Skip to main content

I read emails on Friday.

I'm sure most of you, like me, have wondered about the proper etiquette for communication technology.  While it is undeniable that smart phones have improved our lives in numerous ways, it is also true that there are many costs too. Mostly, we are expected to be on call for, and respond to any and every overture (email, text, or voicemail) and in a fairly short time. Like many, I fantasize of abandoning my device entirely and return to a more peaceful existence. 

We probably have all been on both sides of offending situations, for example when an overture is either completely ignored or is responded to after a seemingly long period.  For me deciding when to respond comes down to employing empathy. When I get an overture I must first gauge it's urgency, both to me and the originator. Then I determine it's importance both to me as well as the other individual. And finally I consider the reasonable expectations of the other. Of course, all of this has to fit in with my other calendar considerations. 

I have a very smart friend who has his emails automatically replied to with "I read emails on Friday," along with an offer to contact his assistant if something is truly urgent. I'm thinking that this isn't too bad of an idea. 

I wonder what it means when someone completely ignores an email, seemingly choosing to not reply at all. What, I wonder, is the intended message here?  Is it: "Leave me alone. I couldn't care less about you or your silly email?"  Or is it: "I'm very busy now and this isn't a priority for me?"  I think that even if it were something like this, or something even harsher, it is always better to send something other than a cold shoulder.  Maybe "I'm busy and this isn't interesting to me."  I've always appreciated honest feedback and bet that many others living in today's politically correct world crave it too. I also am perplexed when someone decides to end an email or text conversation abruptly and simply chooses to ignore the last salvo.  To me it is akin to hearing someone say something in person and rather than responding turning and walking away, or hanging up a phone on someone in mid-conversation. People who would never do this in those settings somehow feel it is ok to do it electronically and I cannot for the life of me understand it.

Popular posts from this blog

Taxes and Hyperbole

There is a new tax code in the U.S., and this is indeed a “Yuuuge” deal. As far as I can tell, it is as close to an unmitigated home run for America as can be. Is it perfect? Of course, it’s not. The code retains its unwieldy size and complexity, largely as a result of compromises made in order to bribe congressmen and senators for their votes. Until we get term limits, it seems we’re stuck with a tax code that is big and complex. However, it does hit the mark on a few key issues: most every taxpayer will now pay less to the federal government (except those in states with ridiculously mismanaged economies who now will be forced to hold their state politicians more accountable); and our businesses, large and small alike, will remit less of their profits to the federal government and will be liberated to invest that savings into growth – which will surely create job and wage growth in the productive private sector.

You Need to Ask the Right Question

If you ask the wrong questions, the answers will probably also always be wrong, and even irrelevant.  This might seem obvious, but I’ve noticed that this truth is often completely overlooked, and even by the world’s most intelligent. While I’m certain this is so in every facet of life, for the purpose of this short paper I will focus on the investment/finance world.

We, The Deplorables

I recently saw a German movie called “Look Who’s Back” on Netflix, which I strongly recommend.  The film fictionally chronicles the return of Adolf Hitler to modern-day Germany and does a tremendous job of illustrating how Hitler’s call to arms for a better Germany for Germans resonates with the average German in the film. It cannot be lost on anyone who views this film that the message repeatedly heard from these average Germans that “what he says is mostly true…” is a frightening one, and one that is easy to imagine not only Germans saying but French, British, and Americans too.