We’re (almost) a week into August, and I’ve posted something every day this month. This morning I started thinking about…what am I going to say today? If I’m trying to post each day for an entire month…am I going to run out of things to day? How do I start finding the words?
That led me to another thought…and it’s something a bit more aligned to working as an independent landman than my recent (random) musings. When things are moving fast, it’s easy to fall behind on your communications. That could mean you see a text from a buddy asking about getting dinner next weekend…and don’t respond. Or maybe you get an email from somebody but you’re in the middle of another task, and then…you don’t respond. Sometimes people go weeks and months without so much as returning a phonecall, text message, or email…and then just magically reappear.
I’m guilty of this too. We get busy. My biggest problem is that I see notifications on my Apple Watch while I’m doing something else, and then because I saw the notification, the email/text/whatever is marked as read and when I sit down at my computer, I don’t see it as an unread message. Most of the time once I realize my mistake, I’ll reach out to whomever sent me that message and apologize for being a dumbshit. That apology doesn’t make it right, but I am at least willing to acknowledge that for [insert reason here, or don’t], I didn’t respond in a timely manner. Not all communications require immediate responses…and I’d argue a lot don’t require any at all, but I think you know what I mean.
Since we are so inner connected with technology now, a lot of the younger crowd seems to think that if you acknowledge receipt of their message it requires an instant response. I have had attorneys send me screen shots of our text message conversations where they have circled the “Gates read this message at 9:51pm.” Like I’m going to respond to their demands for something at that hour. In a few of those instances, I have deliberately waited to respond, because bro get off my nuts. Just because I saw that you said something does not mean I can do anything about it RIGHT THEN. Also, don’t fucking send me screen shots of our conversations, that’s some Lifetime movie psycho ex girlfriend shit.
Let’s change gears a bit…and let’s talk about what you should think when a client or potential client goes radio silent. Things were going good, let’s get lunch the next time you’re in town, talk to so and so about that contract, etc…and then, nothing. Did they die? Maybe. That’s actually happened to me before (a client died, not me, duh), so I don’t rule it out as a possibility. But…what explains dropping off the face of the planet for a few months? Then let’s hypothetically say that this client reappears and wants to get work going again. Do you just go with the flow and hop to it, YESSAMASSA!?
I have trouble finding the words for these situations, and of course all of them are different. Something should be said though. Even if it’s some bullshit explanation or excuse, SOMETHING should be said. Maybe that client had a serious health or personal issue they were dealing with. Give me a bullshit excuse, you don’t need to tell me everything, or even the truth, but don’t act like you didn’t just go dark. I have a hard time trusting people that won’t even bother to address something like that and think “business as usual” means that they don’t have to take the time or energy to come up with an excuse, or a reason…or the truth. It’s hard to find the words to say back…and sometimes I don’t.