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Nicholas Weinstock

Nicholas Weinstock

Posted March 18, 2009 | 05:40 PM (EST)

The Corporate Survivor's Guide to Email (Now More than Ever)


Thank you!

Translation:  Fuck you.  Generally found at the end of emailed instructions, as in "Please let me know, in the future, anytime you'll be occupying the conference room during an hour when my team is scheduled to use it.  Thank you!"  An expression of outright hatred.  Probable indicator of an assassination attempt to come. 

Thank you

No exclamation point.  Translation:  Thank you. 

Short response in all lowercase

Examples: 

no

never

no way

ok

dont think so

dnt thnk soo

wont happen

write it up

yes

ye

nope

n

Translation:  I'm more important than you are.  And busier.  In fact, I'm so important and busy that I don't have time to write more than a word or two - unlike, say, you, Wordsworth - or even take the care to capitalize the few words that I can manage to eke out as I hustle off to an airport / heliport / underground bunker / secret strategy session you wouldn't know about / meeting with other more important and busier people than you.  Generally intended as a reminder of your lowly, vulnerable, and tenuous status at the company.  You're not important or busy enough.  And it just got noticed.  Take steps. 

Forwarded email with no added message

Indicates a thorny task being shunted onto you:  the communications equivalent of toxic dumping.  Translation:  Hey, man, this is your mess.  I never saw it.  I mean, I saw it - but barely.  Just enough to realize it's your problem.  Good luck with it.  Shouldn't take you more than a week.  And I'm sure screwing it up won't get you fired or anything.  Not these days.  Have at it. 

Self-addressed email with you BCC'd

A declaration of corporate might disguised as an invitation.  Translation:  I have a list of contacts - a posse, if you will; a loyal cadre; a seething army - that I command and that is too numerous and too powerful for you to see their names or know their addresses.  Please feel free to come to this talk / presentation / birthday / fundraiser / poker night / bris / formal celebration of me; but know, as you do, that you are not the point of it.  You're not even addressed here.  You will be coming strictly to marvel at the number of my loyal admirers - who, like me, have bigger contact lists than you.  I'd start networking, homes.  Friend someone, for fuck's sake.  I'd give you a couple of my friends; but they're, you know, mine.  Come see for yourself. 

LOL

Previously an acronym for "Laughing Out Loud."  Currently short for "Love it Or Leave it."  The equivalent of a nervous chuckle and a finger to the lips.  Translation:  Hey, Lenny Bruce, keep it down over there.  Wouldn't mind keeping my job.  Funny stuff - but nose to the grindstone, huh?  The good news is that a healthy sense of humor, whether appreciated or not, will serve you well when, three or four broadcast jokes from now, you're canned. 

Thank you!

Seriously.  It does:  it means Fuck you.  Look back through your emails.  He or she absolutely hates you.  That exclamation point is a fucking dagger.  Watch your ass.