Professional Email Etiquette 101

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Technology
July 11th, 2003 • 5:35 pm

I, like many people I suspect, use email for more than just informal discussions with friends. I use email for work, and therefore depend on email messages arriving to their recipients on a reliable and timely basis.

I suspect it is the same with people with whom I am working.

How is it, then, that so many of these people don’t realize that the least they could do when receiving a message from me with important information or an important attachment file is to confirm that they have received it by sending me a short reply?

I simply cannot believe the number of people who don’t realize that a short acknowledgement of receipt is of the utmost importance and should be sent back to the sender immediately.

Because of this, I typically include the following line in closing in all my important email messages:

Please CONFIRM that you have received this message and the attached files.

Do you think that people pay any attention? Nah… I almost never receive an acknowledgement of receipt, even when I specifically ask for it. And we are talking about government employees, service bureaus, etc. — i.e. people who cannot ignore the fact that email is an important form of professional communication.

In most cases, after HAVING waited for an acknowledgement of receipt for 24 hours, I usually have no choice but to pick up the phone and call them. I can’t afford to be rude to them, but really, they deserve it…

What goes on inside these people’s heads, I don’t know… Not much, if this is any indication. Jeez.

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