Monday, October 18, 2010

MUTTERINGS #36: WHY DO I BOTHER?

I am feeling a bit thin skinned today and not accepting rejection too well. Before I go on any further, in my opinion, I think I am friendly, polite, accommodating, usually have something good or witty to say…but obviously, not everyone share my views (Did I mention I am big headed too and full of BS? LOL).

And before you go jumping to conclusions, I am talking about posting comments on blogs and not getting a response back from the owner or having your comments deleted altogether. Not sure about you, but I was brought up or under the impression (or delusion) that it was rude not to acknowledge correspondence. I always respond to letters and any cards that I receive and I take it to apply to e-mails and comments on blogs too, seeing that the art of letter writing and postcard sending is a dying form of correspondence (BTW, thank you again HK for the postcard from Turkey). Maybe I read too many Enid Blyton books in my childhood and did not watch enough violent movies (do High Chaparral and Bonanza fall under this category? I thought not!) and live in a cocoon that the world actually is a lovely, lovely place.....

I find this ‘rudeness’ does not only apply in the social arena, it is also prevalent in the business world. I would send e-mails to peers in other areas, asking them for information or input into a joint government response, and I get no response that they have received the e-mail or will be providing me with the info etc etc. How rude. Some of you may say that it is a “given” that a response will be provided; or being busy; that a reply is a waste of time; or that it clogs up the e-mail folder….I say BS and it is just a “bahana”…excuse for being inapt and lacking of social etiquette.

Ok, maybe I am being a bit harsh in the context of business e-mails, or non solicited e-mails. I can understand that with work pressures, an e-mail or two may slip. But what about those sent and received in the blog sphere? I am talking about legit comments or e-mails here, not nasty or inappropriate messages, or spam mails. The last time I looked, the definition of a blog or web log is “a place to read, write, edit, share, reflect and /or discuss opinions or matters of interest”. If one did not want others to join or share these discussions, why then have a public blog? Get a diary instead, I say, keep it under lock and key or make your web log private. If someone took the effort to post a comment on your blog or took the effort to write to you, don’t you think they deserve a response, at least? What do you think? I would be happy to receive your comments. Or am I being totally thin skinned here, as I said I was? Either way, your comments are appreciated.


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16 comments:

dustedoff said...

Veen, I am absolutely, absolutely with you on this one. Over the past year or so (ever since my book got published), I've had to give a lot of interviews, most of them through e-mail. Invariably, a journalist will write to me begging me to answer their questions in (say) three hours' time or whatever. Please, please, please... and when I do, I never get even a mail to acknowledge that they got my answers, let alone a thank you for having hurried up!

Sheer bad manners.

Veen said...

I hear you Madhu, bad manners indeed. As if your/our time is less previous than theirs. Maybe you should do the diva thing and make those journos toe the line!! And thanks for replying to my rant...you made my day :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, Veen, I agree with you. Basic courtesy demands that we acknowledge when someone calls or writes. Sadly enough people follow this principle more in breach these days. I think its not pardonable especially in these days of easy communication available at your finger tips.

Warm Regds / Babu

Asli Jat said...

Hi Veen,

sorry to see you're down over this lack of etiquette in the modern world. Call me old-fashioned but I totally agree with you both in regards to the business world & comments on blogs etc.

I frequent a lot of blogs (your's included) & whenever I feel my views would contribute to the subject I do give my two-cents worth. I feel particularly bad when the blog owner has obviously put a lot of effort into the blog via sharing videos/music etc. and they hardly get any response, not even a thanks.

Regarding the business world, I am so surprised to see how the level of basic English has fallen in workplace communication. I know emails are not meant to be the equivalent of letters, but I am appalled at the lack of
basic grammar & obvious spelling mistakes.

As for expecting acknowledgments to your emails, forget it folks are much too busy 'multi-tasking' for that ...

The frustrating thing is that all this has become more or less acceptable and also the hypocrisy of job adverts which stress 'excellent communication skills' yet the folks working there can't even string two sentences together.

Anyway, must go now to work now ... & I'll be careful not to trip as I step down from my high-horse !
:-)

Asli Jat

P.S. I made sure I did a spell check of the above !

Nasir said...

Interesting thoughts Veen! I agree with you totally in the same vein as others have done.

However, rightly or wrongly, rather than having a long list to which I cannot do justice, I believe in keeping my blogrolls to a minimum. This way I find time to read the other blog-contents and also respond appropriately when there's something to say. Yes, there's a disadvntage here, but again, I believe that though the Blog is for the public display yet it is the labour of love of the owner who is interested in sharing and contributing what one knows about the subject that might be interesting or even helpful to some one.

Go on doing what you do best without bothering for the result: NISH KAMA KARMA.

dustedoff said...

And of course, there is the cross that all of us bloggers have to bear: of the occasional (for some people, more frequent) visitor who disagrees with you, and really rudely too. That is another thing that really riles me - the fact that so many people just don't know how to (or don't bother to) disagree in a civilised way.

Nasir said...

The second comment of dustedoff reminds me that there was this Anonymous guy or a girl (I wouldn't know) who came out with a scathing comment on a post. Well, thinking that brickbats are bound to come along with the bouquets, I did publish his comment. The person went on shooting one bitter comment after another and even held out threats. Finally, he got very personal, and even faulted my religion. That was just too much. I had then to delete all his comments.

It was only after the above incident that I resorted to screening the comments with the help of CAPCHA and anti-spamming techniques.

Veen said...

Hi Babu

Well put. Not as if one has to find the paper, pen, envelope, stamp or PO/Post Box!!!It's a click of a button. Arghhhh....

Veen said...

Hi AJ

How true...not only does one has to put up with rudeness through the lack of communication, then one gets all the typos to boot. In my opinion though, it is somewhat acceptable to an nth degree in this context or when one is communicating socially....but whilst doing business or in the course of employment? Unacceptable, in my opinion.

LOL...I'd better check my spelling too.

Veen said...

Hello Nasir saab and thank you for your insight.

I see your point on keeping the blogroll to a minimum to ensure that one has the capacity to maintain the sites that they frequent or vice versa.

However, for those who want to really go for the full surf on the WWW as I call it, there are provisions for one to track one's visit...'the follow up comments' provisions, for one instance.

So this issue should, technically, not occur. Although to be fair, I have sometimes forgotten to click the follow up provisions my self!:(

Veen said...

Oh yes Madhu and Nasir saab, I had a socially inapt person like that once too and to my rescue, came PC (of Third Floor Music) (thank you my knight in shinning armour, LOL) who gave this person a good tongue lashing. Either this person got the msg and does not post anymore comments or has returned with a different username (the comment was posted anonymously). Either way, the rudeness has ceased. Thank God!

Anonymous said...

I try to answer every comment, especially on new posts...but people often leave comments to which I really have nothing to add, on posts which I wrote ages ago; or their comments are just dumb (sorry, but it happens!)...in those cases I just ignore them, but when people have something of substance to say I think it's nice to respond even if it's just to say thanks...

Agree that the workplace is bad too---I just did a bunch of user testing and sent my writeup of the results to the project team and have received NO acknowledgement at all that anyone got it. So RUDE---it was literally 40 hours worth of work on my part.

Veen said...

Hi Anon, thanks for stopping by and for your input. I totally hear you. That is the height of sheer ignorance.

On the subject of acknowledgements, my team recently finalised a significant milestone on a project. Let alone acknowledge me or my team, he could not even send an e-mail. And he wonders why he is losing his staff. Excuse my French, what a @#&* head!

nlgbbbblth said...

Yep, I feel your pain Veen.

When sharing music it can be quite galling to have one comment for every 50 takers. Or worse again - people who only comment when a link isn't working...

PC said...

To be honest, I don't reply to a lot of the comments I receive. At least not the "great album, thanks for posting" variety; answering "glad you like it" quickly becomes redundant. Especially as it's usually the same handful of people. My take is, I've given them free music, they say thank you, end of story, everyone's happy. I think most readers accept that. Other commentary, questions, pointers to interesting stuff (and by that i don't mean plugging one's one blog) I generally respond to.

Another point is, I like to perceive the comments section as a public forum, meaning what is posted there is for the floor, not necessarily only for me. On a few occasions there have been discourses that I've not even taken part in, which I think is cool.

I also seldom reply to posters who seem to think that I as a blogger is at the disposal of them as readers. "Link dead, please reuplaod", "Scan the back covers as well", "Check your spelling before posting"… they can learn to be a bit more humble, or bugger off. Especially the anonymous ones.

Veen said...

Hear Hear Paul. Well put mate. It makes me ever so cross...:)

Hi PC, yes I understand and I agree on the points you have made. Some comments just don't merit responses and are a given.

But when it comes to new visitors or genuine discussions, I think it is only courtesy that one acknowledges the correspondence. Call me old school in this respect.