In the few days since my last email pet peeves post, I’ve been even more aware of common trends popping up in my inbox that irk me. Not only that, but once my coworkers found out about the post, they shared some of their own pet peeves. And since my last list wasn’t anywhere near all-encompassing, I thought I might extend the list with some of the pet peeves we all agreed on – and even encountered this week, to our chagrin.
Not replying to the latest email in a chain
It’s pretty common to have a single email conversation go on for many days or weeks on the same topic, so it makes sense to keep everything together in the same thread. The problem occurs when you’ve got more than two people on the chain and things get a bit confusing.
Some email clients will display the entire chain of emails as a single item, so you just need to scroll up or down to see the rest of the chain. In others (such as the version of Outlook I use), there’s a little notification at the top telling you that the email you’re reading isn’t the most recent one in the conversation. So here’s my question: why do some people insist on responding to emails out of order? You end up with multiple conversations, all with the same subject line and same topic, but all talking about slightly different things. Talk about a nightmare.
No contact info in your signature
Many people have a professional signature for their work email accounts. Some only use them when starting an email chain (or responding for the first time in a chain), while others will sign their emails with a signature every time. Obviously, not everyone feels comfortable putting their office or cell numbers on every one of their emails in the form of a signature tagline, which is totally fine. My issue is when someone tells you in an email to call them – and they don’t have their phone number written anywhere in the chain. If the phone is your preferred method of contact, make sure your number is easily accessible. It’s just the right thing to do.
Thank you emails (?)
Now, to be clear, this pet peeve is only about a specific type of Thank You emails. I’m totally fine with closing the loop on a conversation and expressing your appreciation, or confirming that you received an email by thanking the sender. But if the “thank you” is unnecessary (e.g. the email was sent days ago, it was low priority, and it’s no longer on the sender’s radar) and will only further clutter their inbox, don’t bother with a one-line email. If you’d like, you can thank them next time you correspond.
Poor grammar & spelling
As a grammar nerd, this is one of my pet peeves in general. I’m a lot more lenient when it comes to emails than other forms of writing. Just don’t obscure the meaning of the email. For example, if you’re asking a question, write a full sentence, and don’t forget the question mark.
That’s all for now! Do you have any to add to this list?
Check out Part 1 of this post here!