I am the type of person that prefers email communication. It’s quick, it’s easy to recall at need, and it takes advantage of my skills as a writer. In some cases, it may be faster to arrange a meeting or set up travel plans over the phone, but I still consider email the best means of long-distance correspondence. But perhaps my judgment is just skewed.
In the realm of the business world, my judgment is definitely a little off – email has led me to expect near instant contact. I expect that once someone reads an email, they will turn around and shoot one back to me, and generally that happens. I also expect that if I do call, and am forced to leave a voicemail, someone will be back to me shortly. When an hour or more goes by, I start counting minutes.
Take my current scheduling situation. I left a voicemail at 8;47 am, which may be early for some offices. So what time can I expect a return phone call? Will the recipient of the voicemail arrive at 9 am? 10? How long does it take to listen to messages? Does it happen on arrival, or does email get opened and breakfast get eaten first? Do people even notice anymore if they have new voicemails? Is the voice mail recipient out all day? All week? How do I know? At what point does it become permissible to call back? How soon is a call back just really annoying? Should I be worried that I worry about this stuff?
As usual, the morning has allowed me to dig myself into a questioning morass of self-doubt. Hooray!