No, I don’t mean like writing a program that handles emails or even a regexp for checking whether an email address is valid. I certainly don’t know either of those and it wouldn’t be blogworthy to mention something that’s both true for most people and not expected of me.
I literally mean the composition of email messages.
You see, I was stuck in a not-quite-a-job for two years, a fairly large chunk of which I wasn’t working at all, and a fairly large chunk of the remaining actually-working bits was reading emails, and a small chunk of that remainder was writing emails. Which was still a considerable amount of emails compared to the quantity I sent throughout six years of high school (which was probably in the ballpark of 40 to 50 messages).
However, I had pretty much zero respect for the recipients of the messages I was composing. I don’t know how many of my rants regarding this topic survived my purge of embarrassing articles, but if you read my previous posts on the topic, you know what I mean. I’ve straight-out insulted people of vastly higher rank or standing in my messages. For that matter, there were requirements on how email messages were supposed to be formatted, but as far as I can tell there was exactly one (read: 1) office I communicated with which followed the guidelines, and they also happened to be located in HQ MINDEF so I guess it’d be pretty hypocritical if they didn’t follow their own guidelines. I don’t remember the arcane rituals one must follow in order to craft the electronic mail message of greatest dignity but I’m pretty sure I violated them with the very first word of almost every single message I sent because I addressed most people with this two-letter word: “Hi”. I also addressed most officers by their given name instead of surname, which probably also violates a dozen other protocols.
I mostly didn’t give a shit because I didn’t believe in authority. The funny thing about that job was that it was compulsory for almost every male of this country, and generally people let you get away with doing whatever because, firstly, they don’t want to further antagonise someone working in a job they don’t love and secondly, unless you’re really causing a lot of trouble for them with your nonsense, the red tape involved in official punishment is simply not worth it. I figured that that was part of how I managed to avoid punishment with my outright trolling messages.
I don’t have these excuses to fall back on now.
A couple of years ago—I don’t remember whether it was on this blog, the old blog, or Twitter, or wherever the heck I stashed away dumb ideas—I flippantly mentioned that email signatures like “Best regards,\n[my name]” are absolutely worthless if they’re automatically added, because then it just becomes a bunch of meaningless words you send with every message. I did use automatic email signatures during the job stint, except I forwent the “yours sincerely” bullshit and left actually useful information like my name and job scope. Now that I’m a student, I don’t exactly have a job scope so I assume I could just leave my name. Except that email messages have a name field, so I could just omit the signature altogether. Is this a good idea? I don’t know!
All I know is that the style of email writing I’d acquired in the last two years is probably not going to be suitable, and this might be a slight problem.