(Fiction) How to NOT get people to reply to your email

(An open-ended mix of fiction and truth… Or writing you end up with when you’re short of sleep and hyperacidic)

Once upon a time, one Monday morning, Dev received an email. He and his fellow developers had given some requested estimates last week, and PM sent a follow-up email peppered with project management buzzwords.

“What the heck does she want exactly?”, buzzed Dev. Rereading the email for a second and third time didn’t help, even with squinting involved. “Oh, well. Maybe the others have a better idea.”

Later that day, Nutherdev approached Dev. “Hey, did you see PM’s email?”

“Yep,” replied Dev.

“Did you get what she was saying?”


“Me neither.”

“Hi, guys, ” Yeta chimed in. “What’s up?”

“Just talking about a cryptic email we couldn’t parse, ” Nutherdev said.

“You mean PM’s mail? Yeah, I saw that too. Didn’t bother. She lost me at ‘Hello’!”

At that moment, TL walked in. “Guys, PM just pinged me following up for a reply to her email. She needed it an hour ago.”

“Where exactly in the email did she say that?”, Dev asked.

“Apparently, it was implied by ‘URGENT’ in the email subject.” TL replied with a shrug.

“But she adds that to ALL of her email?” Dev replied with an expression perfectly captured by this: O_o

“Yeah, one time she even added that to her reply approving my vacation leave, ” chuckled Yeta.

Ah, vacation leave. TL wistfully heard the words echo in his head. He quickly pulled himself back to reality, and reiterated the need for the reply.

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