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A world filled with flakes - have the times changed


LongHaul
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From my perspective I think times have changed in the last 20 years or so and I think people are more flaky than they used to be.

There have always been flakes who didn't return calls, show up on time and do what they say they will but I notice the frequency of it happening more and more.  These are calls not being returned from friends, investor relations, business people, people I am trying to buy products from, etc.  I have no data though - just my own and friends anecdotal experiences. 

Perhaps many are drowning in technology, media, information and distracted to the point of not paying attention to what is important.  Technology also removes some element of the human interaction.  Texting is much easier than confronting someone face to face. 

 

Any thoughts? 

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Guest longinvestor

I spend a lot of time on a few message boards, to the point of it being an addiction. I read posts on topics that I'm vested / interested in but to a large extent, I want to say what I want to say. That's the honest truth. In an oblique way, you allow listening to happen because you have to read first before replying. In face to face discussions, disagreement or non-listening is rampant. And time to accommodate all viewpoints is often limited in personal exchanges. I don't know if I'm a net learner or not by participating in message boards. Doesn't feel like it.

 

Starting 2017, I'm actively replacing online time with audio book time. Going good so far, I may kick the urge to post or at least reduce it this year.

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I wonder if it's related to the number of communication channels we now have open to us.  For instance here are a few of the methods that friends and business partners might use to contact me:

personal email, work email, a LinkedIn message, Facebook message, WhatsApp message, postal mail, cell calls+voicemail, landline calls+voicemail, GMail chat, cellphone text message, et al.

 

The issue is that you often don't have time to respond to something immediately. And when you need to come back to it... can you remember which communication channel it was on? Then you spend ten minutes trying to find the damn thing to respond to it. Or you forget completely. Very inefficient.  It makes a good argument for reducing the number of contact points. But your work may require you to use several of these channels, and your friend circle may require you to use a few others. And you have to juggle all these interruptions with getting actual work done. This is enough to swamp most people. 

 

I remember 15 years ago, there were some 3rd party chat clients that could aggregate your chat account Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, MSN chat, all into a single app.  That's what is missing now.  A way to unify your communications all in one place (and I don't mean having 6 different apps on my phone).

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I rent a small office inside a building that may be closing. A local commercial Realtor decided I needed to move into some space he had for lease (his dad owns it, FWIW). We went back and forth a little but the deal fizzled out. The reason? I told him to come see me at my existing office to discuss additional terms and he still hasn't shown up. The whole deal up to that point was exclusively done using text messages. As I said to a friend, "at least try to kiss my ass a little."

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I was talking to someone about this same topic recently and they made a good point that technology has made it a lot easier to flake. You used to make plans and your choices were to either show up or not show up. If you didn't show up the person wouldn't know where you are. Now people can shoot a text an hour in advance and flake. Plans also tend to be a lot looser (I'm headed downtown, text me if you go there too), where outside of TV you used to not really be able to just randomly meet up with people without firm plans.

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To me, nothing has changed, ... except personal behavior - along the way.

 

More than 30 years ago, I was taught by my then boss & nestor about Danish "good business practice - the ground rules". As a Danish CPA, that implies, that you do always provide a reply - as soon as practiable possible:

 

1. If you get a telephone call without having the ability to pick it up, you get back, as soon as possible - by phone,

2. If you get a written letter from somebody, you provide a written response within reasonable response time, perhaps combined with a personal response by phone.

3. Rule # 2 applies to e-mail communication.

 

- - - o 0 o - - -

 

To me, not being in compliance with the above basic rules of communication all the time - to a satisfactory extent, you might end up "closing some doors behind you - for good" - and at some time in future, you'll recognize, that this is what actually happened in your past!

 

Danish CPAs have for many years got fined for ignoring incoming client communication, based on the above mentioned. It's much cheaper to just give the client the boot in the butt in the first place - to get rid of the hazzle with clients, that you consider dumb or dishonest - or both!

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From my perspective I think times have changed in the last 20 years or so and I think people are more flaky than they used to be.

There have always been flakes who didn't return calls, show up on time and do what they say they will but I notice the frequency of it happening more and more.  These are calls not being returned from friends, investor relations, business people, people I am trying to buy products from, etc.  I have no data though - just my own and friends anecdotal experiences. 

Perhaps many are drowning in technology, media, information and distracted to the point of not paying attention to what is important.  Technology also removes some element of the human interaction.  Texting is much easier than confronting someone face to face. 

 

Any thoughts?

 

Hi LongHaul,

 

The number of flaky people hasn't increased...you are just getting old!  ;D

 

The proportion of flaky people stays the same in the universe, not unlike the Law of Conservation of Energy.  When one flaky person disappears, you always have another form of flakiness appear in the universe.  Eg Pamela Anderson...Kim Kardashian; Bobby Brown...Justin Bieber; Jane Fonda...Kanye West; Dan Quayle...Donald Trump.

 

It all gets recycled by the universe!  Cheers!

 

 

 

 

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Hilarious Parsad!  I must of missed the conservation of flakes law in my physics class!

 

Great advice John H.  It is also a great competitive advantage to be responsive vs. people that flake out.

Flakes lose opportunities left, right and center and they don't even know it.

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Hilarious Parsad!  I must of missed the conservation of flakes law in my physics class!

 

Great advice John H.  It is also a great competitive advantage to be responsive vs. people that flake out.

Flakes lose opportunities left, right and center and they don't even know it.

 

Just soo true.

 

I had a loop of two landlines and a headset to pick it all up while working. Beside of that two mobile phones connected in a loop. I have literally - without exagerating - picked up millions of turnover [in DKK] by just picking up the phone. The more unknown the number calling me, the more I was interested in the call.

 

My favorite time of the year for "fishing" was the summer vacation time, where nobody, just about everywhere else, replied to anything, despite client loo's being on fire. - Just soo easy to pick it up, just waiting for the calls.

 

When in interactionon with clients, be sharp and precise, never get carried away, and allways do you very best, and to the extent possible, be prepared. Take your qualifications if you are in doubt. Even the biggest bonehead can get away with it with commercial success, if circle of compentence is well known, doing the appropriate qualifications timely, subject to further in depth study.

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