I recently received an e-mail from a friend of mine who just landed a job in the real estate industry. I got to the end of the e-mail and noticed a chunk of verbiage that resembled the format of a haiku poem. It was a signature, and it dominated ten lines of the e-mail letter.
Thanks to this unnecessary amount of information provided at the end of an informal, short e-mail note, I am now entirely capable of reaching my friend on his cell, on his direct line, through a fax, through an e-mail, through a website, through paper mail, in person at the address or through the means of a carrier pigeon. I mean, really? The direct office line and e-mail I can understand, but the rest is complete garbage. However it still makes me wonder as to why the e-mail is in the signature to begin with: don’t you have to get the e-mail from that address to see it anyway? Fax? Organizations that aren’t paperless or on the verge of becoming paperless need to get with the program. It’s almost 2010.
Anyone external to the organization doesn’t need all of that information provided in the signature. I’d be willing to bet that e-mail is preferred and utilized ten times more than any other medium. And for internal folks, all of his coworkers would most likely have access to his cell phone, underwear brand, fax line, etc. via some company intranet or directory. Are the signatures there as a means of professionalism? Are they there to look cool? Signatures can be important; I get that – but ten lines important?
I love you, friend… these are all just thoughts.