Vacations & etiquette

I’m finally back from my week-long trip to Florida! I wrote a bunch of ‘blog posts in advance and set them to publish on different dates, so I betcha didn’t even realize I was away, eh? The problem with vacations is that I end up unable to answer most of the email that comes in while I am gone (and, in this case, the preceding week as well). If you wrote or commented in the past 2 weeks, I’ll be answering you presently. Thank you for your patience.

A cranky rant about email etiquette is next – I have received a few somewhat gritty notes recently. If I do not know you, if we have not met in person or communicated by email before, I would ask that you add a “please” and a “thank you” when you make requests. Really. Tell me who you are and why you are asking someone you don’t know to look up information for you. I don’t need to know your life story, but I also am not obligated to answer basic questions about knitting or to provide microscopic descriptions of the Drudik wheel to complete strangers. I typically will do so anyway (information needs to be free[-d]), but a blunt demand for a description of blocking is unlikely to engender a sympathetic (or detailed) response. I’ve gotten a few emails like that this month, and I want to nip this in the bud.

Now that I’ve said that, I also don’t want to scare off someone who really has a question about reading charts or is thinking about getting on the waiting list for a Drudik wheel. If I think you are asking in earnest, I will bend over backward to assist in your education. I will point you to resources and explain things in excruciating detail if I think it is helpful to you. So don’t hesitate to write. Just be polite, that’s all I’m asking.

I also want to thank the people who have taken the time to email pics or notes about their DNA scarves. It delights me to no end that this pattern remains popular, even though ~7 years have passed since it was first published. Thank you. You have more than made up for the grumpiness that I felt after answering the “demand-y” emails.

16 thoughts on “Vacations & etiquette

  1. You’re darn tootin! A please and thank you goes such a long way!!! AND, if you have a face to face meeting with someone – eye contact and a smile!!!

  2. Back when your DNA Scarf pattern was published in Interweave Knits, I sent you a question about reading the chart (as it was my first attempt at charts). You sent the kindest note back (I kept it for future reference!) … I just hope I asked nicely! I usually do, but you know how it is sometimes, you get wrapped up in what YOU NEED TO KNOW, and forget there is an actual person at the other end.

    Having said that, some people would apparently die if they said/used “please” and “thank you” …

  3. I agree! I’m always amazed at the folks who email and say “tell me how to do ________” with nary a please in sight. Now, if they’ve commented once or thrice before, I’ll most likely help ’em out, but otherwise they’re like panhandlers.

  4. I’m glad you had a nice vacation! Leaving autoposts set up was clever.

    So last night I was watching TV and while flipping channels, there was this documentary on about PGP. It got into sort of “early internet” stuff a little bit, and it was all “In 1995, the Clinton administration…” and I was just sitting there thinking, “early internet, wow.” Then I started thinking back to when *I* was first online, and what sort of email manners and posting-publicly manners were the norm, and how the influx of newbies from things like “when AOL actually connected to the Internet” were totally filled with people who just felt… entitled. Massively entitled to people’s time and energy. Before that, it felt like the prevailing social trend was that there were a lot more people who DID stuff, and said thank you, and read FAQs if they were newbies… and it seemed like it changed suddenly.

    In other news, that, and your mention that it’s been 7 years since you published that scarf, makes me go, wow, it’s 2007. How did that happen?

  5. Good rant, June! I’m annoyed even when people ask me questions at the bus stop: “Did the 75 come?” “What time is it?” I mean, is it so difficult to ask, “Excuse me, could you please tell me whether the 75 has come? Thanks!” Deeeep cleansing breaths.

    I want to share with you all my new idea: knitted/crocheted… FURNITURE LEG PADS! I bought these ugly, too-thin sticky things that are supposed to go on the bottoms of chair legs, table legs, etc., to protect my wood floors. Then my bf and I were eating at Caspian, an Iranian restaurant in near the U of Minnesota campus, and they have little knitted “booties” on the chairs (only a couple of inches tall) to protect their hardwood floors.

    I don’t knit (sorry!), I want to learn to crochet more than just a long rope (it’s so much easier than knitting, isn’t it?), and now I just want to make little booties for my furniture legs!

    Yeah, I don’t knit. I just love this knitting/cooking/pro-Dalai Lama blog!

  6. I totally sympathize. I cannot tell you how many demanding emails I get from strangers, often requesting that I design them custom patterns for something or asking that I explain how to knit something with which I have no affiliation. I’m like you, I’m generally happy to help strangers, even with sort of random requests, and I don’t want to dissuade people from writing me, but it is galling to have someone seem entitled to free info from me. Don’t even get me started on people who ream me out about something in one of my free patterns. ;o)
    Welcome home.

  7. Typically, they want my beadwork patterns, now!

    The other day I text messaged my DD asking if she wanted me to pick up some friend rice on my way home, and she replied, “Please and thank you!” Made me smile.

  8. Oh my! Why do people feel that they can do that? E-mail is only a method of delivery, not an excuse for rudeness. Sigh.

    Now June, I am very interested that you seem to be suggesting that M. Drudik will still take people for his waiting list. Is this true? (Makes mental note to try and get on the list before Vanessa…)

  9. So, I wonder whether you are really there now, or whether you set this post to publish while you are away somewhere warm and enticing…you know, just to mess with us.


  10. Oh yes – and if the “request” happens to be for something I have no idea about and I email back with either a polite “I’m afraid I don’t know” or whatever answer I could google, inevitably I get back a demand for more.

    That being said, most people are perfectly civil. But the one’s who aren’t are …um, memorable.

  11. Welcome back (I assume).

    I’ve had some pretty out-there emails from total strangers…type in the pattern and send it to me type requests. Makes you scratch your head. Then shake said head.

    I see a broad spectrum of folks, mostly when they are stressed. Entitled? Doesn’t even begin to cover it. We are Rome, and we are on the way out, is how one of my patients phrased it this week.

  12. I did notice that you weren’t as quick with your replies as usual, but figured you were mired in work. Last week sub came into my room when I wasn’t there and borrowed a psych book. She sent it back the next day with a student and a note asking for copies of certain pages. Umm, no! You coudn’t copy it while you had it? Curiousity got me and I looked at the pages she wanted. Coping, post-traumatic stress, etc. Oops. Maybe I better.

  13. Now if I had known you were out of town, I could have sneaked a kitten into the house. Right after I figured out how to journey crosscountry in snow/ice storms. 😉

    Yeah re: requests. It’s a fascinating insight into other minds.

  14. My favorite one to hate from last week:

    “I’m in Cape Cod. Please tell me where I can buy madder here.”

    Hello? I had no idea what she was talking about. Turns out she was referring to a post I wrote in October 2005 in which I made a passing reference that I was going to look for some madder plants in Rhinebeck. That verbiage was the ENTIRETY of the email, as well. No hello, no please, no thank you — just a presumption that I was the world’s expert on where to buy madder plants. (Well, yes, the word “please” did appear in it, but it was more a perfunctory demand than a real “please.”)

    In short, yeah, I can empathize. Thank you. Hee.

  15. So… is she really back, or is this just another premeditated ploy? Maybe she’s not coming back att all — we won’t know for months. *sob*

  16. Well, I should think so! Even if you HAVE met, face-to-face, please and thank you are still required. What is wrong with people? I am so glad I was taught manners from a young age and that it is second nature to me now. I hate to sound so old, but what is this world coming to?

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