A banker who works in fixed income at JPMorgan had an interesting conversation with NetNet’s John Carney last night.
The banker’s boss is hopelessly clueless about “text etiquette,” and his missteps are not only awkward for the banker on the receiving end of the texts, but they’re also clouding the meaning of his messages.
The boss doesn’t know that it’s not “cool” to write “lol” after texts like these:
“I am eating breakfast nearby. Let’s meet at 10. lol.”
“Take any bids under 14. Lol.”
“Headed to Virginia. My aunt died. Lol.”
And as a result, he’s blindly writing, “I’m laughing out loud” after crucial work assignments or communications that aren’t funny.
It’s hurting his ability to communicate effectively to his team members, and it’s undermining his role as a leader who commands respect.
Think of what happens after the banker receives the second text above. Instead of rushing off to “take any bids under 14,” he thinks, why are we taking a bid that he thinks is laughable? Should I really be doing this?
The banker has presumably gotten so used to his boss’s inappropriate usage of “lol,” by now that he’s probably able to ignore it.
But his boss’s leadership skills are seriously in question now, and we’re only slightly kidding. One of the first things bankers teach interns is to never pretend to know something they don’t.
By pretending he knows what “lol” means, and using it so wildly inappropriately, all of his subordinates, and maybe his boss, too, are probably thinking, WTF is wrong with this guy?
Also – what if he writes something like this to a client?
“Your portfolio is down 10% today. Lol.”
It’s weird that we have to take texting so seriously, but a mistake like this isn’t minor.