I guess that explains my problem: (From microsoft.com/smallbusiness [update: fixed link]):
David A. Owens, clinical professor of management at Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Management (says the way you write e-mails) provides a window into your workplace status, work habits, stress levels, even your personality, he says….Owens is an organizational behavior guru who can analyze an anonymous piece of e-mail and tell you the sender’s likely corporate rank and seniority level….”Higher status” managerial e-mails have a level of formality, tone and lack of detail that is less apparent at mid-management levels and below, he says. Cheesy quotes, smiley faces and joke mails are more prevalent at lower management levels, where correspondence is more task-based and e-mailers allow themselves to let off steam.
By the way, since I’m married to a graduate of that fine school of management and I know that some of the regular readers of this weblog are current students or alumni of that fine institution, I will refrain from any cheesy quotes or jokes about someone who believes reading someone’s e-mail provides a window into anything other than what the e-mail says. I’d just be letting off steam, anyway…and that’s so “task-based” and lower management.