My 5 Email Response Pet Peeves

Published May 3, 2010 by heatherksmith

From bigpresh on Flickr

I should start out by saying I by no means consider myself an internet or social media etiquette guru. But I am an expert on things that irritate me. I bet you can relate to some of my gripes, like these:

My 5 E-mail Response Pet Peeves

1. The ‘Half Answer’

Hello Professor John Doe,
Did you receive the paper I e-mailed you? Also, would it be possible to get another copy of the syllabus?

Yes, I received your paper. 


So does that mean I can’t get another syllabus? Fresh out? Did you miss that part? Is there a 1 answer limit to your messages? You do realize I’m going to e-mail you again, right?

2.  The ‘Work Around the Question’

Hello Mr. X,
I know that biology 101 is required to graduate. Would it be possible to substitute chemistry? If so, how do I go about doing this?

It is possible to substitute certain classes to make graduation requirements.

Mr. X

Soooooo, I take that as a yes? That’s what you meant, right?

3. The’ Blatant Avoidance’

Hello Mr. Smith from Tech Support,
I e-mailed you a few weeks ago about my computer problem. The steps you told me to follow didn’t work. I’ve tried to get into contact with for the past 3 weeks by phone and e-mail. What’s going on? What should I do?

Hello customer.

Your inquiry has been sent to a new representative. They will be with you soon.

Customer Support

What happened to Mr. Smith? Did he quit or something?  I’m beginning to think you guys don’t know the answer. Are you avoiding me? If you don’t know the answer, please just tell me that. I’ll never e-mail you again, I promise. Because I’ll be e-mailing someone that can fix the problem!

4. The ‘One-Worder’

Hello Mr. Smith,
Do you have all of the information you need from me? If not, I’d be more than happy to provide you with more.


Well, at least you answered the question. Did you have a major scheduling conflict that prevented your from typing a full sentence? Just didn’t feel like talking much today? You may as well have not answered at all, which leads me to…

5. The’ Oh-So-Common No Reply’

Hello Sir,
I’m inquiring as to whether or not you received my application and resume. Is the position still open?


Um, did you get my message? Or is this a way to tell me I’ve been rejected? Could you at least take the minute to type out and send “We did receive your information, but the position has been filled. Good luck on your job search.”

Thanks for listening to my ranting. It feels good to have gotten that off my chest.


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