pretty PLEASE gimme the report on time
October 11, 2010 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Please hope me! I need help wording a reminder for an official to give in a report on time.

A court appointed official is supposed to hand in a report by the end of the week. This guy is usually not on time and definitely won't be if not reminded. And I need the report. The guy's very likely to be late even if reminded, so I also have to be firm/convincing/alluring. Thing is the reminder cannot be annoying (or yikes! the report might not be in my favor).

Any suggestions how to word a reminder that will do the job? Stars for suggestions that make the official actually want to do the job (funny but still formal would be awesome)!

(I have seen this thread. My situation is different. My guy has a deadline)
posted by mirileh to Work & Money (12 answers total)
A: It helps if it can appear to be something other than a reminder (with its implied statement that the person wouldn't do it promptly without one). B: Humor (as you suggest) can be wonderfully helpful. Generating smiles usually means generating good will. May I suggest:

"Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope! Just kidding. But I did want to be sure to contact you about the Such-And-Such report, as it is very important to me. Is there anything I can do to facilitate it? Will you need any further information from me? I'll make sure to be available at Such-And-Such-Number in case I can provide anything further."

I've actually use the Star Wars line in a number of contexts, and it has always seemed to lessen tension.
posted by wjm at 12:30 PM on October 11, 2010

I often use the approach of putting it on myself. In this instance I might say something like, "Hi, I was just looking at the week ahead and realized you are going to be sending me the xxx report by Friday, so I can meet the xxx filing deadline. Is there anything more you need from me before you send it?"
posted by agatha_magatha at 12:48 PM on October 11, 2010

Response by poster: I'm barred from using the excuse of asking if he needs anything from me (these are formal court proceedings. I can't send him anything at this point), so I really can't do anything other than sending a reminder.
posted by mirileh at 12:53 PM on October 11, 2010

Can you ask him if he's expecting to be able to get the report to you by date decided on by the court?

This puts him in the position of either having to say now that it'll be late, or to re-promise that it won't.

Short of that, what about requesting that the court remind him? Not that they don't have better things to do, but if this particular official has a history of being late, maybe the Judge or (his/her clerk) can call the official. If the person being late would inconvenience your opponent as much as it would you, maybe you can approach the judge together and make that request.
posted by toomuchpete at 1:16 PM on October 11, 2010

Response by poster: toomuchpete, there's no way I'm getting the court to remind him to be on time (and the more late he is the happier my opponent is).

I have a problem with asking him if he's going to be on time. To me that either intimates that it's okay if he's not (and hell it isn't!) or is passive aggressive (which normally I wouldn't mind, but it might influence the report). Is there any other way to take it that I'm missing?
posted by mirileh at 1:42 PM on October 11, 2010

There seems to be more going on that you haven't mentioned — why is there "no way" you're getting the court to remind him to be on time? Do you mean you know the judge would refuse to remind him, or that it would somehow prejudice your case, or what?

Anyway, if it really is all up to you, how about something along the lines of
Hello, X — mirileh here. Just checking in because it's my understanding that [the report] is due to the court on Friday and you will be delivering it to them then. Could you please confirm? Thanks!
That way it comes off more as "I want to be sure we're on the same page" and less as "I know you're a flake who has no sense of responsibility and who will probably not get this done in time".
posted by Lexica at 1:59 PM on October 11, 2010

Response by poster: Lexica, nothing more going on other than a very busy judge who will not take well to playing babysitter.
posted by mirileh at 2:08 PM on October 11, 2010

Best answer: How about

Dear Mr...:

I am just touching base with you regarding the report you are preparing for .... Friday. I hope you understand how important it is this procedure for me and would not mind my asking for your help so that everything goes according to plan.

I appreciate your help and your hard work on my behalf.
posted by dupedyestafada at 2:27 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thanx everyone! going with dupedyestafada's suggestion.
posted by mirileh at 1:19 AM on October 12, 2010

Let me know how it went. Good luck and my best wishes!

posted by dupedyestafada at 7:41 AM on October 12, 2010

Response by poster: Duped, it sort of worked. I received a fax late (at the last minute possible) on Friday with something that resembles a report ( I only wish he had done a decent job on the report itself...). Oh well. But your wording was great. Thanks again!
posted by mirileh at 3:34 AM on October 17, 2010

My pleasure and I wish you the best.
posted by dupedyestafada at 12:15 PM on October 18, 2010

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