Why Do ‘They’ Email Difficult News on Friday Afternoons?


Throughout my adulthood I have needed to deal with many organisations, governmental or otherwise, on various issues and because of my impairment and my risk taking enterprising nature, my life has been complex to say the least since I do not fit into any of their neat square boxes. Having to make complaints is second nature to me, as I need to often sort out the mess organisations have made, and then support them (unpaid) to put in policies and practises to ensure they do not repeat the same mistakes. I regard this as investment to ensure my life can be a little less stressful from unnecessary errors from organisations.

Over the years, I have picked up an understanding of their dirty tricks, some of which they may not be aware off themselves. I thought it would be interesting to share what I have learnt to see if others agree or not. I also think thay while the tricks are partly the fault of organisations, there is a kind of destiny for when bad luck occurs, a kind of Sod’s law. I have always sense there has been a kind of game ‘God’ plays with me, a kind of karma, where whatever good stuff happens to me needs to be balanced with bad stuff in equal measures, so potentially the same day I will win the Lottery, my home would burn down or something equally devastating! I know it sounds crazy but it is consistently what happens to me.

Anyway, the first trick is obvious and conscious, which is bad news comes in Brown envelopes, and usually arrives in the Saturday morning post, so you have all weekend to worry about it. Related to that is the new fashion of sending bad news by email on Friday afternoons as the last thing they do before they quickly escape the office, like a terrorist setting off a bomb. You firstly know when any email starts very formally, “Dear Mr Stevens”, it is not going to be good news.

I believe the emails they send on Friday afternoons are often the replies to complaints where they know you have the moral high ground but they feel the need to use incomprehensible policies and procedures to ignore the obvious, “We know White is a colour but it is not a colour this organisation recognises”. They know, usually after seeking costly legal advice, you are going to explode at their response and they do not want to be available for a few days as they know you want to ring them up to berate them to their stupidity.

So sending the email on a Friday means, in their eyes, you have all weekend to calm down and see their point of view. They seem to fail to understand not being able to deal with the matter straight away can lead to further distress and anger. By Monday morning after 3 nights without sleep, the anger could be stronger than ever mixed with conspiracy theory and paranoia. So what could have been dealt with properly on the Friday, is now ten times worse as we have 1001 reasons why they are wrong, and 1001 ways we will get our revenge for the distress they have caused, especially since they had a nice weekend and we did not!

I am not sure if organisations send emails on Friday afternoons on purpose or not, or they understand the distressed this causes. While I can understand why they would do it, to give people the opportunity to calm down and reflect on the contents of the email, I do think it is cowardly and demonstrates a weakness because they are unable to properly defend their decision. It is often not the decisions being made that annoys people so much as to the way its being communicated, and that is often primitive to how it could be done.

In terms of Sod’s law and the weekend, I also wanted to quickly mention that the most likely time for my computer, my lifeline, to break down is Sunday mornings, usually during a Bank Holiday weekend, so that it is at least 24 hours before I can call anyone to sort it out. It is easier now I have my iPad as a backup but in its day, it was an absolute nightmare for me.

Whether these emails are sent on Friday afternoons on purpose, or simply Sod’s law and ‘God’ playing games, I feel it is something organisations need to consider to ensure they are aware of the emotional effects of their actions.

from Simon Stevens http://ift.tt/1t5RlLy

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