EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I am often disappointed by the correspondence I receive from members, and I wonder if it is just me they treat this way, or if it is everyone in the world. I fear it is everyone in the world.

Call me compulsive, call me a nitpicker (and I am admittedly both and proud of it), but there is a certain paradox in our being financial folks who tick and tie spread sheets and the obvious lack of precision in our daily correspondence. (Please, if you have recently sent me a pristine email, this is not directed at you.)

There is of course the recently passed law of the last typo. (There is always one more.) But, with the power tools we have at our disposal of spell checker and grammar checker, I am surprised and disappointed that I have to read most documents I receive so closely, and even after completing that, I still have to figure out what the sender intended.

I would think that all of us as good financial folks would tend towards a clear writing style and logical thinking, but it doesn’t appear to be so. Is it the technology that is throwing you?

For example, most email I receive lacks an outgoing signature. (Yes, the beatings will continue until morale improves.) There is nothing difficult about creating an outgoing signature. Yet, most members have not taken the time to figure out how to create one with their imprimatur. What this means is that if you forget to type in your “boilerplate” at the end because you are in a rush, the person to whom you have sent your message doesn’t know who you are. (I’m lucky. I have a secret decoder ring and I can look you up based on your email. And, I use it a lot!)

I have also written about sending your resume to at least 5-10 friends and having them scan back the exact result. I have to believe that many of you have not checked your opus in this manner and are blissfully unaware of the extra pages that may be there in your resume.doc (A very inventive name by the way.) The problem is that different print drivers affect your page count if you have pushed the envelope with your margins and/or not forced your page breaks.

I always think I have seen it all, but with each passing week there is always new stuff.

I can’t begin to tell you the number of times that people write to me and rather than take out a clean sheet of electronic paper, they find an old email they have sent me, perhaps months or years ago and forward it to me. I guess this saves them the tremendous time it would take to look up my address (which is in EVERY newsletter) and/or the tremendous time involved in copying my address from an old message and pasting it into a new one. Being a compulsive I find myself scrolling through a message that appears to have no relationship to the current message, just to be sure there is nothing I am missing.

Remember, everything you do and say is a story about you. What story do you want to tell?

Regards, Matt

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