responding to emails

We all do it don’t we, we receive emails and we get distracted and think we’ll get back to answering that email, and we don’t through many different reasons, especially if we

a) don’t have an immediate answer at hand

b) don’t want to give a hurried answer and give ourselves away as we are sitting in our desks

c) don’t like to read what was written as we are responding emotionally

or d) we are not the correct person at the time to make a decision.

But not to respond altogether is rude isn’t it. I am amazed at how many companies don’t respond or reply when you contact them. There use to be courses on telephone etiquette wasn’t there? Surely all companies have a #101 on answering emails no matter what the response is going to be. But apparently things can sit (like the old inbox) in the inbox and not be answered. It’s like when you apply for a job you wait, surely as CV’s are opened even if sent by email there is a record it was received and then it is someone’s job to say – thanks but no thanks. Apparently it is accepted if you don’t hear back from them within a month – you haven’t been considered.

I  have sent dozens of emails over the last couple of weeks and no one has responded, I have even called the people and companies I have written to, as I believe having a voice to a name is better, even then this has not got a response back. For those of you sitting on peoples emails, sometime when you get around to respond it does surprise people you may not be available to assist or have gotten someone else to answer the question.

To those with my email in your inbox, please read, consider it and flick me a reply (today if possible)

The art of email

it’s another one of those days, perhaps it’s the weather, stress from the heat, worrying about friends who have their own struggles and a dog who is aging, any way, isn’t the way some people are reflected in the way they don’t communicate any more and hide behind passive/aggressive emails? I struggle with this, I really do and I know we are all capable of sending them and we all realize that email comes with no tone and most should be taken like that and responded to the came.

But we all know about using CAPITALS in emails is akin to shouting, so when it’s done or written we know that there is tone coming from the other person (they are shouting at you) If I get this type of email I will pick up the phone and call, there is no point writing back as it will not be taken in any other way other than an aggressive response, even if you don’t mean it to be.aggressive. Sending emails that have emotive words in them, knowing you are about to upset someone is a passive aggressive and unacceptable.

But there are certain words people use that they know a) they will get a response to b) put in writing to shock you c) put in writing to start an argument and d) send you into a tail spin. Most people know when they hover over the send button that sending a derogatory email will elicit a reaction and I am always stunned when you call them they are quite shocked that you are upset. It’s much like sending a drunken text, you know you should put your phone away when drinking other than calling a taxi – it should not be in your hand with the temptation to text someone.

Sending an email without  your name on it is always an indicator that some one is not happy with you, most people sign off unless they are rude or upset. They also make a point of saying ‘you have” ‘you did or didn’t do” and claim the frustrated / hurt victim end with words such as ‘frustrate’ ‘staff complaints’ the kicker her is ‘we have” the collective general term ‘we’ rather than own their bad manners or anger ‘everybody’ (whoever they are) are dragged out onto the email. These people I have decided have a very shallow view of their importance in your life, perhaps they are having a bad day and ‘it’s your turn” or you are first on the list to receive their wrath.

Either way, don’t do it, write your email, read it back, send it to a friend for editing most people are intelligent enough to know what they are sending is going to upset the reader. Then delete it go on to the next job and come back to the original issue, then show the potential receiver the respect of giving them a call. I’m a reactor, I admit that, I’ll give it right back with word reference to your sent email and I’ll call if I am gobbed smacked by what you have written.

Don’t drink & drive, don’t text & drive, don’t drink & text I have had family members whose cars have been rear ended (and written off) by someone texting whilst they should be driving. Most times now I turn it off when I get in the car so as not to be distracted, I don’t have a modern car that will read me out an incoming text. Above all be kind to each other, there are so many worse things than someone doing something wrong – especially if they are unaware of it.

Waiting

It’s a thing isn’t it, we wait and we do it often. we wait for assistance on the phone if (god forbid) we have to call any call centres, I have had the pleasure of calling the ATO today. I would like to submit our BAS, I know I am on time with it and up to date but there is a small issue the site reads ‘maintenance’ so I go down the site, read it and ‘maintenance’ was supposed to be finished on Friday 2nd January, so I call.

I get asked do I “need to submit the BAS today?” I respond by saying well “I don’t get a choice as to whether or not I have to pay it so I can’t se why I can’t claim it back when I want to.” I didn’t say it in any tone, I said it calmly and in a nice voice it was received with stunned silence, I had to ask “are you still there?” she was and then asked if I could be put on hold for 5 minutes. “Sure I got nothing else I could be doing?” this was after waiting for 5 minutes to press all of the numbers to get to customer service and now I wait again.

9 Minutes later she comes back with an apology and no answer, “we had such BIG upgrades over Christmas new year that well it could have something to do with it.” “ok” I say, “it was such BIG upgrades” she says again “yep heard you the first time and when can I look to submitting my BAS?” ” umm perhaps try it this afternoon” “right”. With that she hangs up and I am left waiting again.

I have made 13 phone calls today to various people and only 1 has answered my calls, It drives me mad this waiting as a primary producer I normally get to inform them that there is only 1 person on this call that gets a salary and it’s not me. Whilst they can spend the time doing whatever it is they do I am waiting.

I am better at waiting than I use to be, I think our Telco is the worst if you have to call them, I have had over an hour on the phone to 6 different people to correct a problem and by the end of it I was screaming at them. I know it doesn’t help but the frustration that your issue isn’t being resolved is enough isn’t it? Rather than *headdesk* , probably need to do it in something soft and ‘toughen up.” face plant.

Here we are in the first week of 2015 and we’re waiting and today it shits me to tears. Perhaps it’s a Monday or perhaps I need to get out of my own way, but I am trying to work to a schedule so that things can progress. welcome back all of those people who enjoyed holidays and I apologise in advance if you are unfortunate enough to get me on the other end of the phone.

If you are one of those people I’m waiting on a call back from please call me back or even email me. You KNOW who you are.

cat face plant

 

Today is brought to you by the Letter L

“We are now doing random alphabetical jumps, no longer any order to my blog, but it’s nice to be back writing. We are moving into summer and already we look to cloudy skies for rain. The paddocks are getting dry and the dust is beginning to swirl with the winds, my hay fever is active and I am now sitting in an office where I have 3 computer screens and wearing glasses most of the time. I go between this and my other work in my local town.

I am desperately looking for Tax assessment notices for myself to complete some paperwork I need (plus it’s time to ditch the old 1990’s tax stuff) and in going through my filing cabinet I have come across a ‘fax note’. He was never one on letters and also by the time we came to being a couple – letter writing was SO 1990’s, we moved into the fast past fax & emails. He had no computer skills at the time so faxes it was. Isn’t finding interesting things so much more better than doing the work you HAVE to do?

One thing he did do, despite really not having a romantic bone in my body with distance was the tyranny, phone calls expensive and our time together limited, was he would send a fax. I have been lucky over the years to have worked a lot from home, this was great for being able to work and spend time with my daughter. But sometimes as in now I find myself in the office with computers on and paperwork all around me.

Faxes were the go in the late 2000’s, scanners weren’t really a thing and as I stated he was very computer illiterate (he didn’t even own one) so he did a ‘love’ fax thing. we had been ‘seeing” each other for approximately 1 month. He did make me laugh and some of the things he wrote made no sense till I could contact him later in the evening to get an explanation.

One such love fax is attached here but it had me scratching my head all day (I did preference this with the fact I don’t have much of a romantic notion about life or people) they are what they are and who they choose to be, we all have faults (some less than others) and we all have great traits. His was the ability to make me laugh and soften my rough “I’m a singe mother” hard edges.

It reads love letter

sent at 07:36 20/11/2002

Stop Press

“Tom attacked by Rooster  Last night”  hurt tendon in wrist

“Rooster Dead”

wish I was there

No calf marking today.

Initially I had no idea who Tom was (his father) why he would be attacked by a rooster (they can be mean and charge when angry) hurt tendon – pictured a torn wrist with tendon hanging out and needing surgery – did I tell you I am a Theatre RN, we all jump from simple scratch on wrist without seeing it to requiring micro-surgery to repair said torn tendon in order that “Tom” would be able to use his hand again. My nursing friends will know this is a logical conclusion without a first hand (witnessed) account.

Rooster Dead – had no idea why it would die, never thought for a minute it would become dinner. Wished he could be there – for him to laugh at his father, me only to apply first aid (Florence nightingale style – picture lamp & moist head cloth or hand cloth here to stem the  pulsating blood flow)

No calf marking today – never having seen it or done it I had no idea what to even think about this except perhaps he goes to the paddocks and marks the calves – ticks or crosses on a sheet as to good size or small size, never knew about this procedure until much later in our relationship. hard work on one’s own.

The Love Faxes never really got much better than that, I know jealous aren’t you all, I wonder what I would do or feel if I was ever sent a real ‘love letter’ but life isn’t a movie is it? it’s an opportunity to be who you are and if you’re lucky, share it with an equal whose company you enjoy, makes you smile more than 80% of the time and is kind, caring and shares your views on family.

Enjoy your Friday everyone

 

 

 

Back to normal?

Here we are it’s Monday and it feels surreal that we had a fire here only 4 days ago and a really big fire at that. But now that it’s over and I have cleaned ash out of the house it’s back to the business of getting things done. First call, insurance company to inform them we had a fire and that we will be requiring their assistance as we lost fencing.

Yesterday I called Telstra to let them know we had no landline to be told that the exchange was damaged in the fires and they will be out to fix it as soon as they were able and it was safe to do so, they were hoping to have it complete by Wednesday this week. They have redirected all calls to my mobile and given us a tag so that when we call out it is charged at the cost of landline rather than mobile, they are doing all they can for fire victims.

We have had friends call, text and email us that saw me on the TV in other states, it has been nice to hear from everybody as they showed concern. I have had face book and twitter messages that have meant a lot and spoken as best I can standing in the one spot in my kitchen that you get mobile signal from, with the people who I love and care about.

Part of the bonus of the fire (if you can call it that) is that having the sprinklers on for days at a time we have luscious lawns surrounding the house and we have let the Dorper Lambs in to eat it down. As I sit and type they are baaing at each other and eating as much as they can. It is a lovely noise to listen to, no longer is the UHF on the emergency channel, nor the radio giving us fire updates, I like the silence today, I have a breeze blowing in and the sun is shining, all looks good in my little world.

I have managed to clean the house of the ash and the place looks incredibly tidy, one thing I have been doing as I go is taking pictures of all of the furniture, pictures and nick knacks in each room, should we ever lose the house to fire we would have a pictorial diary of our contents and things. The other thing for me is to now look at getting rid of some of it. Why? you ask, well these are the things we would leave behind and do we want to keep them around us now? Things like bookshelves full of books one only reads once, DVD’s that sit around waiting to be watched more than twice, items we have kept “incase” we need them, well after this fire, I have realized we don’t. Everything I wanted was packed ready to leave with me and it wasn’t a lot, photo’s of my daughter as she was growing up – before digital.

It is amazing how two people can accumulate so much but being alive nearly half a century, you do gather stuff, now is the time to start getting rid of it, give it away and or sell it. I did this 14 months ago after the last fire, so now it is time to do it again. It will take a while but it is something I will be doing so that we can reduce the fire load in the house. Have a great Monday, here are some of our Dorpers in the yard see they really are grass-fed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

the thing about ‘just’

Following on from yesterday, isn’t it funny how some things strike a chord in people whilst many things are like ‘water off a ducks back?’ that is, barely gets a first thought never alone a second one. I got lots of responses from yesterday most of them private which illustrated my thoughts, we as the human kind over think and over feel too much. What some people don’t consider as important, knocks others for a six, meaning they take it to heart so much so, it can stop them and get them thinking of responses and ‘what if’s’ for days even weeks, after the event. Most times the person who causes this has moved onto their next target and completely forgotten you along the way.

There have been times in my life where my first reaction is to come out fighting, either verbally or in writing, there have been times when some ones word have reduced me to silent tears of despair and feelings of inadequacy. This is where the old saying of “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Most of us have felt the sting of words written and verbalized in our lives. I have taken over the last couple of years to have written lengthy emails in response to some I have received, sent them to myself or a friend and asked the question of myself is this what you really want to say or to my friends should I send this? I think if you ask that question you already know the answer is NO. The email states do not respond to this in under 24 hours so that I can think it through more but in some cases I get an immediate response “DO NOT SEND” (capitals) “CALL ME INSTEAD” inferring urgency in their response.

Most of them have the word ‘just’ in them, like “I just need to let you know…” well actually I don’t, it should be “I want you to know” or “I am letting you know” any of the following is better than using the word ‘just’. ‘Just’ by it’s definition denotes some characteristic or according to the dictionary “based on or behaving according to what is right or morally fair”. Isn’t this sometimes an oxymoron? especially when you know the perpetrator is anything but fair, and what has been stated or leveled at you is nothing like the situation (as you understand it) or witnessed it but the other person has gotten in first to paint themselves in a better light.

Perhaps we need to remove ‘just’ from our language or speech as an operating theatre nurse , we would have to state to the closest male or female “I am just ducking out to go to the toilet.” as they needed to be aware that you were no longer there to help. It took me a long time to stop asking / telling people what I was doing when I first changed careers. People would look at me and say “I don’t need to know that.” Well in my old occupation they actually did, as you would have to get some one to relieve you so no patient was put in danger.

There was an email Tuesday sent to me under false pretences, using or responding to a previous happy email sent a week earlier (going by the subject matter). There was nothing in this email that was about the subject matter and in fact it gave me statistics and a personal opinion of what they thought (it wasn’t nice) about me, in actual fact it made me laugh which is not what I think the writer wanted. There certainly was an expectation that it would affect me, perhaps make me respond back but I laughed out loud. It made many assumptions from a third hand comment passed to this person and missed the whole base of the original concept. It actually affirmed many things for me as the initial question was not even touched upon. It also made me think I wonder why the writer thinks that I would care about the opinion that they expressed about me would affect me, trust me it was designed to upset me and it didn’t upset me. I do not hold them in the high esteem that I once did so perhaps they weren’t aware that I felt this way but the email had a couple of ‘just’ in it.

I am going to try to work in my world without ‘just’, because I can. I can set an experiment to see if people respond better, more honestly or perhaps make myself included think about my conversation so that the messages I want to get across do get there without moral interpretation. “say it like it is” I wonder how hard that will be, let me (‘just’) think about this for a while. 🙂

What Others think of you is none of your business

How true is this, we spend our childhood learning how to please others so that we can 1) get what we want, 2) get friends 3) grow up. It pleases parents when you learn to walk, read, talk, eat, use the toilet and become well ‘civilised’. More to the point become part of a clan, we are the clan called human, we are bipeds, carnivores, herbivores, mammals to name a few. As parents they hope for their children to grow up, become educated, get a job, meet a partner and move on to begin reproducing this clan and starting the process again.

As teens we become socialized, our parents take us to interact with others and schooling helps us learn to adapt and change to suit the needs of a peer group, those of ones own age or within a close age group. This is where we learn about ourselves, be it good or bad, whether we are friends or foes, mean or nice we become running into the group called adults. Being a teen is not without trials or tribulations you just hope that somehow you get through it and it makes you a better person and helps shapes you into knowing ‘learned behaviour’ when it comes to others.

We hit the skids in Adulthood, it seems time races, nothing is as long as being a teenager, I don’t think. But in Adulthood we establish a network, have relationships, become friends, lose friends and most importantly we are asked our opinion about others. Here is the danger, we jump into the group and we (generally) divide them into male & females, we tell our secrets to our female companions and we tell our stories to our males. Both sexes play a vital role, females become the sisters, the confidants, the keeper of secrets, personal advisors, fashion advisors, friendship makers in our lives, Men become friends, lovers, partners, fathers to our children and honesty speakers (well mine is). The difference is only noticeable when we loose one of these groups or people in our lives.

We spend a lot of our ‘young adulthood’ talking about ourselves in relation to our work, our partner and friendship group. Other people’s opinion of you matters, down to how you wear your hair, who are you going out with? and how you respond to others in the same situation. This can be ego inflating or soul-destroying and many of us don’t identify that emotional vampire in our lives till it’s too late. They are not distinguishable by sex – both sexes are guilty here, it’s the partner who keeps ‘hooking up with others’, it’s the girlfriends who make social arrangements to cancel them on the day / night and the no shows. They devastate you, then if you question them they have a way of turning it to make you feel guilty.

Then as we grow to middle age – these people are easily identifiable and ones from younger years can and should be left behind. I have a couple of girlfriends that every time I see numbers on caller id, I bless the universe for giving me the option of knowing who it is. I will never visit those relationships again. Then there are others who appear as your friends – you may not even know they are peripheral dwellers, suckers of info to take to their networks and speak about you to whoever they like. Normally they come unstuck and it’s hurtful.

I have not been the perfect person in my life and I am sure that may would agree, we have been all and nothing to people with our behavior. I have done and said things I am not proud of but I am part of that flawed group called human. Sorry to those I have offended but please be assured my opinion of you is just that an opinion. If I have an issue with you, I will call to discuss, not put it into the universe, twittersphere or Facebook. I value myself and others enough to respect that, so if you feel I need to explain something I have said or written, I am selfish enough to admit when I write I do it for me, with no thought to others (expect the two not named here – they are also not friended on any social pages) even then I am not vindictive enough to harbor hate. I have grown to move on, so if something affects you that I have written- perhaps it’s your opinion of yourself that has taken a hit, not my opinion of you and if you ask me I’ll explain, not go running to others to make a complaint.

A wise person, my sister Jacqui taught me – email has no tone, it is words on a cyber piece of paper, you are reading more into it than what it is, except if you are doing it in capitals – then you are just SHOUTING.