March 15, 2004

Substance over style (when am I ever going to learn?)

I had one of those 'oh shit' moments this morning when I opened my email.

If you've been reading regularly, you've heard me mention that we're installing brand new computer software which bears a remarkable resemblance to Linda Lovelace.

Last week, my boss's boss asked me a couple of questions about the old and new software. I was on my way out the door, so I gave some off-the-top-of-my-head answers. The next morning I came in and wrote up a detailed analysis based on his questions because I wasn't satisfied with what I'd originally told him. I sent it to him via email and forgot about it.

Since it was an informal email, it was written much in the style of this blog: full of odd contractions, slang, quick jokes and asides, but it did get the message across. Here are the last lines:

I feel like Tevya: on the one hand… on the other hand… Oy!


So this morning I open my email and get a very nice thank you for the "excellent write-up - balanced and reasoned." The thank you came from my boss's boss's boss's... aw hell, it's from four levels above the guy I sent it too. The forwarding trail shows where each boss in turn read it and sent it on up the line.

It's good analysis, but I'm waiting for someone to come talk to me about how to compose 'official' correspondence.

Posted by Ted at March 15, 2004 07:57 AM
Category: Square Pegs


Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 15, 2004 11:29 AM


Posted by: Robyn at March 15, 2004 12:39 PM

It oughta be exactly what you did. Personality not only makes analysis easier to read, it makes it easier to understand. I think that any correspondence of a technical nature (especially if it's written for someone with less tech knowledge than yourself) should satisfy two criteria: 1) it alleves any fear that what they're reading is tedious (usually through folksy humor), and; 2) my Grandmother will understand it.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at March 15, 2004 07:44 PM

So maybe time to start on "If I were a rich man".

Posted by: Simon at March 16, 2004 02:02 AM

Cheese ain't got jack on the power of the 'forward' button.

Posted by: Wind Rider at March 16, 2004 11:23 AM
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