Read D.F.'s bio and previous columns
October 1, 2007
Pls Don’t Tell Me Pls.
When you’ve been in business for awhile, there are certain things you
just know. And if you’re the kind of client who is going to annoy me to
the point where I will ultimately determine you are not worth the
trouble, you may very well alert me to this fact with six little
The first three are “pls.”
The second three are “thx.”
You write these sorry excuses for words in an e-mail to me, it will be
over between us before it even began.
As you may have already gathered, “pls” is supposed to mean “please,”
while “thx” is supposed to mean “thanks” or “thank you.” So why would I
object to being told please and thank you? What’s the matter with me?
Aren’t these two terms the epitome of politeness?
Ah! That’s what they want you to think!
When someone e-mails me and says “pls advise” or demands something, only
to attempt to soften it with “thx,” what exactly has that person just
told you? You know very well what:
I am a very busy and
very important person, and I cannot be bothered to type entire words to
you – especially sentiments that I may or may not even mean. So I’ll
toss a “pls” your way to pacify you, or I’ll whip out a “thx” because I
need to go on the record as showing some degree of gratitude, but let’s
get real. You’ll do what I say because I’m the client and you have to,
and I am more important than you and you know it. So deal with it. Pls
You know this guy. You’ve probably dealt with him. He does stuff like
this: He tells you he wants you to do something. You say you’ll be glad
to, as long as he sends you one little thing you will need to do it. He
says he’ll send it right away.
He doesn’t. A week passes. He sends you another e-mail: Pls update me
on the work you owe me. Thx.
You remind him that you were waiting for him to get you something you
needed. Oh yeah yeah yeah. He sends you another e-mail: Pls call me
to discuss. Thx.
What was stopping him from calling you? Why should he call? He’s too
So you call as soon as you get the e-mail. You get his voice mail. You
tell him you were calling as he requested and that he can call you
any time to discuss it, then you leave your cell phone and your home
phone – if you still have one.
Twenty-four hours pass. You don’t hear from him. You call again. You get
voice mail again. He replies with an e-mail: What did you need from
me again? Thx.
You know perfectly well that you’ll be staying up late tonight to get
this done for him, because he needs it tomorrow. And you also know
perfectly well that he will never acknowledge his own role in holding it
Well, you should have seen this coming. It all started with the “pls”
and the “thx.” Someone who can’t even be bothered to write out entire,
one-syllable words isn’t going to lift a finger to facilitate your
serving him, or make any serious acknowledgement of your contribution.
It is also likely that you can expect another e-mail from him, sometime
after you send out your invoices.
Pls explain charges.
Seems high. Thx.
warned you. Don’t blame me if Mr. Pls & Thx stiffs you. But thx for
reading. And I really mean that.
© 2007 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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