I often get emails that the very last sentence says “please advise” and it drives me up a fucking wall. It is something so simple, but it totally reminds me of words that make you sound dumb. The reasons for this are not as simple as the fact that some people have the bad habit of adding ‘please advise’ to every email. It is because it makes me feel like the person who is writing me the email thinks that I am going to just file their message away and do nothing with it.
The difference between me and this assumption, is that when you send me an email asking for help, I am going to respond! Yeah, seriously.
I don’t like leaving people hanging, because I hate it when I spend the time to write an email to someone and don’t ever get a response back. I don’t like sending emails just because I like to hear my keyboard click or I feel like I am being productive if I send out 100 emails an hour. I send out emails because there was something I needed or wanted to tell you, or I needed an answer to a question.
Now, Tony is going to read this and his first gut response will be to say something different about my emailing habits. He has the unique perspective of being my business partner who communicates with me in 3 or 4 different mediums everyday. We also talk about everything, and a couple of the ways we communicate send out emails. Also, I have a tendency to send him a quick one-liner email to say “hey I need to talk to you about this”. Even in this scenario, I am not sending emails just to send them, there is genuine purpose and reason.
I treat my inbox like a todo list. Everything that is in there will get attention as soon as I can get to it. I read my oldest emails first, saving the ones I need to take action on in my inbox and flagging them if they are an immediate action sort of thing. I respond to emails that need responding as soon as I can. I assume that people are sending me emails because they need to tell me something, or need some information.
So, when an email comes in and is asking for something and at the end it says “please advise” – this drives me fucking crazy. It makes me want to break my rule, say “fuck it all” and accidentally delete that email. I have read through your whole email and I fully intend to advise you on my response to the contents, and now you are demanding that I do the thing I was already going to do. If you want something from me, asking is the way to get closer to your goal of receiving your request, not demanding it.