I received a rather interesting e-mail today which took me aback somewhat. I wanted to talk about it here so I could get someone else's opinion about which one of us was being rude. Feel free to let me know even if you think it was me.
Here's the story:
I e-mailed a few football teams to see if they had a cheerleading squad. All I wrote was 'Hi. I'm wondering if your team has a cheerleading squad'. I don't know if that's rude or not but I believe in keeping it short and simple. Nobody seemed to mind. They just gave me a simple answer to my simple question, either saying yes or no. Some said no and asked if I was interested in starting one up. Everyone was polite and friendly as I would expect them to be. After all, they have published their e-mail addresses on the internet for the sole purpose of being contacted.
Then I received a reply this afternoon that was a little different. This is it:
While I applaud the concise structure of your email, it does not lend itself to being particularly informative. I have no doubts there will be countless other recipients that you have approached who may be able to assist you in your endevours, but will ultimately baulk at the idea of volunteering relevant information to an unknown party who is unwilling to share their own.At very least, can I suggest the addition of information to your email that addresses the obvious question of:-Are you a cheerleader looking to join a squad, or part of a cheerleading squad looking for a team? What exactly are you offering/asking of us? In any case, whilst we have a number of teams in our club, I do not believe we are currently looking for a cheerleading squad. Our supporters are a very entertaining and vocal crowd, and are sufficient for our present needs as far as I am aware. While a simple "yes" or "no" response would have been an easier method of fielding your query, I hope my taking the time to reply to this email and providing you with some constructive criticism has been helpful, and not in vain.
What??? For starters I'm not offering him anything nor asking anything of him other than the simple question of whether or not his team has a cheerleading squad. But instead of just answering the question (like everyone else did) he felt the need to take time out of his busy schedule to give me some 'constructive criticism'. I am so glad that he felt the need to analyse my e-mail writing skills and pass on his sage wisdom to me.
And exactly what information was he expecting me to give him? I pretty much summed up what I wanted to know in the one sentence. I wasn't asking him for his tax returns or his medical records. I didn't realise that the information regarding the existence or non-existence of a cheerleading squad was so confidential that I would have to provide all my details so he would know exactly who he was divulging this secret information to.
Maybe he was trying to be helpful. Maybe I'm just reading it wrong and I'm totally out of line for my rant. Maybe I'm just PMS-ing and overreacting. What do you think? Am I over reacting or is this guy a pompous jackass?