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to think that if you email someone asking them for help in a work context you should frame your request for help

(22 Posts)
Ormirian Thu 04-Aug-11 10:28:16

in a way other than:

"you will have to ..."

A polite 'Please could you'....or 'Would you mind? would have left me less irritated and more inclined to help.


Twice he has used this phrase to me. And I have no inclination to do it. I suspect he is quite young and I am fighting the desire to tell him off <mutter>

YouDoTheMath Thu 04-Aug-11 10:30:00

Yes, that is rude. Emailed or verbal request?

Ormirian Thu 04-Aug-11 10:30:26


Mrsxstitch Thu 04-Aug-11 10:32:44

I hate that phrase as much as the phrase 'you will'. I mean even if you will its just rude IYSWIM. YANBU.

runnyhabbit Thu 04-Aug-11 10:33:49


Rather rude imo

YouDoTheMath Thu 04-Aug-11 10:34:31

Emails are hastily written and often come across worse than they're intended to. I'm not saying that makes it right, but what's he like in a face to face context? My boss never says please or thanks in emails - to a stranger he'd come across as being very abrupt but he's absolutely lovely in reality.

Ormirian Thu 04-Aug-11 10:37:54

I've never met him. he works for a customer which is the only thing that is stopping me telling him how rude he is!

YouDoTheMath Thu 04-Aug-11 10:39:05

What I do dislike, though (and this is REALLY picky) is when people address me simply by my name in an email, i.e. "Esmerelda," as opposed to "Dear Esmerelda" or "Hi Esmerelda".

I'd rather they put nothing at all than just launching abruptly in with my name - it sort of feels like being picked up by the scruff of the neck.

Ormirian Thu 04-Aug-11 10:41:19

Yes! I agree.

YouDoTheMath Thu 04-Aug-11 10:41:48

Is there any way you could strike up conversation with him by phone? He might come across very differently.

I know it's annoying though, esp. if you're like me and always go out of your way to be polite.

bubblesincoffee Thu 04-Aug-11 10:42:03

Very rude, but some people like my dh really don't know how to express themselves properly in letter or emails. It is usually more about English skills than it is about personality.

I end up rewriting stuff for dh because he just seems to never have learned how to fluff up an email or letter to make it come across politely, but in reality he is lovely!

You must be talking about one of my senior managers. Never asks always orders tells. Not even my boss but he feels that he can speak to me in that way. I have just gone to HR about him.

E-mail is a median of communication. People should learn how to use them properly, just like they learn every other mode of communication.

CMOTdibbler Thu 04-Aug-11 10:54:12

I sympathise - some of the people I work with need a good cyber slap regarding their tone in emails (inc some senior management). Interestingly, the worst offenders are not generally the 'english as second language' people as I think they generally take more care. With one notable exception who is a customer, totally lovely in rl, but whose emails are stinkers

Ormirian Thu 04-Aug-11 10:56:07

He is an incompetent twat too hmm. Judging by his last response.

notmydog Thu 04-Aug-11 10:58:55

YouDoTheMath I sooo agree with you. Makes me feel like a primary school child when someone addresses me like that. I also agree that emails can very easily come over as abrupt and rude.

YouDoTheMath Thu 04-Aug-11 11:03:49

notmydog Yes it does make you feel like you're about to be ticked off, or as if they're expecting you to make a cock up of whatever they're about to ask!

YouDoTheMath Thu 04-Aug-11 11:08:07

I read an article recently about it, where the writer was suggesting we should dispense with "Dear" as it's too intimate, and apparently "Hi" is too informal, so in business they recommend just using people's names!

I would never think of "Dear" as intimate in that context. It's just traditional, and a formality.

OP, I apologise for hijacking your thread and will back off for a bit!

Ormirian Thu 04-Aug-11 11:09:26

Perhaps we should just start each email with 'Oi, you!' grin

LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 04-Aug-11 12:48:11

There was a really odd thread on here a while ags ago where people who claimed to be were actual professionals said you shouldn't use formal letter conventions in an email and would write 'Hi Firstname!' so a stranger. But clearly Ormirian's suggestion is better! grin

It really pisses me off that a few of my students emailed me with 'You will have to' phrasing ... I thought they were just young and unintentionally rude or had a big sense of entitlement, but now I'm worried it's the new thing.

LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 04-Aug-11 12:48:51

(And the response I did not write did not begin 'I don't have to do anything, sunshine'.)

whattodoo Thu 04-Aug-11 12:53:20

Oh! I often start emails with the person's name. I have always felt that to use 'dear xxx' is to formal and a letter or phone call would be a better form of communication and that 'hi xxx' is too informal and more suited to comms with friends.
But I now see how by simply launching into the email with just the person's name as a greeting can be a bit abrupt.
So, I've learned something today on MN and will be changing my email style in future.
Thanks everyone

LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 04-Aug-11 13:02:43

what - I bet you are polite and normal in the rest of the email so I doubt anyone has been thinking you were rude! It's usually people who do several rude things together that get up my nose.

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