Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

It's still happening.

I thought people were over this by now.

I thought they'd realized that it represented everything wrong about communication.

It appears not.

Which is odd, because it's communication professionals who do it most often. At least, to me.

They send out emails in which the subject line begins: Friendly Reminder.

I'm sure that whichever San Franciscan invented this unfelicitous turn of phrase thought they'd reached the nirvana of passive aggression.

They surely sat back and thought: "This is so smooth that it's perfect."

I fear, though, that real human beings see through it.

They see that the real meaning of it is: Look, I asked you to do something and you didn't do it. Can you just do it? Or I'll send you another one entitled "Another Friendly Reminder."

There are some people, I understand, who send friendly reminders to people who likely get several friendly reminders a day. 

They even send them to their bosses, as if believing that the word friendly embodies a smile, rather than the scowl of impatience that's actually embedded in every letter.

I understand that it's hard sending the same request twice.

But part of the annoyance of the friendly reminder email is that it's lazy.

It's a way of sending the exact same email again, with the only change being a sudden onset of faux-friendliness in the subject line.

And it's even worse if you trivialize your annoyance by adding Just.

Just a Friendly Reminder.

Oh, no, it isn't.

If you want to remind someone to do something, perhaps it's best to send a newly-penned email, because it's clear the last one didn't work.

I know it's extra effort, but that's the problem with getting anyone to do anything these days.

In our blessedly individualistic world, everyone is wrapped in the cocoon of their self-absorption and their headphones.

Somehow, you have to burrow your way into their troubled consciousness in order to get them to do something.

Originality is surely more likely to work than the friendliness of a very low-level Mafia operator who's come to get his boss's payment from a local grocery store.

Just some friendly advice, you understand.

Published on: Apr 22, 2018
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