It is bad enough that I have to read and reply to scores of business and personal emails every week, but now I have the extra anxiety of being reminded how uncool I really am using this technology.
Managing email for those of us who grew up in the Pong era is a necessary evil. Americans used to send handwritten thank you notes or invitations through the U.S. mail.
We used to receive handwritten thank you notes and invitations from the friendly letter carrier. Now the mail brings us pre-approved mortgage applications and post cards from our dentist about the next cleaning (except in my case, the cleaning note is really from me — because before they would unleash me from the dental chair, they made me write out my name and address on their reminder card).
It seems even the most proprietary business communication or intimate personal conversations are being conducted over the internet via email. However it is not enough just to be able to send and receive email, one must now be able to understand and write in what I call CalTech Smart Ass Lingo Acronyms. Or as it might be known today: CTSALA.
The first few times I saw a sentence in an email that ended with LOL I had no idea what was going on. Then after seeing LOL a few more times I figured out that a subtle message of some sort was being communicated and that the sender assumed I was born during the Nixon, Ford or Carter administrations.
Not wishing to give away my out-of-it reality I made my own assumptions as to the meaning of these new cryptic codes. LOL naturally meant Lots of Luck. BTW had to be shorthand for Best to Wait. HTH no doubt was a quick personal aside from your married buddy; How’s the Homefront?
You can imagine the reaction when a friend of mine emailed me that he was interviewing for a new position. Being happy for him, my return note ended with an encouraging, LOL. I now understand why I haven’t heard from him.
Since I never got the memo on CTSALA, I have decided to return the favor and create some email acronyms I will use when composing business or personal online correspondence – appropriate to my life of course.
If I try to answer emails before eating breakfast I might need to respond to a colleague with LBSGTG (Low blood sugar got to go).
When asked about the salient points discussed in the morning meeting I can now reply with IFA (I forgot already).
When I don’t want to answer emails at all, there’s always DBM, (Don’t bother me).
When I want to get off the computer I might respond CMAD (Cable man at door)
And when all else fails you can gain both sympathy and understanding with BID (Boy, I’m drunk).