Thursday, August 25, 2016

In praise of email

In today’s world, the most efficient means of one-on-one communication is email.  Texting follows if both parties have smart phones.

Email and texting allow senders to create the message at their convenience and the recipient to respond at their convenience.

Given Congresses disabling the Post Office, a letter can take two days in some locales to arrive its destination.  Congress’s putting such onerous pension requirements on the Post Office, requirements that many corporations don’t even come close to, has caused sorting facilities to be closed, such as in Duluth MN.  Now mail from Duluth to Duluth has to be trucked 300 miles round trip.

A phone call either is not returned or the caller is on hold for a long time, sometimes an expected wait time is periodically given, sometimes not.  Sometimes pleasant music is played, and sometime it is interested frequently by “Your call is important to us.”

Lots of companies only accept calls or offer chat rooms.  Both can involve indeterminate wait times.  The advantage of a chat room is that you often have a transcript of the chat.  With a call, most of us are scribbling just bits and pieces.

Email gets around these because you don’t have to wait by the phone for a response. The only problem is that some people are as bad about answering email as they are about returning calls.

This was triggered by our leasing a new car.  I tried to call the insurance agency, Otis-Magie, about the change.  Once upon a time the receptionist took the information and we were done with it.  This time my call was forwarded to an agent.  I got his voice mail.

That was over an hour ago.  I emailed the VINs of both cars to him.  Then I emailed my phone number just in case I had garbled it up with my voice message.

I have to go mow the lawn.  How can I hear my cell phone over the lawnmower?

Wouldn’t this all be easier and more convenient for all concerned if I could have done it all with email?

P.S. He did call back after an hour and a half.  He had to handle one call after another.  As I tell many people, you can only handle one customer at a time.  He did appreciate my mailing the VINs to him.