Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Persistent emails - continuing threads beyond necessity

Persistent emails

        Certain individuals will continue to send emails regarding requests, open issues, or pending events. Some, in spite of direct and polite answers, continue to ask the same questions, which the recipient has promised to reply to when the answers are available. How should replies to these types of messages be addressed? Certainly, Netiquette almost always calls for reasonable replies to legitimate questions, both professional and personal.

        Similar to the endless “Thank you,” “You are welcome,” “Good-bye,” and “Best wishes” cycles, there does exist a limit when the cycle of emails should be stopped. After two or three replies that explain or promise a reply immediately when an answer is known or a situation becomes resolved, there is no longer an obligation to respond promptly. It is reasonable, after three of the same answers to the same question, that no further reply be given. The final answer might include a statement such as “asked and answered.” When an update becomes known, or when the answer or resolution transpires, then the final reply can be given.

        As always, special care and consideration should be extended to business situations, which cannot be compromised. Personal considerations can also be subject to a greater degree of patience.

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