The Eagle Blog

Abusive Email … Not a Good Idea

Much has been said on the subject of email and there are many guides readily available on the internet. One high profile story recently talked about an email that circulated the world, much to the embarrassment of the sender. A very recent exposure to an abusive response reminds me that email can be very dangerous!

1. If you send an email that uses offensive or inappropriate language then you leave yourself wide open to all kinds of issues.
2. Sending email is already open to misinterpretation because of people’s habit of being very short in their responses … adding expletives or other abusive language is really not a good idea.
3. Do not send something in email that you would not say to a person’s face.

Eagles’ newsletter is sent to clients and prospective clients who have had some previous dealings with the company. A lot of work goes into the production of this document and it is definitely not a thinly disguised sales job for Eagle, unlike some company newsletters. The content includes a cross country look at the IT job market, which is updated monthly; a synopsis of the “events” in the technology world for the last month; and some links to technology “interest” articles. The newsletter is an email sent once per month and recipients are given the opportunity to unsubscribe in the usual manner. Since we started this newsletter there have been many positive comments and very few people who have actually unsubscribed.

Yesterday we had a first … one of our client contacts asked to be removed, but instead of just asking to be removed he chose to use expletives about “unsolicited email”.

When you receive such an email in a professional work environment there are a range of reactions:

1. This guy must be “crazy”.
2. Is he like this in the work environment on a normal basis?
3. He works for our Provincial Government, (paid with my tax money) so how “civil” is this civil servant?
4. Maybe I should forward his response to his boss.
5. Maybe I should post his response online and let people make their own judgment.

As you can see, sending inappropriate email is probably not a wise move! I will be sure to send this blog entry to the “gentleman” in question. Perhaps he will understand that options 4 or 5 above could have been detrimental to his career.

Everybody has “off days” but that never makes it OK to be abusive!


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18 thoughts on “Abusive Email … Not a Good Idea

  1. Apparently Eagle’s newsletter is mass-mailed to unsuspecting “potential” clients. I have had no dealings with this company but received the email regardless. This type of email is otherwise known as spam.
    Spam continues to invade the productive lives of netizens. I consider unsolicited email unprofessional, uncalled for, and reflect badly on you and your organization and perhaps deserves a response that will get noticed, not just simply dismissed.

    But since this blog reply exposes the fact that you are sending unsolicited spam, I assume it will not be approved for posting by the blog author.

  2. Apparently Eagle’s newsletter is mass-mailed to unsuspecting “potential” clients. I have had no dealings with this company but received the email regardless. This type of email is otherwise known as spam.
    Spam continues to invade the productive lives of netizens. I consider unsolicited email unprofessional, uncalled for, and reflect badly on you and your organization and perhaps deserves a response that will get noticed, not just simply dismissed.

    But since this blog reply exposes the fact that you are sending unsolicited spam, I assume it will not be approved for posting by the blog author.

  3. Thank you for your reasonable response (this time), and of course I publish every response to this blog … except for abuse and SPAM.

    Please let me respond to your comments:

    1. The Eagle newsletter is sent to a very targeted audience. You work in IT in the Ontario Provincial Government, which is a market to which Eagle has earned the right to provide resources, and a market in which we have supplied many people. The newsletter is sent to out by my sales people to those who we think might get some value from it. There is a very easy way to not get the newsletter by asking to be removed from the list.
    2. I agree that spam is a big issue and pay a lot of money to a third-party supplier who filters out spam. If you consider one email, that is devoted to your profession and brings value that is appreciated by a wide audience , as spam then your definition differs from mine and you must get lots of “spam”.
    3. You paraphrased my comments back to me because I accused you of being “unprofessional”, I suggested that your abusive comments were “uncalled for” and that they “reflect badly on you and your organization”. I would suggest that abusive language is worthy of those comments, but that a high-quality, high value newsletter that is read by many of my fellow CEOs does not warrant such a response. A mere “no thanks” or a terse “remove” would have been plenty.

  4. Thank you for your reasonable response (this time), and of course I publish every response to this blog … except for abuse and SPAM.

    Please let me respond to your comments:

    1. The Eagle newsletter is sent to a very targeted audience. You work in IT in the Ontario Provincial Government, which is a market to which Eagle has earned the right to provide resources, and a market in which we have supplied many people. The newsletter is sent to out by my sales people to those who we think might get some value from it. There is a very easy way to not get the newsletter by asking to be removed from the list.
    2. I agree that spam is a big issue and pay a lot of money to a third-party supplier who filters out spam. If you consider one email, that is devoted to your profession and brings value that is appreciated by a wide audience , as spam then your definition differs from mine and you must get lots of “spam”.
    3. You paraphrased my comments back to me because I accused you of being “unprofessional”, I suggested that your abusive comments were “uncalled for” and that they “reflect badly on you and your organization”. I would suggest that abusive language is worthy of those comments, but that a high-quality, high value newsletter that is read by many of my fellow CEOs does not warrant such a response. A mere “no thanks” or a terse “remove” would have been plenty.

  5. I have, on occasion, been the recipient of such emails and agree that they are uncalled for, offensive and abusive. Unfortunately, I think that email gives some people a percieved right/protection to say things that they would not otherwise say in person. There are plenty of ways to get “noticed” and maintain a degree of professionalism without the abuse. If you need ideas, just turn on the TV!

  6. I have, on occasion, been the recipient of such emails and agree that they are uncalled for, offensive and abusive. Unfortunately, I think that email gives some people a percieved right/protection to say things that they would not otherwise say in person. There are plenty of ways to get “noticed” and maintain a degree of professionalism without the abuse. If you need ideas, just turn on the TV!

  7. A shocking exchange, to say the least. As one of your employees who sends out this newsletter to a number of clients monthly, I am very surprised that any recipient would have this response.

    My clients have stated on numerous occasions that they are delighted to receive such a consise and informative overview of our industry on a monthly basis.

    The only surprising thing about the Eagle newsletter is the fact that Mr. Dee, who runs a multi-million dollar organization, finds the time to devote to initiatives like this. His ongoing passion for, and commitment to our industry is unsurpassed.

    Kudos to you Kevin, and keep up the GREAT WORK!!!

    P.S. I think this individual’s manager deserves to know how he is representing his department!!

  8. A shocking exchange, to say the least. As one of your employees who sends out this newsletter to a number of clients monthly, I am very surprised that any recipient would have this response.

    My clients have stated on numerous occasions that they are delighted to receive such a consise and informative overview of our industry on a monthly basis.

    The only surprising thing about the Eagle newsletter is the fact that Mr. Dee, who runs a multi-million dollar organization, finds the time to devote to initiatives like this. His ongoing passion for, and commitment to our industry is unsurpassed.

    Kudos to you Kevin, and keep up the GREAT WORK!!!

    P.S. I think this individual’s manager deserves to know how he is representing his department!!

  9. I believe the individual who sent the nasty response and posted the nearly as offensive comment needs to investigate the true meaning of SPAM. When there is a choice to be removed from a mailing list and the senders choose particular indidviduals whom they believe will gain some value from the email it is not SPAM.

  10. I believe the individual who sent the nasty response and posted the nearly as offensive comment needs to investigate the true meaning of SPAM. When there is a choice to be removed from a mailing list and the senders choose particular indidviduals whom they believe will gain some value from the email it is not SPAM.

  11. I thought I would post this email that was received today about the Eagle newsletter.
    *****
    I simply enjoy reading your on-line monthly “News from the Nest” periodicals I receive via my e-mail account,

    You demonstrate incredible resourcefulness and insight into Canada’s IT market —- I fit right into your October 2006 published article, as I am now under contract with XXXXXXX in Calgary, AB, being lured from Toronto by the $$ and potential opportunities within the booming Calgary economy.

    Keep up the good work …. your published newsletter is quickly becoming the only incoming mail I actually look forward to receiving.

    Thanks again,

  12. I thought I would post this email that was received today about the Eagle newsletter.
    *****
    I simply enjoy reading your on-line monthly “News from the Nest” periodicals I receive via my e-mail account,

    You demonstrate incredible resourcefulness and insight into Canada’s IT market —- I fit right into your October 2006 published article, as I am now under contract with XXXXXXX in Calgary, AB, being lured from Toronto by the $$ and potential opportunities within the booming Calgary economy.

    Keep up the good work …. your published newsletter is quickly becoming the only incoming mail I actually look forward to receiving.

    Thanks again,

  13. I am outraged by the response of the Government employee. To begin with, companies such as Eagle do not become one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies (for several consecutive years) by engaging in questionable marketing tactics such as SPAM. Nor do they have leaders like Kevin Dee who was recently awarded the distinction of being CEO of the year in Ottawa. Kevin is an outstanding leader who is fiercely committed to improving the industry and community he works and lives in respectively. Using profanity in business email is simply unacceptable. I truly hope that this behavior is not indicative of the caliber of civil servant that my tax dollars are paying for and can’t help but wonder if he is treating others the same way? Mr. Government employee and Netizen, do yourself a favour and read the Eagle Newsletter and Blog. I’m certain you’ll discover some valuable insight that will make you more productive and certainly more professional!! We work in an new era of transparency and accountability…do us all a favour Kevin and report this guy!!!

  14. I am outraged by the response of the Government employee. To begin with, companies such as Eagle do not become one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies (for several consecutive years) by engaging in questionable marketing tactics such as SPAM. Nor do they have leaders like Kevin Dee who was recently awarded the distinction of being CEO of the year in Ottawa. Kevin is an outstanding leader who is fiercely committed to improving the industry and community he works and lives in respectively. Using profanity in business email is simply unacceptable. I truly hope that this behavior is not indicative of the caliber of civil servant that my tax dollars are paying for and can’t help but wonder if he is treating others the same way? Mr. Government employee and Netizen, do yourself a favour and read the Eagle Newsletter and Blog. I’m certain you’ll discover some valuable insight that will make you more productive and certainly more professional!! We work in an new era of transparency and accountability…do us all a favour Kevin and report this guy!!!

  15. If I may interject a comment, the presnce of an ‘opt out’ link in an unsolicted email does exclude it from being SPAM.

    ‘Opt out’ is exploited by spammers who use it as confirmation that they have identified a live email address. That address then gets targeted for more SPAM.

    So is it any wonder that some people get extremely annoyed at the intrusion?

  16. If I may interject a comment, the presnce of an ‘opt out’ link in an unsolicted email does exclude it from being SPAM.

    ‘Opt out’ is exploited by spammers who use it as confirmation that they have identified a live email address. That address then gets targeted for more SPAM.

    So is it any wonder that some people get extremely annoyed at the intrusion?

  17. I certainly have no argument with this post. I get as annoyed as the next person with the proliferation of TRUE spam.

  18. I certainly have no argument with this post. I get as annoyed as the next person with the proliferation of TRUE spam.

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