Can our email sign-offs be anything we’ve wanted all this time?
Email sign-offs became a hot topic when every Twitter user hopped on the meme train ( including us NGL). We’re so used to typing “all the best” and “regards” that the thought of placing anything else became hilarious. Normalize song lyrics as email sign-offs, normalize teleserye lines as email sign-offs, normalize using iconic bardagulan lines as email sign-offs, name it, they meme’d it.
But I didn’t want to simply participate in this meme—I want to normalize it for real.
Regardless of this meme running its course, I still wantanswers. Can we truly normalize email sign-offs as a TV show quote, a song lyric or as our Twitter bios? Or is this meme a product of our late corporate capitalism anxieties?
I conducted this experiment for one month. Throwing my “all the best” out of the window, I replaced it with a song lyric from Korean rap star Jessi’s “Who Dat B?” My email sign-off for one month was “the baddest of the baddest gang gang” just to see if anybody gave a shit or not.
My team didn’t bat an eye or give it any notice. Hell, even my managing editor didn’t seem to mind. His email sign-off was an anime quote after all (art is a blast from “Naruto’s” Deidara).
Can we truly normalize email sign-offs as a TV show quote, a song lyric or as our Twitter bios? Or is this meme a product of our late corporate capitalism anxieties?
That song lyric filled with unearned bravado became my October sign-off. From interview inquiries to talking to Nadine Lustre’s PR, I just left it hanging there, hoping someone would ask about it. No one seemed to give a fuck.
Well, that was until the pop aficionados from the podcast “Pop Emergency” DM’d me regarding my unusual sign-off.
“You’re a Jessi stan?!” ask hosts Alwyn and Adrian. “Can we be your Tiffany Young?” As a knee-jerk response, I answered “why the fuck not.” I have nothing to lose—and that applies to my unusual email sign-off too.
After the month passed, I didn’t even mind it. Who gives a shit what my email sign-off says? I doubt they read it the whole way through anyway. Corporate email culture is literally just saying “this is noted” or “gently following up on this.” Until someone dies.
My correspondents didn’t mind and so I didn’t either. In the end, that’s what matters.
But like every worker under a company, I had to ask human resources if this would get me in trouble. Our HR services supervisor Rhein S. Fernandez was kind and tolerant enough to entertain my jackassery. But I want our collective query answered once and for all.
Can we actually normalize [a pop culture reference] as our email sign-off?
“Internal pwede if ’di ganoon ka strict sa office. If ever you’re sending an email to a client, it should be professional,” says our HR head. Rhein. “Personally, SCOUT can do it since we’re all filled with creatives but I’m not sure if others can do it too.” She then began to recall applicants and even non-creative professionals saying goodbye to “regards” and “all the best.”
Corporate email culture is literally just saying “this is noted” or “gently following up on this” until someone dies.
“There are applicants who have practiced this. I’m not sure if they used a lyric or a TV show quote, but I’ve seen e-signatures like that,” she explains. “It depends din. Kung okay naman [sa company nila], may naglalagay ng bible or philosophical quotes. They come from non-creative positions, even HR personnel sometimes.”
Eventually, we arrived at a conclusion. “Pwede naman,” she clarifies. “Just make sure it doesn’t offend anyone and has no profanity in it.” I ended my line of questioning by asking about her dream email sign-off. “Hmm, let me think [laughs]. Medyo pang Miss Universe yang question mo.”
So if bible thumpers can revamp their sign-offs, apparently, so can we—we just need to ask HR (if that applies to you).
Work culture is changing since young workers like us are entering the workforce.
I could’ve normalized it all this time. Not only was I not brave enough, I didn’t bother to ask HR for its permission or thoughts on it. That’s my bad. As people say in the corporate world, it’s a learning curve.
Work culture is changing since young workers like us are entering the workforce. From stronger labor unions to normalizing pop culture references as sign-offs, we deal with late stage corporate capitalism differently compared to previous generations. We do anything to cope or make working life a bit more bearable. What’s wrong with changing your email sign-off to something you can be proud of?
If you’re looking for a sign to normalize email sign-offs, this is it.
The baddest of the baddest gang gang,
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Art by Yel Sayo