I am engaged in a dispute with a woman who signs off the emails detailing her outrageous demands and ridiculous accusations with the phrase “kind regards”.    Her minion, who is unfailingly insulting, obstreperous, and rude, has also begun to sign off her emails the same way.  Kind regards.

I have been trying to be reasonable with these people.   I am a rookie at business – I live in a human world –and it took me some time to recognize that this dispute wasn’t personal at all.  It was just business.  She saw an opportunity to screw my company out of some money so that she would have more money for her company.  Right or wrong, no matter.  If there were a way to avoid paying, she would pursue it.

With kind regards.

I do not regard this woman or her behavior kindly at all, and I don’t believe that she regards me with anything more than mild disdain.

Look, here’s what a kind regard is:  it’s the way my dog looks at me when she walks past the bathroom door and notices me seated there.  She gives me a look that is friendly, interested – she is too polite to intrude but genuinely wishes me well in my endeavors.  Now that’s what I call a kind regard.

betsy_kind_regard_crop

This woman who doesn’t want to pay what she owes uses “kind regards” in a way that rings of Arbeit Mach Frei and Orwell’s   Newspeak. To me, the world is not a livable place when words aren’t respected and used meaningfully.  I therefore entreat my correspondent from hell: sign off with screw you or up yours or nasty regards and have the courage to say what you really mean, dammit!