E-mail–Yes Please

Spilka, Chapters 7—The way Spilka talked about how e-mail worked great in some situations but not so great with “delicate interpersonal communications” is totally true.

At my old job, e-mail was the communication of choice. Everyone used e-mail because it would track your conversation and people could view the content of the e-mail anytime of the day or night. The problem with e-mail was when you would get into an argument with a coworker.

I had a coworker that lived in Indianapolis, Indiana and I lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My coworker showed a customer a confidential drawing that I was going to use in an instruction. The problem was the drawing wasn’t approved and it was going to change. I e-mailed the drawing to my coworker because he wanted to see it so he could get an idea of what was going on. My coworker then e-mailed the drawing to a customer in California to show the customer what was going on. When I found out that the customer had the unapproved drawing, I e-mailed my coworker and told him to call me. He e-mailed me back and told me that he didn’t have time to talk on a phone. The problem was this situation was a delicate interpersonal issue where e-mail would not meet my communication objective because my coworker needed to understand that what he did was completely wrong. After I finally talked to him on the phone, things got figured out and everything was okay in the end.

Spilka, Chapter 8—Writing for cyberspace is always challenging and I think Spilka covered that point. The main thing that kept jumping out to me is when you write anything (paper or digital), you always, always always always have to ask yourself two questions—who is my audience and what is the purpose. When you know the answers to both those questions, you are more likely going to write something that actually communicates with your audience.

A final question: Can someone tell me where the “Ishii, K. (2006).  “Implications of Mobility: The Uses of Personal Communication Media in Everyday Life.” Journal of Communication. 56.2, 346-365” reading is located? I checked all the books and D2L but I couldn’t find it.

Photo found at: http://www.google.com/imgres?q=e-mail&um=1&hl=en&safe=off&client=safari&sa=N&rls=en&biw=1280&bih=702&tbm=isch&tbnid=nhJ6lnxYlZ4MQM:&imgrefurl=http://ohinternet.com/E-mail&docid=kWhEyKUxI3JS4M&imgurl=http://cache.ohinternet.com/images/f/f5/E_mail.jpg&w=300&h=336&ei=mQ7ATrScGouEtgeviN21Bg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=877&vpy=135&dur=1194&hovh=238&hovw=212&tx=157&ty=145&sig=110374838443503213469&page=1&tbnh=154&tbnw=138&start=0&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0

About natefellows

I don't know karate but I can scream really loud.

Posted on November 13, 2011, in Society. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I found the Ishii reading. My eyeballs could not see it on Sunday. I commented about it in my reply to Robin’s post.

  2. What’s interesting to me about the email example you give here is that it was resolved by talking on the phone, as difficult as that communication was to come by.

  3. Nate,

    I like how your coworker said he didn’t have time to talk on the phone. That doesn’t make sense to me. Talking on the phone takes less time than sending emails back and forth. This guy sounds like a tool. I, for one, do like emailing people more than calling them. 1) I feel I am a better writer than a speaker. 2) It keeps an archive. However, if something is critical, I am going to pick up the phone and call someone.

    P.S. I think the image you posted is neat.

  4. Chris – Interesting point on e-mailing. I, too, like to e-mail more than calling because I feel I write better than I speak. I’ve worked enough customer service that I’m no slouch on the phone. However, at one point I sat next to a know-it-all co-worker who would listen in on my calls and, when I was done, would criticize me asking somebody besides her. She would ask me what my calls were about and why I was calling.

    She would also butt in on conversations I would have when I had customers show up at my desk – and were clearly speaking to me. One time I finally said, “Excuse me, but I’m handling this. Or do you want to take over?” and she backed down.

    Having her all over me all the time made me revert even more to my default of e-mail. When people called me I had to talk in code so she wouldn’t come over and correct me when I was done.

    She finally got moved, but it was just horrible.

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