Culture

Want a written response: Threaten to call

 

I’m sleepy, tired and on my way around the world. So, I will keep this short today.

One of the funniest things to me about technology is how they actually are used to isolate and distances ourselves from others.  I am not too sure many saw that coming decades ago. The goal has always been ostensibly to bring us closer and increase efficiency. One can arguably state that spending two to three hours each day answering emails is not increased efficiency or productivity.

 

I can thus understand why some people take a long time to reply to one’s email. Although, “long time” is subjective and in the eye of the beholder. If I don’t answer some people within an hour they start to fret. It seems that often there is a different standard for oneself versus others. Those that fret over not hearing from me right away (to the point that they complain) often don’t get back to me in a week. And at times it takes a month or more and repeated emails.

 

I get a kick out of my new tactic in getting people to respond to my emails-especially those curmudgeons that feel I must reply to them the second the send the email despite showing no need to reciprocate. Here is what I do. When they don’t respond to my emails within a reasonable amount of time, I send a follow up where I note that I am worried by their lack of response and mught send an ambulance over to check on them. I’m sort of kidding about that.  Here is what I do. I send an email noting that due to their lack of response, I am not too sure whether the spam filter sent my email elsewhere. Thus, I will be calling them.

 

Whoa. Lo and behold within hours (at times minutes) of sending an email noting that I cam going to call them, I get a response. Its like magic. Obviously, the person had read my previous email but didn’t feel inclined to respond  to me in a timely manner. But a “threat” of a phone call sure scared them into being polite. People don’t want to talk to each other any more. People will readily send emails until there’s no tomorrow. Pick up the phone? Not so much.

 

I find it hilarious that writing to someone to let them know that I will call them is perceived as a “threat” of sorts.  What did we all do before email?  We all have cell phones but it doesn’t mean we really hear each other any more than we did before. Im just as guilty as I don’t even know what my home or office phone numbers are. I don’t bother to learn them as I don’t think I will be offering it to anybody.

 

Oh well. Tis the way of the world now…..And off, I go.

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8 replies »

  1. I sometimes send a simple “?” but asking about their welfare and whether they need an ambulance could be a better tactic! In all honesty, however, I always seem to be the one waiting for replies and only hear from people when they want something or need to vent, so I understand the effect of those not replying. x

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  2. Re the last paragraph here, I find it sad rather than hilarious. It might again be one of those generational differences but over most of my own career I found that business relations were smoother and more efficient when I worked with a counterpart that I gotten to know on a personal level during real phone conversations.

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