It’s probably happened to most of us. Many of us are even guilty of this ghastly sin.
The criminal offense I refer to is (insert suspenseful pause):
Responding to an email without fully reading it and therefore not actually answering what was asked in the first place.
As I’ve mentioned previously on my blog, I really would like to start a Moodle (or some sort of Learning Management System) for my classes this year. I’ve run into a lot of snags, and consequently, I am nowhere close to getting my students set up for this really cool piece of technology. I had this brilliant idea to email someone who is tech savvy…someone who is personable…someone who seems to know education and what they are talking about. (Actually, I tried this approach with several people, but only one irked me so much that I am now blogging about it.)
I emailed the owner of a “technology in education” blog. It’s a well-known blog that I subscribe to, and I figured the person might be too busy to even reply, but it was worth a shot. I told them in my email that I subscribed to the blog and really enjoyed it and was wondering if they could help with ‘x’. I mentioned that I had already looked for the topic on their blog but didn’t see anything about it.
To my joy, a few hours after I emailed the blogger, I saw a response in my inbox. I was delighted to see my original email quoted at the bottom of the response–it wasn’t just an automated “Thank you for contacting so-and-so” note.
That’s where my hope died and the anger flared. The blogger did indeed write back personally, but only to say, “Hey, thanks for reading the blog. I’m glad you enjoy it. I recently switched subscriber providers, so I’ve taken the liberty to add you to the list. You’ll get another email with a link to confirm your subscription.” And that was it.
Um, am I missing something? I didn’t ask to be added to your new list (which I had already joined anyway). I asked a specific question. If you don’t have time to actually respond to what I ask, then either don’t reply at all, or mention that you don’t have time at that moment but hope to do so in the near future.