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Anyone who has a job in 2017 probably spends more time than they ever thought possible behind one very specific line of communication: the email. And while email decorum varies from workplace to workplace, there’s one little thing that pretty much anyone can change up based around nothing other than how they’re feeling in a particular moment. And that is the email sign off.
As I was trudging along the other day, fighting my way to the bliss that is Inbox 0, I realized that my mood and my feelings toward a person vastly changes how I sign off in an email to them. And sure, maybe that makes me the moody bitch of the office, but something tells me I’m not alone. And I bet if you looked at how you ended your emails to your work wife versus that asshole who you’re positive shaded you for seeing you were on Reddit at 11 a.m., you’d absolutely spot a difference too.
This is my typical email sign off. It’s neutral, it doesn’t lean any which way (positive or negative). It’s the Vanilla Bean Halo Top in the freezer of email sign-offs. According to Forbes, this is the most widely used email sign off, and arguably “the most safe.” I would estimate that 90% of my emails and signed off this way and if that makes me as basic as the girls I see wandering around in the Hans Solo with their PSLs right now, I’m 100% okay with it. To me, ‘Best’ doesn’t really mean anything. Just the end of the email I’m patting myself on the back for responding to in a timely fashion.
I like to toss out a “Thanks” to let someone know that I’ve actually read what they’ve sent, and I acknowledge and appreciate it. It’s like giving someone the head nod when you see them out in public—the two finger wave that dads in the Midwest throw out to people while they’re driving. I feel like there’s probably a thinkpiece out there about why millennials are the rudest generation, and if just throwing out a little ty every now and then in an email sign off can help combat that I’m more than happy to do my part.
Talk soon, Emily
This is code for, “I am expecting a response from you.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like unless I put some sort of sense of urgency in an email, people assume they can just skim and file and not get back to me. Too often I’ve had to send the annoying follow up essentially calling someone out for not reading what I had to say. I don’t know if tossing out a ‘Talk soon’ actually lights a fire under their ass to pay attention, but I like to think it does. Or maybe I just miss Friday Night Lights and am taking it upon myself to act like an unofficial “read your emails” coach. Who’s to say.
I must know you! I must have a fantastic repartee with you! We’ve probably emailed a bunch and now it’s more like an actual convo going back and forth so I can undo the tie, throw on my sweats, and relax a little bit. When I reach the no sign-off or the singular letter with a coworker, it’s that great moment where I know we’re buddies. No need for that charade of professionalism and being all business all the time, I’m just E here. E is a good place to be.
Let me know if you have any questions, Emily
Yeah… I’m definitely already anticipating you having questions. I don’t know if it’s because we have Google or just a warped, millennial sense of being a martyr and having to slave over something we don’t actually know how to do, but too often I’ve ran into someone not asking how to do/handle something and screwing it up rather than just asking in the first place. And tbqh, I would rather just explain something than have someone mess it up and we have to circle all the way back to clean it up after the fact. So if throwing out the, “now’s the time to ask the questions!” helps curb that I’m once again, more than happy to do my part.
Have a good rest of your week, Emily
If I say this or a variation like “Have a good night,” I absolutely want this to be the end of our conversation. I’m over the back and forth, I’ve probably started repeating myself and saying the oh-so-lovely, “As per my last email,” and I’m just done. It’s the “go away now” of email sign-offs. And dear lord am I hoping whoever I say it to takes the hint.
Take care, Emily
A ‘Take care’ is the ‘Fuck you’ of the email sign off. Literally if you see a “Take care” from anyone, know that they absolutely hate you in that moment. It’s like when a Southern lady calls something lovely. They absolutely do NOT mean that it’s lovely. And if I tell you to “take care” I mean I hope you “take care” by playing in traffic. There’s nothing amicable about a take care. It’s basically a middle finger emoji disguised as a cordial goodbye.
Sent from my iPhone
Would you look at that! You’ve inconvenienced me so much I’m emailing you back from my phone. And I’m annoyed enough I’m not making the effort to delete the iPhone signature. This is the guilt trip of the sign-offs. It’s a really passive-aggressive way of attempting to make someone feel bad for bothering me after like, 7 PM or on the weekend. Because if I don’t care about the email, I’ll just delete the signature or hop over to my computer to answer. But if I leave it on? I without question hope you feel bad. Do I know most people don’t even notice? Absolutely. But is that going to stop me from doing it? Absolutely not. .