General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

S/O Calling and Emailing on the same subject

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So, in another thread, someone mentioned a pet peeve about people who email something, then call or stop by in person to tell them about it. It seemed to be quite accepted that this was rude, annoying, or both. I do sometimes (but not always) do this under certain circumstances. Do I need to consider modification?

- The question is urgent, usually requiring an answer within hours - longer than the typical email response time. (And high in priority for both the sender and receiver, this is not ever a case of "a lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine" I usually speak with them asap after identifying the right person, and/or gathering the data)

- They are not expecting/watching for the question

- I need to provide data/information which cannot be communicated verbally, such as a sketch, photo or spreadsheet of data.

So, I need to email for the data communication, but I like to follow up with a call to make sure that a) they are in the office b) they know about the task & urgency, c) the question has been clearly communicated and deliverables expected in response are understood/agreed (we don't have time for misunderstandings and re-dos).

I do usually call and then email the required data rather than the other way around. Does that soften the blow at all?

I think your plan makes sense.

I often "double-team" people when I can't wait for the info, even if it doesn't have the data-dense condition you gave.

But I usually say, "I sent you an email as well, so you can just delete it."

So they don't think I'm just blathering at them.

Or "I sent you an email with this detailed info, and I'm calling just to be sure it doesn't get lost in your box."

I even sometimes say, "I'll send you an email recap of this, so you'll have it for reference." Or I'll ask if they want it. Or I'll include someone in a CC:, and then usually say: "sending this by email so I can loop Sharon in."

But in all those cases, there's an acknowledgement of the duplication, and the duplication has a specific purpose.

I don't see any problem if there is an urgency involved. Call to say, "urgent situation here" with a brief summary, and then say, "I'm sending an email with all the details, and I need an answer by x time" or some such.

I also often put "urgent" or "please respond asap" or something similar after the normal title in the subject line. That helps give a heads up to the receiver that they ought to give it their immediate attention.

Yes, it was my pet peeve - but I do agree there are exceptions.   

Sometimes I'll forward an email to my boss, but the explanation of why I forwarded this is just too long to mail, so I'll call him.   He needs the info in the mail, but he also needs my explanation.

My issue is more with the chronic people.  I work with 2 people that appear in my office door at least 2X per day to say "I just sent you an email on subject X"   Not that it is urgent or they need to add something, they just feel the need to tell me that they sent me an email.   Every time.   And I'm not behind on my emails, so it's not like if they don't tell me I'll never see it.   

I email things to people that are sitting right next to me in conversation.

So like Toots said. When both the email and the verbal communication serve a purpose it is a useful tool.


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