Why we all have to learn letter writing skills at school

This is probably the 100th time I’ve edited the promotion letters this week.

For all those out there who has ever received a promotion before. Remember that piece of paper that you’ve received congratulating you on your latest promotion, did not come easy. Just that one piece of paper alone has brought much pain to the eyes of many temps in many companies that have helped put it together by staring at the computer screen for inhumane hours. Especially the ones that wear contact lens, their eyes are probably as dry as the nearest desert to your homes right now.

Remember that the letters come with the sweat and blood of the temps that have spent their time in the office ding-dong-ing between the many different staffs in the HR department, just to make sure that your new salary figures are right, that your target bonus figures are right and that the letter states correctly what your remuneration comprises of. The many hours spent digging out your P-files from the breast-milking room, most of the time probably waiting for that particular door to slide open. And then the time spent pouring through the pages of every file dug up.

And it does not help that not all the heads are not stationed in Singapore. And then when we have to re-print the letters again for the goodness-knows-how-many time, I think of how guilty offices must be for contributing to the effects of Global Warming. (If only you can see the amount of paper the office uses, you’ll cry out ‘Oh the poor trees!’, probably a forest the size of Singapore was cut down to make that much paper. But then again, I exaggerate.)

Send the letters to Payroll, Comm&Ben and The Manager, then someone notices something wrong and it’s back to editing the letters for the 101th time. And then suddenly everyone wants to see the latest edition of the Excel spreadsheet with all the updated figures and what not, which the poor temp does not have. All she has is the table she up-keeps to maintain a database for her mail merge file. Then suddenly she thanks God for mail merge or else she would have probably pulled all her hair out of her head by now. 

Then suddenly, someone highlights that not all are promotions, some are just salary revisions. For the 102th time, she’ll have to re-draft the letter and start a whole new table to serve as a database for a new mail merge file.

And then suddenly, she receives a call on her mobile during lunch from a colleague, and then suddenly she has to edit the letters again for the 103th time. AND THEN, something goes wrong, someone pulls out a file, checks, and she has to change the letter again for the 103th time. The Manager apologises for having the temp to edit the letters over and over again and promises that this will be the last time.

The letters are still warm from the printer and placed neatly on The Manager’s desk. Hopefully, she wouldn’t have to change them again for the 105th time. Although, the temp is not yet frustrated by the fact that she’s been editing the letters ever since she’s stepped into office, still blurry eyed and with a bed-head. I don’t think she wants to hear someone call out ‘Xiao Mei, need you to change something…’ anytime soon.



2 thoughts on “Why we all have to learn letter writing skills at school

  1. Daniel November 16, 2008 at 11:48 pm Reply

    Hmm… They should be paying you more. Lol.. Pity those people that do temping all their lives instead of getting a full time job.

  2. Daniel November 16, 2008 at 11:50 pm Reply

    Letter writing comes in useful whatever u do. Lol.

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