Friday, February 11, 2011

Are You Busy ?

All day long at work I am asked questions.  Can you help me with this policy?  Have you read my e-mail?  Do you want to listen to some calls?  What's going on with (fill in the blank)?  Are you going to the meeting?  Did you talk to (fill in the blank) about (fill in the blank)?

I like questions ... usually.  Questions get us the answers we need to make meaningful decisions in this thing we call life.  Questions lead to education and information.  Questions clear up confusion (although some just create more).  The right questions can solve seemingly insurmountable problems.

But I HATE this question:
Are You Busy?

The asker of this question invariably has already made an assessment of the current situation of the person being asked, and it is not generally a positive assessment.  They have basically already decided that you are NOT busy, or at least not busy with anything that is more important than whatever they need at that moment.

Don't get me wrong ... I do believe some people are genuinely asking if now is a good time, but those specific words are like nails on a chalkboard for me (although isn't that reference getting a little outdated by now?!  Who uses a chalkboard anymore?!  That's right, NO ONE !!!)

So for all my blog followers or readers, please, PLEASE ... avoid this question and replace it with something like one of the following:

 - Is now a good time?
 - Can you spare a few minutes for me?
 - When can we meet to discuss (fill in the blank)?
 - What does your schedule look like for the next (fill in time period needed)?

Heck, even "Got a minute?" allows me the chance to say "No, not really now, but 3:00pm works good."

Hmmm ... maybe I should just ask for some creative responses to that question from you readers ... then I can be the one who changes since I am the one with the issue with the question.  Maybe something better than "Yeah, I am busy.  WAY busier than you apparently!"  Let me know your ideas please ... :)


No comments:

Post a Comment