A skeleton at your doorstep

A skeleton at your doorstep

By Rajesh Setty on Sun 17 Jan 2010, 12:10 AM – 4 Comments

Photo Courtesy: Limonada at Flickr

You are expecting a friend and a door bell rings. You open the door and there is a skeleton standing at your door. When you look at it with horror in your eyes, the skeleton smiles and looks at you in anticipation that you will invite it inside your home.

What will you do?

Just kidding.. I hope that you will never have to face that situation ever in your life.

But.. there is a different kind of skeletons that you can’t avoid.

These are skeletons that arrive in your email. They are half-baked ideas, garbled messages, meaningless copies and general blah blahs. Some of them are so bad that you can instantly recognize them as skeletons. Some others have a coat and shirt on but they are simply skeletons that are well-dressed. There is no flesh and blood in them.

Skeletons waste time, energy and money.

Many people who ship those skeletons out don’t know that they are shipping skeletons. It is your responsibility to coach people and ensure that you are not on the receiving end.

Wait.. we are not done yet.

Look at your own “Sent Items” in your email box. Think carefully and see how many skeletons you have shipped out since last week. If you have shipped none, congratulations. You have save many people from the horror of seeing a skeleton in their email box.

On the other hand, if you have shipped skeletons, take some time to revise those emails and resend them with an apology.

You don’t want to see a skeleton, neither your friends, partners or customers.


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4 Comments so far, Add Yours

RyanD  on January 17th, 2010

Interesting and accurate analogy rajesh.

I believe email etiquette is an extension of our personal brand. Just because it might be easier to type a few words and click send does not mean it should be of the quality of a hand written note.

I also think that skeleton type emails could be ones that are excessively overdue/late. I would recommend checking out Tim Sander’s blog post on having a “zero handicap” when it comes to your inbox. http://bit.ly/IwBhS


Srinivas N Jay  on January 17th, 2010

Hi Rajesh,

Nice thought :)

Thanks a lot.

Have a wonderful day.

Take care

Steven Diamond  on January 17th, 2010

I receive about 50 to 80 skeletons a day in my inbox. We should all be more aware and respectful of the time of others. I would say this is a good habit to get into. Before you hit send the next time, stop and ask yourself if your “shipping off another skeleton” I will. Thanks Rajesh… get concept.

Rajesh Setty  on January 17th, 2010

Thanks to Ryan, Srinivas and Steven for the comments here.

@Ryan, Yes, Tim’s program on email Etiquette is great as is the book “Send” by Will Schwalbe and David Shipley.



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