There are some things that really suck in life: losing your wallet, Roger Goodell, getting over a breakup, or having your kicker, one of the best all-time, miss his first extra point in over 500 tries and cost your team a trip to the Super Bowl, for example. Just thinking about these things puts a pit in your stomach. Hell, as I’m writing this, I’m getting worked up just thinking about the idiocy that is the Commissioner of the NFL and his stupid vendetta against one of the
most attractive greatest quarterbacks of all time. Like my heart is literally beating faster and my hands are getting clammy.
Even though missing an extra point or losing your wallet is difficult to overcome, things eventually get better: you find your wallet, your team goes out and gets Mohammad Sanu (fingers crossed), and you go about your merry way. But there is one thing that, no matter how hard you work, you can’t fix or get over: having a girl, or dude, not text back. You’ve built up a nice little rapport with them, and all of a sudden, out of the blue, BOOM. No text. You see they’ve opened your last snap. You know that they’ve seen it, they just don’t text back. This happens when you’ve just started talking to someone, or when you’ve been in a serious relationship for a while. And no matter what, it sucks. Doubt creeps into your mind. Did I say something that really offended them? Did they find someone better than me? Did they find out that I was actually playing FIFA last weekend when I said I was “too tired to hang out?” Are they coming over to kill me? The possibilities are endless, and the mind inevitably wanders.
However, as the title of this article points out, not getting a text reply isn’t quite the absolute worst. Chances are, he or she is probably just doing something more important than staring at their phone and will text you back at an appropriate time in the future. No, the absolute worst is getting spurned on an email, and even more than that, a work email.
Despite a few years between my girlfriend and I, and the fact that she’s currently in Houston at the rodeo for spring break while I’m slaving away in the lab, we’re currently going through something similar:
we’re both in love with Tom Brady we’re both waiting on decently important work emails. She has essentially locked up a summer advertising internship down in the city and is just waiting on the terms of offer email, and, without being too forward, I’m waiting for management from the site that you are currently reading to get back to me. And let me tell you: it is the absolute worst.
We’ve all gone through this: whether it’s applying for jobs, grad school, internships, or just waiting for your boss to approve time off, waiting for work emails sucks. Since you’re probably dealing with superiors, you can only be so pushy and so forward while trying to get a response. You can only send so many “just checking in” emails or
corner your boss next to the urinals ask your boss at meetings “did you get my email” so many times before your boss is going to snap and deny whatever minuscule request you made. The worst part, though, is that you know he/she has seen the email. You’ve gotten multiple emails from them in the meantime, and only serial killers leave unread messages in their Gmail. Hell, you’ve even seen them post multiple columns while waiting for their response. They’ve definitely read the email, probably thought about it, and then refused to get back to you. You’re stuck in limbo, unsure of whether or not you’re allowed to go visit your dying grandma or whether or not you’ll actually have a job this summer while there is an awesome article about Rob Fox in PGP submission purgatory.
As much as I’m standing on a soap box right now talking about how much it sucks, let’s be real: we all do it. We all see emails and think, “Man, it’s
10:45 in the morning 4:45 in the afternoon and I’m already checked out. I’ll just reply tomorrow.” And then tomorrow comes and it doesn’t happen. I’ve done this, you’ve done this, we’ve all done this. In the words of Obama, or Bernie, or Trump, or somebody (probably not Jeb!), “be the change you want to see.” The only way to get out of the seventh circle of hell that is saved for “email anti-responders” (already submitted that term for trademark licensing) is to stop doing it yourself. So as of now, I am taking a pledge to respond to emails as promptly as I can. This does not pertain to emails sent outside of work hours or on weekends, or emails from my mom with the subject line: “FWD: Fwd: Forward: Re: RE: Fwd: PLZ WATCH THIS!!!” But it does apply to any and all work emails, and if I don’t have answer available, I will reply back saying that I am working on an answer. I will work to promptly deliver appropriate information in a timely manner with as little passive aggressiveness as possible. Let’s all take this pledge and improve this world, one promptly responded email at a time..
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