Thanks and Regards

Friday, July 28, 2017

Everyone has a dark secret, that usually never sees the light of the day. I have my fair share too. But the only one I'm willing to admit publically concerns my work.

I fucking love formal emails.

I absolutely love how cold and brutal you could be with a single, helpless "Hi". Used in isolation, it can be anything- a precursor to "I'm drunk and in the mood to eat with you." or accompanying introductions that can last a lifelong impression on your mind. You would not imagine but one of my "Hi" once preceded this sentence, "I was like a peacock in college. Really out there, you know?"

Needless to say, I never heard again from the person.

(It's a miracle he didn't file a restraining order against me after that.)

When you take that "Hi" and place it in a formal email, so much can change. Don't get me wrong but a "Hello" simply doesn't cut it. Neither in seniority nor in the tone. A "Hi" is a shapeshifting, classless, gender neutral way of wanting to show yourself to someone. Do you hate someone but want to be nice for like 2 seconds? "Hi". You almost, always read with in a tone that isn't reserved for someone you hate, yet, the content following that could be injurious to health. Please do not use tobacco.

Formal emails turn me on. The more curt and formal they are, the better their purpose is. You know the emails which are all about negotiation for money? They're my absolute favourite. You negotiating with a future employer, a client, an agency, a cuntlet- anyone- you start with a tone curt "Hi" and you know you fucking mean business.

One of my favourite former colleagues gave me this rule of thumb- never address people as "Dear" so and so. She literally peered into my eye and told me, "Hey, we don't do this here? Okay? It's good to learn it at this stage."

I don't usually take no for an answer, especially if that comes from a colleague I've known for less than a week. There I was, a proud motherfucker who made it to that job purely by my talent and here I was, listening to her.

It's a miracle but SrishG and I are friends, despite that conversation. It's simple. Nobody deserves anything more than a "Hi". It's the right measure of fun, formal and fearless and at the same time, just about good for anything- a meal, wedding proposal, hooking up, work, awkward drunk texting which is asexual but oh so fun. You get the drift?

It's not just the "Hi" though, that does it. It's also the power dynamics that play out. If there's one thing, I LOVE about a formal desk job, it's got to be writing emails. I'm as obsessed with them, as I am with playing Ludo at the moment. For a reference, I end up playing online Ludo from 7 pm - 4 am and back from 7 am - 9 am- in essence, all the hours I spend outside of work. The ones spent at work- are all about my second vice- emails.

When I started the current job I'm at, I used to call a senior colleague and she would make me re-write the whole bloody text thing in my emails. I know not what bothered her more, my urge to ask multiple questions and uncomfortable things or just the sheer language. She takes about an hour draft every mail she sends out, annoyingly clicks on the mouse a million times, making sure my patience depletes if I am working with her. Today when I look back, I wonder where's that person who could tolerate that shit for an hour and still be smiling.

I also believe, writing emails is severely underrated work of art. It's something that should be taught as compulsory curriculum in school, as a part of a subject titled "Work Etiquettes". Say what you may, my convent education leads me to believe this shit is critical for people., This one time recently, Meggy told me about someone from our class who asked her for some contacts. "She doesn't have the manners to say "Hi". I'm not sharing anything with her!", something I completely subscribe to. There are too few people in the world who know how this is done and how to respond. My dad obviously isn't a writer but he too had a feedback to share, "You should always write one line emails. Never commit to anything more."

Well, that's the first you'll hear of my father. For one, he's not a writer and for the second, he belongs to the school of "Dear", where if one writes "Hi" or "Hey", his corporate etiquettes tell him the person is being rude.

Later in the course of my work, I was given a simple lesson on the "voice" of the work mails. In one of the smartest things (and probably the only one) my employer taught me during a meeting was how to frame work mails. He suggested I channelizing the voice of the employer itself. While that individual is usually calm, I'm angry. I'm livid. I'm also in shock at the sheer incumbency of people and their attitude to work.

To one of our clients, I'd written an acidic, almost an equivalent of a hate mail. The client in question wanted some changes in the file, which had been done a month ago. Clients being clients were living with the image of the stereotypical tarts- an absolute cunt. My employer laughed (something which I think was so sweet now) at my written responses. He told me to calm my tits and write as a sane, level headed person would (both of which, I think he believes I'm not). If all goes well, we'll close the project soon. I may not have agreed to his idea then, but a fortnight later, I think his strategy really worked. An outtake for life, most definitely.

Whether you're a corporate ho or a college rookie or even just drunk and getting back home on this Friday evening, one thing is for sure. Your shining degrees, your slam poetry, your property papers have got nothing whatsoever on my swagger of sending formal emails.

There's nothing quite like a person who can send you a crisp, curt and formal email to turn you on. Nothing else beats a "Hi" and all that it can possibly lead to.

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