Today I was doing some customer service work for one of my clients. I had written a blog post for my business site awhile ago about online etiquette. I have been doing customer service online for close to 15 years (don’t try to do the math – you know how old I am!) My experience is that people are extremely brave behind the face of anonymity. I have been in charge of teams of people and had otherwise intelligent people say the nastiest things to me – as their supervisor – and then expect no ramifications. They always stammer when confronted on their rudeness and when pointed out that they would never speak to a superior, or anyone, like that in person.
That brings me to today’s scenario. My client happens to send a decent amount of marketing emails. I am not expected to answer people who send nasty rude emails because they think our emails are stupid or they wish to be removed from our email list. I usually just remove them and do not even answer since they don’t want to hear from us anyway. Today was different. I am tired of people not using the same manners they would use face to face OR even worse yet, maybe they don’t have any to speak of. It is time for me to do a little Miss Manners!
I am plowing through the weekend worth of emails when I come upon the following, sent yesterday:
“Go and f*** your mother you a**h**e STOP sending me s**t
I want to reply (which is my favorite reply to rants like this) Your mother must be so proud… I think it, but I don’t dare type it. I remove this member from our list and, still bothered, reply with the following:
“Thank you so much for your kind words about my mother. You have been removed from our mailing list.”
Feeling good about my response, I continue along the emails when I find another email sent hours later from the first email yesterday saying…
“just f*** your mom a**h**e”
Ahhh I see they were having a good day. Knowing that I replied to the first email and don’t want this email to go unanswered, I continue the “kill em with kindness” crusade. I reply again saying,
“Again — thank you for your kind words.”
As I’m ready to sign off, I see that I have a new email from my favorite buddy…
“look brother or sister i am trully sorry about those words i mean it really sorry”
I giggle and know that I have made a dent in teaching this person a lesson. I decide to continue the lesson.
“Apology accepted. Have a great weekend.” Before I even hit send I receive another email saying,
“no problem ma’m sir”
I feel good that we’ve seen the light. This person will think twice before sending an email like that to an “anonymous” person.
I decide this is worthy of a blog post and I start typing. Wanting to use the exact exchange I sign back into the email to start copy & pasting and see one more email from my friend…
“ohhh thank you so much and you have a great weekend as well
i am happy you accepted my apology”
Ahhhh – their mother would be SO proud!