Okay, I got the memo. We are in the midst of a busy holiday season. Our time is precious. We can count the days - and the hours - until the Christmas/Hanukkah break. And if I wasn't on your radar/agenda/to-do list for a while, it's hard to add me now. But we've been friends and/or professional acquaintances for how long? Find 30 freaking seconds out of your entire day/week and send me an email/text/Skype/carrier pigeon saying "let's connect in the new year." Really. It's not that hard.
Here's the backstory to this rant, variations of which I have heard from others recently.
A couple of weeks ago I was at a Nordstrom's and saw a jacket that I thought would be perfect for a friend who is known for his sartorial splendor. My daughter was with me and knows him too, and she suggested taking a picture with my phone and sending it to him. I did. With a nice note. Nothing.
I followed that up at the beginning of last week with an invitation for lunch. I followed that up with an invitation to do a video interview for Staffing Talk, since this person owns a company that does corporate culture consulting. I thought he could impart some tips on how to develop - and maintain - a happy and productive workplace when you have so many temporary, transient, remote workers. This time I left a detailed message with the receptionist. And still no reply.
I have also been trying to do some video production work - as well as lunch - with another long-time buddy for months now. Not sure what's up with his refusal to respond. When I do see him though, he'll give me a big hug and say "love you man!" and "friends for life!" Or some such empty sentiments unsupported by his actions.
And another friend recently sold his company, a company that he started in his basement and built to $150 million in revenue. He's trying to figure out his next act, and is just hangin' out until then. So return my text! Actually, he eventually did, and said to check in after Christmas. He was easier to get a hold of when he was CEO of a company with 300 employees. Go figure.
Do you remember Short Attention Span Theater? It was a television show that originally aired on The Comedy Channel and was hosted by Jon Stewart among others. And the title is pretty self-explanatory.
I feel like that's what our whole world has turned into. Are you feeling that way?
It's not my/our imagination.
I had a coffee chat last Friday with a long-time PR friend whom I hadn't seen in two years. She was actually immediately responsive when I suggested getting together and catching up.
Following our time together, part of which was spent discussing short attention spans!, she sent me a fascinating infographic entitled “How Social Media is Ruining Our Minds.” It seems over the course of the last 10 years the average attention span has dropped from 12 minutes to a staggeringly short 5 seconds. Yikes!!!!
No wonder people aren't returning my phone calls or responding to my emails.
I don't want to be a complete David Downer though, particularly during this otherwise joyous season. So at the risk of looking like a suck-up, I will leave you with a recent positive experience as a parting thought.
Last week I got a note from TempWorks' Gregg Dourgarian about getting together. No huge agenda or action items, just a friendly chat. When I responded, he suggested Saturday morning. The last Saturday morning before Christmas Eve mind you, for a guy who is figuring out TempWorks' next new platforms, a global business expansion, flying across the country interviewing and recruiting, and oh by the way, is also a busy father.
Still, he managed to carve out two-and-a-half hours! and I was the one who said I had to leave first. Amazing.
So thank you for your generosity Gregg. And Rose. As for everyone else, Scrooge You! Get over yourself. We're all busy. We're just not all quite so rude abut it.