Email odour: should I tell?

Rude red email

Telling a friend she has body odour used to be the great social dilemma. What do you think: should I tell my friend she has email odour?

This friend sends email announcements that are always in bold and often in red and even in capital letters. She's a lovely, brilliant person, very smart at her job. I'm assume she thinks these emails are more effective than plain text.

The fact is, I can't bear to read them. When I get one, I squint, scan the top and trash it. If I know it's important, I cut the text and put it straight into a blank Word or text document, which mercifully removes all formatting.

I know she's not threatening me. I know she thinks she is sending a friendly, helpful reminder. But the formatting sends a message that overpowers the meaning.

In 2007 an accountant's email formatting alienated fellow workers so badly that she was fired. Sure, it was wrongful dismissal and she's just received a $17,000 payout. But what a story!

ProCare told the authority that Ms Walker ad caused disharmony in the workplace by using block capitals, bold typeface and red text in her emails, which was considered confrontational by other staff member.

What do you think: should I tell my friend she has email odour? Maybe she heard this news item about the sacked accountant — would that let me off the hook?

P.S. Another friend sends enormous bold black emails. But she is disabled, and she doesn't use capital letters or red. So her emails smell sweet to me.

Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine


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