(un)professional e-mail skills -- was Re: JOB: Linux System Administrator

Von Fugal von at fugal.net
Fri Sep 17 09:52:00 MDT 2010


<quote name="Bryan Sant" date="Thu, 16 Sep 2010 at 23:39 -0600">
> On Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 10:58 PM, Michael Torrie <torriem at gmail.com> wrote:
> > But that's not the worst of it.  Almost without
> > exception when someone in the management hierarchy replies to my email
> > with top-posting it signifies that he or she did not read anything I
> > wrote and is just replying to what he or she thought I said.  It's very
> > frustrating because it represents simple laziness on the other person's
> > part.  If he's too lazy to read what I actually wrote, what else is he
> > lazy in?  Are my ideas even mattering to him and my company?  I bet that
> > many of you can say similar things about so-called professional e-mails
> > at your companies too.
> 
> Wow.  I could be completely wrong, but I don't think that people in
> the "management hierarchy" top post to you because it's easier than
> spitting in your face (but equally offensive!).

Nah, it's not spitting in faces, nobody top posts as a way to spite the
person their replying to. It's more like them eating your lunch in the
company fridge because they don't even CARE who you are or that you were
planning on eating that.

> 99% of all people top post because the email tool they use puts the
> blinky cursor at the top of the email when they press the "Reply"
> button.  Outlook, gmail, hotmail, Mail.app, GroupWise and most webmail
> offerings put the cursor at the top of the email for the user.  I
> always thought that the designers/developers of these various mail
> clients had valid reasons for choosing this default behavior...
> Little did I know that they were actually just corroborating with
> those "management hierarchy" types to strike a stinging blow against
> the down trodden.

I never bought this causility argument. Even Mutt starts you at the top
of the email. Truth is, you DO start at the top, even when trimming,
because you go through the whole email, top to bottom, keeping context
or snipping it out, until you're done with the message and have
responded to everything you feel relevant to respond to. No, it's not
simply because the cursor starts at the top. Maybe the problem is the
editor. Vim sure makes it super easy to trim things. ;) And even makes
it easy to wrap at 72 characters, as was mentioned elsewhere.

Von Fugal
-- 
Government is a disease that masquerades as its own cure
-- Robert Lefevre
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