On a day where we are supposed to stop, ponder, and give cognizant acknowledgment to the many good things in our lives (but here in America, judging from the size of my newspaper this morning, it is apparently about planning our shopping day for tomorrow), let be the voice crying in the wilderness begging you NOT to give thanks. Or at least not in the method that seems to be increasing in favor, as well as uselessness.I’m talking about a one-word email: “Thanks.” I get many of these every week.You send me an email asking for a review of your PPT slides (God forbid!). I give you three pages of notes. You respond: “Thanks“. Yuck.I get an invoice for services rendered. I respond with an apology that the billing had slipped my crack-pot accounting staff and the check will be in the mail FedEx in the morning. I get a one-word reply: “Thanks“. Heartfelt.There are probably places for one-word emails: “Buy“, “Sell“, “No“, “I’ll-agree-when-the-depths-of-Hades-freezes-into-a-solid-mass“. Trying to convey appreciation is not one of them.Many of us were taught by our parents to be polite: “Please” and “Thank you“. And that’s a good thing. IN PERSON. Where emotion can be carried with non-verbal cues. Where an explanation of why can be tacked on. Where a relationship can be forged. None of that is done in a one-word TY. Best I can figure, it’s either (a bad) habit or it’s a way to appease one’s conscience at supposedly being grateful, when they’re actually too lazy to pick up the phone and call or draft a heartfelt reply that explains their gratitude. Most of the time the message really is “I got your email“. And I didn’t need a response from you to tell me that.I have vowed to not send any such emails. It wastes my time and yours.BTW, I got your email.
Resist the urge to respond to an email with a one-word “Thanks”. Instead, craft a meaningful expression of gratitude or just — gasp — let it go.