Compasssion or Annoyance Round #1
A Person I Know asked me if I could give one of her co-workers advice about selling art online. Before I could say no (as my intuition was telling me to do), the co-worker emailed me (they CC'd each other). She asked if I could help guide her through the steps of selling online so she could guide some women in need selling their goods. In the past, whenever anyone has asked me for free advice on selling their art or marketing, they've never said thanks and they've never taken my advice. I'd be fine with people not taking my advice, but being rude about it just irks the hell out of me. They respect me enough to want my wisdom and time, but don't respect me enough to say thanks once they get what they want. Not cool. Even worse, people from non-profit organizations are the worst about saying thanks. In this case, the person asking for the help to help people was from a non-profit. A double not-good whammy.
I responded to the Person I Know and her co-worker (in part):
I have a crazy week juggling deadlines and the beginning of our kitchen being remodeled, can you email me questions you have so that I can answer them when I have a free few minutes this week?
She wanted to have a phone conversation, I steered it to email. I think saying I have a crazy week with deadlines and my kitchen being remodeled is pretty clear that I am short on time. The co-worker responded with her list of questions. When I had a free hour when I could've been sleeping, watching Justified, sitting at Starbucks, practicing my eyeshadow, or tasting frosting, I answered her questions. I gave up information that took me years to learn. I gave up an hour of my life, an hour of my time to help a stranger who knew I was limited on free time.
12 days later, that stranger had not even bothered to thank me for the advice I gave her. Obviously, she thought her time was more valuable than mine. I was disrespected, yo!
Should I be compassionate or annoyed? Instinct and past experience were telling me to choose annoyance. Maybe she was sick and couldn't respond. Or maybe she was just being unprofessional and rude and was,yes, disrespectful, yo! I HAD to know. Normally, I would do nothing and just let it go. In the spirit of doing things differently, I sent the Person I Know an email in the name of discovery:
Is your office mate sick, dead, or no longer working there? 12 days ago I took the time out of my busy life to respond to her questions and she never responded. Not a thank you, not even a THX or a TY. I hope that she did indeed receive my email and that she is not dead or jobless.
The Person I Know responded that the co-worker was not sick or dead. The following day (now 14 days after not saying thanks), the question-asking co-worker emailed me (in part):
I am so sorry that I did not respond to this. I have found what you wrote here very useful. I have been learning about marketing on facebook, twitter and looking at the ads on ETSY. I've been reading blogs about marketing online...
Then she went on to ask me more questions that I am not answering.
She didn't say thank you because she was busy learning. I guess because you don't have to thank Google, there's no need to thank a real live person.
Annoyance won this round.
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