August 04, 2009

The Business Letter/Email Signatures With Bonus Audio

(playing in the background Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald)

For those of you who want an abbreviated version of this you can click on the link above. Otherwise here is essentially what I said.

During a recent conversation with a co-worker I realized that fewer and fewer of us remember a workplace in which computers were not included. Truth is that my own experience is limited in that respect, it has been 14 years or so since I worked in an office that didn't provide computers for virtually all of its employees.

Back in those days I used a big yellow notepad to hand write business letters. I then passed those along to my secretary who would type them up and ready them for mailing. Those days are long gone, in large part to the prevalence of email. Since almost everything I send out is via email it is far easier for me to simply type the letters myself.

It is funny to think about how many changes have taken place in such a short time. I remember being taught in school how to write a business letter. I can still hear my teacher explaining the layout and format, how each piece had a specific location. If I close my eyes I can almost see her point to the salutation, the body and the signature.

Assuming that time hasn't totally clouded my memory we were taught to use a few basic signatures. They included:

Yours Truly,
Kind Regards,

As well as numerous variations of all three. But I don't remember being taught that we had another option, "Best."

When I become king of the world I am going to ban use of that as a signature. Best is the most superficial, fake and pretentious signature I have seen. I hate it, just hate it. Don't know exactly why, but it just sets me off.

To be clear, I don't think that the people who use it intend for it to come off as poorly as it does with me. But it doesn't matter, I interpret it as being no different than being asked "how are you doing" by someone who doesn't care how I am doing.

It just chaps my hide. I'd write more but I have to send out the kind of emails that pay the bills.

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