Email could save a life.
I regularly donate blood. My type is O negative making my blood one of the most vital for hospitals and blood banks to have in supply. O- is called the “universal donor” because anyone can take O- blood. Great for emergencies because there is no need to type the recipient—just give them what I’m having!
You have to wait around 60 days between donating. And, being in a rural area they don’t have an “always open” blood bank. A van comes up here every 65-90 days. So after a long and tiring business trip, I get an email informing me that the vampire on wheels will be in my neck of the woods (god, that was a great line) tomorrow from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
I like blood day. I allow myself to over eat. I have a big lunch. And usually I get a pizza for dinner.
So the next day I raced around getting all my work caught up so I could knock off for the afternoon. I drove the 20 miles to town only to find the community center closed. What?
I drove straight home to recheck my email. Sure enough, it clearly said, “Reminder! Blood Drive Tomorrow.” The email was dated 2 days prior. I received it yesterday because I was traveling the day before that. I was in a time-warp where tomorrow was yesterday. I missed it.
Email 101: Whenever you refer to day in an email, ALWAYS SPECIFY THE DATE. ALWAYS. I got an email the following week telling me there was a critical shortage of O- blood. Failing to specify the date on the email notice sent to me might have cost a life.
Not all your emails will be life and death situations but it will avoid a lot of confusion if you always specify a date when referring to a day.
I’ll post something new on Monday…September 17th.
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog