Author Topic: When may I end an electronic 'conversation'?  (Read 975 times)

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Re: When may I end an electronic 'conversation'?
« Reply #30 on: Today at 10:23:10 AM »
For me personally, getting little "thanks" messages doesn't bother me at all; I rather like them. But, I'm not inundated with emails/texts/etc. all day either, so it's no hardship for me to check that message. I wouldn't see anything wrong with the conversation with George, for example. In fact it's worse if I put my stuff away (mentally and physically), thinking the issue is closed, only to have to drag it back out later because someone finally realized they had a question or didn't get my earlier message.

I'll tell you one time the social niceties do irritate me, though. If I need customer service-type help, I like to use the chat function if the company has it available (as opposed to phone). I know the employees are working off scripts and are told to be scrupulously polite, but it kind of drives me crazy when every single little thing I do generates a thanks or other generically polite comment. Thank you for giving me that information, thank you for waiting patiently, thank you for breathing... I like to think that they can cut and paste these responses, at least, and aren't wasting time actually typing, "I'm so sorry you're having this issue. I'm going to try my best to help you with that!" It just seems so hollow, you know? I don't want them to be rude, of course, but after a while it's kind of like talking to an excruciatingly polite robot, who may or may not be able to help me. I'd rather have a neutral tone, and get my issue resolved, than get a polite runaround.


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Re: When may I end an electronic 'conversation'?
« Reply #31 on: Today at 10:30:05 AM »
Hmmmm, your last post reminded me of another specific situation I have encountered at work. But let me preface that story by asking, now that people submit directly to the website with no acknowledgement of receipt, I assume that there is a process in place to reprimand people if they don't get the work uploaded on time?

I used to have responsibility for entering specific data in a specific format on a daily basis. There was a monthly report that went out to management which listed people who had over a certain number of errors for entering this data. When your name appeared on that report, manager would talk to you to see what was going on.*

But never once in the few years I had that responsibility did manager, or anyone else, ever talk to me to commend me for not appearing on that report. Not that I expected (or even wanted) that to happen every time. But you know, a little bit of positive feedback would have sure gone a long way toward mitigating the negative feedback. Especially because my name only appeared rarely.

In other words, I don't only want to hear from my manager when I'm doing something wrong. I want to hear when I'm doing something right.

So that's where the acknowledgement comes in for me. I want to know that I'm adding value and that the value is appreciated.

*Not that this is relevant here necessarily, but the worst thing about that report was that it listed each occurrence of an error as a separate error, even though it was often a case of repeating the error only because it hadn't yet been pointed out to the enterer that it was, in fact, wrong. So it wasn't a matter of carelessness or sloppiness. It was a matter of thinking you'd picked the right option and finding out after you'd entered that option 15 times that it was wrong. OK, to me, that's one mistake, and I've learned (now) not to do it again. To them it was 15 mistakes and there goes your name on the list. Thank goodness I no longer have that responsibility!!

Well, in the case of this report, since it is department quarterly accomplishments, if you don't get it in the "C" Level execs of our  company would assume our department hadn't accomplished anything which is not something any of us would ever want. It would be a huge embarrassment for that report to go out with your department's section empty.

I do understand the need to positively reinforce for employees consistently meeting quality of work and deadlines. But that is something that would be done during reviews or one on one conversations. So in your example during the twice yearly review I would probably give you a high mark on meeting deadlines and use this daily input as an example on why you were receiving a high grade there. Or if I'd had a large number of staff show up on the monthly report I might send you a note saying "thanks for always meeting this deadline. I really appreciate it." But I wouldn't acknowledge on a daily basis by sending you a "thank you" for uploading the daily report.

I want to first acknowledge that we have veered off the original topic but I do want to address this post.

Absolutely I would not want acknowledgement on a daily basis in the form of a "thank you" for uploading the daily report.

However, the idea that feedback should only come in a semi-annual review is abhorrent to me. If I have to wait six months to find out whether I'm doing a good job, it's not going to make me feel all that gung ho about doing my job. Informal feedback should be forthcoming on an ongoing basis.

So that is to say, not necessarily daily, weekly or even monthly as some kind of scheduled event. But rather as things come up. As my former manager used to say, by the time we sit down for our formal review, nothing we discuss should be a surprise. It should be a formal version of the things I've already heard since the last review.

I might have misunderstood you in your previous post so please forgive me if I did. But if you're saying that the only time you go out of your way to acknowledge good work, or even a pattern of good work, is in the formal review, I don't agree with that style of management.


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Re: When may I end an electronic 'conversation'?
« Reply #32 on: Today at 10:37:13 AM »
This is sort of getting off the original question but I'm suddenly reminded of the thread where we were discussing whether people thank their spouse (or want to be thanked by their spouse) for doing household chores. I was on the side that yes, I want to be thanked for cooking, as my father always made it a point to thank my mother and yes, I do thank my husband for doing his mundane tasks such as taking out the trash, as my mother made it a point to thank my father.

I guess it's the way I was raised, or as I said above, the culture of the environment, but I just believe that a couple of simple words can go such a long way toward making someone feel appreciated.

Yes, ok, thanking someone in person for their efforts is very kind.

Sending me a "thank you" text after you ask me what time we're getting together? Unnecessary, and now you've required me to check my phone for no reason. I don't mean that to be harsh, I'm certainly not knocking thank yous, but really I thought the conversation was over, now there's an alert I need check and, oh, it's just a thank you.

I really don't see that it's a terrible hardship to pick up a phone and press a button - it takes two seconds. The thank you in that case also lets the other person know that you've received the information about what time you're to meet. I would want to receive one just for that reason alone.

It's not the time to push the buttons but it's the time to enter your passcodes, listen to the message, and just overall loss of concentration.

I was talking about a text message, not a phone message. I don't have to put in a passcode to get a text message. I pick up my phone, press the alert box on the screen and read it. It takes five seconds, tops. The alternative is not knowing whether the person's got your message or not, and when a meeting is being arranged, that's not a good thing.


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Re: When may I end an electronic 'conversation'?
« Reply #33 on: Today at 06:29:37 PM »

OK, yes. That conversation with George was totally over the top. But that's an example of abuse, certainly not the norm that I would be advocating.

As far as Kay's thank you, I don't really get why that bothers you. You worked with her over a significant amount of time to help her get something correct. She submitted it and you acknowledged her success by cc'ing her when you forwarded it on. Now she wants to express her gratitude for all your help. She's probably thinking, "whew! I never would have gotten this done without Hmmmm's help. I want to be sure to let her know I appreciate that!"

I guess I just don't see why that's a bad thing.

I didn't think Kay's thank you was "bad" just unnecessary. She had verbally thanked me the evening before during our last conversation. The only remaining step was her to update the doc one last time and forward it to me. The last thank you didn't seem to be for all the help over the week (because she had thanked me several times already for that) it seemed to be for me forwarding the document to my team which seems silly to thank me for since that's my job. It would be like my boss thanking me for coming to work on time.