Keep in mind that all of this communication is happening in e-mail, which means they can read and re-read it at their leisure, if needed.
E-mail conversations I have actually had many, many times at work:
Me: I need things A, B, and C. Don’t do X. Them: Okay. Me: How are things, A, B, and C coming along? Them: Oh, I thought we were waiting for X. We’ll get right on that. Me: How are those things coming along? Them: *delivers things D, E, and F* Me: … Me: I needed things A, B, and C. Them: Oh, right. We’re on it. Them: *finally delivers things A, B, and C*
Me: Here’s my understand of our status. *gives list* And here’s a question. *asks question* Them: Yeah, that sounds right. *asks question* Me: *answers their question* Me: *waits* Them: *silent* Me: *repeats question from first message*
Me: Here are instructions on how to do the thing. Them: *does the thing, skipping three steps* Me: Hey, so you skipped steps 2, 4, and 7. Those are necessary. Them: Oh, sorry about that. Me: *waits* Me: Have you done the thing with steps 2, 4, and 7? Them: Oh, sorry, didn’t realize you wanted it re-done.
Them: I need thing X. Me: Here it is. Them: Thanks. Them: *two weeks later* Hey, we need thing X. Me: … Me: Here it is.
Them: Thanks. Them: *two weeks later* Hey, we need thing X.
Me: … Me: … Me: Here it is. Them: Thanks. *uses the thing*
I don’t understand it, I really don’t. I keep going back and re-reading my messages to see if they’re confusing somehow, but they aren’t. They are totally clear.
It’s infuriating, to the point that I had to call my dad, who has ~50 years of high level business experience, and ask him what to do about this shit. He said that he tends to be like me, but that the best manager he knows gets things done right the first time by his people because he micromanages the shit out of them. Like, every day asking where they’re at, have they done step A, do they remember that step B comes next, etc. I’m working on developing both this skill and a tolerance for using it.
So if you ever wonder why someone you work with is (a) micromanaging the shit out of you and (b) treating you like you can’t read, it’s because some of the people they work with just can’t be trusted to understand things the first time. Or the second time. Or sometimes the third time…
Anti-Social Justice people: My world view was fine until I come across this site. This site makes me lose my faith in humanity with all these race baiters.
Anti-Social Justice people months later: Look at what’s going on in Africa. WHY ARE YOU NOT TALKING ABOUT AFRICA?!?!?!
Me: I understand there is injustice everywhere, and not just the US. But can I ask you why you think referring to something in a place, that you have no knowledge of other than it’s geographical location and the color of the people that lives there and the absence of the complicated historical problems, have to do with the fact that I’m addressing complex situations right here in the country you live in?
Anti-Social Justice people: Because Malcolm X says “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” and you should listen to your brother Malcolm X.
Me: That’s - that’s - you said a Martin Luther King quote there.