We've all been there.

We've sent someone a message asking them to do something we totally could do ourselves in less time than it takes to ask them to do it. Or we come off a little snippy when we don't really mean to but we're in a hurry.

Let's try to do better.

Sure, Sue should have put a hed on that op-ed she just filed. But she didn't. You're a writer, too. Just write the damn hed and remind Sue on her next assignment that heds are part of the task. (If Sue's a repeat offender, that's a different matter.)

Does this mean Sue "wins"? I don't know. Why does that matter? Yeah, it's a drag when people don't do something they're supposed to, but in the scheme of things, is your victory worth the follow-on effects, like making her feel bad or making you look like a task-master? No. No, it is not.

Plus, we learn faster and more effectively when somebody corrects us constructively. So instead of a snippy message about "we usually include heds, where is yours?", a reminder that comes with her next assignment sends the message when she's in a position to do something about it at the appropriate time.

If nothing else, before you send a snotty message, think about how you'd feel about the situation and the sender if you were on receiving end.

Yeah. You don't want to be that person. Do you?

Don't blow off bad behavior or missed work requirements. But also don't compound the problem by making people feel like crap and think you're kind-of a jerk or slowing down the process just to make a point.

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