Please read your emails/messages/etc

And when I say read, I mean actually read the words as written. Not skim. Not assume that you’ve read it and then answer a completely totally 100% different question.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m constantly having to re-explain myself. And it’s not to everyone – there is still a fair number of people who seem to be able to absorb what they read. But there are some definite specific people in my life who don’t. And it’s super frustrating, because these seem to be the people who I’m always interacting with, and everything takes twice as long.

I had another experience of that this morning. Where I wrote to person A and said “Hey, it turns out some stuff is broken, specifically in files x and y.” And in return, got back the answer “No, look I just ran file z and it works fine.” Sigh. Or people who you talk to, who nod along, and then say “Wait, what? I didn’t hear anything you were saying.” Nothing like making you feel like worthless than realizing the person who is suppose to be your friend/sibling/whatever couldn’t bother to ignore their phone or computer or thoughts long enough to listen to you.

There are emails/messages it’s okay to skim and/or ignore. You know, the “let me tell you what’s on sale a x” or “here are the events happening this month.” There are emails/messages that you can hold off on, and read them more thoroughly when you have time (like updates from friends and family). And there are emails/messages that need to be read pretty quickly and need to be actually read.

If you find you’re one of those people that have to be reminded what the original problem/question was, please stop and think about how you read stuff. And realize that it wastes a lot of time. And especially a lot of others time. And everything takes long enough to start with.


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