Today's word: unprofessional. Disclosure: I didn't actually look up a word today, since I had something else to post, but that word most accurately describes what I'm about to tell you.
About a month ago, I sent an email to a personal banker at a large financial institution. I'm going to stay away from actual names in this post, but let's just say that if we stopped shipping souls into the underworld, it could be called Hell's Embargo. Wink.
The email went like this:
Hi there. I talked briefly with a teller last week when depositing a check into my business account, and she mentioned that I could upgrade to an account that would not charge a monthly service fee. Is there a minimum balance I would need to maintain? Please let me know. Thanks!
The response I received went like this (I'm not making it up, this is word for word):
Hi I just get your email let me know when u wan come and set down whit me so we can see what options we have for u
Now, I will say that this person's name did appear slightly foreign, so English may not be her first language, and I'm willing to dismiss misspellings and iffy grammar. Since I'm an editor by trade, I assume I'm overly sensitive to these kinds of things. But it was the abbreviation of "you" that absolutely blew my mind. Although I realize we live in a world that operates on text messages, I was pretty sure she was on a Blackberry somewhere, forgot she was answering a work email, and instead thought she was tweeting.
However, I gave her the benefit of the doubt, as I really wanted my question answered, and I replied thusly: I don't have a lot of time during work hours, but I could do 15-20 minutes on Friday if you're available.
This is the response I received:
What time so I can ready for u
Yes. Really. This person was hired, presumably, to interact with customers and convince them to put even more of their hard-earned money into the bank's hands. I honestly thought I might be getting punked, but by then, my curiosity was really piqued. I decided I had to meet this person in the flesh. So I wrote: How about 11:00?
The reply: Hi can u meet me at 12:00pm I have
And that was it. At this point, I closed my laptop, because I wasn't sure whether to laugh or scream. Strike three! I'd given her several chances that I probably shouldn't have, and I finally decided I would just have to live with the mystery of what her problem was.
About four days later, I got another email from her, to the effect of what happened to me, she was waiting. I was still debating whether to call her supervisor and let them know exactly the kind of business communication that was leaving her desk, but since I had an opportunity to tell her directly, I did.
I told her that her last email was incomplete, and that I had solved my issue online (sidenote: it took two emails and was even intelligible!) I also said that, in the future, she might want to be a bit more professional in her email messages, since using abbreviations and not completing sentences didn't present her skills in the best way possible.
I tried not to be a bitch about it, because I really hoped she would take it as constructive criticism. I didn't have the heart to tell her that she came across as challenged in some capacity, or that I am now reluctant, if not adamantly opposed, to meeting with any representatives from this institution. Oh, who am I kidding? They have all my money. And it's being held hostage by people who can't put sentences together.