I’m from Eastern Europe, so we have a different culture in communicating with people.
We had a client, also from Europe, and he had several issues with our product. He emailed us with an “urgent issue,” but it was like 10 different topics, some related, some unrelated, and he was in a real, real hurry.
For the related topics I solved for him, I responded with “1. This is done, 2. this is done, 3. is done, etc” For his requests, “Is it possible if we do this thing this way” I went down the line and answered like “No, no, no, etc” and sent the email.
After an hour my manager came in saying “Woah, woah, woah, this isn’t the language we use with our clients.” I tried to explain that the customer was in a hurry, and there was no need for me to fluff my reply, but my manager told me to follow-up with the client and apologize.
At that point I felt really shtty, and I went home feeling shtty because I didn’t see it that way.
The next morning, I returned to work still feeling sh*tty, and saw the customer’s reply. He gave me a green smiley and left a comment saying that I was really helpful! He thanked me for the promptness of my response, and my directness with him. He said he appreciated that I didn’t try to sweeten the problems we couldn’t solve, and that he was looking forward to working with us in the future.
That made me feel happy for like the next month!