“Hope this email finds you well!”
How many times have you received and/or written this in the last six months? It’s like the new “hope you had a good weekend” or “good morning!” You know what Cheryl, this email does not find me well. Pretty sure my inbox is where all my anxieties go to hang out.
Email cliches are at an all time high as we all “navigate this new normal.” And while we should “give each other grace as we navigate the unknown,” I’m about done with all this new email jargon, even as I myself am guilty of committing these crimes of electronic correspondence.
A couple weeks ago, I did a rant about this on Instagram and asked you all to share some of the email cliches that are pushing you to the brink. And man did you all come through. Since we could all use a little laugh these days, I thought I’d share the full list and what I wish I could respond to each.
“Hope this email finds you well.”
The workhorse of office email cliches; used by everyone from close contacts to that random sales rep.
No Linda, this email does not find me well. It finds me with an anxiety stomach ache, a giant list of to-dos and a laundry pile that’s attempting to gain control of my home. It finds me trying to make sense of the impending apocalypse while still making sure this project outline goes out on time. It finds me wishing I could hide under my desk instead of dealing with the responsibilities of being an adult.
Of course I will ask all that in my go-to response of, “Great to hear from you! Hope you’re doing well too – wild times!”
“Hope you’re staying safe and healthy.”
The alternative to “hope this finds you well” when you’re trying to mix it up. You know, show that you’re aware of the madness swirling outside your laptop but still trying to keep it light and upbeat.
Thanks for the kind words Shawn. Mostly I’m just trying to keep my composure when my kid is touching every item on the shelf at Target under the watchful eye of a judgy Janet wearing gloves and a look of disapproval. Ohio Valley allergies have convinced me, and everyone I come in contact with, that I have the ‘Rona, but otherwise all good. I appreciate your asking.
“In this new environment…”
The new environment where the world is rapidly collapsing around us, is that the one you’re referencing Jim?
This one is usually followed by the bold, new, fresh idea of hosting a virtual event. Can we all agree that absolutely NO ONE wants to attend a virtual gala or fundraiser? And can we just go back to having phone calls? Some things are just meant to be kept to yourself. It’s bad enough that people on conference calls have to hear me whisper yelling at my kids, they certainly don’t need to see my face as I beg them to stop pinching each other and feeding the dog Cheeto puffs.
In this new environment we’re at our wits end, stressed to the max and tired of Zooming.
“We’ll need to pivot…”
Unless your name is Ross Gellar and you’re trying to move a couch up the stairs, there is no reason to use this in an email.
Let’s all agree to just say, “This world is a colossal mess right now. No one knows up from down and we’re gonna have to switch it up or just cancel whatever plans we thought we had.”
Or if you feel compelled to use it, just throw the Friends gif in the email so we can all be in on the joke.
“This is a fluid situation.”
Whenever I hear this one I just imagine a lazy river appearing in my office and, in my mind, I grab a tube and jump into it hoping it will carry me away from this “new normal.”
Yeah Nancy we know things are up in the air since everyday there is some new catastrophe, social justice crisis, COVID number announcement, political battle or monumental death of an important figure. So yeah, we’ll be on our toes and be prepared to cancel because that’s what we do in 2020, we cancel everything and go back to hiding under the covers.
“You’re on mute” or “Please mute your speaker.”
Is there anything worse than hearing your colleague’s significant other unload the dishwasher while you’re trying to explain the intricacy of a “fluid situation?” Well yes, it’s explaining the nuances of the “new normal” in stunning detail for a full minute while you’re on mute.
Actually it’s when you think you’re on mute and make a snarky comment about how much Mark’s dog barks only to realize everyone can hear you.
And this my friends is why we are all over Zoom calls. Prayers up for all the teachers doing NTI creating an arsenal of tricks and tools to get 7-year-olds to figure out how to mute and un-mute themselves. They are the real MVPs.
“We’re all in this together.”
Oh are we Marcia? Are we? Cause it certainly doesn’t feel like it when I’m sitting solo in my closet, shame eating an entire roll of Oreos and hiding from my responsibilities. Feels pretty lonely.
Doesn’t feel like it when you call the cops to let them know your next door neighbor is having an outdoor family bbq that you deem unsafe. Doesn’t feel like it every time I get on Facebook and people are at each other’s throat about the color of the sky.
Would really love for this all to look like the closing credits of ‘High School Musical’ but getting more ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ with a touch of ‘Terminator’ vibes. But thanks for the reminder, I’ll remember that the next time someone yells at my four-year-old for not wearing a mask at Kroger.R
Okay, sorry that one took a bit of a dark turn. Clearly needed to get something off my chest there.
In all honesty, I’m guilty of using almost all of these in my daily quest to get my inbox under control. All except that last one. The only time you’ll catch me saying that is while watching Zac Efron bust a move in his Wildcats jersey.
But again, “thank you for your patience as we navigate the current climate,” I know “there’s a learning curve” we’re all dealing we all use “an abundance of caution” and attempt to “stay safe and healthy.”
Take care, Danielle