutting that sentence out altogether.

You know, it used to be I would write posts to dissuade people from such behavior, as evidenced here and here. Perhaps it’s a sign of my ever growing cynicism, or perhaps even my own increased assholishnes, that I’ve given up hope. But then again, maybe I just want you to be the assiest asshole you can be.

Good luck, asshole, and happy hunting.