Author Topic: Polite response to unwanted email?  (Read 11488 times)

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GSNW

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Polite response to unwanted email?
« on: January 12, 2013, 06:14:46 PM »
I'm having some trouble with this and I'd like to ask some advice.

DH and I are in the same profession.  We are strongly considering moving to another country as guest workers in this profession.  We have interviews scheduled with a well-known company that operates in this destination (let's call it Country A) and hires a large force of expat workers.  To be clear, the process is long and an interview is not a surefire indicator by any stretch that we may be offered a job.  If it all pans out, we won't be moving for another 6+ months.

Of course, we have been discussing this with our parents.  Now that interviews have been scheduled, my mom is getting a bit weepy at the thought of a potential faraway move.  My mom is like this, she hasn't told us not to go/consider it or anything, just that she'd miss being close to us a lot, etc.  We have never asked her (or anyone else) not to discuss this with the rest of the family, and I know they have been doing just that - not a big deal, until I got The Email from my Great Aunt Fern.

Great Aunt Fern was a late child, so she is closer in age to my mom than she is to her own siblings (Fern's own child is just a year younger than me).  Fern thinks she knows everything.  For example, whenever travel is discussed, she wants to assert her expertise over every location.  We cannot discuss travels at a family gathering without Fern butting in to tell us about all the "fabulous" (meaning, expensive) places she stayed/ate/dined with nobility in the same travel location.  I'm not sure this is entirely relevant, but it IS part of why I don't love socializing with Fern.  She has also said some pretty rude/nasty things to DH in a "joking" way (meaning, if someone calls her on it, her reaction is wounded innocence).  We usually just ignore her behavior and avoid bringing up some topics in front of her.

After this latest round of holidays, I received a VERY long and unsolicited email from Fern about our potential move.  You see, Fern lived for about six months in Country B, which borders Country A.  The email included a vast list of reasons why I should be considering a move to B instead of A, inquiries about what I would possibly want to do with living in A, and on and on (showcasing her expertise!) about why Country A is such a poor and dismal choice.  This is all advice that I feel is a bit condescending and was completely unsolicited.

So far, I have ignored the email, which is getting *harder* because she keeps texting me asking me to reply.  My mother even called and said, "Fern said she put a lot of thought into an email she sent you recently and wonders when you will reply."  I didn't discuss it with mom, just told her I've been busy (true).  Essentially, Fern's reasons for choosing B over A are invalid for our main purpose in going to A.  If we go and stay in A for 3-5 years, it would be very easy to save enough to buy a house outright upon our return... in pretty much any location we chose... and continue working normally from there on out.  We own our home now but of course have a mortgage, like most people.  We love the idea of the adventure, as well, and knowing that there are some hardships in relocating to A has us feeling a sense of a good challenge more than dread or fear.

Here is the email I am tinkering with in reply.

Dear Fern,
Thank you for your concern in this matter.  I can tell you learned a lot about X culture during your time in Country B.  You have given DH and I lot of good information.

Love,
Me.

I don't feel the need to justify our reasons to her.  I don't think we should have to explain to her, nor do I feel like I should have to tell her that I've been doing 6+ months of research on expat life in Country A, so it's not like I have no clue about what I'd be stepping into.  The biggest thing I worry about is that my reply to her email will seem very brusque and potentially rude -- but I am not interested in encouraging discussion/debate on the topic.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 06:17:05 PM by GSNW »

LeveeWoman

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2013, 06:19:46 PM »
I think your response is great. It would rub me such the wrong way that I'd delete everything but the first sentence.

m2kbug

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2013, 06:23:16 PM »
I don't understand the problem here.  The job is in Country A, not Country B, so moving to Country B makes no sense at all. 

But I think your response is just fine. 

GeauxTigers

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 06:23:52 PM »
"Dear Fern:

We have received your email about your experience in country B, and we thank you for that information. Our decision re: Country A is just that - our decision - and we are comfortable with it; no additional information or discussion re: Country B is necessary.

Best wishes, Mr. and Mrs. GSNW"

LeveeWoman

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 06:24:30 PM »
I don't understand the problem here.  The job is in Country A, not Country B, so moving to Country B makes no sense at all. 

But I think your response is just fine.

Fern's a show-off.

Alpacas

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 06:27:35 PM »
Would this be too rude?

"Dear Fern,  You have given DH and I lot of good information about Country B but Country A is what we chose. Thank you for your concern in this matter."

m2kbug

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2013, 06:28:11 PM »
I don't understand the problem here.  The job is in Country A, not Country B, so moving to Country B makes no sense at all. 

But I think your response is just fine.

Fern's a show-off.

I should further explain, I don't understand what Fern's issues are in that the job is not in Country B, so you can't really live there, can you?   :)  I guess that could be part of the letter.  Since the job is in Country A, that's where we will be going, but thanks for all your information on Country B.  Maybe we'll have an opportunity to take a vacation there. 

LeveeWoman

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2013, 06:34:29 PM »
I don't understand the problem here.  The job is in Country A, not Country B, so moving to Country B makes no sense at all. 

But I think your response is just fine.

Fern's a show-off.

I should further explain, I don't understand what Fern's issues are in that the job is not in Country B, so you can't really live there, can you?   :)  I guess that could be part of the letter.  Since the job is in Country A, that's where we will be going, but thanks for all your information on Country B.  Maybe we'll have an opportunity to take a vacation there.

I think Fern knows where the job is, and I think she's just using this situation to show off again.

aiki

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2013, 06:36:28 PM »
Dear Auntie Fern

Thank you for your extensive e-mail. We will give it all due consideration.

Yours etc...

"A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude."  - Oscar Wilde

GSNW

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2013, 06:37:38 PM »
I don't understand the problem here.  The job is in Country A, not Country B, so moving to Country B makes no sense at all. 

But I think your response is just fine.

Fern's a show-off.

The show-off factor is one of the reasons this just gets under my skin.  Fern has never been to Country A, tourist visas aren't granted for that location except in circumstances that don't apply to Fern.  Of course, this was her chance to showcase her knowledge about a culture specific to that region, so off she goes.  The email began with the snotty "Do you even realize..."

Bad Me wants to reply, "Good Deity, I had NO idea.  Imagine if we ONLY had a tool that allowed us to communicate with people all over the world to ask questions and evaluate information from multiple sources.  Good thing we have you!"

Kaypeep

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2013, 06:38:06 PM »
"Dear Fern:

We have received your email about your experience in country B, and we thank you for that information. Our decision re: Country A is just that - our decision - and we are comfortable with it; no additional information or discussion re: Country B is necessary.

Best wishes, Mr. and Mrs. GSNW"

I like this reply very much.  if you want to seem a bit warmer.  Perhaps edit it as:

Dear Aunt Fern, Thank you for taking the time to put together your email full of information about your thoughts and experiences on Country A and Country B.  I can tell you put a lot of effort  into it and appreciate that.  However, Our decision re: Country A is just that -- our decision-- and we are not seeking additional input from anyone else.  We are comfortable and secure making this decision ourselves and will not be discussing or seeking outside opinions right now.  But thank you for offering to share yours, I truly appreciate your concern and best wishes.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2013, 06:40:29 PM »
I don't understand the problem here.  The job is in Country A, not Country B, so moving to Country B makes no sense at all. 

But I think your response is just fine.

Fern's a show-off.

The show-off factor is one of the reasons this just gets under my skin.   Fern has never been to Country A, tourist visas aren't granted for that location except in circumstances that don't apply to Fern.  Of course, this was her chance to showcase her knowledge about a culture specific to that region, so off she goes.  The email began with the snotty "Do you even realize..."

Bad Me wants to reply, "Good Deity, I had NO idea.  Imagine if we ONLY had a tool that allowed us to communicate with people all over the world to ask questions and evaluate information from multiple sources.  Good thing we have you!"

It got under my skin, too, and I don't even know the woman!

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2013, 06:41:48 PM »
Dear Fern, I got you're email. we have been really busy.

weeblewobble

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2013, 06:57:42 PM »
Congratulations on being related to Lady Catherine de Beourgh from Pride and Prejudice.  Yikes.

I don't think I would even respond to the email. She wants you to fall over yourself thanking her for her expertise. The worst thing you could do to her is ignore her. 


Secondly it's all well and good that Country B is "far superior," but the job - the whole reason you're going to the other country - is in COUNTRY A.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 06:59:14 PM by weeblewobble »

Deetee

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Re: Polite response to unwanted email?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2013, 07:07:53 PM »
It doesn't really matter what she emails or says, but you don't want to burn bridges. It will be easiest if you just send an email back and then forget about her.

Dear Fern,

Thanks for email. It sounds like you had a great time in country B. We'll let you know if we have any other questions about visiting country B.

Love