Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Letting Off Steam -- Anonymously, unfortunately

It makes work so frustrating when people exhibit such heel-dragging rudeness. I have to interview this man for his own company's newsletter. I have now called him four times, starting last Thursday, left four voice mails, left my number, spoken slowly, with increasing pleading in my voice. My deadline is Friday.

I had to send 220 words to a company for them to approve on behalf of another client. Do you understand how few words this is? It's like three short paragraphs about the most innocuous topic. Emailed him on 10/7, heard from him on 10/10 asking when I needed it. I said ASAP. Realized today they never got back to me, and so now have emailed it again.

It is rare for me to not return a call. It is even rarer for me to drop the ball, especially with an approval. I always want that ball to be in the other person's court.

Then I HATE when the person finally calls and offers up the lame apology of "I've been busy" -- oh really, funny that, I've been sitting here doing nothing, sucking my damn thumb for the past two weeks. Sorry, but nobody is that busy. I've even resorted at times to saying I work out of my home so they can call during non-office hours if that's more convenient.

I think I'll contemplate a special punishment for these types.

UPDATE: Later that same day/an hour later: Just got an email from the approver guy saying he'll be back in his office tomorrow and will look into it. Really? Your physical body has to be in your physical office to do this? Let me check my calendar... is it 1987? No, we had voice mail back then... maybe it's 1972 when there were no cellphones, no voice mail, no email.


Fran said...

Ugh. I'm steaming along with you. The foot-dragging and rudeness drives me wild.
Ok, here's a punishment proposal. The interviewee is acting like you are threatening to break a scandalous story instead of a kindly bio that offers the only 15 minutes of fame he/she will ever encounter. So I say when you are up against an obstructionist, go ahead and write a juicy expose. No longer will you have to make a gazillion follow-uo calls or wait for return calls, plus you will gain experience writing fiction. The Rupert Murdock school of journalism.

More realistic solutions could include upping a deadline by a couple of weeks and/or finding other sources (both of which you've already tried).
-- Fran

Melissa said...

You really hit a nerve here... And how about the ones that finally call back and say nothing (not even a lame excuse) about not responding! You remember when you worked in sales... It's gotten even worse because someone can avoid you forever! Sometimes I want to leave a message saying that I am a professional adult and can take a "no" answer so why dont they act like an adult and respond to my email or voice mail and tell me no instead of ignoring me!,,

Pat said...

Working on media buying with a client, I stress that we have to treat all the reps with respect. If it's a no, we tell them it's a no. I also say I don't want to lead them on and give them false hope if there's no chance they are going to make a sale. Without exception, they are all appreciative -- and as Melissa says, they frequently say they appreciate the honesty and the answer. Same with people looking for jobs, have gone on interviews and then never heard an answer. Send these folks a damn email and tell them no. They can all take the rejection.