Responding to Correspondence

(From the blog archive)

What ever happened to the RSVP?  There was a time that I can remember when people would actually respond to you call, letter, etc.  I can’t say email because it was before the advent of email and mobile phones with the capability of text messaging.

I do remember that many people have tittered on the edge of diplomacy not knowing that RSVP is actually French for “please respond” not respond if you are coming or bringing an uninvited guest without responding that you will attend.  It is akin to saying “Hey let me know if you will be there or not so I can order enough food for the reception, party or whatever.  Plus if you are not coming I can fill your spot with someone else.  Don’t be jerk and leave me hanging.”

Add the complications of Craigslist, phishing and spam that makes it acceptable for folks not to respond.  Be it for a job ad, roommate or giving away something for free.  I can understand the lack of response when blindly answering an online ad.  There are several reasons why that may happen, from being a bogus ad to the person filling the spot, or selling the item and not bothering to pull the ad.

What chaps my ass is when I send an email or text or call to a “friend” or acquaintance and I never get anything back, almost like they never got it.  That is just rude and at best poor form.

We are getting further and further away from talking to each other face to face as it is.  Now compound that with the acceptance that it is okay to ignore people entirely.  Get with the program and do the right thing and talk to people who contact you and if you don’t want to be bothered or have had a falling out let the person know damn it.  Don’t be such a woose.

2018 Annotation

Today this is still a pet peeve of mine. It still bothers me when someone fails to respond to a direct question. Since so much email falls victim to spam I wonder if the person even gets the message. It is still an issue that legitimate email goes to spam. I have been on the sending and receiving end of this phenomenon. For instance, my email is on a entrepreneurial networking newsletter list. Invariably this email newsletter never gets past the spam folder. I have whitelisted, added to contacts, consulted tech support and still these email messages never see the light of my inbox.

What I have found is that platforms like MailChimp generate a new “respond to” or “Xmail from” address. Since this is considered a new email address—that has not been whitelisted or saved—it goes to the spam folder. So that “great email blast software you are using might not be so great. In fact, you might not even be reaching your audience who has opted in to your newsletter.

I still have no answer for unanswered text messages. Unfortunately, I myself have been guilty of not responding to texts. This is in part to the perigee I am in and partly because some texts seem more like statements that do not require a response. But is it better to send an “okay” “yeah” “roger that” “K” or emoji if only to let the person know that their message to you did not get lost in the purgatory that seems to exist between some text messages between iPhones and Android phones?

This situation is likely to get worse the proliferation of spam text, and robo callers. There are no good answers. But if you have suggestions or thoughts that can add to resolving this, please share.


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