The other day in a business writing course an employee complained about the common directive at the bottom of many emails he receives:
Please consider the environment before printing this email.
He is tired of being told to do something that he already does naturally. He only prints an email if he must have a printed copy, a rare situation for him.
Is it time to stop reminding people not to print unnecessarily? Should we instead direct people to do other things that may not come to themnaturally?
Considering what I hear in business writing classes, I offer these whimsical directivesfor possible placement at the bottom of your email signature:
Please consider my sanity and respondto both of my questions–not just one.
Please considerwhat your mother taught you aboutmanners before deleting my request.
Please consider rereading this email before sending me a question it answers.
Please consider the possibility that my spelling of my name is correct.
Please consider the 2,152 messages in my inbox before copying me on your “Thanks” emails.
Do you have a “Please consider” directive you would secretlylike to add to your email signature?
Please consider sharing it here before the moment passes.