My earliest memories are of my mother reprimanding me for not responding to a comment or question directed at me. ‘Is it not you, he/she is talking to?’ ‘Open your mouth and answer.’ ‘Can’t you talk?’ As if I would respond no to that last question. I detest small talk just as much as I detest and display of a lack of courtesy.
Unfortunately that seems to be the norm especially with the advent of mobile devices and instant messaging. How many times have you sent a message to someone only for them to respond days later? Or are you the guilty party? I am not talking about when there is a rift between both parties or someone is merely constituting a nuisance, but something as simple as an inquiry or merely checking up on a friend.
I have quite a number of acquaintances. Yes, acquaintances who do this. For that singular reason, they cannot be considered friends because I do not like rude people. It is a rather unattractive trait. A common defence is that they thought they responded or that they intended to do so and it skipped their mind. That is a fair excuse the first 2 times. Anything after that is just plain rude and shows a disdain for the person’s time and emotions. The irony is that these category of people are the ones whose phones are never out of their sight when you hang with them. The type that you have to pry away from their phones when you are out together. Then you begin to wonder why they never respond to you. My conclusion? They don’t care for you. Simple. Nothing to feel bad or upset about either. C’est la vie! However, another irony is that such people are the first to accuse you of not keeping in touch. Errr….kindly miss me with that bullshit.
This attitude is not limited to contemporaries. It cuts across age, class and social strata. You send out emails to organisations and you never get a response even after numerous follow ups (Please, always follow up on emails if you do not receive a response within a decent period). Job seekers are all too familiar with this. When executives complain about how busy they are to respond to messages or return phone calls, I laugh. A while back, I came in contact with a top executive in my field and that experience left an indelible mark on me. Think someone whose name is in the hall of fame for his field globally. He was also a BUSY man. I mean as BUSY as they come. This man, not Nigerian of course, responds to every single mail even in his retirement. I had responded to a call for applications. I never followed up on the application, but I decided to keep in touch with him. After some time, I ran into him at an event and thought to introduce myself since we had never met prior to that encounter. Turns out, he was short of time and needed to take his leave, but he promised to get in touch with me. Lo and behold, some days later, I received an email from him explaining why he was in such a rush. To say I was shocked is an understatement and I told him that I wasn’t expecting sucha reaction from him and he responded that if in his position he could make out time for the big names in our field, then he must make out time for the younger generation who are the future. I learnt a lesson in humility that day. So also graciousness. This man was neither my teacher nor employer, nor a family friend/acquaintance. A total stranger! I also had a similar experience with another top executive in the same field. A lady who was equally gracious.
During that period, I contacted some Nigerian executives in my field and oh the torture of squeezing a response out of them! I gave up eventually and wrote just that in my footnotes. Lack of courtesy is not limited to Nigerians, but I witness it a lot around me. More than I witness a display of courteousness and I wonder if it is too much to ask for.
I am curious as to why people choose to ignore messages sent to them and think it is acceptable to do so. Ever done this? Care to share why? If you have been on the receiving end, how did it make you feel?
Other things …
Is there anything else you would love the Lady to touch on that relates to work, career or personal development?
The Lady some of your posts make me feel like a naughty child being sent to the naughty corner and receiving a reprimand. I'm not guilty of TDLR, but on the matter of not responding to messages, especially texts, immediately is one I'm guilty of. The speediness of my response depends on a number of factors and it's seldom because I'm... Oh what the hell, I agree with you, it's discourteous and I promise to do better *please can I come out of the naughty corner now? *sniff sniff*
Guys, are you also piqued by people who delay to respond to messages? Or, like me, are you the guilty party here.