To the editor:
I’ve decided that in 2023, I’m going to take your recommendations (Re: Patience Bingo) to heart, especially the one about deleting the first email response?
Admittedly, it’s been soul-satisfying to fire off a clever, witty, slightly insulting reply to an especially irritating email, an electronic letter full of egregious spelling errors, or an implausible response from a vendor to whom I had sent a patient and sensible message requesting a further explanation of “lifetime warranty.” The keystrokes are heavy and the prose is—okay—fist-pumpingly direct. My irritation eases once the words are out and on the page, but the fire is still hot and too often I’ve hit “send” before considering that the recipient—if there really is a human one—might be a lunch-skipped, hunched-over-with-fatigue, working-overtime soul with no stake whatsoever in my problem and a mind full of worry about the traffic going home, the hoped-for raise by year’s end, and the promised but inconvenient stop at SevenEleven for hot dog buns. I’m going to start counting to ten first.
F.B. King, Chestnut Street