Rol was right. It is damned annoying when people don’t read things properly. In Rol’s excellent blog post yesterday he described his frustration at sending an email to someone that quite clearly posed 2 questions only to have one of the questions completely ignored in the reply.
I totally understood where he was coming from. Totally understood the growling frustration that you feel afterwards. Because now you have the do-I-send-then-another-email-asking-the-second question-again-or-do-I-just-give-up-on-it-altogether dilemma. Because if you chase it up you inevitably feel like you’re being a nag or just plain anal.
But this innate understanding wasn’t good enough for the universe or life or whatever master-force controls my destiny. Oh no. I had to have my understanding refreshed, updated and made more piquant...
I’ve just sold something on eBay. What isn’t important but whilst emailing the invoice I also added a little paragraph giving my address (the object is to be collected in person), phone number and a list of days and times when I’d be home to hand the object over.
I then had a reply to this email asking me where I lived! What? Didn’t they see my address in the email?
To add insult to confusion the buyer then stated that they worked in Leamington and wanted to know how far away I was because they worked in Cubbington.
Now for those of you that don’t know Leamington Spa, Cubbington used to be a neighbouring village some miles away from Leamington proper. Over the last 50 years it’s been swallowed up by Leamington’s expanding waistline and is now a geographical belly-button. So yes, Leamington is Cubbington but Cubbington is not Leamington. There is a difference between the two. Especially if the buyer is planning to walk to my house.
Anyway. I gritted my teeth and replied with another email. I told him he was about a 20 minute drive from my house and politely referred to the fact I’d given him my address in my previous email. I again stated what times and days I’d be free to receive him. After work any day but Thursday – I specifically can’t do Thursday as I have a prior engagement that night that I totally can’t get out of.
I sent it off.
I had another reply. The buyer apologized for not seeing my address in my previous email. He’d now found it; thank you. Now he knew where I lived he’d probably come round on Thursday or Friday but wasn’t sure which yet; he’d ring me to let me know. Did I have a mobile number?
Aaaargh! Yes. Supplied in my original email along with my fecking address and the times and days I was available! And I can’t effing well do Thursday! I quite clearly said that!
Christ, how many emails do I have to write? How many times do I have to give out the same information before it sinks into this guy’s cranium? It’s not like the emails were awash with metaphor and hyperbole... they were the bare skin and bones of necessity. There were no excess words into which the salient facts could have got lost. They stood out like a couple of leylandii in the desert!
How can someone read an email but not actually take on board what the bloody words mean?
Is anybody listening? Ever?