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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

hate (e)mails ~ the angry response and Employer apologising !!


Unemployment was the theme of many films - When we were in school, there was some talk about Balachandar and Barathiraja – both taking film on same subject - in those days when only print media provided hot news, one friend remarked that on Deepavali eve, Barathi Raja telephoned Balachandar expressing concern on both handling the same subject and both getting released on Deepavali – to which Balachandar reportedly remarked that his way of handling was bound to be different that than of Barathiraja [obvious that the teller was a balachandar fan!] .. Kamal played the youth frustrated in not getting an employment – neither unemployment  nor cinema is the subject matter of this post – but those days, cinema will show hero receiving many letters – ‘rejection letters’ – communication from the Companies regretting their inability to recruit !

In the modern World of only electronic communication, where post cards / letters have almost found their demise, and when emails gets pushed on smart phones and other devices, not sure whether the practice of sending regret letters do exist .. .. but there are many emails, some of which make the recipient regret or respond with innate anger ! ~  sure, you too would have received one at some point.  One notices a mistake of the co-worker (read those reporting)

I am sure most of us have been there at some point. We notice a mistake one of our co-workers made, learn about a frustrating occurrence – and bang goes the ‘angry mail’ – calling for explanation for all the sins committed.  The sender will proclaim to be fair and receptive – but decision already made, judgement pronounced – mail will innocuously call for explanations of the sin made – ‘the angry mail has arrived’ – which shakes the recipient badly and some would react with more anger or madness.  People, in general, do not agree to the assessment, call the assessor bad and retorts an angry response.

These emails all look pretty similar. Typically, they are full of bolded words, the excessive use of capital letters, and lack any sort of salutation, letting out the innate anger well and truly known. When such an email gets exchanged, it shakes and bothers both.   It’s rude, disrespectful, creates animosity and immediately makes one feel that the hardwork is not appreciated, it draws unnecessary comparisons too ! In such hate and anger, any good quality and past performance gets buried deep, almost forgotten. 

You could see that in workplace, someone getting worked up – yelling harsh enough that the inner mind voice is heard - “I am so going to send email and give  piece of my mind”   ~ I had seen a person well respected by me, make the laptop keyboard tremble, as words (rather emotions) got typed, flowing fast, hard and angry.  We’ll take the life out would be the war cry – and the send button gets pushed hard. That anger might make one gloat on the accomplishment of making other shaken for life, a temporary accomplishment,  as the sender feels to sit back and relax !!   This person has wronged you, they deserve what’s coming to them, right?

Depending on how mature one is – in an hour or so, or after some more time, after blasting out such a communication – the anger starts fading and doubt could creep – have we gone a bit deeper – now you try to read back what was sent, trying to figure out whether it in any manner contains or could be understood to convey what you wish you would not ! – may be, one starts feeling that one need not have sent such an angry reposte or could have calmed down to read once again the tone and tenor before it was sent.

Unfortunately, it is too late by that time ~ the email is sent. The relationship is ruined.  In any relationship you are eventually going to experience some level of anger. It might be a mild irritation, it might be pure rage and anything in between. It is natural. Different people see things differently. Mix in some human emotions and occasionally characters clash leading to some level of anger from one, or both, sides. It happens at home, at work, with friends or even with pets.The next time this happens to you, before you do something irreversible that you’ll end up regretting later, try to buy time, before you react angrily. 

Recently one such hate email went  viral purported to be  the ‘worst email’  and now comes the news that Sydney boss apologised for angry all-staff message.  Guardian reports on that email - Marcus Wood says workers ‘getting on my tits’, and unless performance improves he will fire their ‘sorry ____’.. .. ..

Marcus Wood, the director of Mars Recruiting, has owned up as the author of the self-described “Gordon Ramsay meets Donald Trump-style email rant”, and says he has learned from his experience after the email went viral on social media.The original missive, titled “Friday observation”, was sent out last week and was then leaked online.

“Morning guys,” it began. “Quick observation that is really getting on my ….. 1: Endless ping pong during CORE BD business hours – especially from people with no money on the board.“2: Not even bothering to put a suit on or pretending to look the part (again with no money on the board). 3: Some of you are taking more sick days than Tom Hanks during the dying days of Philadelphia...again with no money on the board (and being a cost to the company and me personally).  “5 or 6 of you are REALLY GETTING ON MY … in this office – you are a cost, you are demanding and exhausting and you don’t even look like you are trying. will talk to you in more detail on Monday but if 5-6 of you don’t pick up your game massively you will see your sorry ---s fired and slung out the door in under 3 months”.

Later that day, he apologised to staff saying it was clear he was “not at my loquacious best”.“[It came] in a moment of seeing red and most definitely should not have happened,” he said. That was a British slang and in  his follow-up to staff, Wood wrote: “I am happy to hold my hands up, and to this end I wanted to apologise. Obviously some of you know me pretty well and know I shoot from the hip, but obviously others don’t.“It seems I am becoming an online sensation for how NOT to communicate - and in hindsight I agree!! I do value you all, but I am sure you get my sentiments in wanting you to reach your full potential, even if my delivery in this case was not at my loquacious best.”

Perhaps some of us have seen worser email communications but may not have the guts and gumption to stand up and apologise.  In life, as we mature, we learn that it makes real sense to be polite and communicate things without being harsher and hurting others.  Life can be uncertain and sudden ending – people management and relationship are the most important things.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th July 2018.

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