Wednesday, 5 June 2013


I suppose it started when I had the cheek to spend 10 days in the USA in the middle of termtime (to be fair, on a Guiding trip), and didn't want to reply to any emails during that time because it would have been too expensive. I figured that none were such full-blown emergencies that they couldn't be dealt with by someone else, or wait till I was home. The hassle I was getting for not replying to emails from Guiding folk - even though I'd warned them all well beforehand that I'd be out of touch! I was tempted to phone some of them back at what would be a perfectly civilised hour for the time zone I was in, but . . . I restrained myself.

It got me to thinking how email has taken over Guiding communications, not always for the better. Oh, I'm not entirely knocking it, grief knows I use it myself often enough as a good way to get the same information to several people and it can be really useful - it's the way people use it at the last minute as an alternative to being properly organised. How, instead of them sorting things out in good time, you receive a flood of several emails a night, up to the last minute and beyond, which you are expected to answer immediately if not sooner. And to say that they are copied to 'every man and his dog' is starting to become literally true . . . regardless of who they're actually relevant to. I know who all they copied it to - the strings of email addresses for half the leaders in the County comes attached and unprotected, despite my repeated urgings for people to use bcc!

If something is so urgent - do phone so you know I've received the email, don't assume I spend all day and all night glued to my computer (though it sometimes feels like I do)! But also, ask yourself why it is so last minute - is it a crisis which has just blown up in the last five minutes and couldn't have been foreseen, or something you should have checked about long ago rather than expecting me to answer within two minutes just because you're disorganised?

No comments:

Post a Comment