Donahoe Kearney - May 2020

BRIEF

donahoekearney.com

May 2020

WHAT THOSE CORPORATE CORONAVIRUS EMAILS ARE REALLY SAYING

Like you, when the coronavirus hit, I suddenly had an inbox full of emails from companies I didn’t even know existed. Somehow, they got my email or I signed up for something, or maybe I’ve ordered something from them. It really doesn’t matter because all of their emails were the same. And I know that because, stuck at home, I would read them .

store to ensure our team members are following the CDC recommendations. (Pretty sure Tom in shipping hasn’t washed his hands since fourth grade.)

The best (worst) emails I get are usually from law firms:

In the interest of health and safety, we’ve transitioned to working from home. (If there was a medal for this, we would so get it — and display it proudly on our website with all the other fake awards on our website — so much easier than offering valuable information to help you and your family with the legal issues you’re facing.)

And it was like they all had the same PR agency writing this stuff for them. Because it was all about them.

Here are some real emails I got, and because working from home with teenagers has greatly increased my exposure to “being a smartass,” I’ve provided a translation into what they really mean or want to say:

We’re following CDC guidelines and we’re going to list them here for you in this helpful email, Valued Customer. The CDC guidelines are … (Everything your mother told you growing up — wash your hands, get your fingers out of your mouth, cover your cough, get a tissue, and you’re not going anywhere; you’re sick — who knew moms were so ahead of the times?) Probably my personal favorite had the title: How Should Law Firms Respond During Coronavirus? It was from some law firm I've never heard of and was all about them, but after congratulating themselves for washing their hands and having a laptop, it literally said the following: “The only thing we ask is understanding. The only challenge our firm might have over this difficult time is a potential lag in responsiveness to our clients. This is simply because we are not all in the same building, but rest assured, all our excellent personnel are receiving their messages.” (Our real challenge is giving a you-know-what. Quit bothering us.) We’re in this together. (Yeah, we know we haven’t sent you a newsletter or email in the last four years, but we now decided we care about you, Valued Customer!) On a serious note, we’re in good shape here. But this is a difficult and stressful time. If you want to talk about anything — anything at all — or if we can help in any way, call me. -Frank Kearney

Dear Valued Customer,

(Translation: Maybe you bought something from us once, but we have no idea who you are because we never tried to develop a relationship with you, and even if you buy a ton of our stuff, we don’t give a rat’s ass about you because we haven’t tried to contact you or give you anything of value in years!) During these unprecedented times (we don’t know what we’re doing now) , our leadership team is actively monitoring this developing situation. (Our inappropriately named “leadership” team is reading all the coronavirus emails they get that all sound alike and combining the most boring, corporate parts into an email we’re about to send to you!) We’re here for you during the COVID-19 crisis. (First, we’re really cool because we now call it COVID-19 and as soon as our corporate lawyers allow us to use the word “pandemic,” we’re going to put that in our emails, too!) Here’s what we’re doing to prepare in these unsettled times. (So, we should have been doing this already but all the coronavirus emails we’re getting say we need to get on this.) First, know that nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our associates. (But we don’t actually provide health insurance; we get mad when employees call in sick, and we have a toxic workplace culture — plus we laid them all off!) We have always prioritized store cleanliness. (Okay — so now we actually have to clean the store. We get it.) We’ve posted the CDC guidelines in our

202.393.3320 • 1

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