Email rant (again)

I’ve mentioned email being a complete pain on numerous occasions. But today I feel the need for a complete rant. I’m now up to ~300 a day, the bulk of them spam, but the rest are from colleagues asking stupid, piddly little questions that they don’t actually ask me face-to-face or on the phone.

Email can be used to deliver information. It should never be used to ask a question. It should never be used to deliver an action item. And, it should never be used as a method of communication.

Too many ‘dialogues’ take place on email these days. The result of ‘cover your ass’ conversations, perhaps? Or just damn laziness?

I for one wish email was an option, not a mandatory tool for business.

I work in marketing, yet I loathe receiving marketing email.

I find that email hampers my work, so I log out frequently, but when I don’t reply to someone ‘instantly’ I’m not a good corporate citizen. How do we overcome this??

Any suggestions?

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My birthday…

…has been and gone for another year, but the celebrations continue…

Tomorrow I’ll be joined by some close friends for dinner at a local restaurant and then onto a club for some dancing. I’m really looking forward to it.

Last night b/f and I had a very fun evening – eating, drinking, listening to music (trying to play it on an electric guitar!), and generally having a laught. The day at work was ok – I ate far too much bad stuff, but it was all in the name of my birthday!

How things are changing though…I got:

13 “traditional” birthday cards – which are lovely (although one of them can’t actually be seen by anyone else – a custom http://www.moonpig.com card)

7 “text” birthday wishes

4 eCards

2 email birthday wishes

5 messages on http://www.facebook.com

And too many phonecalls to count…

All in all a lovely day that so many people remembered, but how different our society is today!

Use of the English language

I’m not the most eloquent person in the world. I don’t claim to be an expert on the English language or its grammar, but I know when something is wrong. Here’s an example of “type and click” emailing and why we should all review what we’ve written in the context of who we are writing to, and what the objective of the email is*

‘Good morning to you – I just wanted to advise you with regards a meeting that Bob and I had yesterday with James. James is currently dealing with John Doe at Simpleton with regards your SuperDuper application and we met on the back of some earlier conversations we had last year. The company that James works for also has SmallTalk expertise and I thought that it may be advantageous for you to meet with him when he is next in YourVille such that he may be able to assist you in the project that you currently have on the go.’

It’s just wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Knowing it went to a customer….aaaaaaaaaaaargh!
*Names were changed to protect the innocent 😉

Hard work

Why is it some people are such hard work on the phone? I had one of those calls this morning that left me wondering whether I said the wrong thing/called at the wrong time/whether my existence is a bother…

I work with some great people – but this particular trait in one of them is rather irksome. I never get off the phone and feel good. I talked to another colleague about it and he feels the same. Phew! So, it’s not just me then…

It does make me question my manner on the phone though and whether I’m as polite as possible even when I’d rather be elsewhere or talking to someone else.

How we communicate today is largely influenced by how we communicate in our business lives. People who sit opposite send an email rather than walk over to talk to you…the person on the floor above IMs you, and you get email in place of a phonecall from contacts outside the building. The rise and rise of social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo are having a dramatic effect on communication methods too. As I was thinking about this today, I found the following blog about someone’s “Engagement Announcement”…

http://onlinemarketer.wordpress.com/2008/01/24/marketing-my-engagement/

See what he says about his preferred communication method and why…

As for my preferences…call me!

Email

I work for a small company – 14 of us in the UK – that’s it. One of our products is designed to support people in the way they manage their day-to-day activities. I get it. What I don’t get is the fact that our culture has turned email into a primary method of communication . I get too much email – most of if is a waste of time (writing, sending and then having to reply). People have replaced simple conversation with “email conversation”. What I mean is six emails to arrange a place and time to meet when it could have been a simple [voice] conversation of less than a minute.

Why do we do it? Why rely on this stupid stupid means of communicating for simple things?

One person that works for me uses email to cover her “ass”, as she puts it. She wants a record of each “conversation” so that she can protect herself. Consquently, in a conversation on the phone she forgets what is said!

A lot of people at work have push email to PDA phones…the source of much frustration! People with these phones seem eager to use them as a form of IM/chat!!  Am I the only one getting annoyed by this? I know the benefits of having push email – especially when you’re away from home without the laptop (saves you coming back to a full inbox etc.), but do you really need to have access to your email 24-hrs a day??? What happens when you don’t respond immediately? People get annoyed! Today we expect an immediate response to everything…

Should we be encouraging more email traffic?  I have taken to managing email in blocks. I do an hour (at the most) in a morning when I first arrive, and then I don’t check it again until after lunch. Anything urgent, pick up the phone. And, don’t cc me on emails as I won’t read them – they are not to me…

Personal email, on the other hand, is a different matter… 😉