Pick up the phone!

One thing that infuriates me nowadays is the reliance on email. Every day I see people emailing each other to try and resolve issues, playing email tennis, when picking up the phone would resolve issues in half the time.

I am the first to admit email has it’s uses. It is great for keeping track of what has been said and it’s great for conducting a conversation amongst several people, but for quick fixes it is not always the best option.

Regularly I see situations where a particular problem has not been resolved. I ask the person responsible what the delay is and the answer is more than often “I am waiting for an email from x”. I find myself having to count to ten before asking them “why the can’t just pick up the phone and speak to the other person?”. More often than not the problem could be resolved in the time it takes to type out the next email, yet for some reason some people are compelled to resolve things by email.

Maybe I am just “old school” but I come from a background of support roles (amongst other things) and reams of emails was usually a sign of an analyst lacking in confidence in their own ability. Personally I mostly found it was better to pick up the phone, get the facts and fix the problem. Calls could be resolved in minutes rather than days.

It seems to me in this day and age that people are more and more unwilling to speak to others, to interact and to “cut to the chase”. I think it would be an interesting experiment (but not necessarily practical) to do without emails for a week and to keep in touch with people on a verbal level. One thing that I am certain of, a lot of issues would probably be resolved quicker!

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