Wednesday 24 August 2011

Stock replies

As someone who suffers intermittently from RSI, I get tired of writing the same email responses over and over again. I have therefore started building a database of stock replies that I can just cut and paste as needed and amend according to the specific enquiry. Here are two that I use most regularly:

Reply to poorly written emails
As a university student, it will be worth getting into the habit of ensuring your emails are grammatically correct. You don’t capitalise your ‘I’s on many occasions, your spelling needs greater attention, and you use colloquial phrases throughout. I know emails are not essays, but if you get into the habit of ensuring you pay close attention to how you write in all your communications, this will become second nature and much easier when you do have to write essays/dissertations. It will also make sure you don’t accidentally write like this when sending emails to prospective employers, which would pretty much cancel out any chances of getting an interview.

Reply to request for free design from students by local businesses/organisations
Thank you for your email and details of what sounds like an interesting project.

Firstly, as I’m sure you can appreciate, students are approaching the end of the academic year/at an important stage in their studies (delete as appropriate) and therefore all levels of the course are currently extremely busy.

The ideal situation for this sort of project would be to include it as part of an appropriate academic module, but unfortunately we are too far into the teaching programme to introduce something new—we plan our scheme of work well in advance of actually delivering them. While this brief is something I would be happy to field to students as a personal project, as we could not include it as part of the curriculum, it would be up to students individually as to whether they got involved or not. I therefore cannot guarantee any would take up an offer of involvement.

Secondly, as for the idea of a competition, I would not consider offering this up to students unless there was some sort of appropriate reward. We are asked a lot by different organisations if students would like to be part of a live project, which has obvious benefits for a student’s portfolio, but I believe it is ethically responsible to offer some recompense for what would otherwise constitute a free piece of design. The additional benefits of this are that it would offer some sort of incentive for a student to take part.

(In light of the above, if there was any extension to your proposed deadline, this would further encourage students to get involved as they are always looking for work to do over the summer break once the intensity of university projects subsides.)

Once again I’d like to thank you for your enquiry and I look forward to hearing from you.


Yviemarie said...

As a student who is almost about to embark into the creative world, I am curious. Have you had any of these 'requests' lately? :)

Dubdog said...

If you are talking about requests for free work—any requests that I send the reply to rarely comes back to me. Anyone that does that agrees to payment or a prize has been posted to Wolsey! There's one on the table at the moment, but I'm waiting for the company to clarify the prize. The only exception I make to requests with no recompense involved is if they are other UCS students asking for help, and again, these are posted to Wolsey.
If you are talking about poor spelling in student emails—all the time.