“PFA invoice template. Update and send to process payment.”
Thus went the terse email I received from the accounts department of a client. The sender of the mail was a lady I had never interacted with.
The attached document was a simple word file template with blank spaces where my own details of the job done were to be added. I was a little confused by the address to which the invoice was addressed. The company which had engaged me was Indian but the invoice was addressed to a foreign company.
The true philosopher is a man who says “All right,” and goes to sleep in his armchair.
~ P.G. Wodehouse
Fearing it might have been an oversight, I changed the billed to address and mentioned the fact in my mail when sending off the updated invoice template. The reply I received, demonstrated that the sender was nettled and annoyed.
“Please don’t fiddle with the template. @XYZ (this to her colleague who was in CC), your freelancers need to be trained on how to fill a template.”
Poor XYZ! He was being scolded for the foolishness of his freelancers! As for the use of the word fiddle in a formal, professional communication…. let us not go there. Suffice to say that my eyebrows had disappeared into my hair-line. Hastening to make amends for the innocent XYZ, I responded: “Re-sending invoice template ma’am. A line of instruction might have prevented the goof.”
The lady was not amused. She returned with: “You were told to fill only the blank spaces!”
Most assiduously did I scan her first terse communication for any such instruction. Maybe I’m getting old for I saw no trace of it. However, the lady was clearly harried. I didn’t want to annoy her further. XYZ was already banished to the corner. For all I knew, her next mail might have been “Off with her head!”
I’m rather attached to my head and I thought it injudicious to put it in harm’s way. Moreover, the client is GOD. Specially the payment processing part of the client. One doesn’t argue with one’s bread and butter!
I responded with: “Yes ma’am. Re-sending unfiddled invoice template.” Having touched the floor with my forehead therefore, I lifted myself off my ancient knees and scrambled to my feet so I could click on SEND.
Think well of yourself. The subconscious can’t take a joke.
~ Kare Anderson
Barely two ticks later I got a text on my phone from Mr. XYZ- yes, the denizen of the corner of the room.
“I apologize for my colleague,” he wrote. “Obviously she needs to learn the art of polite emailing.”
Call me fey, but I could distinctly see XYZ collapsed in his corner, holding his sides and bellowing with laughter. I almost sent him a text saying, “I haven’t read the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, but I practice the said art most faithfully.”
However, I only replied thus: “Haha. The girl is probably upset about something. No offense taken.”
I never use the F-word; I’m a lady.
Subtle Art of Not Taking Things Personally