Recently, I’ve been emailing back and forth with a friendly, respectful, professional woman I met at a conference about a month ago. I’ll call her Jane Doe. She uses the following e-mail signature:
Director of Support Services
ABC XYZ University
10 College Street
Anywhere, State USA
P: 555-123-4567 F: 555-987-6543
“In the midst of actions and studies, the mind can be lifted to God, and by means of this directing everything to the divine service, everything is prayer.” Ignatius of Loyola
The quotation from Ignatius of Loyola rubbed me the wrong way. The really really wrong way. But mostly, her e-mail signature made me wonder. Why did she include the quotation? Surely she realizes that some of the people she communicates with in her role as Direct of Support Services do not share her views about divine service. Why would she risk alienating professional contacts in this way?
In my opinion, when you’re e-mailing at work, your signature is a humble, utilitarian bit of writing intended to make it easy for people to reach you. It should include:
- Your name
- Your company’s name
- Your contact information: phone, fax, mailing address, etc. No need to include your e-mail address as the system will provide it.
Your signature might include:
- Your title
- A closing such as “Thank you”
- A tag line
But back to the words of Ignatius of Loyola. I’m still seeing red, but I’m interested in your opinion. Do you think it’s OK to include religious quotations or scripture in your e-mail signature? Post here or let me know.
— Leslie O’Flahavan