“Per my last email…” – Professional Clapbacks: When to Use Them

professional clapback

10 Professional Clapbacks

Your place of employment is supposed to reflect a sense of professionalism.  It’s supposed to be an arena of proper conduct where employees treat each other with dignity, honesty, and respect. HOWEVER, if this is the case, why does Samantha NEVER respond to your emails in a timely manner?  Why does Abigail park in your parking spot EVERY morning? (Some employees may not have assigned parking, but parking spots are like seats at church – everyone knows YOU SIT THERE)!  Lastly, why does Ethan INSIST on sharing with you Trump’s latest tweet?  While you may have the urge to respond to these annoyances in a manner that will land you in your boss’ office, remember there are alternative ways to speak your mind.  Ever heard of a”professional clapback?”  These are 10 moments when one should be used.

1.   When you finally see the person who hasn’t responded to your last 5 emails.

“Do you check your spam folder often?  I have been emailing you in regards to an important subject matter, yet I have not received a response.  Maybe my emails are being redirected to your spam folder.  Unbeknownst to you, of course.”

 2.    When a co-worker interrupts your lunch to ask you…ANYTHING.  

“Hi Kaitlyn.  I see you have finished your lunch, however I’m still working on my Turkey and Smoked Provolone Panini *takes bite and sips chai tea.*  Maybe I can assist you when I’m finished?  Give me about 30 more minutes.”

3.  When co-workers skip over you during the meeting or don’t acknowledge your ideas.

 “Thank you for allowing me to have the floor *passes out outlines slowly and deliberately.*  I know we allotted 40 minutes for the meeting, but that was with anticipation that I would be speaking first considering my segment is the longest.  An additional 20 minutes of meeting time is harmless.  I assure you we are all still on the clock.

4.  When a co-worker (who doesn’t look like you) comments on your hair, name, clothing, etc.

“This is a place of professionalism.  There is no professional gain in discussing my outward appearance.  However, I did notice you neglected to complete your time-sheet for today.  Let’s take an interest in that. *Blasts Don’t Touch My Hair by Solange*

5.  When you call a co-worker/business partner/boss/supervisor/business and they don’t answer the phone.  You attempt to leave a voicemail and their voice mailbox is full.

“I attempted to leave a voicemail, however, this task was impossible considering your voice mailbox was full.  It would be beneficial to check and delete messages as appropriate so we can continue to coordinate business and share ideas effectively.”

6.  When someone schedules a meeting that only lasts 5 minutes.

“This was useful information, but it could’ve been presented in a more efficient manner.  Maybe consider sending out a two-line email instead of requesting that everyone leave their desks to hear the two-lines. Just a suggestion to keep productivity flowing.”

7.  When a co-worker asks you to cover his/her shift, but the same co-worker is always MIA when you need the same.

“I hate to see that you’re in such a bind.  As much as I would like to assist you, I am using my day off for some ‘Me Time.’  You know how that goes, right Gary?”  In other words, issa no from me dawg. 

8.  When someone thinks they can do your job…better than you.  

“Amanda.  I know we work in the same building, but our job descriptions are not the same.  I would be happy to apply for your job, but that would mean taking a pay cut and working more hours.  My love for brunch and traveling just won’t allow it.  Thanks for your interest in my work, though.”

9.  When you’re boss treats you as if you’re replaceable.

Nothing needs to be said here.  Just forward him/her a professional reference request for a job that’s been wanting to hire you.

10.  When a co-worker feels as if he/she is at liberty to remove something from your desk.

Hey Mary!  I keep folders on my desk to help organize the mountains of paperwork that I receive daily.  Good idea, right?  I would be happy to tell you where I got them from.  Actually, I just saw a commercial advertising them for 25 cents at Office Dept.”



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