I recently read a little article titled something like “Phone calls are rude”. The point of the article was that calling someone on the telephone demands immediate, undivided attention. Whereas other forms of communication we use today like instant messaging, text messaging, email, and many others do not. I find this to be an interesting topic.
Then a few weeks ago I was working on a fairly urgent project. I was waiting on a file from someone that worked for another agency. I emailed him to ask if he would please let me know just as soon as the file was available so I could do my thing. I then went to work from home for the afternoon because I was expecting a delivery.
Well, I never received notice the the file had been made available. So our deadline came and went and there was a fair amount of hardship caused as a result.
The following Monday I came into the office to find a voice mail from this person at the other agency. They had called my on the telephone to tell me that this necessary file was available. Gah! Had I received that message in a timely fashion, I could have met the deadline. But I did not receive the message until it was too late.
I don’t ever check my work voice mail from home. Compared to email… I almost never use the phone at work period. I might receive one phone call every couple of weeks if that. So checking my voicemail from home would never occur to me. Nothing important ever gets done that way anymore.
In addition to that… I made my request to this person via email. I can’t really avoid the blame for not getting the message. But when you ask a question in email, don’t you normally expect the response to come via email?