Well. Now you know…
You’ve heard of passive aggressive notes being left around offices, usually in the kitchen and in Comic Sans font. (Ew.)
But did you realise that little silent grenades of passive aggression are also being pinged back and forth over email every day?
Hidden meanings, underlying implications and innuendos only decipherable by the most astute office-worker minds…
Here are some of the common email phrases we may or may not be guilty of using, and what they actually mean.
1. Thanks in advance.
Makes you prickle just reading it, doesn’t it? This is short for – I am commanding you to do this task. I expect this task to be done. I am no longer feeling friendly and sociable, re: the getting done of this task.
“Thanks in advance” comes at the end of a favour/request, but renders that favour/request a command/demand. Politely, but firmly. With no opt-out option.
2. I’d love to pick your brains about something…
Ah, this phrase. The favour/request in disguise, that does little to mask all out panic. This reads: Help. I am in over my head. I need you to explain this thing to me that I really should already know as part of my job. I am getting desperate. I will owe you one etc etc.
If the “I’d love to you pick your brains about something” request is granted, there will be a gushy, thankful email to follow, with excessive use of exclamation marks. “Thank you so much! Legend! Saviour!”
3. With all due respect.
Oooh, things are getting heated here. With all due respect, this has been brought up before. With all due respect, I don’t believe that’s the direction we’re heading.
4. I’m just following this up…
“Hi there, I’m just following up to see how you went with x?” Yes, that old chestnut. It can also come in the form of “I was wondering if you’d had a chance to see my email, sent last week…”.
The many guises of the “WILL YOU HURRY THE F UP AND DO WHAT I ASKED” email. Said in a less shouty, more socially acceptable manner.