Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Small Confession by Lee Jones

This morning I learned something new about myself. I still get frustrated by people.

I get emails. Lots of emails. I try to figure out which ones are important, and which ones can wait. I generally do so by weighing the sender, recipients, subject, and time sent. I won't bore you with the criteria, but have have a conceptual grid through which I filter my communications.

HINT: if you need to communicate with me RIGHT NOW instant message me when possible. I always respond, even if slowly, to instant messages. Otherwise, leave me a voicemail.

For example, I got missed a call on Saturday from someone who almost never calls. They tried twice, but didn't leave a message. I was in class, so I determined that, sans message, it can't be that important. I called him back during the next break.

Another example would be an email I was included in regarding repairing leaks in the church's roof. I basically ignored it, as I have no decisions or actions on this matter. Several days later I noted that I was included on a followup of the "roof" email. I disregarded it, too, based on the subject line.

My email filter (the computer one, not the one in my head) flagged the message and forwarded it to me based on a rule I set up for church emails matching certain rules. I found that I was mentioned regarding an entirely different subject in the email about the roof leaks.

Confused, I looked at the email closer and found that the conversation had moved on. The topic had changed, but the subject line still indicated "roof leak".

For some reason, this really frustrated me. There are, like, almost 10 people on the list of recipients, and replies are being generated with NOTHING to do with the stated subject.

I hate mixed signals. So, I shot back a message telling everybody to CHANGE THE SUBJECT line if you are changing the subject!!

And, I think I may have hurt some feelings. *sigh*

I must confess, I still get frustrated by people in positions of responsibility. It may be tempting for my friends to tell me it is understandable, but it is, to me, unacceptable for a leader to put down people, whether followers or peers. It is unacceptable for me to bite (or byte, in this case) anybody's proverbial head off. I must explore this further in prayer.

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