Just Say No: Form Response to Email Snubs

This is now my form email response after a designated period of being ignored.

Feel free to use it, unattributed.

When I was a teenager, I heard about a strange tribe in Hollywood, California, whose language didn’t include the word “No.” Instead, according to the account I read, members would simply smile, nod their heads rapidly, and say, “I’ll get back to you.”

Since that time, with the inception of the Internet, this strange tribal custom has taken over all forms of media and social interaction, but today it is no longer necessary for members to nod their heads, smile, or say anything at all. They simply don’t answer your emails.

The words “rude,” “insensitive,” “arrogant,” “swinish,” “contemptuous,” and “spineless” have gradually been replaced by the word “busy.” This peculiar new way of doing business avoids the momentary unpleasantness of having to give a negative response, but it has been discovered, through careful observation of subjects such as writers, that the inability of agents, publishers, and editors to say “No” has caused a steady proliferation of negativity in subjects. It is just as if the countless unsaid “Nos” build up inside the nervous system of the collective, and eventually are obliged to come out somewhere.

So far, it appears that most subjects take their rage out on inanimate objects such as laptops and printers, as well as on spouses, children, and small animals.

Is it time to address this imbalance and openly challenge the S.O.P that is turning everyone into S.O.B.s?

Just say “NO!!”

4 thoughts on “Just Say No: Form Response to Email Snubs

  1. Jasun. NO! No i am not saying No in response to your email subject NO and it’s unuse by folks you contact and would most apprciate a reply at least, and not just “busy”. You are referring primarily to folks, publishers and to others important to advancing your work. Just say NO, and just get on with it sort of thing, so that you can get on with your work. What I am saying, I think, is that I, like most everybody I would suspect, as a friend, often do not reply, rerely not reply at all, but delay in replying. For this reason in my case, two reasons mostly: One when I get an influx of emails from a source, in this case you, and I know I will feel like replying, spending time saying what I really want to say, I don’t right of the bat because it will take time to do so. Time in which I want to just get thru the emails. So I am scrolling thru pretty fast. A majority which I delete before opening because I think I know what the message is consequent previous messages so I delete. Or they are from sources I don’t know and don’t care to find out about consequent the Subject or I don’t recognize their names. Thus some emails unanswered pile up; they are in queue ready to answer but often it takes time to get to them. Some admittedly remain unanswered way, way too long. And when opened it’s really too late bcause the message is dated, demanded an immediate response, too late to do anything but . . . ignore, or reply as if, sorry but better late than never. Maybe not.

    Again, and I know you are in no way referring to this friend’s lack of replies or late replies, and I am not saying NO regarding not answering your emails for they rarely for an immediate reply because of an urgency, or at least what I would consider an urgency (I could be wrong about that) but if so I do hope I that my irresponsibility, or ‘rudeness’ is not so bothersome to you to elicit great consternation over my lack of propriety, or perceived thoughtlessness. I would hope, better, think that if I was in a business to respond to potential business that I would respond with dispatch. Could be one reason I have successfully removed myself for being put in that position, constant oversee of correspondence, uncomfortable with the . . . pressure demanded running a sucessful enterprize. Of course I am not talking writing to publish, or promoting acting to act, rather, like a mail order business, heh. Then again, reconsidering all I just said, yeah, by golly there are times I could just say NO to you, but in deference to queasiness not wanting to offend or disturb a friend’s ‘mood’ and or undertaking I don’t reply. Hm. Well, I am self chastened, perhaps I can improve. Don’t count on it. Not that it makes that much difference to you and your business of course. (Nice new email format by the way).

  2. Yes, no, I don’t know.

    If I write to someone with a pitch, say, and they express interest and want more information, then respond with silence, there’s a period of days in which I pretty much know they aren’t interested but there’s still some doubt (very occasionally weeks go by and I get a positive response). Seems to me that professional conduct is becoming more and more unprofessional, at a human level, tho it may be “cost efficient” at a corporate one.

  3. good post…as john bradshaw taught me, it is vital to be in touch with our ability to deliver a clear “No.” i appreciate your phrasing. thanks

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