I work as a researcher for a startup company. We are into research and I report to my CTO. The company consists of a handful people.
I required three letters from my CEO and emailed him three weeks back. I hadn’t got it until last week and I asked him in person, he said he’ll give it in two days, and I can feel free to text him anytime and “not feel shy”.
I reminded him on Friday. Exact email:
Gentle reminder regarding the 3 documents.
Stop these reminders, (Myself). You are on my list. I am very busy.
Today morning (8am) he sent an email with two of the three documents (only the documents, nothing else mentioned about the third document), and I first of all thanked him and reminded him about the third document (at 9am).
This was his response which shocked me (at 9:09am):
YOU ARE GETTING ON MY BLOODY NERVES.
I AM F**ING WORKING ON YOUR DOCUMENT.
I DON'T NEED TO BE COACHED OR REMINDED.
At 9:18am, he sent the third document.
- Is this professional? I have been in the industry since four years and have never got emails like these. Is it how it is everywhere?
- What should my reply be?
- Am I wrong for reminding him?
He had not mentioned anything about the third document, and hence I waited for an hour (8am - 9am today) to receive the third document (after the first two were sent). Atleast a reply like "Yes, I'm working on it" would have been enough. I don't deserve to be spoken to like this by anyone; my parents themselves never spoke to me in this manner, ever.
Office culture: I hardly talk to the CEO. Nobody here uses any such language, not even close to what he said in the e-mail. My manager is the one I report to. All my other colleagues are normal and definitely respectful. I am the only female worker (shouldn't matter in this case though).
I definitely want to show to him that I don't encourage such exchange of words with me, to make sure it doesn't happen in future.
The manager was cc-ed on this thread of emails. I love my work here, and I’m staying in this company only because of the work and my manager. Also, the CEO just sent an SMS message saying:
in future, please try to avoid sending excessive reminders, ...... etc.
Thanks a lot for all of your suggestions. I did not reply to the text SMS message yet. Although I did reply to his email when he in which he shared the third document, with a simple “Thank you”. I was very frustrated and would have definitely reacted impulsively. All of your suggestions helped me calm down and not harm my current job. I do not intend to reply to his SMS. I hope I’m doing the right thing.
My CEO is always prompt in his responses and work. I am not complaining about receiving the documents late, all I’m concerned about is the language used at workplace. I am completely against this kind of behaviour and conversation with me.