WARNING: This post is not for the faint of heart.
In the 11+ years that I have been assisting businesses, I have had the pleasure of coming in contact with some amazing, brilliant, talented, wonderful people. I learn about new businesses. I learn about the lives of others. I learn about struggles and joys.
I am lucky.
And for the most part, the positivity train just keeps rolling on and I’m happy to be riding on it.
But then, occasionally, someone crosses my path that completely derails my good mood and happy outlook.
I have done a lot of customer service for clients over the years, and every once in a while, someone pops up in an email or a voicemail that is just…well, you know.
Here is a recent email I received in an email box I monitor, censored, of course.
SUBJECT: FXXX OFF YOU FXXXXXXX CXXX FACE
You fxxxxxx maggots, I have not signed up for these emails, I have not authorised 3rd parties to provide my email address to you fxxxxxx and you are obtaining this illegally. I am tired of you fxxxxxx gutless xxxxxxx junking my inbox. Please note you useless piece of dog xxxx and brain fxxxxxx that your emails are being reported to all possible spam web sites. I hope over the course of today your head gets slammed by a passing truck and you get SPAMMED to hell - till then have the worst fxxxxxx day possible that you cxxxx deserve. DROP DEAD YOU FXXXXXX CXXXX, I am so sick of your fxxxxxx trash!!
Let’s let that sink in for a moment.
Someone, somewhere was so angry at receiving an email (that he actually filled out a form to receive), and so angry that he received the ONE email from us that he requested, that he felt it necessary to write an email so vile that if his mother saw it she might just faint on the spot.
Listen. There is a real person at the end of that email that you are sending. There is a real person who will listen to your voicemail that you’re leaving. And they may have absolutely NOTHING to do with a problem you’re currently having. But, if you address them in a fashion that is kind and appropriate, they will be your champion in order to get your problem solved quickly and easily.
Electronic communication has been fantastic for immediate response. It’s great! And it has also become a terrible, faceless way to say whatever you want without the repercussions of seeing how you’ve made a person feel. It shouldn’t be that way, in business or personally.
The sad part is, this isn’t the first type of email or voicemail I’ve received like this, and it definitely won’t be the last.
The next time you’re fuming about someone and are ready to shoot off an email with more expletives than a Quentin Tarantino film, put your mom’s email in the BCC field and then try to click Send. If you can’t, start over and remember there’s a real person on the end of that email.
25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.