take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Yes, but is it relevant? 

I have noticed a phenomenon.

This is not unusual for me. I often notice phenomena whilst going about my daily business. Many of the phenomena I notice are things which annoy me, and the one I'm about to relate to you, oh faithful reader, is no exception.

I've always been a bit "funny" about email signatures. Not funny "ha-ha", but funny "peculiar".

I can see the general function of them. Yes, of course you could put your name and position within the company, especially if it's the first time you are contacting me and I might wonder "Who, in God's name, is this person, sending me an email?". Yes, by all means, put your office number and even your fax number (if you think anyone's going to use it).

But do I need your full postal address? I can see that I might need it for very specific circumstances, but do I need it every time you send me an email? Especially if you work in the same building as me, for the same company as me - hell, in the same office area as me!

Do I need your email address? You've just sent me an email and guess what! There's this amazing facility known as "reply" which allows me to send an email back again! Also, depending on what email client I'm using (and naturally, Lotus Notes is the most useless at doing this), I can (usually) easily see what your email address is by using the power of my eyes.

In my last, fascinating temporary job (I finished on Friday, to allow me to take up my new, permanent, eminently more lucrative but probably only slightly less soul-destroying position), I noted that there were some extra nuggets of information that people seemed keen to include in their email signature.

Firstly, a crappy picture of a ship, made out of various punctuation marks and symbols (the job had "something to do" with ships, although I am not at liberty to reveal any more than this). Ha, aren't they amusingly light-hearted, with their jaunty ship pictures. Not.

Secondly, a worrying trend was the inclusion of letters after the name.

Don't get me wrong - letters after the name are sometimes relevant, if the letters relate directly to the business that the sender is engaged in whilst sending the email. A doctor, perhaps, or an accountant.

But when I receive an email from, say, a "PA to a really important person" (yeah, whatever), where the sender signs off with "Simpering Twit, BA (Hons)", I do wonder what the world is coming to. The fact that you have a degree in, I dunno, "Media Studies", is, I'm afraid, sadly not relevant to your ability to take a pair of trousers to the dry cleaners, do some filing or be treated like a common skivvy by a "very important" executive, now is it?

I am all too aware that my degree in French is basically of no import to my day-to-day existence as a computer programmer so the very idea of shoe-horning my irrelevant qualifications into an email signature on that subject is just plain laughable.

And so I laugh.

Status Anxiety, BA (Hons), DipTransIoLET
Purveyor of Mediocre Blog Posts
02380 xxx xxx*

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