We all struggle with email problems and I err many times like everyone else. But here are some rules I created, based on the simple “question” method:
WHO - be specific who you are sending it to and address them by name
WHAT - be specific and accurate about what you saying and/or requesting
WHEN - if there is a deadline or timeline or date then include it
HOW - action items! make sure all parties involved are clear on the action items
WHY - if the background or explanation is needed be thorough about explaining it but also concise
HOW MANY - if numbers or quantities are involved make them clear
And be kind, considerate and polite in the process!
If there is an email conflict brewing, breathe deeply and wait before sending an email - and remember you can always pick up the phone!
Back when we were growing up (yeah, decades ago), I remember reading about the new Bruce Springsteen album coming out. Perhaps it was a review in the LA Times written by Robert Hilburn, who was my favorite. It spoke about Springsteen’s upcoming album “Nebraska”, which was supposedly a very quiet, personal effort. This album was before his smash hit “Born in the USA” and after his successful, yet still brooding double-album “The River” and his early hit “Born to Run”.
But I remember reading about it, and becoming very curious. Who was this musician who decided to ignore commercial considerations? How could he record something so esoteric that it was sure to fail financially?
Needless to say, at the impressionable age of 15, I found it fascinating and alluring. So, I saved up and actually purchased the cassette tape (!) when it finally released. I had waited weeks to do so. And typically I didn’t have the money to buy new albums - cassette or LP - so I had to wait for a friend to purchase and record them, or borrow them from a guy at the local record store who liked me.
But “Nebraska” was different. It was magical, rebellious, precious, private.
And when I finally got home and played it, over and over, I could hear Bruce Springsteen playing his guitar and singing into his 4-track, recording his raw truth.
What could replace the magic of that experience nowadays? With YouTube, Spotify, P2P sites, etc. etc. there is no end to the sheer quantity of music at a young, impressionable child’s fingertips. That’s an amazing thought - that any piece of music is easily accessible to them, and thousands or more of reviews, articles, journals, and stories are easily researchable at the tips of one’s fingertips.
So, of course, I’m jealous. I thought about it tonight - damn, I wish I still had that cassette of “Nebraska” around! Then I realized all I need to do is punch it in my Spotify search box and I can listen to it.
Yet somehow that changed things. I guess I was satisfied to know I could play it whenever I want. But at the same time, I was disappointed.
As if the magic had somehow disappeared, down the long, dark empty road that Bruce used to sing about.