Pointless venting about non-responsiveness

Discussion in 'OFF-TOPICS - General Musings' started by miket, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. miket

    miket Team Dany

    May 17, 2016
    New York
    I need to "publically" air something I've found extreme frustrating recently: non-responsiveness.

    The latest case is a developer not responding to a support ticket. That was pretty inconsequential, though, and just the tipping point.

    In October, I wrote to an acquaintance, someone I know fairly well through a close relative. I explained the unsteady, adrift situation I'm in, and asked for his advice as a professional musician about moving back to my home in New York, where he is also from, and about what musical opportunities there might be to follow up on in the area. I also asked about a specific connection he has to what could be a great chance for me to "get started." I wasn't tactless about this, not grubbing around looking for a handout. I'm not an idiot.

    This person has yet to respond. Really, even a "sorry, I'm stumped, good luck!" would be sufficient if he's just not interested. Naturally, in the months since, he's had plenty of time to engage in a number of pathetic and petty Facebook spats with his own family over politics. No time to shoot a few lines of text at me, though, on the subject of my attempts to sort out my future.

    A few weeks ago, I realized he just wasn't going to get back to me. I decided to go right to the source, and contact the specific connection he had directly. Another dead end, and this time, I think it was even more unprofessional, since now we're talking about an established and fairly prestigious organization, not just an individual. No acknowledgement and polite brush-off, even. Just ignored again. And again, it isn't the fact that a contact didn't pay off which is bothering me. It's the stonewalling, by people who can afford to stonewall, while I get to feel like shit as a result.

    I probably sound a little unhinged in this post, but it's uncharacteristic and due to this frustration. I'm not a loon or a wacko. I didn't contact these people/companies as a raving nut, an entitled ass, or anything objectionable. These were decent, well-articulated, honest inquiries.

    Am I naive to think that there should be some immutable human impulse to respond to that with even just the smallest shred of compassion and attention? I have heard back from some truly lovely, helpful, encouraging people. It doesn't seem like I'm the problem, then, and I don't think I'm being naive.

    It would take very little effort on the part of these non-responders to say *something* and, at least, close the subject. That would do a lot as far as not adding another dimension to the crushingly difficult and frustrating position I find myself in. It's hard enough trying to find a way to survive as a musician, with very little else to offer the "real world."

    -end whinging-
  2. studiostuff

    studiostuff Active Member

    Dec 15, 2015
    The most difficult lesson for me was learning not to worry about stuff you cannot control. YMMV
    KallumS, MartinH. and Polkasound like this.
  3. d.healey

    d.healey Music Monkey

    Nov 2, 2011
    Did you check your spam/junk mail folder? (I'm not kidding, I get a decent number of people complaining they haven't received a reply from me and usually that's where it is).
    timprebble, dflood and Polkasound like this.
  4. OP

    miket Team Dany

    May 17, 2016
    New York
    I'm usually pretty good about that! I guess this was just a high concentration of nonsense, and it got to me.

    I always do. Zilch.
    d.healey likes this.
  5. jbuhler

    jbuhler Senior Member

    Jun 19, 2016
    Email as a system in particular is completely out of control, and messages that require thought to respond to often don't get answered because they get pushed aside by the flood of other emails, and pretty soon your message has been pushed so far down the queue it won't ever be got to. For that reason, it might be worth sending a follow up to the individuals. For support, there really isn't an excuse. It does tell you a lot about a company's priorities though.
    MartinH. and Wally Garten like this.
  6. patrick76

    patrick76 Senior Member

    Nov 23, 2014
    I would follow up on both inquiries. I know several people that simply won’t respond until reminded multiple times. They might have forgotten, not had a chance to give a proper answer, or they just want you to piss off (hopefully not!), but after some follow ups you may get your answer.
  7. R. Soul

    R. Soul Senior Member

    Jan 7, 2006
    London, UK
    These days you can't expect a response if you've just sent one email. Even my best friends I often have to email two or three times to get a response.

    If you're talking people high up the hierarchy - Hollywood producers etc. it's not uncommon for them to get 200 emails a day. I don't mean spam, genuine emails from clients and connections. With that amount it's almost impossible to answer all.
  8. X-Bassist

    X-Bassist Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2015
    Not sure how old you are, but I'm in my 5th decade and remember the days when not responding to a phone call or "snail" mail was considered rude. Nowadays I know people my age and younger who regularly ignore texts, emails, voicemails that they don't want to spend the time to respond to. I still feel that this is rude, but I've learned to not take it personally. Even my pastor is so overloaded with incoming emails and texts that responding is rare, and this is even when contacting them about something having to do with church business that is important! They simple miss the email, assume it's an advert, or gloss over it because their favorite relative finally got back to them just before your email came through. For a number of reasons people will put off responding, then within a day or two they've forgotten you've emailed at all.

    This is not to excuse any of it. I try to carefully scour my emails and watch for voicemails that are not sales related, but I think I'm now in the minority. Ten years ago most business was done by email, so that there was a printable "record". But now I know many business people who will only call, and will not leave voicemails. They want to talk to the person personally so there can be no ignoring or putting off, response is immediate. Perhaps this is the way to go. Once you find someone that is non-responsive, only use the telephone, and keep calling (every other day?) until you get them to pick up. And then when they do be polite as possible, since you know they may not want to talk about it, but are being forced to.

    In Los Angeles these non-responses are even more common. People don't want to deal with saying "No thanks" and the fallout from that (Either the person wants details on "why?" or tries to convince them to change their minds), so they don't respond. Keep trying but be sensitive to when people become annoyed, be ready to move on. It's an unfortunate side effect of all this added communication these days (emails, texts, voicemails, facebook, twitter, etc) that people are starting to ignore personal communication and treat it like a twitter post or group text, where non-response is not rude. I hope these attitudes change.
    miket, Polkasound and clisma like this.
  9. OP

    miket Team Dany

    May 17, 2016
    New York
    I hate the idea of following up, because I don't want to be a nuisance, but it's probably true that given some peoples' attention spans and the amount of junk flying around that you have to be in their face a bit.

    You're correct, it wasn't short, nor was it business, but it was not remotely what I'd call "chit-chat," and definitely not akin to the example you gave, although I don't want to get into a semantics debate.

    All due respect to the parties involved, I doubt they're dealing with more than a dozen emails a day, if that.

    I agree with your whole post, here. I guess what galls me more than anything about this is that I can't imagine myself ignoring earnest correspondence, even if just responding with something as simple as a polite "good luck." I do get what you're saying about why some people might even avoid this, though. It's too bad.

    Anyway, I kind of hate that I put something this personal and whiney on here now... sorry, VI-Control.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
    X-Bassist and Polkasound like this.
  10. Polkasound

    Polkasound Senior Member

    Apr 20, 2016
    Milwaukee, WI
    I wasn't implying your email was as idle as the examples I gave, but if your email was neither short nor important to the operation of this person's business, it may have fallen into his "uggghhh" category. Sometimes I get emails like yours where someone needs advice. I do answer them, but not always in a timely manner.

    I commend you for this. I used to be more like that early on in my business, promptly attending to every correspondence with equal enthusiasm. But as I've gotten older, correspondence has simply become work. So I prioritize it: business and family matters come first -- everything else can wait.

    I agree completely. The norms regarding correspondence are changing. Ignoring correspondence is like wearing pajama bottoms and flip flops in public -- it's just what so many people do now. There are plenty of us who find it rude, but it's so commonplace that the best thing we can do is not take it personally.
    miket likes this.
  11. Jimmy Hellfire

    Jimmy Hellfire Senior Member

    Jun 28, 2015
    I don't mind people not responding to emails etc. I mean in private situations. Everyone should have the right not to.

    But I expect goddamn companies who took my money to respond to support tickets that I wouldn't have made in the first place if they hadn't screwed up something that worked before. For example companies who's name starts with Stein and ends with Berg!
    Fredeke, novaburst and Polkasound like this.
  12. dflood

    dflood Active Member

    Jun 14, 2017
    I guess it's my age. When I get a text message, I always feel the need to acknowledge it, often just with a thumbs-up emoji if I don't want to encourage any further reply. For me it's the equivalent of saying: 'Roger that' when using a marine radio. Otherwise, we don't always know if the message has even been received, let alone being dealt with.

    Much of customer support is about managing expectations. I think almost every online business can benefit from some sort of ticketing system to help deal with communications. I don't mind getting an auto reply, particularly if it contains some sort of human response-time pledge that is later honoured. It may not reduce the workload, but it makes sure customers don't fall thorough the cracks and it gives the customer some sort of reassurance that they are being heard. In the event that a customer is communicating about a common issue, it gives the developer/vendor some time to accumulate similar issues and perhaps develop a common response. Otherwise it's just whack-a-mole.
    Polkasound likes this.
  13. ghostnote

    ghostnote Vincit qui se vincit.

    Nov 3, 2011
    Welcome to the real world. Some people just won't bother. Especially in the US. I know it can be hard to acknowledge that. Not every man is a gent and most of them don't know nor recognize certain rules of behaving. It's the guys you let before you in the line because you see they are in a hurry. They see this as weakness and don't even say thank you.

    A famous person once said: "... forgive them, for they know not what they do."

    Either learn to deal with it or try to be persistent if it's really worth the struggle.
    Fredeke likes this.
  14. novaburst

    novaburst Senior Member

    Dec 21, 2015
    That name rings a bell its on the tip of my tongue, ah yes is this the developer that makes bass guitars :rofl:
  15. OP

    miket Team Dany

    May 17, 2016
    New York
    Yeah, I bet some of them even use dismissive phrases like "welcome to the real world." ;)
    MartinH. likes this.
  16. dzilizzi

    dzilizzi I know nothing

    Feb 27, 2017
    Somewhere near Los Angeles
    In my job that pays the bills, some days I get nothing, other days I get a lot of emails, mostly junk stuff. When I'm gone for a few days, it really piles up. And I miss stuff. You may want to send a second email after a reasonable amount of time in case that is the situation. You also may want to put a read receipt on it. Some email addresses may not be checked often.

    I do miss the form letters people used to respond with when we wrote letters. That way, you knew they got it even if they have no intention of answering you. I guess there could be an auto response, but most people don't use that. I do usually get one from customer service when I put in a request.
    Fredeke likes this.
  17. NYC Composer

    NYC Composer Senior Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    In business, I give it a couple of shots then give up and write it off. If it's personal and I'm blown off numerous times, I like to think of it this way: "You're dead to me."
  18. Fredeke

    Fredeke Active Member

    Jul 9, 2018
    I was tempted to not respond to this, but obviously the joke would have been lost on everybody.
    miket and MartinH. like this.
  19. Daryl

    Daryl Senior Member

    Mar 25, 2006
    I faced a case of having paid for a couple of software licences, and having contacted support eventually got them, a few weeks later. Except they were the wrong ones..! Numerous ignored emails later, including one quite snotty one, I gave up and contacted the LA Better Business Bureau. Magically, as the deadline for reply approached, I got an email telling me how install the licences, which had magically appeared in my iLok account a few minutes before. Needless to say, there was no apology or even acknowledgement that they had screwed up. Terrible customer service, but at least I know how to get action from that company, if I ever buy any of their products again.
    MartinH. likes this.
  20. Fredeke

    Fredeke Active Member

    Jul 9, 2018
    Steinwavesberg ?

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