EMAILS JOIN THE SNAIL PARADE

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It used to be just the Post

                                          

Office took forever to get

                                 

the message to you. Now,

                             

dumb emails are joining

                            

the snail parade.

                                                                          

 

The Post Office–no doubt next in line for more government bailouts of lethargic incompetent organizations–remains fully responsible for (and permanently disabled from) getting slaughtered in the marketplace.

They’ve been pummeled by emails, FedEx, UPS, and all the other non-government-affiliated, more convenient, better quality, better performing delivery and shipping methods and organizations.

These private enterprise businesses, keep in mind, bloomed overtly, and directly under the Post Office’s wanted-poster eyes.

But email snailmail?

Email communication failures that end up delaying message accuracy are strictly the doing of the senders.

Every time an email fails (I calculate the frequency of non-spam fairly important yet thoroughly convoluted messages arriving bedraggledly into the stage center glare of my monitor screen spotlight to be about four or five times a week), it’s the sender’s fault.

                                                 

It’s something like throwing a fourth quarter tie-game seventy-yard Hail Mary Pass directly into the encircling waiting arms of the fleet-footed, leaping downfield receiver, but it turns out to be a golfball. 

______________________________

First off, emails are not just short letters or long text messages. They do not take the place of one-on-one or group meetings. They are not substitutes for phone calls. Carrier pigeons? Well.  

Emails are emails are emails.

                                                             
  • When we GET them, they are either junk or important, or they’re provocative or relevant-sounding enough to get past the spam sentries (but are still probably junk).
  • When we SEND them, we labor over them and painstakingly tend to editing and refining the message and recipient list and including just the right amount of cordiality. I mean, don’t act like you’ve never sat back and tried to imagine how your message will be received.

OR,

  • We just mindlessly FWD those we think will amuse or entertain or educate certain collections of family, friends, and acquaintances.

Right? Ah, but sadly, the answer is: no; that’s not all.

                                                             

There is one more omnipresent category –the silent majority it seems to me– that careth not a thing about who or what circumstances may be on the receiving end.

(At least on the phone, you can hear if someone has a miserable cold!) 

Is it just my imagination, or do most emails lack forethought, editing care, and common courtesy?

Hmmm? 

                                                 

Since the electronic nature of the medium is so impersonal, we are therefore justified in acting impersonal with the tone and content of what we send? Is it really necessary to not include some sort of greeting or sign-off courtesy?

Why not just staple-gun the thing onto the tree in front of my office and wait for me to notice it?

It really doesn’t take much to say “Hi Joe” which is a nice thing, unless your name is Diane or something. And it’s not like time-consuming hard work to end with “Regards” or “Have a great day” or :Stuff it!” or SOMEthing. Really.

Which brings the subject of ESNAILMAIL full circle. Why is email time-consuming? Because too many email senders “wing it” and pay little or no attention to detail, or rely fully on attachments which don’t open, or that set off alarms, or come packaged with 27 cute little pop-ups trying to sell exploding washcloths (no need to launder ;<) . . .

. . . and then –because they don’t get it right the first time– have to RE-send a corrected or edited or updated version to say what they should have taken the time and trouble to say right the first time. VOILA! A phone call would have saved time. 

Oh, and while I’m at it, please stop with the Reply emails that say things like: “OK” or “Got it” or Sure thing” or Later” or “Let’s do it!” –especially with all 106 prior emails in the string still attached.

OK? THX.

                                                  

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www.TheWriterWorks.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

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“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

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