Dear Miss Snark,
The publishing house with whom I work has a very cozy corporate atmosphere--bagels Monday morning, cocktails Friday afternoon, roving masseuse in between. I'd rather stick to work at the office and have my fun elsewhere, but I don't work there. I respond to chatty, smiley-face ridden emails in kind. No biggie.
They gave me a gift certificate to a swanky restaurant when my book came out. They sent flowers for my birthday. They invite me to wine and cheese functions. I get lovely cards with my royalty statements. I'm fairly certain that I am NOT a particularly special author; this is just their style.
My question: Should I hook up with the intern who is doing all this crap and find out the editors' birthdays and send them cards? Or does a thank you note suffice? I don't want to seem ungrateful, but this blurring of business and friendship is getting on my nerves.
wishing I were,
Dear dog in heaven, what travesty is this?? Not only smiley face emails but cocktails limited to Friday afternoons?? You must extricate yourself from this hell at once.
Suitabley refreshed by Monday gin, Miss Snark joins you in bemoaning the mix of business and personal relationships. Miss Snark has been eviscerated time and again for saying "an agent is not your friend; s/he is a business associate" but she harbors no grudges. She has however been known to send emails with smiley faces corrected to skull and crossbones.
Anyway, the answer is no. These little gestures are impersonal despite the fact they are designed to make you feel special. If your receive a gift you send a thank you note. That is all that is required. The "must respond in kind" method leads to madness...thank you notes for thank you notes. That behavior is limited to brides and flinty eyed Junior Leaguers in certain select counties of Georgia, Alabama and Virginia...bless their hearts.