Since it seems like everyone wears their cell phone on their hip (or in their back pocket, or firmly grasped in their hand), a friend and I recently shared our neurotic fears when we text and don’t get a speedy reply. Here’s what happens to me: before I have a chance to control it, the sliver of my brain allocated to doomsday thoughts jumps in with a cheerful message that maybe, just maybe, the recipient is in a hospital somewhere. Or laying in a ditch. Or dead. My friend worries that perhaps she did or said something wrong.
If you call or text me, and I don’t immediately get back to you, there are two reasons. My dinosaur of a phone is plugged in somewhere because I have to charge it approximately 127 times a day. Or I forgot to turn the ringer on; this happens more times than I care to count.
These sorts of thoughts are not limited to friends and family. We wonder what the heck is going on when we reach out through email, phone, or text to a professional contact, and they don’t respond quickly or at all.
The best-case scenario is the sender assumes staff is busy.
Or they might assume the staff member they are trying to connect with is not good at their job. Or doesn’t care. Or isn’t all that member-focused. Or they, the sender, are not important enough, good enough, high enough in the hierarchy to deserve a response.
Even though these gut reactions are illogical and untrue, we still have them, so prioritize one-to-one member contact as much as you can.