I e-mailed someone with an important question a week ago. A professional matter, mind you. Not someone I’m friends with. I followed up with them yesterday as I hadn’t heard back. They then took the time to e-mail me saying they’ll probably have time to answer my question in at least 2 weeks.
2 weeks. To answer a question. Because they’re so busy. Never mind that they probably could have handled it in the time it took to write me the passive aggressive e-mail telling me to wait.
Half the time I hear a professional tell me something will take a while because they’re busy I instead get the strong suspicion that they’re really just bad at managing their time. The older they are, the more this is true I’ve found.
I remember having a co-worker at the film festival, an older guy, who was always busy. Just swamped. But if you watched him you would realize he was just really, really slow at accomplishing anything. Not because of interruptions, or phone calls, or meetings. Just because they naturally plod along. We once watched him fiddle with something in MS Word for over an hour while writing a letter. In what universe is that acceptable?
I’m tempted to write this person back in just as snarky a fashion as they wrote me. Won’t accomplish anything and would probably hurt the outcome considering the question I need answered. But come on, what kind of person can’t find the time to answer a question in a timely fashion? In this day and age if you don’t answer a business/professional e-mail within 48 hours, you’re an asshole. Period. Even if it’s just to say “busy/investigating, will respond soon.” To not respond, and to say it will take another 2 weeks or so before you can even think of doing it, when it’s your job to, makes you an asshole. And probably inept.