Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Anxiety of Phantom Communication

I'm used to leaving phone messages that don't get returned. Heck, I hardly ever return my phone messages: I think it's become a social convention.

But the unanswered email? For some reason, that gets me worried.

It shouldn't, I assume. I have little evidence of emails not arriving, and when I email my friends, they generally respond posthaste--we are a very emailcentric bunch.

But here are some unanswered emails of late:

A distant friend, who is not the nicest person ever, emailed me asking for information. I responded. She asked for more specific information. I responded. Nothing. Later that afternoon, I thought of some more specific information and sent it to her. Nothing. Possible explanations: she is rude, she is on vacation, the emails didn't get to her.

I emailed the administrator of our temple, asking about High Holiday tickets. Nothing. I emailed her again asking if she'd gotten the previous email. Nothing. Meanwhile I have received at least half a dozen temple emails from her. Possible explanations: she is busy, the emails didn't get to her.

Then there are the emails that really worry me. I'm job hunting, which means I am networking, which means I am sending emails to my friend's sister and the director of a place I might like to work and there's one other that I don't remember. Cold call emails, as it were, though some of them, like the one to my friend's sister, should be expected. Nothing. Possible explanations: they are busy, they are on vacation, they have no interest in me, the emails didn't get to them.

Any rational person who trusted in the apparatus of modern life would go with the first explanations. Me? I agonize about whether my email is working.


Kelly said...

Yeah, I get in total denial that the person might just not give two craps... and worry that my email is totally broken, or that it went into their spam filter so they never saw it. Crazy making.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Er, I *was* having gmail troubles briefly this morning. If you want to double-check, you can try firing an email off to one of us, no?

(Phantom communication! I know, I crack myself up.)