Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Kisses in the workplace

Increasingly while I continue to tweak my signature block for all kinds of emails, people writing to me keep blowing e-kisses using icons instead of providing contact information in their work documents.

I thought blowing me a kiss an oddity at first—figured it was just a person with an affectionate nature on the loose blowing kisses to me over the Internet. Now I get these  puckered lips, yellow and red e-kisses all the time in personal and workplace documents.

In personal emails, that’s okay with me--amusing even. I blow a few kisses myself now, and in real life, I have to stop myself from blowing fingertip kisses to people coming and going and sometimes the preacher when he first stands up behind the pulpit, all lonely and high up with the light in his eyes and his stomach rumbling because sometimes our guy fasts before he preaches.

There are a lot of reasons to want to blow a kiss to your early morning preacher who has to talk meaningfully and inoffensively to a great number of sleepy, also hungry people who have their own ideas, and sometimes, because there is such a great gulf of a distance between us and because I am so fond of him, I want to shout out, “Morning to you!” but we don’t shout out in our church either.  About the best I can do is waft a blown fingertip kiss to him, but I don’t because it would make him nervous I think—all that windblown affection and good will coming at him when he’s trying to talk about sin and heaven.

So I restrain the gusto of my affection and good will for him by not blowing him a kiss and use it in emails and texts to say yes to invitations to lunch,😘 see ya later😘, and happy birthday😘.

But at work?

I don’t blow kisses at work.

I don’t blow e-kisses in work documents.

I use my words instead to communicate as clearly as possible what I mean to say, and they are professional words of helpfulness and expressions of gratitude and apologies and words carefully chosen that respect the boundaries of discourse and prove, I hope, that I would not care to be misunderstood by someone thinking that a blown kiss is an invitation to some real kissin’ cause there are serious rules about no love explored in the workplace that could become litigious (sexual harassment) or cause people up and down a workplace hierarchy to question whether getting work done is the same as doing and getting favors.  Real work relies upon good will, and good will can actually be misunderstood if it shows up at work in a blown kiss.

Good will expressed at work happens in other ways. In writing formal letters and e-notes it often shows up at the end in the complimentary close right before the signature and which some people reduce to one word "Best" and others write out "Best regards" and still others write, "Yours truly" and sometimes, "Sincerely."  However, I have never cottoned to that word "Sincerely" as a complimentary close for it refers to an odd state of emotional integrity that asserts in one word  "I mean what I say" and one assumes that others always mean what they say.  The same is true of blowing e-kisses.  Be careful out there.  On a certain kind of windy day--and you never know which way the wind will blow--those sincerely blown e-kisses could set off all kinds of alarms and a few fires.

Daphne's book about cooking for the one you love is called A Cookbook for Katie


  1. I too, have noticed the kiss icon, and others. I found them odd at first. I'm used to them now and have even used them myself. My daughter just educated me on the various kiss icons and how they all have different meanings! I had no idea and now fear that I may have used them inappropriately! All the more reason not to use them professionally.

  2. I receive them from younger folks with whom I have a business relationship. Sometimes I send them a kiss back just because.....I think I'd rather have a kiss than a fistbump.