If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about working in an MNC based in Asia for these past 3 years is sadly, how to write politically correct e-mails and keep my mouth firmly shut.

Speak only when questioned and maintain stone cold silence for the rest of the time.

Smile at your boss even though you think you should actually be doing his job because he is totally incapable of doing his except wiping the ass of his superior everyday at long lunches and that’s how he got to be a director in the company.

But I digress – we were talking about e-mails weren’t we? You know those annoying pop-up things that distract you while you’re in the midst of writing that killer proposal or crucial Powerpoint presentation?

Yea, that’s the one.

In the corporate world, life revolves around e-mails and yes, I’m even talking about the one-liner thank you ones that clog up your inbox.

E-mails are so important, you could either receive a knighthood or be terminated into smithereens like Arnold Schwarzenegger by these things.

They can also turn into dangerous weapons of mass incrimination which is, in my opinion, why corporations like them so much. After all, pointing fingers and passing the buck is integral to the bottom lines of many corporations coz that’s just how they roll.

To be part of this e-mail game and to play it well, one must know how to wield one’s weapons with unyielding pin-point accuracy or risk losing your head in the process.

Like the intricate moves one finds in traditional Eastern martial arts, learning how to execute the perfect kick or chop takes time to master but once you get it, the way forward is as smooth as butter.

Lesson 1: Enjoy employing clichéd phrases like ‘…kindly find attached’ or ‘….more than happy to assist..’ and ‘have a great day..’ to begin and end your e-mails even though you think the person on the other end is a cold bitch Medusa you’d like to show a mirror up to and transform into a granite.

But no, no, no; Restrain yourself. You don’t want to come down to Medusa’s level now, do you?

Instead, show Medusa that you are indeed quite the effective, polite worker bee who knows how to get the job done – by showing your vampire fangs to suppliers and vendors, that is.

Lesson 2: In-between your desperate need to get a supplier or vendor to do what you want, throw in PC phrases like ‘…crucial need’, ‘urgently need your response…’, ‘let’s work towards…’, ‘let’s aim to…’ or ‘it is inevitable that we …’

This not only puts out the call to action in a nice way but it also echoes that you are in-charge and that you and your fangs do matter in the scheme of doing a paid job.

Lesson 3: Sometimes there will be times when an e-mail of a potentially destructive nature comes in – you know the type – the one where someone senior in another department will conveniently try to get you to do something extra for them because they don’t know how to or just don’t want to?

Yea – the pass the buck e-mails.

This is also the e-mail that is directly CC’ed to your immediate boss to ensure that whatever’s being communicated for you to do is made known to your boss that it is priority and needs to be done because if you don’t, then it would make you look like a slacker.

e-mails can build or destroy your career

To this, I say – don’t panic.

Read potentially incriminating e-mail. Snort with anger and then walk away from the desk.

Yup, you heard me.

Walk—away—from—the– desk.

Do not hit the ‘Reply All Motherfuckers’ button and try to make a comeback as bad as Mel Gibson playing an abusive husband in his next feature.

It ain’t gonna work. Trust me.

Instead, let’s look at some healthy alternatives:

1. Go to the restroom and take a leak but don’t flush the toilet. If you can’t take it out on the powers that be, the least you can do is take it out on the janitor.

2. Hang out at the cookie jar at the pantry and ponder the meaning of life relegated to well, er…being a cookie.

3. Decide if the oak nut cookie or the strawberry wafer will be your entrée du jour later at tea-time.

4. Once you’ve decided on your tea-time snack, go to a colleague’s table and crack a really bad joke (or a good one if you’re a natural comedian).

5. And if you living a drug-friendly country, there is this option too: Smoke some crack and smoke it  really hard.

Once you’ve settled back down to a hundred and twenty beats per minute, come back to your desk and pull up that e-mail.

Read it once and then twice – objectively! Look for any clues within the e-mail that allows you to strategize a devious and fool-proof counter-move that enables you to pass the buck back to the person who attempted to do exactly that to you.

Usually there will be ways to ease yourself out of this difficult situation especially when your inbox is crammed with so many other requests, for example, see if you can delegate the job to another department that would probably be the guys to talk to about anyway.

In short, find ways to defend your arse from uncalled for accusations from the top-down coz trust me, we live in a world today with lots of pokey fingers jabbing us all over the place.

The last thing you need in your already distraught employee life is a sausage-shaped finger waving itself menacingly right smack in front of you and your nose hairs.

Frankly I’d rather have snakes for hair.

–Send Untitled Message–


About thejellyfarm

In real life, I am a television writer and producer...er no...scratch...a television director....noo, scratch....a media loser.....wait, that doesn't sound quite insulting enough....... OK, ahem. In real life, I'm an idiot box expert with a penchant for the creative. In short, I'm a loser with no focus or direction in life. I just go where the creative flow takes me. Mostly it takes me to clogged up drains and stinky oceans but it's going.......going.....somewhere. And this blog is an expression of that mindblowing roadblock. Creative frustration is a great motivator and here is a result of that.

Posted on April 1, 2011, in Career, Job, Work and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. ako_si_aoisoba

    i took you ardvie: i contemplated my life being a cookie crumb

    • This is most encouraging. How did it feel? I bet you saw your entire Life flash before you in a milli-zippy-second didn’t ya? 😉

      I’ve done that before and many a time I’ve pictured myself travelling down dark garbage chutes and ending up in some gross red ant’s digestive system.

  2. Oooh….I remember those days. Horrible days! I think, at that time, I pondered on my life as a tofu square on certain days and a scoop of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

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