Seeing Black

Seeing Black

Never mind that well-known idiom – “Seeing red” – I saw black and blue and purple-tinged with every hue of red imaginable first thing this morning while at work.


“Hello, Phillip,” I said when answering my desk telephone.


“Howzit, Cressida? How’s things?”


“Very well, thank you. How’s things with you?”


“Good, thank you. Did you have a good weekend?” He said.


“Yes, I did thank you – how about you?”


“Very good, thank you.”


“Good!” I said.


“The email that you sent to me on Friday?” His voice changed, got louder.


I couldn’t quite understand why he’d asked it as if it were a question. Silence. I then thought I’d better answer or else we’d be back and forth playing a game I knew I was the least bit interested in playing when I had so much work to get through before it ticked ten ‘o clock. “Yes?”


“I really do not appreciate your rude, direct tone.’


“What?” At this very second, I saw all the opposing colours of the rainbow, including black that nearly blinded me.


All I’d done was ask a few questions to establish why we belong to an institution that could potentially be costing us more than we could afford right now…


He carried on: “I do not appreciate receiving emails from you that are clearly condescending. You’ve insulted me, and I will not stand for it!”


I almost jumped out of my seat and demanded he come and say what he’d said to my face.


Is sending a to-the-point business email insulting and condescending? Oh not to forget inserting the person’s same after typing, “Hi” and a “thanks” at the end – is so rude and with a horrid tone?


I protested and said that my email was nothing of the sort and all I wanted was information. I added: “You have no room to pass judgment in this area, Phillip! You never greet me in an email and hardly ever say ‘Hi’ and have I ever complained? No. You know why? Because it really doesn’t matter. I am here to do a job and do it well.’


He grunted or made some noise. ‘So am I!’ He hesitated. ‘I’ll also change my tone then.’


‘Goodbye, Phillip.’ I did not wait for him to respond and put down the receiver.


I felt myself taking in a long, deep breath. The only thing I could kick myself was for stooping to his level…


How can such an email insult anyone? It completely baffled me. It was direct. Why not? If it’s a waste of money then we simply cannot afford to be members. What’s the point in getting defensive over it all and taking it all to heart when there’s absolutely nothing worth taking to heart – when it’s clearly all in the mind, a mind that plays great tricks? What must that feel like?


Once again I think I am forced to say “please” and “kindly” in every sentence with a smiley face for that extra “mature” touch.


Dearest, Dear, Phillip 🙂 or would you prefer dear dearest, Phillip? Do let me know and I shall accommodate ever so willingly – a drop at the hat ever so so willingly!


How are you doing? I hope more than well. 🙂 Actually, I trust this email finds you better than more than well, and you are looking forward to the weekend ahead. Anything exciting planned? I really hope that you have…


Well, before you run off and enjoy every minute 🙂 please take a few minutes to kindly (please kindly – thrown in for good measure) let me know, at your earliest convenience – whenever it suits you, please, if it’s no trouble, but if it is a bit of trouble now then wait until Monday – after all, it is 5 ‘o clock on a Friday and I am the only ridiculously dedicated one in this office staying behind to make sure all my tasks are completed – if being a member is worth our while? 🙂


I look forward to your response and in doing so I wish you the best weekend a fun guy as you could ever hope to have! 🙂


Best Regards,

Cressida Pride


Now if I had copied everyone in then that would have been out of order, perhaps…


And there is nothing worse than acting buddy-buddy with someone – with all the mindless how are you kak – that takes up valuable time when there is a point to reach, a most vital point! Revert to conversation opener, Dearest, Dear Phillip.


Bernard M. Baruch hit the nail on the head when he said:


“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

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