The E - Slap

A friend and I were talking about delivering reprimands and homilies over email. It brought back memories of when I was still working full time. I worked as a senior manager and had a lot of email traffic. There were many demands, disguised as 'requests' that came my way. Mostly from headquarters. Now I was known as a bit of a firebrand at the work place. In fact, one one occassion, a colleague even branded me as 'Ms. Thunderbolt'. Naturally, my email communication matched my image. I developed a writing style that came to be known as the 'E-Slap'. A few examples:

If I wrote 'I'm surprised at...' it meant 'I'm pissed off!'. If I wrote ' I'm distressed...' it meant 'I'm enraged!'. If I wrote 'You will agree that...' it meant 'I don't want any arguments'. 'Thanks in advance for doing this' usually meant 'saying no is not acceptable'. And if I was REALLY displeased, then instructions over email would end with '...this is non negotiable'!

I thought I was camouflaging my feelings pretty well behind all those professional sounding words. Little did I realise how transparent I was. At a national level meeting, amidst discussions on e-governance and other 'E' stuff, matters took a humourous turn. A colleauge took my name tag - you know, the clip-on variety. It was cicular in shape. He flipped it over to the blank side and went to work with his pen. A while later, he handed it back to me with a huge smile. It carried the sketch of a hand with 'E-Slap' written across it. When I looked confused, the group broke out laughing. 'Its what you do when you said stinker emails.' they said.

E-Slap?! I didn't take offence. Was rather amused actually. It was an apt description of the way I expressed displeasure through email. Rarely had an appraisal gone by without reference to 'my tone' or 'communication style'.

Its not that I meant to be rude. It was a combination of factors. First, I did not suffer fools gladly. Second, the email represented me. I had to ensure that the words expressed what I FELT. And last - I (unfortunately) had an excellant command over the English language (please excuse my immodesty). All of which converged in a resounding 'E-Slap'!

There was a lighter side to this infamy. People in HQ thought twice before messing with me. Peers, on occassion, appreciated the 'E-Slaps' (naturally not the ones directed at them!). 'You said what we wanted to'. And come to think of it, if they could tease me about it, then they must have realised that my bark was worse than my bite!

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14 Responses to The E - Slap

  1. Ha... Ha... I like the "non negotiable" part... Shows your "official" personality... I'd like to see some of your former colleagues' comments... :)

    Cheers!

  2. Lopa says:

    This reminds me of the Deepa I knew almost 25 years back...candid yet cute!!!
    LOve ya!

  3. Sandhya says:

    Hahaha...nice to know your other side, Deepa. Most of them will not open up like this!

    Interesting! Let me use this language when I need them!

  4. Welcome back!

    ... and that was quite an entertaining post :)

    I hope you'll go down nostalgia lane... more often...

  5. radha says:

    I badly miss the streak of aggression in me! I admire those who are not!!

  6. Deepa says:

    Radha: Its a crown of thorns! People either shoot from your shoulder or you're constantly getting into trouble because of it!! :)

  7. Aparna says:

    I personally feel one should use strong words if they are required. Why hide behind the shroud of diplomacy all the time?
    So if an issue is non-negotiable or something actually enrages you, you definitely have the right to say it. People may not like it but they respect the candour.

  8. ani_aset says:

    my boss does the same :) and it has saved the team to avoid some useless stuff :D

  9. RGB says:

    Sounds like what I do at my workplace (E-slap?). Up until I read this post, I assumed I spoke, wrote and behaved "diplomatically". Now I have second thoughts. Maybe I should ask, whatsay?!

  10. Haddock says:

    All said and done, I feel one has to be stern at times or people take you for a ride.

  11. That is funny. I use or see many of these examples (in similar form) at work.

    You've been good at keeping it in until now. I usually just vent my frustration immediately on Twitter.

    :)

  12. That is funny. I use or see many of these examples (in similar form) at work.

    You've been good at keeping it in until now. I usually just vent my frustration immediately on Twitter.

    :)

  13. Haddock says:

    All said and done, I feel one has to be stern at times or people take you for a ride.

  14. Lopa says:

    This reminds me of the Deepa I knew almost 25 years back...candid yet cute!!!
    LOve ya!