A Twitter user kicked a hornet's nest with a question that keyed on the site where some of modern life's most biting, passive aggressive behavior goes down:
THE WORK EMAIL.
But unlike a swarm of poisonous insects, this "hornet's nest" is downright hilarious and wildly relatable to so many people.
Twitter user delia paunescu (@deliap) is the hero of the day. She's clearly been working with plenty of office life's most wishy-washy divas lately.
i've recently become obsessed with all the insane corporate ways we say normal things to each other. "I’m a little… https://t.co/HKWzdrTJVF— delia paunescu (@delia paunescu)1580313802.0
Apparently plenty of other people have at least noticed the very unique vernacular of corporate life, as just over 21,000 replies proves.
Or perhaps "noticed" doesn't quite get at the heart of these repliers' emotions. Perhaps "seethed" is better.
Or maybe "interpreted with horror" is more accurate.
After all, this passive aggression isn't about dishes in the apartment. Healthcare benefits, Paid Family Leave and Casual Friday's are on the line here, people.
This one—the fake apology with a left hook—is a classic.
@delia_p @mattdpearce “I’m sorry; I think my email/statement probably wasn’t clear. Hopefully this helps” = you’re… https://t.co/gjFl0adD0I— Naima Cochrane (@Naima Cochrane)1580325817.0
@delia_p Maybe not insufferable but I absolutely love how “per my last email” is code for “do you even know how to f’ing read?”— Briana McDougall (@Briana McDougall)1580315280.0
How does one gently remind a superior that they do, in fact, exist?
@delia_p “I wanted to follow up” - you forgot didn’t you? Didn’t you? Am I a joke to you?!— Jamie Keller (@Jamie Keller)1580317450.0
@delia_p “As previously discussed” = I didn’t put in writing last time because I thought you were an adult.— Mitch Dinkins (@Mitch Dinkins)1580317855.0
@delia_p "Thank you for your feedback! I'll be sure to keep it in mind!" <- your criticism is completely irrelevant… https://t.co/ABhnDZoolb— FerretXilla (@FerretXilla)1580317548.0
Never good when your boss begins an email with a sentence containing no verbs.
@delia_p "A few things" !!!!!!! You done it now !!!!— Leah (@Leah)1580317216.0
And, for some gentle office drama resolution...
@delia_p I have nightmares about hearing "Team, let's make sure we're all aligned."— Samantha Rosen (@Samantha Rosen)1580318096.0
@delia_p “We’ll table that for now” and “let’s sidebar” are fun ways to get shut down in a group chat— Aoife “Fe” Baker 🦕🐯🧠🌈 (@Aoife “Fe” Baker 🦕🐯🧠🌈)1580322214.0
Well this one is just plain aggressive.
"This should be more of a listening session for you" is the nicest way I've ever been told to shut the hell up. https://t.co/3UkoNzTOdG— Jackson Lanzing writes weird. (@Jackson Lanzing writes weird.)1580322665.0
"i was under the impression that ..." which is my professional way of saying that you are not only wrong, but addit… https://t.co/ND06AoLXkJ— kylie 🌸 (@kylie 🌸)1580324693.0
@delia_p @UrsulaV Stealing from somewhere but it’s true: “I hope this helps!”=never ask me for anything ever again— Lala Escargot, collector of curses 🎉 (@Lala Escargot, collector of curses 🎉)1580317568.0
This one here provides some passive aggression in real time.
@delia_p @UrsulaV Two from this very morning: “Thanks for looping me in” = You should’ve come to me 27 emails ago… https://t.co/6neeDnW3qM— Hipster Viking Amy (@Hipster Viking Amy)1580318485.0
@delia_p "Just to clarify" = I'm gonna ask this question again, simpler this time, so you can see exactly how stupi… https://t.co/LxqAu7ByZx— Charlie Bressler (@Charlie Bressler)1580329215.0
Quite sure the dynamics of email introductions will elude everyone forever...
@delia_p "While I understand your urgency..." = "Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."— Bärí A. Williams (@Bärí A. Williams)1580328016.0
@delia_p 'In the future, please correspond directly with (..) on this issue' = Do not, I repeat, do not message me… https://t.co/dx1dqgKFRW— Chevron Summers (@Chevron Summers)1580330361.0
High marks to this one for using the word "minions."
@delia_p “Give the details to my associate.” Read: You’re too insignificant for my time, but just important eno… https://t.co/k8GbnkN2W5— Jack Lynx (@Jack Lynx)1580329081.0
@delia_p "Has the policy changed recently?"= I know the policy, and maybe you should try reading it.— Tepid Librarian (@Tepid Librarian)1580337943.0
The long con...
@delia_p “What I would say is....” = I am in fact about to give you my opinion on something, but first I’ll preface… https://t.co/749bEd2Gee— Martin Wahl (@Martin Wahl)1580405108.0
It feels relevant to close with this scene from the 2007 film Charlie Wilson's War.
Besides the insane hair and glasses, note how Philip Seymour Hoffman's character has zero interest whatsoever in email niceties.
Direct confrontation is important for reducing office conflict. But no one is recommending you throw a chair through a glass window.
Maybe a phone call or a face to face would do the job?