Friday, January 26, 2018

I emailed it to you....

I used to travel a lot for work. One day I received a beautiful envelope from USAir. Inside was a letter and booklet. This was not junk mail -- these were extraordinary documents.

The letter was on textured, thick paper, with embossed letterhead and golden letters. It looked and felt important. The booklet explained how I had earned “gold” frequent flyer status and all the benefits that came with it. Inside the booklet, along with superfluous tissues, were beautiful golden cards for my luggage and wallet. This packet of information made me feel important. It made me feel good. What a remarkable accomplishment for a faceless company that just flew me around. I could be swayed by artfully presented paper and plastic.

I now receive documents, even important ones, as attachments to poorly labeled emails. There seems to be a sense of disrespect when given an email rather than a document that has been carefully prepared both in terms of content and presence. This feeling of disrespect seems silly perhaps, but it is real. Presentation is important.

I try to look past this and focus on content. But I am still a bit sad when I hear, “I emailed it to you” rather than, “here it is” and feel the paper and experience the care in the presentation of the content.