What would be the APPROPRIATE response? (Work related)

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Posted 3/6/2013 by callypea in NSBR Board
 

callypea
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Posted: 3/6/2013 12:37:43 PM
I work in marketing in a male dominated industry (IT). I sent an email to a few hundred people to invite them to our booth at an upcoming conference. The email was completely professional. Several wrote back saying they could or couldn't come. One wrote: "Send me a recent photo so I can pick you out of the crowd."

First, I don't attend the conferences but if I did, I'd be easy to find since there aren't many women AND I just told him what booth to visit. Second, I'm sure he wouldn't ask a man to send a picture! Third, little does he know my husband is one of the attendees!

So now I have to respond to this jerk in a professional way. Any suggestions?


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SnowWhite.
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Posted: 3/6/2013 12:39:40 PM
I think you're reading into it.

My response:

"I will not be at the conference. You can find our company at blah/blah booth, blah/blah row."

ETA: Okay, maybe you're not reading into it, but I still wouldn't do anything more than what I said above.

~dawn

scorPEAo
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Posted: 3/6/2013 12:46:36 PM
I would send him a photo of the company logo and tell him he can find it on the banner displayed in the booth



Loydene
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Posted: 3/6/2013 12:49:51 PM
I think that no response is appropriate.
You sent an email blast -- a general invitation.
The response ... should be considered a "joke" and ignored.

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Posted: 3/6/2013 12:50:55 PM
So now I have to respond to this jerk in a professional way. Any suggestions? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Some things are best not responded to at all. IMO, this is one of them.
ANY response from you, no matter how professional, is going to pull another jerky response from him. Pretend it went to spam and wasn't seen.


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SnowWhite.
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Posted: 3/6/2013 12:53:42 PM

I like both of the above responses, but Snow White's is probably the most professional.


Snow White is a Network Engineer who has almost ZERO female coworkers. I've been in my job for 16 years. I would assume that guy was _trying_ to be funny or something. Not that he was trying to pick you up (only because my coworkers have *no* game in this area, none).

It's funny when I'm in the office watching the guys fall all over themselves to try and be appropriate. They fail miserably and I laugh.

~dawn

Nyxish
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Posted: 3/6/2013 12:53:47 PM
i guess it depends on how much energy you want to devote to this. You're right, it was an inappropriate comment and no, he likely would not have replied that way to a man.

So.
If you want to be the person who says something, you could politely reply that You will not be at the conference, but information on [work topic] can be found at [company name] booth. Optionally, you could follow up with a reminder that in this age of workplace diversity and anti-harassment lawsuits, perhaps such comments might be unwise in the future.

i always want to point out these little life lessons in these moments, but there are times it's simply not worth it. It up to you ad how annoyed or amused you are.





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cmpeter
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Posted: 3/6/2013 12:54:37 PM
I wouldn't respond at all.


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SnowWhite.
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Posted: 3/6/2013 12:57:07 PM

Optionally, you could follow up with a reminder that in this age of workplace diversity and anti-harassment lawsuits, perhaps such comments might be unwise in the future.


If this man works for one of your customers, there's no way I'd go here. Not a chance. Either you respond and ignore your perceived impropriety on his part or you don't respond at all.

busypea
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Posted: 3/6/2013 1:05:37 PM
This

"I will not be at the conference. You can find our company at blah/blah booth, blah/blah row."

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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/6/2013 1:09:04 PM
I wouldn't respond at all.




Kiwi-Jo
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Posted: 3/6/2013 1:09:05 PM
See, I would take that as a joke, and would probably send back a picture of Minnie Mouse.
It always surprises me when I read such threads, and it seems that many people equate humour with being unprofessional. I believe one can have fun, and be professional at the same time.




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Posted: 3/6/2013 1:10:38 PM

"Send me a recent photo so I can pick you out of the crowd."
I also work in marketing, in IT...I wouldn't have assumed he wanted a picture of me personally, my response would be to send a picture of the company's convention booth so he could identify it easily, along with a map of the convention hall and where your company would be located on it.



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Gsquaredmom

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Posted: 3/6/2013 1:39:52 PM
Do you have a photo of your booth? Maybe he did not mean YOU, personally, but you, as in the company? I agree with sending a photo of the booth or the logo in case that is what he really meant. Entirely professional and sends taht message if he was being goofy, but also meets his needs if he really meant the booth. Meaning does not always come out right in e-mails.



BabyBokChoy
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Posted: 3/6/2013 1:47:27 PM
An inappropriate response to your mass email does not deserve a response from you.


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Posted: 3/6/2013 2:27:47 PM
I wouldn't respond at all. Why engage?
There's no drama here.
It's a conference, he'll find the booth if he wants to.

While it's an odd response to a mass email, I don't think it makes him a "jerk" or anything else actually.

Lindapinda
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Posted: 3/6/2013 2:31:01 PM
I'm not sure I see what's so inappropriate aboute his response. I'm thinking he wants a photo of your booth. I've worked in the oil business for years and been to many of these big confrences. Navigating them can be a challenge. Knowing what a booth looks like helps a lot.

barbara44
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Posted: 3/6/2013 4:16:52 PM
I agree that he probably wants a picture of the booth and that there was nothing wrong with his request. Send him a picture of the logo or booth. You won't lose anything by doing that.

SnowWhite.
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Posted: 3/6/2013 4:50:42 PM

While some understandably want to give him the benefit of the doubt, the wording


"Send me a recent photo so I can pick you out of the crowd."


doesn't sound like he needs a refresher on what your company logo looks like.


Sure. If you're native language is English. In IT? It's just as likely his native language is not English. About one-third of our department are non-native English speakers and that's for our onshore team

~dawn

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Posted: 3/6/2013 4:54:39 PM
Amen to that, SnowWhite!


doesn't sound like he needs a refresher on what your company logo looks like.
Either way, the appropriate and professional response would be to send a picture and map of the booth and booth site.

If this person was trying to flirt, such a response would let him know unequivocally that it was inappropriate while letting him off the hook professionally and gracefully.

If he intentionally or accidentally obtuse and persists in another email by explaining he meant a personal picture of her, well...that is another kettle of fish. I just wouldn't read into the initial request like that because of "lost in translation" issues that are far more likely to occur in the field of IT.



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MizIndependent
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Posted: 3/6/2013 4:59:57 PM

but unless one changes their logo frequently,
Maybe not the logo so much, but certainly booth configurations and designs change all the time, in fact it is almost counted on as a way to "reel in" new clients who would otherwise recognize the brand and might skip it because they saw it at the last convention.



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Posted: 3/6/2013 5:04:10 PM
I agree with Snow White - I think you are reading too much into it. I would assume that you are going since you sent out the e-mail, maybe he just wanted to stop by and put a face with the name.

IT guys are generally a little quirky so he probably didn't mean anything by it.




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Posted: 3/6/2013 5:39:01 PM
Being a sales professional selling to a male dominated industry, I think you might have misread his intentions. Sometimes customers want to talk the the person they work with at the booth but they don't know who to look for. I once invited some new clients to lunch and 20 minutes later was wondering why they were so late. They were 5 tables away waiting on me. The restaurant made a big mistake, but knowing what they looked like would have been helpful. Give people the benefit of the doubt the first time. Trade show booths can get crazy.

I would reply that I wasn't attending the conference.


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Posted: 3/6/2013 5:46:27 PM
I definitely would not respond.



julieberg
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Posted: 3/6/2013 6:32:43 PM

See, I would take that as a joke, and would probably send back a picture of Minnie Mouse



WillowJane
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Posted: 3/6/2013 7:10:21 PM
    Being a sales professional selling to a male dominated industry, I think you might have misread his intentions. Sometimes customers want to talk the the person they work with at the booth but they don't know who to look for.


^^^ That ^^^

I would send the picture of Minnie Mouse, first.

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Posted: 3/6/2013 7:16:24 PM
I would respond with - you can find me at such and such booth, you shouldn't have any problems finding me.

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Posted: 3/6/2013 7:23:45 PM
I wouldn't dignify the comment with a response.

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Posted: 3/6/2013 7:59:31 PM
Eh wouldn't bother me.


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Posted: 3/6/2013 8:45:29 PM
Why does it require a response? When things get hinky, I immediately disengage. Don't give the situation another thought. Move on.




Laurel Jean
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Posted: 3/6/2013 9:25:02 PM
I would not respond.

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Posted: 3/6/2013 11:31:46 PM
He's an IT guy. He works with computers all day, and guys. He has no clue and IMO its not in you to give him one. There are several good response options on this thread already, including no reply at all.


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Posted: 3/7/2013 12:18:17 AM
Send a picture of Waldo ROFLMAO


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Posted: 3/7/2013 4:01:48 AM
To me that comes across as a response sent without thinking. I would just ignore it.



sweetandsour
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Posted: 3/7/2013 8:08:58 AM
"Our booth configuration has changed since our last conference. However, here is a picture of our booth at ABC Conference. We will be located in the front lobby and our representatives will be wearing company name tags."

If his intentions were unprofessional, he'll get the hint. If his intentions were professional, you won't be alienating a potential client.


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Posted: 3/7/2013 1:22:59 PM
Sweet and Sour nailed it, and totally agree with Snow White.

Although the use of the word "recent" is odd, his request isn't. At least if he expected you to be his contact.

You sent a very professional business communication? There's no reason to think it was taken any other way.

If you were friend IRL I'd tell you to get over yourself.
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