Thursday, July 12, 2007

Words from the Front Lines

From an email, from a friend who works for a large important organization.

"I was recently rebuked for actually calling someone instead of using email. Appearently if someone wants to be important, then they can't bother answering the phone, they need to type."


Anonymous said...

The email - don't phone rule unless urgent rule actually makes a lot of sense. With email, one can prioritize and deal with it at the time of his own choosing.

Mungowitz said...

Only from the perspective of the recipient.

The caller may need something now.

I have a rule: "You have to mow my lawn, and paint my house, for free."

Makes a lot of sense. Makes me better off. And if I'm the only one who matters, this rule should be imposed at once.

Anonymous said...

from large (important organization) guy:

I would agree that an email "bing" on MS mail is less intrusive than a phone ringing, in that it is easier to ignore the "bing" - except for one horrible device, the crackberry.

If everyone knows you have an electronic leash, then there is an immediacy to every email. They know that you have their message instantly, it's not sitting in voicemail waiting to be heard. Therefore, you should, indeed must, respond IMMEDIATELY. The burden is on you, and there is a cost for not responding (this is a case where the "bing" silence is truly deafening).

Every meeting I'm in consist of people sitting around a table typing with their thumbs. I am guilty of this as well (emailing during meetings, and having thumbs).

Why? Because whoever sent the email knows that you have access to it that very instant. And good forbid you ignore someone's email - especially a superior who does not want to wait. I once told a superior that I didn't respond to their 8am email because I was hurtling through traffic at high speeds on my way to work. That they could have called me on my cell phone if they needed me (only slightly safer). They then asked me if I still wanted to work there. It took me a while to respond.

PS- the reason I called instead of emailing was that the person wanted to set up a meeting. I called THEM to set up the meeting that THEY requested via email. I figured it would cut down on a few back and forth emails trying to set up a time. The rebuke was due to my clear lack of insight into communication norms.

Anonymous said...

ohmygosh-- this happens to me on a regular basis. That is to say, I am sort of into using the phone (or better yet, knocking on office doors), in order to save the time of going back and forth on email. And I have been rebuked for being too intrusive.

We live in bizzaro world, yes?

-the girl who won't sign the Libertarian's petition and is fond of quoting Dr. Seuss