I’m a very polite person. As a Brit in Canada, I frequently apologise to people who stand on my foot on the bus; it’s a habit I just can’t seem to break.
As everyone knows though, email etiquette is a different, and very complicated, phenomenon.
Each week I send many, many email requests for information and documents. I am always polite, respectful of peoples’ time (unless the deadline is approaching with frightening speed), and explain exactly what I’m looking for, why I need it, and when I need it by.
I also receive many messages of this kind, from local and off-site collaborators and their assistants. Some are more polite, respectful and self-explanatory than others.
There are two common sign-offs on this kind of message. Both mean the same thing – “I really need this so you’d better send it ASAP”. The one I use myself is different to the one that I most commonly receive.
I’m not going to tell you which is which, but which of the following do you find the least annoying?
1) “Please and thank you”
2) “Thank you in advance”
Are there any other variants out there?