My average turnaround time to reply to an email that requires a reply is 24 hours. These days it is becoming 48 hours. Of course there have been emails I’d completely forgotten to reply to and that’s because they have warmed my inbox for more than 48 hours. So, see I have a deadline and once I cross over, the mail is conveniently buried in the archives never to see daylight again.

I have missed a few important mails this way, and have kicked myself on a few lost opportunities, more for the kids than me. So I try to get to the mail as soon as I see it. Frankly, for the most part unless one wants to talk about the birds and the bees (no, not those birds and bees!) or crib about their in-laws or really, I am drawing a blank after this – emails are pretty much essentials.

It is a medium for one to convey a message unobtrusively. Right? Right. You either let the person know something, or ask a particular something.
*note: we aren’t talking the romantic, cuddly pink heart mails*

So anyways, where am I going with this? Here’s where. What is anyone’s problem in replying right away. Really. Right away can be extended to a day or two. Not more. Would it kill people if one can’t afford the few minutes to hash out a quick reply? Seriously!
It irritates me to no end when someone does not take the effort to address what’s expected of them. So apart from wondering if they are just rude, insolent, I thought why not brainstorm here on what can be the various reasons a person refuses to reply. Along the mighty “dog ate my homework” reasons, here are some that could come in handy for folks looking for excuses.

To let you know your fortune (read: fate) once an excuse is doled out, here’s a rating:

* will not pass the test, try at your own risk. Chances of royal behind being kicked and thrown into the dungeons is high.
** passable with an eyebrow raised, you may have escaped by a hair’s breadth, easy does it. The moat awaits.
*** Home run, Scot-free. Please step aside to be knighted by the Duchess of Pardon. (just in the remote chances you are wondering, that’s me.)

A few I could think of:

  1. Forgot password. Seriously. I tried being different and came up with something fancy and now Ive forgotten it.**
  2. Don’t check emails frequently. Hardly sit at the computer.*
  3. Have been so busy at work it’s killing me.**
  4. Feeling lazy. I read all your mails, just don’t reply. I mean, it’s just you right? *
  5. Waiting for the stars to be aligned. Rahu and Ketu are not in favorable positions.*
  6. The keyboard’s keys are jammed. All the food I hog at the desk drooled off my chin and is now gunk stuck in heaps between the keys. Totally not fair I tell you. They ought to make self-cleaning keyboards like self-cleaning ovens. *
  7. I broke my thumb twiddling it all day.*
  8. O. You were expecting a reply? hmm.. Didn’t feel like it. I will write when I feel like it.*
  9. No power. No net. Yes, I’ve moved to Timbuktoo.**
  10. I wasn’t in town. My blackberry? Yes, I have it, but it’s only for official use. How can I check personal emails on it? That’s not moral at all.*
  11. Ive been sick. Can’t do much but to browse youtube. Have you seen all that they’ve uploaded recently? Such a treasure. I can spend hours.*
  12. Excuse me! Of course I wrote to you. What do you mean you didn’t get it? Did you check spam? No no, I wrote. I swear I wrote. Sat last night and wrote a long detailed reply. This is sad. Do you think it would have gone to someone else’s inbox?**
  13. I know! I should reply. Am so sorry. Every time I sit to write, the kid’s diaper needs changing!***
  14. I have no idea why but my mail browser crashes every time I hit “reply”. Some darned script’s running somewhere and messing me up. I might have to just re-install the whole thing. Will need to fix it over the weekend. Gives me a good reason to get out of the Sunday afternoon thing wife’s dragging me to. Thank goodness this came around. Small mercies. What? Oh right, your email. Yea yea, email only no? Sure sure, will reply.*
  15. What’s there to reply. I agree. O, am supposed to reply and say “I agree” – that’s such a waste of time, resources, and my energy and o did I say my time?*

Don’t let me stop you. Add on.

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15 replies on “e-mailiquette”
  1. says: Neha

    Umm – my personal favourite. Your mail went to my spam folder, and by the time I saw it, it took a few days. πŸ˜€

  2. says: CW

    I’m telling myself I narrowly missed the line of fire. Thank god for Gchat πŸ˜‰
    Or maybe I still get * ???

  3. says: booboosmamma

    You kind of covered all the reasons I have heard so far. More than email what really drives me upto the wall is people not replying on messenger inspite of being online…or leaving the conversation unfinished. I totally hate it. And this one reason ” I am swamped, no time to chk email”. Helloooooo remember I too work?

  4. LOL, only one of them has three stars. Careful, Rads, you’ve just let everyone know exactly how to be smote on the shoulder by the duchess. :p

    “See, the thing of it is, all my important emails I keep to the very end so that I can focus on it. And what happened is that this week, all the unimportant stuff just kept piling up. So didn’t have time to get to yours, which is in very important file.

    p.s. now that I’ve responded to this email, I don’t need to respond to your first one, do I?”
    (what do you think, ***?)

  5. says: rads

    BPSK: But of course! Shall knight you and then send you to the gallows. 😈

    Bosmom: I knoww!!! I get so annoyed, like really, we are sitting here jobless and so answer emails/pings right away. Absolutely agree on the IM. .All kindsa folks out there!

    CW: LOL, what hot hot? That was sogam :p
    na, youre okay, so far ;-P

    Aditya: No way, of course youre cool πŸ™‚

    Neha: lol, yea. Like use filter settings in gmail πŸ˜‰

  6. says: Pavan

    reason # 420: I recently moved and havent signed up for a new ID yet

    reason #421: my ISP blocks certain emails

    reason #422: gmail thinks you were spamming as you couldnt spell “1ncr3as3” properly

  7. says: some body


    i take lucky #13 (it already had three stars) and modify it slightly (i bet this will get five stars, i.e., exempt from future e-mail responses unconditionally)

    rads’ version: I know! I should reply. Am so sorry. Every time I sit to write, the kid’s diaper needs changing!***

    s.b.’s (new and improved) version: I know! I should reply. Am so sorry. Every time I sit to write, my own diaper needs changing (aka, i’m sh*t scared)!***** πŸ˜‰

    – s.b.

    p.s.: note that this is just a candidate version. i don’t plan to use it, nor have i used it anytime in the past.

  8. says: Maverick

    i think the best excuse is the original one

    I had lot of things to tell you, so i thought i’d write a long reply in leisure and then completely forgot abt it πŸ™‚

  9. says: Bharathwaj


    Do you use outlook.. there is a tool XOBNI i started using recently.. its nice.. it tells ur turnarnound time.. when u receive what mails.. so someone sends u mail every friday at 5.. it wil tel u … lots of statistics.. gud one to use.. try it..

    Readin u r posts after a long time.. its gud to read . .as always.

  10. says: Veena

    Another one, Oh I typed the reply infact a very long one, I think its still sitting in my drafts folder..!
    ps – Drafts folder when has any emails points out in bold, anyway sometimes if you are in a hurry to log off there are chances that it gets saved, but certainly its gets shown during the next login (which is hardly anytime)!!

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