A Swindon-based office worker spent nearly 2 hours today agonising over his email sign-off. 28 year-old Marketing assistant Greg Parker was visibly anguished by the monumental ramifications of using either 'Regards' or 'Kind Regards' in an email to senior management. His internal paralysis was so mentally destructive that he had originally drafted 'Best', a bland sentiment which he later deleted in an apoplectic fit of self-loathing. After 112 minutes of deliberation, including a statistical analysis of historic responses, he resolved to use a naked 'Regards' and face the consequences alone, with scant consideration for family, friends and his dogs Dolce and Gabanna.
"It's been a really tough morning at work," said Greg, after regretting to omit 'Hi' from a terse email exchange with a colleague. "My girlfriend says I'm always overthinking stuff", he continued, "just because I might spend a few hours selecting the right emoticon when I message her. Today, I've regained some precious milliseconds by converting 'thanks' to 'thx' in other correspondence. The cumulative impact of excluding 2 to 3 letters per word is a real blessing. No joke. I used the extra time to fuss over how many irrelevant email recipients I could piss off by copying them in. I usually adopt a prudent approach and cc the entire workforce."
Greg is not alone in confessing his palpable anxieties over digital etiquette. A recent survey revealed that an average office worker spends up to 70% of each day vacillating between potential email sign-offs. The repercussions of getting it wrong can be very costly: a trainee solicitor was recently sacked after consistent use of the nauseating abbreviations TAFN 'That's all for now' and TTYL 'Talk to you later'.
Towards the end of the day, Greg had not received a single response from his management team. He was still chronically fretting about whether his email conclusion was appropriate:
"What did the standalone 'Regards' actually convey? Was it too cold and compassionless? Was I wrong in omitting the 'Kind'? I don't want to come across as a serf. Should I have used 'Rgds' to demonstrate that I'm really busy at the moment? What about 'Warmest Regards'? Or is that a euphemism for 'Please love me, I'm lonely'? I'll use 'Cheers' next time. Or is that too British?"