Gentle Reminder

When did it become popular for everyone to send an email saying “gentle reminder” or “friendly reminder”? When did the American workplace become infected with this institutionalized passive-aggression? Because that’s the only way to read it, right? “Gentle Reminder” to a normal person means “What the fuck, Charlie? The whole team has fucking finished their part of the project and we’ve sat around all week waiting for you to do that tiny little fucking stupid thing you have to do – honestly, Chuck the Fuck, it’ll only take you ten minutes – so what’s going on you fucking stupid cunt?”

“Gentle reminders,” at my job, have recently morphed into “friendly reminders,” which is even worse, in my eyes. I lapse into the South Park gag – I’m not your friend, buddy!

What’s wrong with just saying “Reminder”?

I complained about this to my boss – we work in an editorial department at a publishing house, so I can usually expect people to understand my complaints about incorrect usage – and she said that the idea of saying “gentle” was to “remove the intrusiveness naturally inherent in sending reminder emails of that sort.”

I – uh – whuuut??

Putting “Gentle” in there implies, quite simply and clearly, that you had better do the shit right fucking now or else you and your family will be shipped off to a death camp in the dark of night. You’ll be a fucking name on a wall…if you’re lucky.

That’s, of course, the point. Because if you just say “Reminder: Projects are due on Thursday” the normal human reaction is to go: “Haw, haw, motherfucker. You can take Thursday and you can try to fit it all in your mouth.”

So I guess I understand the concept. I just feel like it’s overused. You should reserve the “gentle” and “friendly” reminders for when you really need them. Like: Reminder. (haw-haw) REMINDER! (Yeah, yeah.) Gentle Reminder. (Oh shit!)

See the power you’d have there? If only you wage slave salary serf morons could practice even a modicum of social restraint you could turn your idiot companies into well-greased wheels of industry.