Table of Contents
PART 1: PERSONAL LETTERS
Chapter 1: Apologies
Chapter 2: Condolences and Sad Occasions
Chapter 3: Encouragement
Chapter 4: Congratulations
Chapter 5: Special Occasions
Chapter 6: Thank You Notes
Chapter 7: Relationships
Chapter 8: Neighbors
PART 2: BUSINESS LETTERS
Chapter 9: Education (Your Own and Your Children’s)
Chapter 10: Career
Chapter 11: Housing
Chapter 12: Banking, Credit and Finance
Chapter 13: Community and Law
Chapter 14: Press and Media
Chapter 15: Products
Chapter 16: Services
Chapter 17: Travel and Accommodation
Forms of Address
Not Returning Someone’s Call/Letter
I feel terrible about taking so long to return your (call/letter). Naturally I meant to do it right away, but things have been so hectic with my (job/kids/ family, etc.) that it just slipped away from me. I do hope I haven’t offended you, or made you think that I don’t care. That’s not the case at all.
I was very glad to hear from you, and was especially interested in your news about (event). I’d like to hear more about it.(Ask pertinent questions that relate to the event).
I’m eager to keep in touch with you, and I’d like us to speak in person soon, if we could. Please call me and let me know when there might be a good time for us to get together. Again, please forgive me for waiting so long to write. I hope to hear from you soon.
I was so sorry to hear about your (type of illness). It must have come as a tremendous shock to you. Just remember to keep your thoughts positive throughout all of this; it will make your (recovery/rehabilitation) that much easier. Try to focus on getting better.
Please know that I’m here to help in any way that I can–I’m willing to help you take care of any details that may arise, or to just come visit you if you want some company. All you have to do is let me know.
My thoughts and my prayers are with you.
The more I’ve thought about what you said (yesterday/last week, etc.), the more I feel compelled to tell you that I didn’t appreciate your “advice.” I’m sure you think you were being a good friend by telling me what to do, but I think your remarks were inappropriate.
How I choose to conduct myself in the matter of (issue) is entirely my business. If you don’t like my words or actions, you can say so–but do it in a less imperious way. Ask me to do something as a favor to you, to consider your feelings, and I may do it. But if you tell me to do something, because it’s the “right” way, you’re just being arrogant. You’re not the arbiter of right and wrong, (name). You’re just a person with a viewpoint, and if you express yourself in that manner, then I’ll be much more willing to respect you and listen to you. I hope you can appreciate my feelings on this matter.
Restroom/Lunchroom Needs Maintenance
Dear (name of office supervisor):
I work in (name of office/division), and I regularly use the (restroom/lunchroom) (on/in/at) the (describe location). For some time, I’ve noticed that there is a problem that requires some attention. It seems that the room is always a mess. For instance (give examples of mess: towels on floor/machines empty/plumbing leaks, etc.)
Naturally, I realize that it’s hard to keep a room ship-shape when it has to serve so many people, and I’m sure there isn’t sufficient staff to keep an eye on the (restroom/lunchroom) at all times. But this level of disarray is both unsanitary and unpleasant for those of us who depend on the facility, and I hope something can be done to fix the problem soon. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Request to Remove Graffiti
Dear (name of councilman):
I am a resident of (city/neighborhood), at (your address). As you are the councilman for our district, I thought you should be aware that we have a significant problem with graffiti in our area. Specifically, the (wall/building) at (location) seems to be a favorite target for the local “artists.”
It was repainted once, (length of time) ago, but the graffiti came right back. I don’t know how the city can best combat this problem, but it definitely needs some attention. Those of us who live here feel that this disrespect for property is very disturbing, not to mention the sinister nature of some of the words and designs and the generally ugly appearance it gives to our streets. Please contact me and let me know what plans the city has, if any, for fighting this particular crime. The residents of district (number) are counting on you.
Poor Bus/Taxi Driver
Dear (name of driver’s supervisor):
It was recently my misfortune to be a passenger in (bus/taxi) number (number), driven by (name of driver). I have never had such a harrowing experience in a (bus/taxi) in my life, and I believe you need to be apprised of how unacceptably this driver behaved. (Describe bad behavior: reckless driving/foul language/mean to passengers, etc.)
Commuting through traffic is distressing enough without having to handle the added worries caused by a thoughtless, irresponsible and unpleasant driver. Your company has an obligation to provide safe and comfortable transportation to the citizens of (name of city), and as long as (name of driver) is one of your staff, you will not be able to do so. Please see that(he/she) either changes (his/her) behavior immediately, or is terminated. I will not take another ride in one of your vehicles until I know this has occurred.
© 1998 Santa Monica Press LLC
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