Monday August 4, 2008

7 Finished! This is Folkwear’s “Rosie the Riveter” pattern in a nice soft cotton. I may make another of these in linen.

I woke up this morning with the sense of dread that I get when I have a lot of appointments. This is left over from before I Overcame Agoraphobia. If I have more than three appointments in a week, I get that feeling. Fortunately, I am able to Overcome it.

I have a client coming over today, a business meeting tonight, a hairdresser’s appointment on Wednesday, a workshop on Thursday, and a meeting on Thursday evening with this week’s soloist for the church, who wants some coaching. All pleasant things.

Coming back to say I just had a call about part-time teaching. While I was not up for that last time it was offered to me, it now seems to me to offer a bit of secure income without interfering with my grand entrepreneurial plans, so I added a Friday meeting to set up that schedule. This is really too many appointments for one week, as far as my little mental disorder goes, but I am Overcoming it.

Oh — and coming back again to say that I just got a call reminding me of #2 son’s dental appointment on Wednesday. That makes seven appointments in one week, plus of course rehearsal and class. I think I need to build some anti-stress activities into this week. Or maybe not. I guess it’s a good test of how well I’ve Overcome Agoraphobia. Did I mention that the Friday meeting is in the Next County to the North?

Today I have three blog entries to write (not counting this one, of course, which is personal), I need to get a final report together for Client #6, I have prep to do for the workshop, and I hope to get the content for my own web site completed.

Also on my Toggl I have the hookworm article, content for two other sites, my monthly blog post for a site where I rotate with several other writers, and a small linking campaign for Client #4. I also must do a run-through of Google Analytics for all my clients this week, so I can strategize for whoever needs strategy. Client #2 is actually thinking about increasing visibility. I would love to do that for him. You know how sometimes you just really want to get your hands on someone’s rankings? Then I have a couple of new ideas, and I may need to look for further business to replace Client #6.

At the moment, it actually seems like a good thing that I am on hiatus from Client #6. I have at least thirty hours of work listed here, so adding his twenty hours would have made for a really long work week. 

Now, an important and deep question: do you have to reply to emails?

This topic has come up several times lately. First, in a conversation with Chanthaboune, in which I said that nobody has to respond to emails. That’s one of the great things about them, to my mind. You send it off at your convenience, they respond at their convenience, and people can always just delete an email. You can send someone ten emails in one day if you feel like it, and it’s no bother to them, because they can ignore it or read it when they fell like it. Emails aren’t subject to the same etiquette as a physical letter or a phone call.

Then I realized that it has been over a week since I sent off the book audition, and I’ve heard nothing back. Hitherto, the guy I sent it to has responded to all emails within a day. It therefore seems possible that it wasn’t received.

The very freedom with which we delete emails, not to mention the spam filters, make it very possible that emails we send aren’t received. If there is no social requirement to respond, then we have no way of knowing when they’ve reached their target. Which I suppose must have been the original basis of the etiquette requiring responses to letters. And yet, if it isn’t de rigueur to respond to emails, then we can hardly noodge people about responding to our emails, even to the extent of saying, “Did you get my email?”

Which actually happens quite a bit. The Computer Guy has even asked me that when I’ve responded, possibly because he didn’t get it, and possibly because my response has been something like “k” and it didn’t stay in his memory once he’d deleted it.

So now I’m wavering. Any thoughts? Do you have to answer emails?

Since I came back here anyway, I’ll report that early returns on this question, in comments and by email, say I’m wrong — you have to respond to personal and business emails. Not to the ones that are offering to enlarge body parts that you may or may not own, but yes to the ones from humans.






7 responses to “Monday August 4, 2008”

  1. princess_smartypants Avatar

    i mostly answer emails.  but i don’t get that many personal ones. hey, your shirt turned out nicely!  good luck with your busy day.  🙂

  2. chanthaboune Avatar

    Yes, of course you do. They’ve replaced letters now. You must respond unless there is nothing in there to respond to.

  3. craftymommavt Avatar

    From my own experiences, many people believe that no, you do not have to reply to email.  This is one of the single most frustrating things about email correspondence, imho.  Also….there are a fair number of people out there who think of email as an absolute…i.e. if it was sent then of course it was delivered. I have had enough scenarios where emails were spam folder-ed or lost to know that there are no absolutes with email. 

    I agree with you that the nice thing about email is that people can respond in their own time and at their own convenience…but I feel that simple courtesy neccessitates a response…simply so that the sender knows the message was received.

    Despite my strong convictions…I am terrible about returning emails….I read them and think I will respond later, which never happens.  Perhaps the same thing happens to others.

  4. illgrindmyownthankyou Avatar

    business emails that are asking a question need to be responded to.   personal emails depend on the nature of the email. I seldom respond to either unless specifically directed to do so.

  5. sighkey Avatar

    I respond to emails from students and from work colleagues when the email is about work-related matters, but I don’t always respond to personal emails. If the email is from someone with whom I wish to remain in contact or from someone whom I would normally have a face-to-face hows-your-day-going conversation I will reply. We mostly communicate by email within the dept because when people are busy we don’t like to disturb them. As you said, emails can be read and replied to when the receiver has a free moment.

  6. fibermom Avatar

    @sighkey – You know, now that people have told me that I should respond ot all emails, I’m noticing how many emails I send back and forth. I mean, if you have multiple messages going back and forth with someone (as we Computer Guys do), when do you stop? Sometimes I just don’t have anything else to say!

  7. sighkey Avatar

    @fibermom – I think it might depend upon the conversation skills of the email sender. I tend to make quite a lot of polite conversation when I’m in a face-to-face communication and, when I’m communicating with friends by email I also tend to do that so we end up with a lot of little smalltalk emails going back and forth.