Friday, February 17, 2006

Beware of Email

A couple of cautionary stories:

From Wired News::
"Don't work too hard," wrote a colleague in an e-mail today. Was she sincere or sarcastic? I think I know (sarcastic), but I'm probably wrong.

According to recent research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, I've only a 50-50 chance of ascertaining the tone of any e-mail message. The study also shows that people think they've correctly interpreted the tone of e-mails they receive 90 percent of the time.

'That's how flame wars get started,' says psychologist Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago, who conducted the research with Justin Kruger of New York University. 'People in our study were convinced they've accurately understood the tone of an e-mail message when in fact their odds are no better than chance,' says Epley.
And from the Boston Herald, this one is making the rounds:
Dianna Abdala of Newton has been an attorney for less than a year, but lawyers all over the world already know her name.

A biting e-mail exchange between the recent Suffolk University Law School grad and a potential employer at a Boston firm reached the inboxes of attorneys from Boston to Berlin over the past week, making Abdala an unwitting butt of jokes in the legal community on how not to get a job.

It began with an e-mail Abdala sent to attorney William Korman earlier this month declining a job offer with his firm because the pay was too low.
“I have decided to work for myself, and reap 100% of the benefits that I sew,” she wrote, misusing “sew” for “sow.”

Korman, who said the e-mail surprised him since Abdala had already accepted the offer, replied that while he understood her reasoning, “I am extremely disappointed in the way this played out.”

Her reply: “A real lawyer would have put the contract into writing.”

The exchange went on to include Korman asking “do you really want to start p***ing off more experienced lawyers at this early stage of your career?” and finally culminated with Abdala’s final response: “bla bla bla.”


Blogger Dave said...

There's probably something to this.

I put a sarcastic reference to closing on an apartment on my blog and someone thought I was serious. So I had to update the blog post with a disclaimer saying my comment was a joke.

When a joke has to be explained, it ceases to be funny.

10:16 AM  

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