For this project, you will write four documents which are:
three correspondence messages in response to the following scenarios and a cover memo to your instructor in which you outline the business writing strategies you employed as you composed your messages.
A scenario overview and four options are provided below. Select any 3 of the options you prefer. The choices are:
a complaint letter from a customer to a construction firm;
an email from a customer service representative to his or her manager;
a memo from that manager to all employees within the firm explaining the specifics of company policy;
a letter from customer service responding to the customers complaints.
Note: Be sure to follow the scenarios, but feel free to make up details where needed.
Denison Construction and Renovations is a thriving construction firm with offices in New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. The company specializes in high end projects and therefore employs master craftspeople to build custom cabinets, bathrooms, kitchens, and other projects to the precise specifications of very demanding clients. All Denison craftspeople have a minimum of five years of industry experience and come highly recommended from either previous clients or employers (or both).
In recent months, a team of workers from Denison has been building a 2,000 square foot indoor/outdoor addition (including an indoor sun room and an attached, outdoor patio) at the home of Mr. Kenneth and Mrs. Karen Hatcher, 353 Park Avenue, Kingland, Arizona. While the Hatchers are quite pleased with the work that the Denison team has been provided (both in terms of its quality and the rapid pace of its advancement), the family is less than fully pleased with the decorum of Denison workers. In particular, Mr. Hatcher is upset that the craftspeople tend not to wear shirts while completing many of their outdoor tasks.
Given that the Hatchers live in an exclusive, gated community, they are concerned that the immodesty of Denison workers may be reflecting negatively upon them. Given that the weather in Arizona is extremely hot, the Hatchers understand why the workers may choose such apparel, but they would strongly prefer that the craftspeople choose more suitable attire (either sleeveless t-shirts or tank-tops would be fine with you). The Hatchers also understand that some construction workers (as do many adults) use obscene language, but they have overheard a troubling amount of this language. Though they are hardly prudish, the Hatchers are worried that these obscenities can be heard by the children who play outside on their quiet, residential street.
The Cover Memo
In this memo to your instructor, explicitly note which three of the correspondence options you have chosen to write. Explain the strategic choices that you made while composing your messages which details did you decide to include, which did you decide not to include, and so forthand describe the rationale for these decisions (i.e., explain why you did these things). Also note any challenges that you faced while writing, or explain why any of your strategic decisions were particularly difficult to reach.
The Correspondence Options (complete three out of four)
Option 1: Write a complaint letter from Kenneth or Karen Hatcher (whichever persona you prefer) to Delilah Flores, a customer service representative at Denison.
You are quite happy with the quality of the work being conducted and that you have no intention of cancelling your contract with Denison at this time. However, you want Denison workers dress more appropriately and speak more politely, given the nature of your residential community. You are uncertain whether or not Denison has corporate policies on these matters, and you do not particularly care if they do. In your mind, the customer is always right, and these Denison employees should do whatever can be reasonably asked of them to comply with your demands.
Option 2: Write an email from Delilah Flores to Patrick Gordon, Manager of Customer Service at the Denison site in Kingland.
You (this time you are Delilah Flores) and Mr. Gordon have already spoken about the problems at the Hatcher property so you need not explain the entire situation. You need information from Mr. Gordon in order to act on this issue and respond to the Hatchers.
You understand why the Hatchers could have these objections about dress and language, and you’re not sure whether the company has a dress-code for employees at construction sites (unlike office workers, who must comply to a fairly strict dress code), nor do you know whether an official policy on language use exists. You need to know if the company has official policies on these issues and what, if any, action you should take if they exist (should customer service send out reminders to site managers to avoid future complaints?). You have a scanned copy of the Hatchers’ letter. Would a copy help Mr. Gordon?
Option 3: Compose an inter-office memo from Patrick Gordon to all construction site managers who are employed at the Denison branch in Kingland.
You (now you are Patrick Gordon) want to tell them that, because of a recent complaint, you are hoping to clarify a few company policies. Policy 137k concerns professional attire at the workplace and states (you are paraphrasing here) that employees must wear shirts (sleeveless t-shirts and tank tops also count) at all times. This policy has not been strictly enforced in the past, but you are hoping that workers will comply in the future.
Also note that Policy 162g prohibits profanity or abusive language. The statement itself states, Denison Construction prohibits the use of vulgar, profane, insulting, obscene, derogatory, or offensive language of a vile nature toward the employer, the employer’s representatives, or any customers when such remarks are unjustified under the circumstances, and not within the normal exchange and customary good-natured banter between the employer or the employer’s representative and the employee. In short, you dont necessarily want to get rid of all cursing (you are not the profanity police), but you need employers to be mindful of the situations in which they operate. You imagine that this news may not be entirely welcome, but you know that your site managers and employees are hardworking and professional.
Option 4: Compose a letter of apology from Delilah Flores to Kenneth and Karen Hatcher.
You (Delilah again) need to let the Hatchers know that you have received their complaint and that your company plans to honor their request (in other words, your employees will start dressing appropriately and stop cursing). The Hatchers should also know that your manager, Patrick Gordon, has circulated a memo to all construction site managers reminding them of company policies in reference to these two points. You know that companies are often glad that customers bring them their concerns so that they have a chance to correct the problem and make the customer happy. You also know that your company (Denison) takes seriously its responsibility to provide excellent customer service.
Adaptation and Organization. The responses demonstrate an understanding and effective application of genre conventions for everyday business communication. Organizational strategies are clear, effective and appropriate. The writer understands organizational strategies and is able to adapt them to specific rhetorical situations.
Content. The writer includes specific, focused requests, explanations, goodwill, and/or instructions with appropriate use of buffer or context, when needed. Evidence to support requests or claims is clear, accessible and written from the readers perspective.
Style, Tone and Design. The messages are correct and concise.Tone is appropriate to the rhetorical situation but is in all ways professional, approachable, conversational and tailored to the specific audience. Design conventions are followed accurately.