There’s something dangerous about hitting “send” on what should be a perfectly innocuous email. My reliance on email has made me relatively lax on some stuff when it comes to personal correspondence – just ask my husband when the last time was that I actually used capitalization and punctuation in a missive to him. When it comes to business, I utilize the skills that should just be second-hand to this English major.
Recently, I’ve been trying to grow a base of business using my freelance writing skills – specifically, working on grants for non-profits, working on stuff through my cooking blog, etc., and I’ve been using my personal e-mail accounts more as business accounts. And at the bottom of all of my outgoing e-mail messages I have links that direct people to my various blogs and how you can follow me on Twitter.
When I’m communicating like people from the Minnesota Council of Foundations or even an acquaintance that I don’t know very well, I usually take off my email signature. I just click, swipe and POOF! Those links disappear conveniently.
At least that’s what’s happens on a good day.
I have been seeking different employ lately and because I cannot have my cell phone with me at work, I told the HR recruiter person to just send me an email so I could schedule a future job interview. And while I had been good during the three previous emails at taking out my email signature, I forgot to do it the last time when I jotted off a quick “that’s perfect” to an inquiry she had sent to me.
And that’s when my stomach sank down to my Sketchers. Automatically, I searched my memory banks to check and see if I had written anything remotely offensive lately. I went to my personal blog. The only thing of note lately had been a picture of my offensively fat cat and maybe a link to an article about how Cindy McCain supports gay marriage rights and my liberal take on that news blurb. I also eulogized Robert B. Parker. In my cooking blog I hinted that I’ve been kind of sad lately and that a recent healthy eating kick was derailed by quote: “work kicking my ass” and how healthy eating got booted to the wayside by a cure of Chinese takeout and Seagrams mixed with Sprite. OK – that makes me look slightly suspect. And you guys know what I’ve wrote in my debt reduction blog. Just my usual natterings about this, that and the other thing.
Long story short – I’m just hoping with my considerable heart that my email signature is buried at the bottom of my email to my potential employer. (And if not, hello potential employer! I’m a prolific writer … please do not hold that against me.) And if it’s not … well, it goes back to what everyone has ever told a person about social media and the Internet. Don’t write or post anything that your grandma would have a heart attack over reading, don’t say anything that would get you fired and act with care when sending out emails. You never know who is going to be reading what you write.
I’m not ashamed that I write – I try to educate through humor and share my experiences in the hope that other people don’t screw up as much as I do. However, some of what I write is pretty darn personal when it comes to some of the frustrations that I have had with work. Given that in a job interview situation, everything you present is supposed to be thoughtfully hunky dory, I don’t know that I really want an interviewer to know that there have been days that I’ve thought about blinding myself by thrusting a dry-erase marker in my eye. That is just a little … odd. I do admit that.
This “oh sh!t” moment has been brought to you by the letter B for BONEHEAD!
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