Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Devil's in the Details

How hard is it to read? I mean, really. An email that consists of 3 lines should be pretty easy to read and comprehend. And if you don’t comprehend it, don’t get pissy with the author. She can’t read it aloud to you because she emailed it to you, assuming that you could read.

I’m in the process of scheduling interview visits to various institutions. Inevitably I get “put in touch” with assistants to the professors I’ll be interviewing with. These assistants are in charge of working with me and the professor to coordinate our schedules as well as my flights.

So, I emailed this woman the following:

“The dates that I am available in the next 6 weeks are:
June 19-23, 27-30
July 3-7, 11-25”

I dare you to tell me that I was unclear.

She emails me back to ask if I approve of a tentative flight schedule she’s researched for me. She has me flying out of Cleveland on July 10. Is July 10 one of the days that I am available? No. No, it is not. I have a very important meeting scheduled for that day, which is why it didn’t make the list of “dates I am available.” It’s not like I somehow mistyped 11 when I meant 10. The 1 and the 0 on the keyboard are not anywhere near each other. Also, out of that 3 week period in July where I indicate the dates I’m available, doesn’t it kind of stand out that I omitted July 10?

So, I emailed her back, nicely explaining that I cannot travel on July 10 due to a meeting that cannot be rescheduled. I asked if there were any way that we could work around this, because I understand that she’s trying to coordinate my schedule with 3 busy professors – no easy task and I’m really trying to be sympathetic.

Her emails with me since then have been short and all sense of niceness has evaporated.
Look, Honey, it’s not my fault that you can’t read. Don’t take it out on me.

I get the same kind of guff from my boss who also can’t read, nor can he comprehend what he “reads.” This kind of behavior really grates on me and this was just the last straw – hence the rant. I expect more from so called “professionals.”


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