Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Email of the Week - 1

I get a lot email. Much of it from people I don't know, looking for advice on careers.

Unfortunately, I can't reply individually. Two reasons:
a) I don't have the time
b) I don't have all the answers.

A couple of times in a month I do write back to a few folks. Depends on when I get time and which queries are genuine. By that, I mean queries which cannot be answered through a quick search on google.

I also get some very strange emails. The kind which make one wonder about the state of the world today. Here is one such...

Title: Need sum help
Sender's identity: withheld

Reason for choosing this email: An example of how NOT to ask someone for help

hi rashmi,

i m a regular reader of ur blog but i dont term myself as a gr8 fan of urs coz there r issues where my views differ totally to that of urs.

well i m here 2day to ask for a help. with 96%tile in cat n with a 2yrs. work ex in tata steel, i expect a fw calls. i have also been called for icfai in hyd n hv to give a presentation there. there r many topics tht they have given but i hv selected 4 of them. they r
1. india china relationship.
2. is there a need for a second green revolution.
3. india in 2050.
4. india us nuclear deal.

now i want ur help to zero in on any topic n ven give me the links for th material.

do it for mr plzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

name, cell no

My comments:
a) Saying you love my blog is not mandatory. It does not increase chances of my replying to you. However, specifying that you're not a fan is still a dumb idea. Whatever happened to tact, diplomacy and politeness? Esp when seeking a favour??

b) I am shocked that someone with a 96 percentile, and impressive work ex should write such an email. Both its tone and content are so immature.

c) What kind of manager will you be tomorrow, if you can't even decide which topic to present on today? Further, you want LINKS on the topic from a third party?? Any number of questions on both competence and ethics come to mind.

But Mr "Gimme Links" is not unique. There are any number of young people out there who should introspect on how to behave appropriately both online and offline. Especially when dealing with people older/ more experienced than themselves. Courtesy and respect will never go out of style. Remember that and you'll get ahead much faster in life.

And maybe, even get a reply from me.

EOL (End of Lecture).

The 'Email of the week' will be published every week on this blog. The emails chosen will help to illustrate a point or discuss a larger issue. Sender's identity will not be revealed. If you happen to be the one whose email has been published here, take this as constructive feedback. It's not personal.


  1. Anonymous12:13 PM

    "Courtesy and respect will never go out of style." very true...but then the people who need to be told that, are unlikely to understand it and the ones who don't need to be told...for them it is a way of life...:)

  2. hai your blog is so NICE and this my blog only for bloggers with lots of info

  3. Anonymous12:46 PM

    Mmmh, i quite didnt get it, why this X is asking for help in choosing a topic for him/her. I hope she/he didnt ask someone else to give CAT for her/him. If thats not the case then man decide the stuff on your own, work on it hard & prove yourself.

  4. Anonymous12:50 PM

    I happened to see an similar incident at work recently - when an intern expected his manager to write the report etc for him at end of his internship... Basically, with three job offers already in hand from campus - he didnt care much to impress and cared two hoots.
    What baffled me is what did those three companies see in him to make him those offers...?

  5. Anonymous12:52 PM

    Haha!!! This one really had me cracking up!! Just shows the desperate nature of most "fuchas" to make it to a bschool without even knowing why they want to do an MBA.

  6. Anonymous1:37 PM

    Email fo the week will piss lots of people off. Will scare people away from mailing you. Ultimately this section will perish. End of story!

  7. Anonymous2:00 PM

    Ya this "Email of the week" thing will provide for good lessons to people starting off their career in the corporate world.

    Also I guess it will act as a reminder to people who send mails to you to be extra careful with what they write in them.

  8. Anonymous2:20 PM

    Makes me smile big time :D

  9. Anonymous4:18 PM

    That's a nice one....what you say is absolutely true. Courtesy and politeness are so foreign in India that it puzzles me at times that all of us aren't losing our cool all the time. I am at the end of a 3 month assignment to the UK and I won't miss much from here when I get back except maybe the system here which encourages basic respect for people.

    Just for kicks, I'll mention that I gave CAT2005 and scored 99.4% and got precisely zero calls from the IIM's. That's with 2 years of work ex at that time in good IT companies. Ooops. Forgot to mention that I mothered it in the DI section and scored some 80%.

  10. Anonymous6:13 PM

    I think you should also give space to emails you responded to, not to the ones that didn't make the cut.

    Otherwise, genuine emailers worried they might be picked on will stop writing in and bogus crapola - which doesn't have room for discussion on larger issues - will go up.

    But either way, the pearls of wisdom in comments section will keep coming in :)


  11. I liked your response - Rashmi. Initially I was cracking up on the email - haha - I guess you are not even obligated to send any response but your effort of smacking back with a little tap on head to wake up those in need is awesome.

  12. SMS lingo - txt spk, as some call it - gets on my nerves. It is bad enough on internet fora where constructive discussion is hampered by it, but when you're writing an official email - and by that, I include the one you've put up - using shrtfrms n ltr subs is just despicable.

    A word of advice to all those who really want to get noticed: Use regular grammar and spellings in even personal communication, it will condition you for the long haul.

  13. Thank you for outing such idiots Rashmi! I can't believe that people would actually email you with THAT kind of entitled tone and in THAT language. Ridiculous. I am so amazed!
    As regards "genuine" emails, I am sure this will not discourage real questions and polite emails, if anything, I'm sure it'll encourage people to actually write better emails!
    *Still amazed*

  14. Anonymous11:33 PM

    I'm not sure if u can continue posting "E-Mail of the Week" every week...week after week...You'll get bored at some point of time...and do u really get such mails all the time..
    This sounds more like a new yr resolution which'll continue only for a week. :p

    Good one!

  15. Anonymous11:41 PM

    Hi Rashmi

    isn't there a dash of arrogance in your post?....As you have said courtsey and respect never go out of style..If anyone drops in a line is actually a privilege that many would die for..

  16. Anonymous12:37 AM

    although identity has been withheld, i wonder if it is ethical for u to post someone's personal email to you, without their permission.

    and you'd be doing the same thing, every week?

    p.s. - sometimes it is the other way round. the writer of this blog asks for favors, for instance, inputs from people about their educational experiences, material for JAM etc. I remember sending you a factual article on one of the branches of engineering studies in IITs, in response to a recently blogged request. No one even acknowledged the receipt of the email. Now, so much for sparing a moment to say thanks? ...

  17. Many young people are extremely rude, dishonest and insensitive to other people , this is one thing no one writes about, especially in the mainstream media. Only when surveys rate Mumbai as the rudest city, people object.

  18. Your observation is not uncommon; the chatter gets worse on tech message boards. Nothing annoys me more than the SMS lingo in these messages. What is wrong with people?

  19. Anonymous9:58 AM

    This is going to be a great feature of your blog. I am looking forward to it.

  20. Anonymous11:46 AM


  21. hahahaha..hilarious..
    I am looking fwd to the next week's entry!
    I remember I wrote u an email too the very first time I started reading ur blog!
    I hope u will tear apart that email sometime on this blog

  22. Rashmi is a samaj sevak :) You go gurl, never cease to inspire me!

    Your comments are perfectly valid and so suitable! But I think its the crazaaaay internet chattin and bloggin that has ruined this 96 percentile student's vocab and english if it wasnt this bad already...

  23. why does constructive feedback need to be aired on a public forum, shldnt u direct that straight to the person, rather than flaunt his (dis)ability on the blog and score a few under the belt punches??

    thats weird.

  24. Hi Rashmi,
    Suddenly remembered the famous dumbeldore dialogs in Harry Potter "Help will always be needed those who ask for it " . Just kidding .. Being an Avid reader of your blogs and me myself into a bit of blogging , it really amazed me to see the way people ask for Help.. Me being not into much into the so called Altruism Business , i believe was a good way of yours to let people know if you are trying to be an Altrusit its not always good to bother people so much !! Whatever.....

  25. Anonymous2:53 PM

    agree with u completely .... tact & courtesy are the victims yes, but even greater victims is the sense of self-reliance & hard-work .... people want short-cuts - they want the easy way out .... they dont want to read from 10 different sources, analyse & scrutinize each of them objectively & then prepare for their thesis/presentation, etc .... whats more shocking is the blatantly open way in which people go about defying rules/ethics & ask for 'help' that too in such a brash manner!

  26. wanderer is very correct.

    also i belive for this reason, all the big institutes give calls to more people and just the tope 1 percentile, scoring is adifferent game all together and i do not think if we are talking about leadership and management then scoring should be given that huge a weightage.
    A regular feature like this is good for the blog as it can be seen this post got maximum comments among 5 recent posts(and blogging is all about traffic).

    and yes there are always loads of people asking for loads of advice thats how the world is!!

  27. 96% on CAT & trying for ICFAI....yeah right:). This generation seems to have lost "respect" alltogether. Well with the likes of Abhishek & Ash to hero worship...

  28. ' email of the week' is a good idea, where most of the mails consists of common topics, and your constructive response will be useful for the other visitors.

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