I have noticed over time, that the number of people who phone me on my office line during the working day is decreasing, whilst email has become almost unmanageable. Note I don’t use the phone at work for chit-chat only business. This suits my misanthropic view on life but does not pander to my narcissistic traits.
I was discussing this with one of our up and coming future project managers the other day and broached the subject of “business life before email and mobile phones” Of course to a twenty-three year old it must seem like the dark ages. But there was a world in construction management where we built things without spreadsheets, pdfs, ipads etc.
The conversation went back further to the time before telephones. No I am not that old but it brought to mind one of my favorite authors, who credited himself with being the author of a book in which the telephone was first used extensively between the characters. The author being Evelyn Waugh 1903 to 1966, famous for Brideshead Revisited, Decline and Fall, Handful of Dust and Scoop.
Vile Bodies was published in 1930 and is Evelyn Waugh’s second book and. Similarly to his first novel Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies is set in 1920’s high society London. It is about the “me generation” who are rich and privileged. They go to all night parties and love being in the papers. They were part of the cult of celebrity. Nowadays it seems the dream for the great unwashed as they wander around the supermarket checking their smartphones for some oh so important message, tweet or update, is to be famous. They attach self-worth to having a mobile phone as if it sets them up as being important. When in fact Waugh’s book title describes them perfectly.
We take the telephone for granted but email is easier yet more pervasive for some people, although my preference is a bit old-fashioned – it is called face to face. This is something I constantly bang on about to young PMs especially in solving issues with subcontractors. A face to face meeting works so much better than a curt email.
Which brings me to this great short article from Keir Thomas-Bryant of Sage