Monday, October 29, 2012

Professionalism...does it exist?

I have to say... when you receive emails from prospective authors, readers, and really--anyone in general, it makes an impression when you don't even use words.  Believe it or not I daily receive emails where YOU is spelled U, ARE is R, etc.

Even beyond just emails from adoring readers, I get these kinds of emails from perspective authors who want me to publish them. Yes!

I have had submissions in all caps. Submissions where they sent in one and then knew it was riddled with misspellings so they highlighted it and sent them back. And then I've had emails from authors using "text language."

What happened to the days of professionalism?

Likewise, when you send an editor, agent, or publishing representative a submission and preface it in bold letters, I HAVE OFFERS ON THIS MANUSCRIPT, I would like the general public to know that I delete it right then and there. Obviously, you're on the right track then and you don't need me. I'm not going to vie for your BIG work with my little company if you're so amazing.

What happened to the days of proving you were worthy of attention?

I have sons. I have five of them ranging from 14-7. They hold open doors for people. Some days I can't find them because they are still opening doors because people don't understand the art of saying thank you and taking the hint to hold for the crowd.  They say, "Yes, Ma'am," "Yes, Sir." and oh my, "Mrs. Smith, how are you?" (I'll admit the latter part comes from years of martial arts training starting very young.) They are gracious and kind. And never would they write a letter to a company who rejected their all caps proposal and say, "You can't just tell me no!" (oh,but I can!)

I don't know if reinventing professionalism in a world where it is all virtual needs to start at home, or in the schools, but it still needs to exist. Just because I can't see your face as you shoot off an email to tell me where to go doesn't mean writing it poorly is still acceptable.  You can burn bridges virtually just as well as you can when you slam a door in someone's face.

Think it over. Before you sign off with C U L8TR.


  1. Dear Bernadette,

    I Agree completely. I have a difficult time using 'text speech' even in text. Well, except for LOL and a :). These two are the greatest inventions because it is so easy to come off the wrong way in email and text.

    I still start my emails off with "Dear", at least for the first few emails, and end with a salutation.

    Great post... A thank you and a little professionalism goes a long way in my world. But sadly, we come from a different generation, my friend. I do try to instill those notions in my boys too, so hopefully our young men will stand out in a world of inconsiderate people.

    Have a great day.



  2. I agree, this was a very good post!

    Some people are unable to draw the line between talk-text and actual emailing. An email is a digital letter. Would you write a letter using slang or short words and expect to be taken seriously? Especially as an author! Just because your sending a text message or DM on Facebook does not mean you can't remember to spell or use the lazy form of a word! If you have to do that then you may not need to send a message at all...(okay so Twitter has to be the only logical exception!)

    And yes, teaching our children to be cordial should never stop! I do the same with my kids, though getting them to stop sending me shortened text messages never seems to stick! LOL! At least they are respectful in public.

    But in the end, business is business and everyone should remember to make a good impression on those you wish to work with, you must put the lazy 'shortcuts' behind and remember the rules taught to you in Elementary school.