Why People Don't Reply

When I was finishing up portfolio school, I had a theory that ad people were free/had more time at 2pm on Mondays.

The 2pm Theory: 
Monday morning, your inbox is full of things from late Friday, the weekend and of course, lots of spam. So you spend the first part of the morning deleting and responding to emails and getting your life in order. Then there are the Monday meetings - which no one likes - but by around 2pm, you have that moment in your day when you're on top of everything and can cruise Facebook and/or respond to emails from creative wannabes right away.

Now that I've been working for a few years, I want to laugh in the face of younger me.
Silly girl.

Here's the Truth:
Mondays never get better.
Your inbox will never be in order.
The meeting invites and the meeting alerts will never, ever stop.

There is not a good time to email someone that's in this industry asking them to look at your portfolio or meet you for coffee or to just respond and make you feel like a human being.

I'm sorry to break this to you, on a Monday of all days, when you're probably not in the mood for hard truths.

Just send your email. Send it.

Be clear, be concise, be charming.

And then, be patient.

If they're good people, they may reply and say - I read this but am busy, so follow up with me or I'll follow up with you. If they're decent, they'll flag it for follow up and one of those rare afternoons they have time or maybe it's on the train ride home, they'll go through their 39 flagged emails and reply to yours. This may take days, weeks or maybe months. Do not hold your breath.

And then there are those who may never respond.

As a professional, I suffer from this thing called "I'll Definitely Do It When I Have a Second."

When I Have A Second-itis: 
A mental disorder in which one thinks they will have more time at another, later point in time. Sufferers are often blindly hoping for this wide, open space where they will be able to do all the things they want to do or say they're going to do. [Also known as Some Day Syndrome.]

I rarely have a second. And when I do, sometimes I just want to stare at the sun. Or watch SVU reruns. But that's my problem, not yours. And I'm sorry you're affected by it.

Here's what you do: 
1. Send that email.
2. Follow up.
3. Get over it if nothing happens.

You can't take that shit personally. People aren't ignoring you and people don't hate you or think you suck. Sometimes people are just busy and forget or they want to give you the time and energy you deserve, but can't find that time. (Textbook When I Have A Second-itis.)

And trust me, there are assholes out there - those people who are too self-absorbed to give back and give a damn about anybody else. But you can't take personal responsibility for that either.

Just hit send.
Any day.
Any time.

And if they don't reply, get over it. Move on to someone else.

You'll survive.*

* Just promise me you will never forget, no matter how many years later and how severe your Some Day Syndome is, promise me you won't ever forget what it felt like to be on the other side of those emails. Always make an effort to respond.

Related Reading:
Dos & Donts
The Art of Emailing
Follow Up Email Template
Formal Emails?