Help! I Signed Email To Boss, “Love, Christie”

My most professional signature

My most professional signature

I think we can all agree that I am a relatively loveable person.  Right? I am sure my boss “loves” me like a boss should, because I do my part as an employee. Namely, I show up on time, I teach my class, grade my papers, and bring my firearm to class because I am one of the “good guys.” (FN1)

But, this morning, I sent her the following RSVP email:

“Dear Boss,

Happy New Year! I am confirming that I will be at the meeting on Monday evening.  See you then.



Um, what? Love.  Yep, I sure did give that sign-off that is generally reserved for family members, close relatives, or people with whom I have a personal relationship.  While she’s an admirable woman in many ways, I can’t really say that I love her.  I mean, I don’t love love her.


Here are my excuses:

  • It was 6 AM, and I was still half-asleep.
  • Most of the emails I send are to my friends and my husband, so the “Love, Christie” thing works 99% of the time.
  • I started a meditation practice that is focused on love, and hey, look! It’s working! I am sending it all over.

That’s it.  That’s all I got. I actually used to do this at my law firm too.  Except it was worse, because I would do it on the phone.  I was so used to getting off the phone with Jeff by saying, “love you,” that I did it a few times with junior associates, which is less embarrassing than saying it to a partner who has sketchy sexual boundaries, but also? it was possibly sexual harassment to say it to the junior, male associate who was drafting a brief with me.  In those cases, I would call right back and say, “OHMYGODIAMSOSORRY! I thought you were my husband,” or something equally likely to inspire respect from associates I supervised.

But this is my first “love” slip to a superior and it was over email.  And I am attending that meeting tonight, but all I can do is obsess about whether to engage her in a super awkward conversation where I tell her that I didn’t mean to sign my professional email with “Love, Christie.” I am thinking I will just pretend I didn’t do it, and pray that maybe she doesn’t read her emails any closer than I do.

I am open for suggestions, stories that assure me that I am not the only one who gets sloppy with the email sign-offs, or a good shaming– I think I am due for one of those.  Give me what you got!

FN1: I do not have a firearm, do not believe in owning a firearm and have nothing very nice to say about the NRA or its position on how to make schools safer. I am, however, retreating to sarcasm, because it got me through the 80s.


57 thoughts on “Help! I Signed Email To Boss, “Love, Christie”

  1. There’s not enough love in the world, so consider it a public service. Just pretend it never happened then don’t do it again. Unless she writes back upping the ante. “Love and kisses, Boss.” It’s not like you signed it: Love and Wet, Sloppy Tongue-Kisses, Christie.”

  2. Ignore, ignore, ignore. Pretend it never happened. Any ensuing conversation will just end awkwardly. She might have ever forgotten about it already. And by the way, I always have to check myself when I’m getting off a work call. Since the majority of my phone time is spent talking to my husband, or assorted family and friends, I am far more likely to accidentally resort to a super casual sign-off when talking to someone of extreme importance at work. Been there.

  3. I can deal with the whole “love” thing, but please tell me there was no dotting your eyes with hearts. I mean, I know it’s email, but I’ve seen the way people have smiley faces and hearts on Facebook in their comments, so maybe that’s possible on email also.

    On a side note, we once busted my daughter for signing her deficiency with my name instead of telling me about the deficiency. Unfortunately for her, she used a heart to dot the “j” in my name, leading the teacher to call me about the note. Oops.

    Oh yeah, back to you. Here’s an idea: You know how you can do an email signature in Outlook that automatically goes on all your emails? You could tell her it was one of those, since 99% of email is to your family. That way not only do you get out of the predicament, but she sees how efficient you are.

  4. I’ve gotten myself into some nasty email trouble but never around the word love. In fact, I rarely use that word ever. Ian would probably fall over if I returned one of his “love yous” at the end of a phone call. What’s wrong with me? Am I a cold crazy bitch or what????

  5. I would ignore it, but if it makes you feel better, for some reason it doesn’t seem as awkward that your boss is female compared to if you had a male boss.

  6. Haha! I worried about doing that in an email but never actually did. I caught the mistake once just before sending. Personally, I would ignore it rather than bringing attention to it and prolonging the faux pas. She may not have even noticed. Or, by the time you see her, it will have already been forgotten about.

  7. Um, whoops! I remember being so ashamed when I realized I had written, on several important business letters, “Conneticut.” *sigh* It didn’t have the undertone of potential sexual harassment, but it did make me feel terribly ignorant and really embarrassed. No one ever mentioned it. I don’t know if they were corrected prior to being mailed to clients or if our clients just thought we were idiots. The world will never know.

  8. Haha, oh my word I think I would DIE. Pretty sure my comment doesn’t help you at all, but maybe she got a laugh out of it.
    I don’t think I could ever judge a person negatively for doing that, so let’s hope she’s the same!

  9. 1. After I left my old design firm, I answered my phone at my new job – WHEN MY BOSS CALLED – “Old Job, this is Melisa.” (note: firm was not called “Old Job”). As if I was still pining for what could’ve been and this new gig was just a placeholder.

    2. I VERY NEARLY sent a message to my brother-in-law who also happens to have the same JL initials as my husband and would’ve embarrassed him, me and all of the interwebz if I shared it here and

    3. You are so damn lovable, I think it would be odd if you DIDN’T sign it that way. Who’s with me?

    But please, PLEASE, keep us posted.

  10. I was once emailing bank and forth with an insurance adjuster re:settlement of an accident claim in which their client had totaled my husband’s car. I had been fwd’ing the emails to my husband to keep him apprised. The last email I forwarded to him contained my commentary of, “B@#*h thinks I’m stupid.” Hours later, I wondered why he had yet to respond. Then I found out why when I received a reply from the insurance adjuster that said, “I think we should end this discussion now.” Oops!

    BTW, I got the settlement I wanted, LOL.

  11. I used to have a co-worker who ended all calls with her family by saying – Love ya, bye. I’m absolutely certain I’ve overheard her say it to some of the salesmen she works with as well. I snickered every time.

  12. Ok, well I don’t think that I’d bring it up, but if she does, I’d totally laugh it off, and give her some explanation like… “Hey, I got all caught up in the movie’Pay It Forward’, and went temporarily Helen Hunt. Sorry!”

    But then, I do stupid stuff at work, sometimes, and my coworkers all know I’m twisted.

  13. Oh, this makes me laugh and laugh! I once said, “Love you” at the end of a telephone conversation with someone I barely considered a friend. It was just a reflex but awkward nonetheless. Maybe your boss will just think you are sweet! (when it happened to me on the phone, the barely friend thought I was crazy) Good luck.

  14. I’ve stopped signing emails. For a while my casual aquaintances and clients got —C; then I tried out “Cheers!” and “Thanks, C.” And I gave up. There’s nothing right about signing off, so I just stop typing. The return address tells them who I am, and if it’s someone I adore I can add “xoxo”. But as much as I need an automatic signature, I’ve just given up.

    It’s kind of like my diet, my exercise, my attempts to clean the house, and my hope of getting organized. I just kind of, trail off…

  15. eh. it’s a love & love is always welcome – weird to think that somehow it’s different b/c the recipient is a woman, but somehow it is (she’s not going to think you’re making a pass at her? or women are nicer? or…? hmm) — but “love’ is WAY better than thinking you’re forwarding something to a colleague, bad-mouthing the boss, but then also sending the email to the boss. THAT is a faux pas, and it doesn’t matter who is on the receiving end, man or woman.

  16. I would just ignore it, too. She probably didn’t notice, and if for some reason she did and was offended (which I can’t imagine!) she’ll bring it up if it bothers her (which won’t happen). If you brought it up, then it would probably become awkward.

    I tell people I love them on the phone all the time. It just comes out automatically! I doubt anyone even bats an eye anymore, cause they’re used to it 🙂

  17. Awkward! I have said that to people when saying goodbye. It just came out. I laughed it off.
    Do you remember the Friends episode where Chandler ends a date with something like “we should do this again?” He doesn’t necessarily mean it but the woman he is dating takes it literally and she happens to be Monica’s boss. Anyway, you probably see the connection.

  18. Your antics make me smile. They are very much like mine. That’s all.
    (Hope you just let it ride. Did she say anything? I bet she didn’t even notice ;-))

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