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Say That Again Please

An element of professional writing includes the ability to communicate without the inclusion of emotional language. When people are frustrated, they tend to send work emails that are often laden with feelings. Consider the scenario below where a frustrated caseworker sends the following email to his/her supervisor:

Mr. DiCaprio-

I am so frustrated that you keep giving me tons of new cases when you know I already have too much on my plate. This is getting to be ridiculous. I mean come on! I know that you have to meet your “weekly quota” of cases but some of us here are thinking about quitting. I tried to talk to you about this, but it seems like you don’t care. Something needs to change soon.


Mr. Damon

Include the following in your discussion post:

Identify emotional language and propose alternative means of expressing unprofessional wording.

Explain the risks associated with sending this type of email to a supervisor.

Respond to at least two peers and provide them with further consideration of ways to reword this email.

Answer to



In the original email sent to Mr. DiCaprio, Mr. Damon uses emotional language throughout the entire email. Some examples of this are the following phrases: “I am so frustrated”, “it seems like you don’t care”, “I mean come on!” The email is extremely unprofessional for several reasons. Not only does threatening to quit as a first response to upset show a lack of maturity, it is not right to bring other co-workers into a matter that you’re personally upset about. In the event that I were the supervisor receiving this type of email, I would have to question whether the person who sent this is emotionally capable of assisting individuals in need.

This is how I would rewrite this email:

Mr. DiCaprio,

I see that cases have been added to my caseload, and I have some concerns which I would like to


with you. I sense that I may be coming near the point of burnout, and would like to hear your suggestions, opinions, and experience with this matter. My goal is to continue to be the best


manager for my clients, and I know that in order to do that I have to be willing to do self-


and admit when I may be struggling.

Thank you for all that you do.


Mr. Damon


Well I have been in the workforce for several years now, and I would never send an email such as this. It is very unprofessional. It says a lot in the email. First off that this employee is a coward for hiding behind a computer, that he is speaking for other co-workers, and he is also insinuating that the supervisor “doesn’t care.” The emotional language in this is very high and if I were the supervisor I would re-evaluate the employee and make sure to let him know that this behavior won’t be tolerated. It is evident from this email he is very agitated and it is hard not to see it this way.

I would write something such as:

Mr. DiCaprio,

I would like for you to understand how I am feeling about my current


load. I am honored that you have the faith in me to continue to increase my cases, however, I feel I have reached my limit and do not want to fall behind on the current cases that I have. Can we have a meeting soon to


this and maybe come up with a good solution? I don’t want to lose your trust in my work ethic, but also don’t want to take on more than I can handle.


Mr. Damon

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