I’ve been using email since high school, but for this post’s sake, I’ll focus on emails in the workplace, because those are a creature of their own.
At my old job, there were days when I could come into 20+ emails in my inbox or none. The former happened more than the latter. I didn’t put my email on my phone because realistically there was nothing I could do out of the office in terms of dealing with any situation at hand; all of my work was on my computer in the office, and we really couldn’t work from home.
For some reason, my anxiety would spike when I saw email notifications come through on my computer—we used G-Suite—so I figured out how to turn those off in G-Mail. That seemed to help, and I also noticed when I was working with lesser clients, my emails weren’t as much or as messy. I used the folder system within G-Mail to organize by each client; when I started there I had about 40 and when I left I was down to 15ish.
When I started the job I have now, IT had to resurrect my school Outlook email from the dead, although it was really only dormant from January to October of last year when I was done with grad school. So I had the hundreds of emails I received and sent as an undergrad and grad student on my first day of work. I went through and cleaned out emails from my mailbox that dated back to 2012, when I started my freshman year. And this email has been on my phone since then; I was too lazy to take it off after grad school. I’m fine with having it on there and getting emails when I’m not at work; maybe it’s a sign I actually like my job now.
The reason why this post is being created is because today I’ve realized I spend too much time analyzing emails. I received an email today, and I found myself thinking about the use of certain punctuation for like ten minutes. Okay so the exclamation point is fine, but what does the “…” mean at the end? And in this context? Why use an ellipsis instead of another exclamation point? And in another email from this person, why use two exclamation points after thanking me for sending pictures? Does it even matter? Why do I do this to myself?
You’ll encounter this issue with any form of written communication. I’m normally not this particular about texts or other messages, granted because I’m known for overusing the caps lock. I don’t get caps lock angry in emails at work. But for the most part, the emails I receive are how you’d expect emails to be written, but normally with more exclamation points and smileys. However, I’m guilty of using too many exclamation points in emails, so I have to go back and pick and choose when it’s appropriate.
Not going to lie, I’m still thinking about this email but since I’m off from work until next Wednesday, I need to find something else to do with my time. I didn’t put up my out of office because I figure most people will be out of the office/on vacation so I shouldn’t be getting really any emails. Everyone is still recovering from commencement last weekend.
Do you reread your emails a million times before sending them like I do? How’s your use of exclamation points? Do you focus on punctuation as much as I do?