As a collector of poorly written e-mails, I thought I'd seen everything: egregious spelling and grammar errors, poor organization, bloated language, and unprofessional tone. So I have to admit that I was shocked by the e-mail my friend "Chris" sent me quoting e-mails that an accountant in her financial services firm sent to a client.
Here's what Chris wrote:
Thinking of you today because I just came across some poorly written business e-mails, generated right here in my own office! These e-mails are from one of our accountants to a new client -- a woman who was divorced about two years ago. She is filing taxes on her own for the first time this year. I think the client is a little over 50, and the accountant is in his mid-60s. This is a woman he's never met in person, so we can't even say that they have forged some sort of relationship. Nor does she write in such an informal fashion.Here are some selections from his e-mails:
- "Hey Girl"
- "Just move on girl, he wins on this one. When you coming by??"
- "Giving ___ to your hubby"
- "If you have been a bad girl and didn't do your homework. . ."
Actually, I haven't seen worse! Chris wasn't privy to the client's reaction to these e-mails, so I can only imagine how quickly she found a new accountant.
Before I award the Worst Tone Award (a tin ear) to this accountant, I thought I'd ask: Have you received e-mails that top this for unprofessional and offensive tone? If so, send them on to me, and I'll share them with our readers. (Names will be changed to protect the whistleblower and the writer with the tin ear.)
-- Marilynne Rudick