Friday, April 22, 2011

So What's So Hard About Answering Email?

I guess it's because I'm older, but I recall the days when I received a letter in the (US) mail, I'd read it, toss it to the side in a "to-do pile," replying when I felt the urge.

In these days of email, it's so much more convenient to answer on the spot. A simple typed reply, a quick click on Enter or Send, and the "to-do pile" ceases to exist. 

But that's me.

Once in a while, when I'm really busy, I mark the mail "unread" (on AOL) with a firm resolve to reply as soon as possible, which I do ... always on the same day that I receive it. I figure that if someone cared enough to send me mail, they deserve the same courtesy ... as prompt a reply as possible.

It surprises me, however, in these days when everyone has a Blackberry, or an iPhone, or any number of devices that are designed to make life easier, there are many people who don't respond to email.

I guess this is one of my "bitchy" days, but yes, it does annoy me. I'm not asking anyone to pay 44¢ for a stamp, or to lick an "icky" stamp or to run to the post office with gas approaching $4. a gallon or to write a best-seller. I'm simply looking for a reply to my well-intentioned mail.

Maybe life has become too easy for us, and it's easier to just click "delete" on email, but yes, I am often disappointed when days or weeks go by without a reply. And I'm referring to numerous people, not merely one.

What's the solution? I dunno. As they say, "you can lead a horse to water ... but ..."

Maybe we should go back to the days of the Pony Express when any correspondence was a treasure ... something to look forward to, even though the reply might take weeks or months to get to the addressee. :D


Donna said...

Agreed! I loathe having to spend 44 cents for a stamp to pay a bill...when they don't have online payments and your only other option is giving them your credit card number on the phone. Heck, you might as well, if you mail the payment in you have to give it to them too, so it's all totally unsecure! '

I too always answer my mail same day (less I am sick or something!)

RJScott said...

Donna, I was being bitchy mainly regarding email that I've sent to people as a follow-up, requesting the review of my book that was initially promised, but never delivered on.

It strikes me as odd that some folks have the balls to simply not reply to a mail; pretending it never existed.

This is a pet peeve of mine. In my most recent blog (which I deleted from Facebook after an error was discovered), I bring up the subject again.

It seems that some people never intended to post a review, but for some it was a way to get my book free of charge. Pretty chintzy!