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What's wrong with email - The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
zimzat
zimzat
What's wrong with email
Here's one major thing wrong with email: Signatures.

There's the name, a given, okay. Then there is the position... if you must. And the company name; fine, fine. And phone numbers... what? Why?? And email address; isn't that already in the header/from? Maybe a logo graphic too, just for good measure. Oh, and the disclaimer, that no one pays attention to. And sometimes even a 'think of the trees before printing this emai' line too with a little cutsie icon.

...

Geez people, do you think you have enough information that no one cares about after the first message (If that!)? To top it off it all gets repeated every time someone sends a one line response! It's kind of hard to follow the subject when more than 75% of the content is irrelevant to the conversation!

Be kind. Sign your name, maybe your position on the same line and company/url on separate lines, and leave it at that. Everything else is just wasted time and effort. And especially leave alone the large fonts and graphics.

Current Mood: annoyed

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Comments
legolastn From: legolastn Date: December 30th, 2009 07:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Academics often have their full physical mailing address and their professional website as well I've noticed.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: December 30th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
The 1% of the time (complete guess) that they actually need that information it wouldn't be too difficult to explicitly request it, and yet the other 99% of the time it's just skipped over.

My company's mandated signature looks something like this:


[person's name]
[position, group]

[company name]
[company tag line (e.g. We make it better)]

[email address]
[phone]
[fax]


[company image claiming Inc. ranking]
[company image claiming Inc. ranking]
[company image claiming Inc. ranking]
[company image claiming Inc. ranking] (takes about four lines for the one image)

[Confidentiality statement and notice] (takes four or more lines, wrapped)
[Confidentiality statement and notice]
[Confidentiality statement and notice]
[Confidentiality statement and notice]
legalmoose From: legalmoose Date: December 30th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to disagree. I have two signatures, an internal one with name, title, office, phone number, and an external one with full formal name (complete with roman numeral!), title, office, Big Gubm'nt Agency name, email, and phone number. My emails often get forwarded around and it's easier to have the phone on them all so folks can call me about the email, and the email on the external one in case someone down the chain needs to reach me about a matter. I don't use them on every email, just ones where I have to show why it is I'm writing ("pay attention to your lawyer, please"), or more formal ones where I know the email's going to get around.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: December 30th, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
If it's kept small and relevant, maybe. Depending on position and duties I can actually see more being better, like you've said. It would even be better if it only included the full signature the first time in a message thread, then kept it small and concise after that.

I've created my own signature for work that only has name, position/group, and company, with the latter two in smaller than default text size. There's no white space between each line and no images either. I rarely have to email someone outside the company (I think I've done that maybe a dozen times in the last three years) so anything more is just getting in the way of communicating within the company.

You can look at my comment above to see my company's preferred signature information and format.
andrewshead From: andrewshead Date: December 31st, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
It could be worse....


My signature at work is pretty simple
Name
Group
Number.

Like Moose I've got a few more formal ones I use on e-mails when I'm stating an official position or may be archived.

What annoys me more than anything are the "Please think of the environment before printing this e-mail"
zimzat From: zimzat Date: December 31st, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Remind me not to start an email conversation with that person? :-P

Yet very few people print their emails unless they need to. Those that print all of them aren't going to stop just because of the signature line. And then when you do print it that one line may end up on a page of its own. :-P

I think I'll go back and recreate the official signature but not set it to default. That way I at least have it available for the half a dozen times I do send email outside of the company.
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