Recently, I posted a job on Craigslist looking for a translator for my company, Strutta. I was overwhelmed by the number of emails and resumes I received within minutes of submitting my post. Many applicants seemed qualified for the job but were out of town or in many cases, out of country. Even when I was not interested for reasons such as these, I did my best to reply to almost, (if not all) of the emails I received. It was quick and painless (though a little time consuming) but after receiving a few replies like this to my “thank you for your interest but” emails:
I just want to thank you for the follow-up, I really appreciate it. If you ever need some help for translation and could use someone from outside, don’t hesitate to contact me.All the best to you and your project.
It got me thinking…
I’m on my crackberry all the time (that’s an entirely different post), receiving emails, facebook updates and IM’s. Like yours, my inbox is overflowing these days. And despite installing super SPAM filters, unwanted messages from Escuela de Alta still seem to slip through the cracks. As a result, we have turned into artful scanners – skimming over names and subject lines to weed out what is relevant and real. Considering how wired and accessible we are these days, skimming is necessary to actually get things done. But I wonder, has all this skimming conditioned us to ignore the more genuine emails and requests (not including unsolicited messages) in our inbox? Is it really that hard to just say, “no, but thanks or I am too busy right now?” Doesn’t it feel good when you are the one asking a ? and you actually get a response, even if it’s not the answer you may have hoped.
I have read that people have come to accept no response at all (via email, phone, IM) as a way of saying, “not interested,” but it just makes me feel like we are losing the knack for common courtesy and customer service in a very connected world.