Here’s an interesting email exchange I had at work yesterday between our Accounting Tech (the one who pays the bills for our office, but is physically located in another building) and me.
I responded to her a detailed email, highlighting some key points in red. Her response to that email starts below.
ACCOUNTING TECH: I’ve printed these communications for the files but in the future, please use another color for hi-lights. The color RED used in business dealings is insulting. That’s why black and blue ink are the standard choices for written and oral communication. I guess my hi-lights looked red - thought I was using a burgundy………. I’ll refrain from using that one in the future.
[Then before I had a chance to reply to her…]
ACCOUNTING TECH: I’m laughing at myself--- we don’t speak in colors. My bad……………… Sometimes we refer to humans by color which is not cool anyway.
ME: Insulting? That’s the first I’ve heard that. Where do you get that information? We use red all the time – for emphasis, to pull it out from other items in an email. (I just did a Google search for that information, but didn’t come up with anything except that “red shouldn’t be used on a business card in Madagascar”.) And I’ve already heard to never use blue in written communication (that is, on a piece of paper) because it doesn’t copy well. I guess it all depends on the background we come from. I guess everyone has his/her communication preferences.
ACCOUNTING TECH: I was taught that on another job. In the Admin office we don’t use “RED” for that reason. Oh well. Have a great afternoon.
ME: That's cool. No red to you. Got it.