Today I learned the importance of writing properly constructed emails. Not because of an email I sent, but of one I received. I’ve always been super professional when I send important emails, and I am so glad for that, because now I know what it’s like to receive a bad impression.
A few days ago, one of the new students in the department approached me looking to help with my thesis for his Sed project. I gave a brief explanation of what was going on, told him a few of the problems I was having, and that I had a poster of my SEM project hanging up in the department, and that he should read that first, and then email me if he was still interested. You know, normal, “are you a go-getter?” things. He got back to me, yay!
…and then I learned what it’s like being on the receiving end of a shitty email. This is what it said: “Hey we talked the other day about helping you out with your resaerch I’d love to be a part so please let me know ”
Oh. Okay. Well…Thank goodness he told his name at the club meeting, otherwise I would have been really confused. There’s only 3 other people I’ve never met with the same name I talked to that night…about the same thing. OH right, I think it was this kid..Well, I’ll tell him my plan of attack for the weekend and see if he wants to meet up. You free? His response: “I can do Sunday no problem, I can also do Saturday neither presents any schduleing problem for me I’m free all weekend expect Friday night”
Oh. My. God. Remember when I said my thesis adviser is a double PhD in Paleontology and English? He’s going to tear this poor kid apart. I am genuinely worried for this kid if this is the kind of emails he sends to the professor.
So…Moral of the story. ALWAYS be professional when you are sending an email to someone you don’t know, or just met. Actually, no. Just be professional the whole time. Spell check does everything for you already. Don’t be lazy. I didn’t realize you could make SUCH an impression with an email.
Here’s how my impression went: I started to wonder if he actually read my poster. Did he just look at the pictures or did he read about them? Did he only find it to get my email? Will he remember what we talked about? Is he going to be able to handle a project I give him? How much trust can I put in this kid for my project? Will I even be able to use his findings?
I’ll be having a chat with this kid when he meets up with me. I’m not really sure how to talk to him about without sounding like an uppety bitch, but I’ll be doing him a favor either way.