I sent an email to my future employer yesterday. (More about that when the contract has been signed.) It was first later in the evening that I realized what I did wrong. I turned against everything that I stood for - I gave a vague time frame. *chills*
Now, some people may call me a pedantic bastard but I'm telling you, this is serious stuff that can cause a lot of frustration. I personally can't stand vague time frames. Consider the following statements.
- Example: "I'll be with you shortly." While that makes sense in your world, it doesn't mean shit to me. 5 minutes or half an hour? All depends on how fast you work and I have no idea. Ideal: "I've been working for 5 hours non-stop so I'll just go get a cup of coffee and I'll be with you in 5 minutes."
- Example: "I'll do it ASAP." As soon as possible... You mean now? No? Ideal: I'll get right on it after I've done this, it'll be done by tomorrow.
Want to keep it brief, please do. If you're not certain, throw in a "hopefully", "probably" or even a "within a few" and make the best damn estimation you can.
By being vague, you keep people in the dark and stress them out. It also shows your inability to plan and organize, which reflects badly on you as well as the company you represent.
It's all right on some occasions - casual and more relaxed. I think most people agree that being too specific can also cause stress. But most of the time it keeps you updated and your edge sharp, especially in business.
Then of course, there are times when you are just painfully uncertain. But in my opinon, a rough estimation is far better than none at all, as long as you let people know that you are just that - uncertain.Lesson learned: