July 17, 2011, 2:15 p.m.
posted by juff
Network Electronic mail can bring out your insidious side. There you are, sitting alone in your cubicle with your computer, and you get ticked off at something, usually some stupid message sent by a coworker. Before you know it, you have composed and sent a tactless, not to say downright rude, response.
Saying things in e-mail that you would never say in person or even write in a memo is easy. But e-mail has an off-the-cuff, spontaneous style in most organizations, and it can get you into trouble.
Sarcasm seldom works in e-mail — instead, you just sound mean. Gentle suggestions can turn into strident demands just because they appear in ugly computer type on a computer screen. Rude mouthing off via e-mail even has a special name: flaming. A message full of tactless, pointless complaints is referred to as a flame. A series of flames between two or more people is called a flame war. You get the idea.
Remember Recipients of your mail can easily forward copies of it to anyone else, so imagine that everyone in the office may read your missives. Think twice before sending e-mail containing negative remarks! Then don’t send it. Remember that the best way to end an unpleasant exchange is to let the other person have the last word.