We all have them. Taken together, they become not only humorous but eye-opening. Clearly we all want others to respect our time—and us. In that spirit, I've come up with this quick list of 15 email pet peeves. Which ones are on your list?
Email Pet Peeves (in No Particular Order)
- The dreaded ALL CAPS EMAIL. It's like being yelled at.
- No "out of office" message when out of reach. Don't leave me hanging.
- Copying in uninvolved third parties.
- Going public with a private conversation. Yes, I know email is dicey because it can be shared. But it doesn't mean it should be shared or that unauthorized sharing is okay.
- "Reply All" when a simple 'Reply' will do. This is especially true when the conversation is really between two people.
- Being blind-copied. Maybe this works if you're planning a surprise party. But often it comes across as secretive not-in-a-good-way.
- Lack of punctuation. Same for poor grammar and too many typos. Yes, email is a more casual form of communication. Yes, typos happen to the best of us. But the reader shouldn't have to wade through our message to figure out what it means.
- No reply when one is asked for. Sometimes you just have to move forward without it.
- The closing "Best..." As in "Best, Andy." Does that feel "best" to you? To me it feels more like an air kiss.
- Off-topic email forwards. It turns out not everyone shares our view on God, religion, politics, or cats.
- Vague subject lines. Subject lines give much-needed context. Vague ones make it harder for the reader to tune in and respond appropriately.
- Non-urgent emails marked "Urgent."
- Too many dot-dot-dots. Example: "Let's reschedule the meeting...I'll be out of town that day..." It's like the other person is sighing.
- Too much detail! If you can't make it to the company social, just say so. No one needs to know the physiological details. You know this, of course.
- Throwing an attitude around. Ever known folks who do this?
Whenever we're communicating electronically, it pays to remember there's a flesh-and-blood human being on the receiving end. A little respect, patience and professionalism can make all the difference.