I rather get shit done than start lecturing non-IT professionals on netiquette. Generally in our company threads don't get that long anyway as we have a policy discouraging internal email and calling instead.
With incompetent people email tends to be a waste of time and vocal communication is the only reasonable option, preferably face-to-face because the phone can suffer from the same problems as email. I can somewhat understand a policy like that.
However, I can also refute it quite easily. One the one hand, at least in companies I've worked for, often the people you most need to communicate with are remoting or traveling most of the time, and their schedule is secret.
On another hand, if you have a vocal communication that isn't recorded by anything then depending on how busy your day is you can either forget or confuse the results, and worse if things don't work out you can be accused of being mistaken even if you did exactly what was agreed upon. There is certainly value in having a record of communication. And I think for competent people with written communication skills and typing skills using something like email or chat can be very reliable and efficient. You really need to pick your poison based on your target though. Again, competence level matters. Often, either due to incompetence or malevolence it seems, you cannot communicate the simplest idea in text and need to be face-to-face with somebody to get anything sorted out (and even then it can be a challenge).
Every damn week they wanted to conference call, and refused to email any type of details.
I find it incredibly frustrating when people refuse to communicate through text. As I said, some people are clearly terrible at it so I can somewhat understand that, but just as I have to work at improving my body and vocal communication skills they should have to improve their written communication skills. The computer types out my pseudo-perfect grammar completely neatly and I never bandwidth to get my point across. I honestly struggle to understand how people can fail to understand the most basic ideas. I also note that they tend to respond with an utter lack of grammar or detail. Instead, you tend to get 1 or 2 sentences with no grammar that don't actually make any fucking sense. Again, is it malevolence or incompetence? Who is to say, but does it really matter?
I should add that the bulk content of those calls, of which there were at least a dozen, was the exchanging of pleasantries.
I have experienced this and it's a double-edged sword. On the one hand it really takes the pressure off when things are good, but when things are bad it really makes you regret all the waste. As the adage goes, "80% of life is showing up". While the sentiment seems to hold true, what does that say for the efficiency of most of the workforce? And what if we cut out the showing up part and only required the 20% of getting shit done? Imagine how much extra time you could have. Hell, you might even spend some of it getting more shit done! You could actually potentially get more shit done and have more free time! Well, we can dream.
Just today I was tasked with triggering some code to generate a slew of emails within a test system. The software itself could benefit from much better design which would make testing easier, but alas politics and time prevent that from happening. In short, the software was rigged to route the messages to an "override" address instead of the business recipient because of the test environment. The address it targeted was setup specifically for test messages so any damage could be contained.
I thought little of it as I joked to some colleagues in text that I was sorry for spamming the group, while hoping that they already had some sort of filter in place to spare their inbox. Then suddenly one of them texts me, "uh oh, I guess somebody is complaining..." Again, not entirely unexpected. It certainly can be annoying, and for anybody that doesn't have filtering setup it could be downright infuriating. Except the complaint wasn't that their inbox was getting filled up. The complaint was that a ticketing system was getting spammed with new tickets.
The worst part was that the people responsible for the ticketing system were blaming development for it, which has no knowledge/control over the ticketing system in question, and were requesting changes to the email specs within the test environment to avoid the ticketing system's net. The worst part was that the complaint indicated that they believed the problem was the "FROM" address being a no-reply address, as if somehow the no-reply address was configured to source a ticketing system.
I could have reasonably replied with sensible retorts like, "how and why is this ticketing system automatically fed by test emails or no-reply emails?" or even "who setup and maintains this ticketing system?" Instead, experience taught me to say nothing, and bypass the person on the other end and see if I could either get answers from somebody else, or if necessary, pass the problem up the food chain. Fortunately, that seems to have worked to at least get this senseless task off of my plate, but hopefully to simply reconfigure the system in question and put the matter to bed. That said, I will not be surprised if a PBI comes across my desk to alter the "FROM" address in test environments.....