The email bully is my nemesis. Even though you might not have heard this term before, I’m sure you have run into her before. This is different than the hard-to-deal-with-person who is always difficult or unpleasant. Email bullies are often engaging and charming in person and over the phone; however, they use terse language and are quite demanding through their email communication.
When I see a case of EB come across my screen, my first instinct is to give the person the benefit of a doubt since it’s virtually impossible to attribute “tone” to a short email message. But then there’s the inevitable second and third emails. Then the case is confirmed: email bullying. Here are the symptoms:
Every situation is an out-of-control crisis.
Everyone gets copied on the email.
Rampant usage of ALL CAPS.
Long and extremely verbose language.
It’s interesting that the same person who comes across so harsh on an email, often will be cordial and professional on the phone and quite pleasant when you talk with them face-to-face.
So here’s my question:
How do you deal with the Email Bully who is charming and cordial in any other form of communication when you don’t have a close relationship with them?