I don’t know when it happened to me, but I feel the need to blame someone – if only I knew who to blame. My email inbox is out of control and it’s frankly starting to irritate me because so many of the emails I receive should never have been sent. Whatever happened to calling someone on the telephone?
Does this make me sound like an old man? I think we clearly established in yesterday’s post that 47-is-the-new-27 so my age should not be blamed for my current position. I technically have four separate email accounts:
- The fake one that I use when I know I don’t want someone to know my real email address. I won’t tell you which one that is in case you are one of the people I’ve given it to.
- My “Life of an Architect” account – which is a good email address to use but I typically have that email address forwarded to my main social media email account, which is ..
- My Gmail account. When I started Life of an Architect, I realized that it would be inappropriate to mix my personal interest with my work email address and as a result, I set up my Gmail address. 2 things to note here … If you have and use a Gmail account, try to get one that sounds professional. I would recommend that you use your first and last name (followed by some numbers if your name is Bill Smith or the like). The number of emails I receive from people who have an email address like “firstname.lastname@example.org” is staggering. Also, the likelihood that I’ll respond to that email is diminished because I’m going to admit that I’m already not taking you seriously.
- And then there’s my work email address – which is my most solid and I check the most religiously … because it’s my work email. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Okay so here’s the thing. My Gmail account is currently sitting at 9,123 emails. uliarhegiluargei77q8064539yp8yHAW$T89YP87OT*OTGBlikBHWT.
Sorry, my head hit my keyboard … repeatedly and a little on purpose. Why the freak do I have over 9,000 emails? Seriously, I’m not that interesting or informative. I can only think that there is such a shortage of people willing to answer questions about architects and/or architecture that I am the only game in town.
Except, I’m not.
With 9,000+ emails sitting in my Gmail account, there’s no possible way that I can possibly get to them all. I’d say I need an intern but we all know that most interns don’t know anything despite their efforts to convince you otherwise. I would also venture a guess that the percentage of emails – out of the 9,000 – are questions that if the person sending the email had bothered to spend 1 minute searching my site, they would have found the answer they were looking for. I even have a customized Google search engine built-in to my website … go ahead and look for it – it’s on the right-hand side of this website. It reads “Google Search ‘Life of an Architect'” and it will search only this site for whatever keywords you wish to enter.
For example –
I searched the word “brick” in my special “custom-made just for you” search bar and it came back with 184 articles and 3,700 images.
If you were a well-intentioned youth who wanted to know about being an architect, you could type in “I want to be an architect” and you would get 2,780 possible articles to read. (For the record, I am not particularly happy about having 4 pictures of glass block show up out of the first 20 images)
I am also thinking about making it a requirement that if you write me an email that doesn’t have punctuation in it – like you were texting me – I am going to ignore it. Move it to the bottom of the list. Maybe let the Intern answer it.
It’s posts like this that make me feel like I’m a jerk, but seriously … the email sending has got to get under control. We are all a little guilty of sending an email when a little extra effort on our part could get us the information we need. Sending an email is just so easy, why bother looking up the answer for yourself? Also, why would you actually talk to another human being when you could avoid any sort of interaction and simply email someone? I find it a little unsettling that in my own office, I might ask someone to ask the structural engineer a question (just for sport, who really needs to talk to a structural engineer??). But let’s say that I really did have a question. I’d go back to that employee a few hours later and the conversation might go like this:
Bob: What did the structural engineer have to say?
Minon: I emailed him a while back but he hasn’t responded yet.
Bob: Did you call him on the phone?
Minon: No … I sent an email. Why would I call?
Bob: Because I want the answer to the question, the contractor is waiting on a response. This should have been dealt with right when I asked.
Minon: Okay, sorry. I’ll email him again.
[hand slapping forehead]
Don’t lie – if you are over the age of 38 years old, you’ve had this exact same conversation, haven’t you? I’ll bet you’ve been emailed a question from someone sitting within rubber band shooting range. You have?!? Well, I’m not surprised.
Pick up the phone and call someone today. If the guy writing the digital blog post is telling you to talk to another human being … just how bad have things actually become?
Don’t email me and ask because I won’t be answering and emails today. Unless they come to my work email address.