CC/BCC’ing etiquette

Much has been written about email etiquette, I do apologise for the regurgitation but please allow one more little whine from me. The below is an email response to an online suitor who had demanded to know why my previous replies were succinct one-liners:

During my overly articulated work days, I am bombarded with emails that — rightfully — should have ended when a certain task has been handed over to another colleague. But not only does the average Singaporean not understand this concept but continues to cc me on the progress — right down to the message that says “Thank you, it was a pleasure working with you 🙂 Btw, let’s lunch at Salad Stop to celebrate” (when the obvious and only invited guest is the party in the “To” field).

I am of the opinion emails should be concise and only involve those that “need to act” and not those that “need to know” — well, for kiasee pencil-pushers, may I suggest bcc’ing your bosses instead? And then update him/her verbally, “Oh by the way, George/Georgina, the project is coming along swimmingly. I expect healthy sales figures. I’ll let you know the client’s feedback after the conclusion of the project.”

Well, there are legitimate exceptions, I admit, small companies where the “big” boss (with 5 other staff in his office) hands-on everything must know everything — simply because he is one of two people overseeing all projects.

Otherwise, I don’t see the need to include George/Georgina in the email informing client of the extra $100 for repainting wall X blue. Unless, said client has requested to repaint wall three times… even then, an internal mail, i.e. staff only, saying, “btw, G, client kinda demanding… Perhaps you might want to step in cos I foresee trouble with claiming payment.”

Otherwise, there really isn’t a need to cc your MD, his personal assistant, the other party’s CEO, his personal assistant telling them the local paint store has run out of cerulean but you managed to secure a batch (of cerulean paint) from another store three blocks away.


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