Tuesday, September 16, 2008

E-Mail Rules! (Sometimes)

PharmacistMike's comment on the last post regarding e-mail (how he always gets the e-mails on the lunch menu but not the important stuff) really had me nodding my head in agreement. I think e-mail is a great tool. Companies and organizations can communicate the same information to all their people with the touch of a keyboard -- it's so easy, DO IT! Of course you're assuming everyone checks their e-mail frequently, but assuming they do, it's far more efficient than phone calls or written memos. I almost always prefer e-mail as a communication method --- I don't get tied up on the phone, play phone tag, or end up babbling into an answering machine. I can state exactly what I want to say or ask a question simply and concisely and be done with it. It's there in black and white and the person on the other end (hopefully) is clear on the message.

It doesn't always go that way, though. How many times have you sent a somewhat lengthy e-mail with several questions in it and gotten back a one-line answer which in no way addresses your message? Or you are left wondering if the person got your message mixed up with someone else's, it's so totally unrelated to anything you said? Or the person answering you is simply unable to communicate with the written word and you're scratching your head trying to just understand it? That's when it can drive you nuts.

One thing's for sure though, the lunch menus will always come through!


PharmacistMike said...

Great post. I'll take the chicken salad on Rye.

One thing I would do is explain to my employees that I expected them to check their emails when they first got to work. It seemed to work well but of course some people are just useless and couldn't remember to do it frequently. Plus, you are correct as everyone gets the same message not a message passed along like the telephone game.

Phathead said...

A program I used to use when I worked in Nebraska was really good at notifying you of when you receive an email even if you don't have your inbox open. Was really helpful in the pharmacy as it was annoying had to look at it before you could clear it. Was great for memos and stuff. Believe it was called POP Peeper