What makes High Baroque high?


Is a great way to start a corporate email to someone you’re pissed off at but don’t want to sound it.

We sat outside with a glass of Riesling in the afternoon watching the people go by at a café mom calls The Rat, which is short for Ratstüble and means something I’m not sure what.

I gave the dog another treatment of flea medication by squirting a tube between her shoulder blades.

After, we came home to nap and I streamed classical music on Calm Radio, a period called High Baroque, defined by a time and style that makes it such, like ‘post-punk.’

The corporate email that starts off


Can be used in the body of a text that’s automated and sent by a recruiter to acknowledge from an in-box receipt of an application with an SLA like an out-of-office message that’s meant to sound personal but doesn’t, the way an email sent to many people all at once can sound, like if you’re leaving the company and want to use a machine gun approach to spray many at the same time from the same log-on with contact information and it’s been great knowing you all but now it’s time to go and it was a difficult decision and so forth, but please keep in touch.

The voice used for a corporate email is different than the voice used for an instant message, a text, a voicemail, or the small, clipped phrasing used between physical gestures and touching as during coitus.

Words have sounds and intentions and connotations and there is such a thing as innuendo in corporate-speak and especially with Human Resources professionals, when you get the feeling they mean something else but can’t quite say it directly for some reason, like they’ve been trained and get paid a lot to talk that way, or possibly just like the sound of their own voice and the more they say the smarter they’ll sound or maybe if they go on long enough you’ll get tired and they can say anything and you won’t notice, you just glaze over.

Your voice is your voice and some people just may not like it, no matter what you say.

One of the most important things in a partner is how they talk because when you get to the end, that’s the last impression you’ll likely have, what they breathe into your ear, and you may not have the strength or energy to flip over.

Studies have shown it’s not what people say but how they say it we respond to, especially true in politics, with salespeople, or in corporate meetings where someone is presenting something and probably nervous, or not nervous, and the latter inspires trust because they should be nervous but have found a way to conceal it, which is an art, a kind of magic, maybe inhuman — and that’s what we’re most interested in, not what they have to say. The same goes for how people look, because no one wants to sit in an artificial space all day with just small pictures of their kids on their phones or taped to their desks, so you might as well have something pleasant to look at while getting paid and trying to look interested, engaged.


Is better than “Dear Mary” or an email that starts right off, like

That’s not what I meant and perhaps you should pick up the phone next time.

Instead, start the email with a greeting or salutation because it’s civil, and demonstrates the recipient’s feelings are important to you even if they’re not, and especially so if you feel that way, or don’t feel anything, it’s a small investment to suggest you do.

And ending an email with something like


Or Warm Regards

Can be good but stay away from Cheers,

as it’s got a drinking connotation for some and doesn’t belong in the workplace unless you’re toasting at a restaurant or in a bar, which never feels right with people with whom you work, and probably shouldn’t.

You’ll need to put yourself in a box and sell yourself if people are to understand what it is you mean or pay attention to you. Check the About page, for more.

This post dedicated to my friend Ross who writes ripping satire and has been gone the whole month, and let’s welcome him back before he turns 50 in about three months, but who’s counting?

Categories: humor

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 replies

  1. Nice.
    Your number of followers has now surpassed mine. This is like the blogger version of A Star Is Born, which would be, what, the fourth version? and probably not far outside the realm of possibility, Hollywood-wise.
    Do I drown myself now?


    • Aye, it’s a bit speck in the ul’ ass, innit?


    • Have you ever noticed how eagles often attract some pesky crow that just yaps and spins around them? Oates to your Hall.


      • Hey, I forgot to mention, there was a drizzly evening in Newfoundland in a cut-rate municipal campground earshot from the ocean, had the iPad out on a rare occasion and was listening to Neil Young sing “If I Could Read Your Mind.” It was an uber-Canadian moment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • When you reach the part where the heartaches come, the hero could be me.
        That’s one song Neil really should have stayed away from, I think. Even though he’s Neil, and basically can’t do any wrong, but don’t look too long on that because he obviously can, and has.
        But that’s a nice scene in the cut-rate campground. And makes me long for that first autumnal night with Gord’s Gold and a cat on my lap. Or Neko Case, who’s basically Canadian.


      • I love your long shadows and your gunpowder eyes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • She’s a gem. One of my heroes fell out of grace when he said something shitty and drunken about her after he took the stage after her at a festival in Washington, Isaac Brock, from Modest Mouse. Like something Fat Albert said I think: ‘you’re like school on Saturday man, no class.’ I can’t look at pictures of her without getting distracted.


      • She’s my secret girlfriend.


  2. I wish I were fluent in HR. It would be a handy skill to have. I only know some key words and phrases I’ve picked up in speaking with native HR speakers. But more so, I wish nobody spoke HR. It’s only fear of lawsuits that drives anyone to value it. Otherwise, it’s about as useful a communication tool as speaking Klingon.


    • You can try it on in job interviews and performance appraisal conversations and it’s a great come-on in the right environment. 900-numbers you can call to listen to it, too.


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