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It is not the best first impression when afternoon mail starts with the words: “good morning”.

On the upside “good morning” means the sender has, at least, thought about manners. They just haven’t thought enough.

On that level Good morning is better than “Oi you!” or worse.

And yes, it’s a more original start than the standard “Hi Bill”. Or “Dear Mr Bennett”. Some variation is welcome.

But not too often.

The problem is “good morning” mails often don’t arrive in the morning. Not even when the writer clicks their send button mail in the morning.

Australians forget time zones

A lot of mail in New Zealand comes from Australia which is usually two or more hours behind New Zealand. When the Bruces and Shelias in Sydney are still boiling billy cans for the day’s first brew, we are ready for lunch.

Public relations people send a lot of the offending messages.

When an Aussie PR sends a “good morning” that arrives late afternoon, it says they only care about journalists in their own country.

The chances are that the “good morning” message is just a bulk press release sent out to dozens of people in Australia and New Zealand.

The subtle, unvoiced subtext of such a message is “we’re happy to take money off of our clients to service New Zealand media, but can’t make an effort to do the best job.”

The key point is that senders have no control over when readers see their mail. This make it presumptuous to start a message that way even when you’re in the same time zone as the reader.

You’ll still be polite or friendly if you start the mail with hi or hello followed by the person’s name.

One thought on “Good morning: not in New Zealand

  1. It’s not the good morning or afternoon emails that bother me. It’s the ones that come through and say what a ‘fabulous summer we are having’ – when in New Zealand we’re languishing in the depths of winter. You’d think people would be more aware that the world is actually rather large, rotund even and (as much as I’d like it to be) – it’s not always summer.

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