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I know this may sound little bit odd, but really, when somebody writes you in an e-mail "Hope XYZ company is treating you well" and let's say you work for XYZ. What does that really mean? Or is it just a conversation filler like "Hi, How are you?" I usually like to reply somebody's email with point-by-point answers. In a case like this should you even consider to write some reply for that particular remark.

  • If you really like the company and want to promote it by telling others, go right ahead. Since this is probably a "how's the weather" question, be brief. Whatever you do, don't indicate in writing if it is not going well. There's nothing to be gained. – user8365 Sep 24 '12 at 18:28
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    You can't go wrong with "Everything's great, thanks!" – MrFox Sep 24 '12 at 19:08
  • Well that was precisely why I asked the question. May be because I grew up in a different culture where phrases like these might not be common and hence I was curious to know. So based on your reply, it seems that it is most likely a small talk. – modest Sep 25 '12 at 0:24
  • If you're emailing back from @xyz.com, I don't think you would want to use anything other than suslik's reply. – Tanner Faulkner Sep 26 '12 at 22:44
  • Strictly speaking, that's not a question at all. I would just say thanks, adding "Everything's great" like @suslik suggested is good advice. – Nicole Sep 27 '12 at 3:55
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Someone just asked me this the other day.

Your job is where you spend most the hours of your day, is the means of your lively-hood and in the U.S. is highly reflective to your identity.

So.....

“Hope XYZ is treating you well”

is code for a few things:

"I am curios to know how your experience of providing for yourself compares to mine...". - remember most people think about themselves, not you!

"I would like to know how your company views you..." - do they like you, are you valued, how do you fit, are you "the man" there?

"Do you think your value is compensated properly, and o yeah, how much do you make..." - money, say no more.

So the answer is dynamic and you can give as much or as little information as you want. However, at the end of the day they are thinking about their job not yours, so I would recommend making it small talk and saying something like, "yeah, it's not too bad!".

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Context is everything here. Say a former coworker is emailing you asking for help with a technical problem because you know more C++ or whatever. You can ignore "Hope NewCompany is treating you well" if you want - it's just politeness or small talk. You can reply if you're a small talk person, but it's not a point you must respond to.

On the other hand, if someone you know but have never worked for says "Hope ThatPlaceYouWork is treating you well, you're a star, if ever you don't like working there be sure to talk to us" there's an entirely different meaning behind the words.

And finally, if someone is thinking of joining ThatPlaceYouWork and says this, perhaps they really want to know how people are treated there to help them decide. It's up to you how much to help them, but it's something you might consider.

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I think a lot of how you answer has to do with who is asking the question. Former employer? Close friend or family member? Previous co-worker? I'd only really answer it if it was a close friend or family member and even then I'd be pretty vague about it. Of course it goes without saying that you wouldn't respond to this question while on company PCs even if its with a non-work email account.

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...When somebody writes you in an e-mail "Hope XYZ company is treating you well"... What does that really mean?

If a recruiter, former coworker, or somebody in a related business makes this comment, then they are definitely "testing the waters". Either they have a job that they'd like to offer you, they imagine that they will have a job to offer you in the future, or they have some other motive for testing the waters (maybe even schadenfreude ;).

If just about anyone else makes this comment, then they are either genuinely interested in your response, just making conversation, or experiencing schadenfreude.


More about the first scenario:

  • Imagine being married for ten years.
    • Imagine a former girlfriend/boyfriend approaching you and saying, "I hope that [your spouse's name] is treating you well."
    • OTOH, imagine being married in your late 30s. Imagine a single woman/man who approximates your age saying, "I hope that [your spouse's name] is treating you well."

Sound familiar? :)

More about the second scenario:

  • Imagine being married.
    • Imagine your mom saying, "I hope that [your spouse's name] is treating you well."

Sound familiar? :)

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