If you work in an office and send emails throughout the day, you may have an idea of what to include in an email and what to leave out. You may notice that people may say things over the phone that they would not put in writing. At the same time, you may document things in an email you want to be sure the other person can read and acknowledge.
It’s an interesting shift in our society to see how we subtlety use these forms of communication both professionally and personally.
That’s why I thought I’d research briefly what businesses suggest to never, ever put in writing. As a rule of thumb, I would think this goes for personal emails or online chat and text as well.
1. Criticism, even in jest, of any person you know at your business or in your life. If you can’t stand someone you work with or have issues with your mother-in-law, tell your cat — don’t send an email message about it! You may accidentally sent it to THAT person!
2. Your romantic thoughts or fantasies about anyone — whether they work with you or not. Try not to even write it down in your journal unless you plan on burning it before you kick the bucket. (I plan on having a very large bonfire when the time comes.)
3. Gossip in any form or fashion. Here’s a great article to read – How to Avoid Gossiping. Remember the Golden Rule? Think how hurtful it is if you’re on the receiving end of that gossip.
4. Jokes or humorous stories that someone may consider to be inappropriate or demeaning to another toward any group of people. Can we say sexual harassment? Take a look at Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964. Acts, not act. There’s more than one that is part of the federal law. Here it is in a nutshell –
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. It generally applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including federal, state, and local governments.
This is also a reminder to anyone who puts up with a lot of s**t from co-workers or bosses when it comes to the above items. There’s a law against it. You have rights too!
5. Discussion of illegal activities. If you’ve flipped out and kidnapped your boss or mother-in-law, it’s probably not a good idea – it’s certainly not a good idea – to go on aol chat and share that with your online friends or post a photo on Facebook of your person tied up in the basement. Best plan? Just don’t do that.
Stay safe out there and be kind to one another, especially your cat!