Hate to Pester? Try Humorous Reminders

by Kerry Martin

We all have to do it.  Send a “gentle” reminder e-mail to request something, follow-up with a phone call on that favor you asked for, and even ask your boss to mention it when he sees them in person.  I hate having to pester people when I need something, which is why I always look for another way to change my tone or soften my request on repeated points of contact.

Thanks to the familiarity and informal language prevalent in social media and trendy internet-based programs, I’ve seen more and more examples of using humor as a means of deflecting annoying reminder e-mails—and even turning them into friendly correspondences.

After experimenting with a Weebly build-it-yourself website (as I described in a previous post), I left my Web page project dormant for a while.  That’s when I found this funny message in my inbox:

Their sincere follow-up email was so endearing, I couldn’t forget about my project. I’ve held on to the email because it made such an impact, and I even go back and read through it occasionally when I want a quick giggle.

If the opportunity arises to send out a reminder to a familiar audience, why not experiment with a funny note or melodramatic plea for their cherished affections?

I’m going to give it a try—it certainly beats “Third request – PLEASE RESPOND!!!”

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