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Old 01-14-2015, 05:03 PM   #21
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I give up. Using the phone is never necessary, email is always best...


Seriously, retired, we have the opportunity and time to answer the phone.

When working , including long commutes, the calls often go to voice-mail, another good/bad thing of modern lives.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:31 PM   #22
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Working in a software research and development environment, we had a stated policy of 'email first, then phone, then face-to-face'. (Unfortunately, long meetings and teleconferences weren't eliminated by this.) Not sure where text messaging would fit in, I got out before texting became common. It was felt that phone and dropping by to talk was disruptive to long-term concentration. Not everybody followed the policy, but in general that's how it worked. A lot of techs and engineers dedicated certain time of the day to email, so they could dedicate the rest to development.

I found that sales and marketing types tended to prefer phone, but in a lot of cases that was so they could answer of the top of their heads and deny it down the road. Learned that lesson the hard way a couple of times. The downside of email with them was that they'd answer one or two (easier) questions in a list of questions, and ignore the rest. I got good at replying by cutting out the ones they answered, and re-asking the remainder - over and over again until everything was answered.

In my retired life, I hate the phone. Text messaging is more than adequate for most things.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:40 PM   #23
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We're allowed to disagree. No need to change a strongly held opinion... But I get to keep my opinion, also.

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Agreement wasn't sought. I guess I'd hoped there might be some acknowledgement that when face to face isn't possible, there are times when a phone call is more appropriate than email, if not more efficient. Instead there was only a lengthy defense of email, when no one said email doesn't have it's (considerable) place.

Oh well...
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:10 PM   #24
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On important matters, either professional or personal, I always try to communicate via phone if I can't face to face.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:28 PM   #25
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I've had the privilege of 15 hour conference calls, how else can that many folks disagree at the same time?
I'm not a good writer(something about my 5th-6th grade English teacher). Many of my emails during crit sits went to the CIO level at the client site, I probably relied on my last manager too much for proof reading and suggestions. The guy was British so I had to change most of his "S"s back to proper zeds. It worked well for us.

I actually prefer to expess myself face to face, but not always possible.

Terminating someone via email is just plan wrong.(IMHO)

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Old 01-14-2015, 06:30 PM   #26
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I find in matters of fact, an email (or post in a forum) is most efficient. When asking a question an email has the documentation of both question and answer. But in many situations, if you need to personally know if the other party has seen or read your message, such as a plan to meet tomorrow for dinner...... a phone call is best. Further, in matters of 2 way negotiations, gives and takes, finding the best option of 2 offerings, emails are terribly inefficient at the beginning. The telephone is great for this. An E-mail works wonders to document the agreed upon points of the phone conversation. There are times when one is better than an other.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:44 PM   #27
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Text messaging is also a useful tool as well.

Email: non-disruptive, great for groups. Great for documentation. Lousy for conveying any subtlety of emotion.

Snail mail: more formal. Considered a heavier level of documentation by corporations and governments. I used email and snail mail and handing in my resignation letter (retirement for me) in person.

Phone--very important for friendships, and sounding each other re: reactions and ideas.

Text: informal, yet documented. Great for a question or two. My favorite text: Are you available to talk? We use amongst family, friends, coworkers.

They are all useful and all have drawbacks.


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Old 01-14-2015, 07:11 PM   #28
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Text messaging is also a useful tool as well.

Email: non-disruptive, great for groups. Great for documentation. Lousy for conveying any subtlety of emotion.

Snail mail: more formal. Considered a heavier level of documentation by corporations and governments. I used email and snail mail and handing in my resignation letter (retirement for me) in person.

Phone--very important for friendships, and sounding each other re: reactions and ideas.

Text: informal, yet documented. Great for a question or two. My favorite text: Are you available to talk? We use amongst family, friends, coworkers.

They are all useful and all have drawbacks.
Am I the only one still using FAX?
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:26 PM   #29
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Am I the only one still using FAX?
Yes! You must be faxing yourself.
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:42 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Midpack ---
Again, would you fire someone via email? Break off a serious relationship via email? ....
No, just send a text or tweet. Shorter and faster.
And here I thought just 'unfriending' someone was enough. You actually take the time and effort to personally text/tweet them? Very 'Ms Manners' of you!

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Old 01-14-2015, 07:58 PM   #31
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Am I the only one still using FAX?

Nope. I had to fax information to a very modern online bank, just last week.

Then they ignored the information until I called and asked what, if anything, was going on. 🙈👢😴
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:00 PM   #32
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Agreement wasn't sought. I guess I'd hoped there might be some acknowledgement that when face to face isn't possible, there are times when a phone call is more appropriate than email, if not more efficient. Instead there was only a lengthy defense of email, when no one said email doesn't have it's (considerable) place.

Oh well...
Are we reading the same thread? These look like acknowledgements that there are times when a phone call is more appropriate than email:

Quote:
For something without long term consequences a simple phone call is preferred.
Quote:
1. Never put something in a letter or e-mail if it can be done on the phone.
... Back to the OP subject. Prefer Phone call.
Quote:
In most other business relationships the phone is my primary ...
Quote:
The phone works great for sales people, or people who like to chat/engage.
Quote:
We made a policy that "after 3 back and forth emails, it's time to call the person".
Quote:
we had a stated policy of 'email first, then phone, ....

I found that sales and marketing types tended to prefer phone...,
Quote:
It is very case dependent, there are times for each.

Quote:
With family and friends I prefer the phone first ...

See how nice it is to be able to have a record of what was said?


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I give up. Using the phone is never necessary, email is always best...
So is this another thread that you start with a certain personal viewpoint, and then when everyone isn't right in-line with your thoughts, rather than consider different views you get mad and delete your posts?

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Old 01-14-2015, 08:08 PM   #33
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Forget fax. At times I want to go back to smoke signals... but that would increase my carbon footprint.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:12 PM   #34
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Forget fax. At times I want to go back to smoke signals... but that would increase my carbon footprint.
No problem, the wood is a renewable resource - it's 'carbon neutral', the smoke is just releasing the carbon the tress absorbed while growing.

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Old 01-14-2015, 08:51 PM   #35
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It is really hard for me to talk on the phone. First, there is always a dead pause on cell phones after one party speaks vs the old-fashioned land lines, so the conversation is a little choppy (never mind the dead zones within our house), and some people are so hard to understand on the phone that I just keep saying what? Second, people don't really know how to talk on the phone to have a conversation--either one party just start talking and just don't stop, blathering on and on, or we hesitate and then both of us start to talk and then we both stop to be polite, rinse and repeat til you both have a headache. Third, unless I have a pen and paper and am taking notes, I won't remember the details of a plan, a report, whatever (so duh, why not just email me).

It is not a matter of being courteous imho, but I am sure Alexander G. Bell's cronies were always complaining how rude these telephoners were compared to letter writers.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:04 PM   #36
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For me, email vs phone depends on the context of the message. When I was working, and I was dealing with an engineering issue, I always emailed the message. In those cases, it was important that the recipient get the exact data that I was conveying - sometimes with a file attachment. If the issue was business related, I always phoned. In those cases, the interaction between people and the tone of the message were just as important as the message itself.


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Old 01-15-2015, 07:36 AM   #37
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I always ask what someone prefers.......phone call, text or e mail. Most people prefer a text or e mail because they take less time and you avoid most communication mistakes. A few years, ago, if I was out of the office all day I had 10 voice mails.....today, maybe one a week. Today, I get 40 to 60 e mails each day; many are informational or sales orientated. But, wife texts, MIL e mails, FIL (80 yrs old) leaves voice mail.......if you're originating the communication, you choose.....if you're receiving, let the other person make the decision.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:36 AM   #38
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I found that sales and marketing types tended to prefer phone, but in a lot of cases that was so they could answer of the top of their heads and deny it down the road.
Interesting. I never thought of the telephone being the "choice of lesser integrity".

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Learned that lesson the hard way a couple of times. The downside of email with them was that they'd answer one or two (easier) questions in a list of questions, and ignore the rest. I got good at replying by cutting out the ones they answered, and re-asking the remainder - over and over again until everything was answered.
Also interesting. I'm seeing a comparable (albeit not really "similar") pattern developing at work. Support staff are contacting developers (by telephone, email, Skype chat, etc.) about customer problems. Development provides insights into what the error messages could indicate, but those insights include either requests for more input or indications of possible resolutions that are either too costly or too onerous to undertake (either from the customer's standpoint or support's standpoint). So support raises the issues again - not necessarily in another medium - they are just repetitious inquiries. Increasingly, the responses to repetitious inquiries are repetitious replies, or courteous responses such as "Please let us know if we can be of further assistance."

In a way, the email and chat based interchanges seem to support more polite and courteous interchanges. The interchanges of this sort over the telephone seem to have a tenor of contentiousness (presumably stemming from the frustration that the work is so difficult), with the situation more quickly developing into an adversarial interchange. I suppose that could be happening behind the scenes in the email and chat based interchanges, but the medium seems to be flattening out the negativity.
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Old 01-15-2015, 11:06 AM   #39
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I love email and will almost always choose that option if available. It doesn't typically take a lot more time than a phone call. Everything is recorded, so no need to take notes or find a place to store a note. There's a time and date stamp. If multiple parties are on the email chain, you know who saw what. My emails are automatically searchable, so I can quickly put my fingers on an inquiry I made 7 years ago about my broken faucet, for example.

In contrast, phone calls mean the receiving person must be present and available to talk. Sometimes you have to wait on hold for a while. They may not have the answers handy immediately and have to check with someone. Emails let them take the time to research your issue and prepare a response.

I'm 34, and never known a time in my adult life without email. I'll often go all month and never use my cell phone for voice connections. I still have a VOIP "landline" (a few bucks a month) and about the only people that call us are the kids' school's robot, my mom, and my wife's mom. Sometimes my grandma. I'll use it for outgoing calls like to Vanguard or Fidelity when I know I'll have to call them instead of chat online or send a secured msg.
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Old 01-15-2015, 11:11 AM   #40
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Interesting. I never thought of the telephone being the "choice of lesser integrity".
Oh yes. In my former job as a state employee dealing with sensitive stuff (our group was in the newspaper or the evening news near daily), I would often get the cold shoulder on emails ("let's talk offline", "umm this issue is too complicated to discuss over email"). Or flat out told "do not email me about this, I do not want it in the public record". This from the C-level officers at the org. They are smart. Every email is a public record subject to FOIA requests.

I would occasionally email these folks anyway when I needed some CYA. F them and their sneakiness and inability to be accountable for their actions and decisions. Maybe that's why I got lowercase fired.
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