What happened to business hours??

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by Larinda McRaven, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    I e-mail at times that are convenient to me - often first thing in the morning or later at night when I get back from the studio. I don't expect a response straight away... though I did send a message Saturday morning re: making a temporary and reversible alteration to a dress I'm hopefully wearing for an upcoming competition to pros partner, and I'm freaking out a little that I haven't heard back yet. I need time to find a back-up plan if it's a "no"!

    I've actually had to have a conversation with pro about appropriate times to text me. The rule I laid down is not after 11pm. He had been developing a nasty habit of texting me very late at night, waking me up. I understand that he just doesn't want to forget, but not cool when I have to get up early for work. (My cell is my home phone, so it's always on in case of emergency.) Now he e-mails, and I answer in the morning. It works.
  2. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    I love smartphones that allow you to selectively screen people. You can block certain numbers between certain hours and so forth, and it's really handy for the people in your life you have to deal with, but only on your terms.
  3. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    oh really?
  4. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    It was actually a stock feature on my phone, and my phone was considered an entry-level droid smartphone. In the app store (or whatever they call it now, as it keeps changing), you can find several free or pay block applications that work well, and though I haven't tried any of the alternatives to stock caller ID, some go through public contact/white/yellow pages to provide the name and number, not just the incoming number.
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  5. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I haven't looked through such applications, but it occurs to me that "auto-reply" would be a handy additional feature if available.
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  6. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    It isn't quite auto-reply, but there is a stock feature on most android and some windoze phones called "quick reply"- if I hard-press a certain key while the phone is ringing, it will send a customized message of my choice to the caller- assuming they're text-capable. Another feature is also called "quick reply" though on another phone, where you can scroll through a list of quick sentence fragments (in a meeting, busy, will chat later, on the phone, away from the phone, etc.) that you can quickly send, but I agree, it'd be nice if it had a default no-think auto way of doing it. And now, I have to go look in the OOC forum for an app thread.
  7. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    Turning the damn thing off is effective and cheap, and 100% blocks incoming calls. No app necessary.

    Just sayin'.

    I turn it off for lessons, meetings, dates. I tell people that I'm unavailable between 10pm and 6am, and turn it off.
    danceronice and fascination like this.
  8. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    Does anyone else hate getting texts in the middle of the night or unreasonably early in the morning? I usually keep my phone on vibrate and will sometimes wake up to them, since I'm a light sleeper. Or I'll get a text at 7 in the morning, when I'm usually asleep (I realize most "normal" people are up by then, but I'm a grad student and am on student time).

    As a courtesy, when I remember that I wanted to talk someone in the middle of the night and worry I'll forget, I'll facebook message or email instead, to avoid waking them up (though I guess smartphones might notify you of these as well).

    In different industries, different standards are expected for responding to texts/emails/whatever. My boyfriend works in production and expects responses really quickly because it's standard for everyone to have their smartphones on them all the time, with access to email and whatnot. In academia, I expect responses within a day or two or more, and many people are faster than that because we're on our computers all the time. I guess with dance, it's a little more ambiguous? I sometimes text an instructor but realize that he or she might be teaching for 5 hours or something and will take a while to respond, and that shouldn't be surprising.
  9. davedove

    davedove Active Member

    I don't think etiquette has caught up to technology yet. Too many people now feel that because a person CAN be contacted at any time, they expect an immediate response. In some fields that is important, but for most situations it is not. Younger folks may not mind being interrupted at any time to take a message, us older folks just accept that at certain times someone will be unavailable. I know that I make myself unavailable all the time.
  10. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    Sure, you can 'just turn it off', but there's no fun process of shopping for an app, putting it on your phone, seeing the little icon, etc. Lol

    I can remember when facebook started making its way to cellphones (god, some of us are just old, aren't we) how people in discussion groups would complain "stop posting in the middle of the night! I get these alerts when I'm asleep!" and I wouldn't even be acquainted with them except through a particular page or group. Texting/facebook messaging is for convenience- to be sent at the sender's, and received at the recipient's conveniences. It's up to them whether or not they want an audible/palpable alert.
  11. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I had an editing client email me four times at 4:00 in the morning because he was upset about something. I had already told him during a previous snit to please gather his thoughts and send ONE email, not fire off one line at a time. These emails were all within a minute of each other. And then he sent a fifth one saying, "What, you're not going to answer?"
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  12. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    That's instant-messager mentality:

    User: Says something incomplete
    User: Says something else to complete the thought.
    User: Just keeps adding sentence fragments,
    User: Instead of just taking the time to type a whole, complete thought that might have questions, details, andother important things in a context that flows better when read adjacently as opposed to little choppy bits.

    Other user: is typing a response...

    User: U there?
    User: Hellooooo?

    Other user: has gotten fed up with stupid and left the conversation while giving you the finger.
  13. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    I agree with the other writers here who indicated that the main problem is with expectations. I also appreciate that I can send a message to a business at a time that's outside of business hours, when it's convenient for me to do so. In such cases, however, I don't expect a reply before the next business day, when it's convenient for the business to reply. Such messages, however are almost always email, not cell phone text messages.

    I did some PR work for a client that produced an app designed to help parents keep their teen drivers from texting while driving. Reading (and worse yet, writing) text messages while driving is a truly dangerous practice in which (as it turns out) many, many people incorrectly believe they can safely engage (it's always the other driver who can't handle it). One of the things I learned during this project is that the younger generation believes they must reply to text messages immediately, to avoid being seen as rude. I don't know how this social norm developed, nor whether there's anything we can do to change it. I can see, however, how people who have such expectations of themselves could project such expectations on others, including their dance teachers.

    It is possible, however, for a person like Larinda, who is in business for herself, to manage the expectations of her clients. One can hand every client a sheet of paper containing contact policies (e.g. "You may contact me at any time, but I only respond to business-related calls, text messages, emails, Facebook messages, etc. during my normal business hours of X a.m. to Y p.m. I make rare exceptions, when it is convenient for me."). Of course, there will always be clients who forget, or don't think the policy applies to them, etc. One must condition the behaviors of such clients through experience (e.g. by declining to respond outside of business hours and if the client complains, reminding the client of the policy during the next meeting and repeating as necessary).

    One thing I hadn't thought of before reading this thread is that a message sent in the middle of the night might wake the other person. I suppose this is mostly true with text messages (although some smartphones constantly check email and sound off when new email arrives). I don't think it's reasonable to expect clients to realize that a message sent in the middle of the night might wake the recipient. Rather, the business person must take steps to assure he/she is not disturbed (e.g. silencing the phone at bed time).

    This could be a challenge for certain businesspeople, however. More and more these days, people don't have home "land-line" telephones ... their cell phones are the only way family members have of reaching them in emergency situations (e.g. for mom to call to let you know an ambulance just took dad to the hospital). Silencing that cell phone at bed time might therefore not be an option. In such cases, it might be necessary to consider using a device or app that provides a selective "do not disturb" feature or carrying two phones ... one for business (that one can comfortably silence at bed time) and one for personal use (never silenced, to enable family emergency calls).
    danceronice likes this.
  14. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    I agree Larinda with several posted responses including Indiana Jay. Having had a long career in public safety Larinda, I did and was expected to have availability 24/7 -even before cell phones. Remember pagers?
    That said, much like IJ pointed out, consider two separate devices, one for business - one for family.
    Consider an automated msg response on the business device with an automated reply to text msgs of "I have received your msg, I'm currently not available to respond with the attention your msg deserves, I will reply at my earliest opportunity"
    Turn your business phone off, power down during those times (bedtime, dinner, special event, etc). Seriously.
    Keep your family device as you decide.
    I also had pictures of any documents on my business phone (I need lots in my line of work) that I could attach to a text and send.
    And yes, give each client or person you do business with, a sheet of paper with the rules of contacting you. This may differ from organizers, coaches, etc. As you see fit.
    As for the "explain yourself"....your not 15 years old coming in late from a date after curfew...possibly a "pardon me?, I'm sure you meant that as a question and not a demand, am I right?" then follow up with a business card - hand it to the, mean spirited person posing the question, and suggest that at a more quiet time without distractions he/she can sit down as a coaching and go over his/her concerns.
    The heat of the moment is not the time to address anything - and it sounds like he/she is use to just that...demanding in the heat of the moment. I'm pretty sure your DH can also make some suggestions as he is in a position that he must also tow the middle ground regardless of his personal opinions.
    You have to find a way to morph into your own available established business hours, people have become use to instant access,,,I'm sure if you lay down the ground rules and stick to them,,,they will adhere. But I would get two devices. It saved my families sanity and thank GOODNESS my employer did that at the get-go. (p.s. texting/cell phone chatting and driving is never a good thing-ever - just throwin that out there)
  15. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    [quote="Indiana_Jay, post: 1012504]
    One thing I hadn't thought of before reading this thread is that a message sent in the middle of the night might wake the other person. I suppose this is mostly true with text messages (although some smartphones constantly check email and sound off when new email arrives). I don't think it's reasonable to expect clients to realize that a message sent in the middle of the night might wake the recipient. Rather, the business person must take steps to assure he/she is not disturbed (e.g. silencing the phone at bed time).

    This could be a challenge for certain businesspeople, however. More and more these days, people don't have home "land-line" telephones ... their cell phones are the only way family members have of reaching them in emergency situations (e.g. for mom to call to let you know an ambulance just took dad to the hospital). Silencing that cell phone at bed time might therefore not be an option. In such cases, it might be necessary to consider using a device or app that provides a selective "do not disturb" feature or carrying two phones ... one for business (that one can comfortably silence at bed time) and one for personal use (never silenced, to enable family emergency calls).[/quote]
    While a text in the middle of the night (or more likely, early morning) may occasionally wake me, I take responsibility for that for keeping my phone too close to my head. On the other hand, a phone call will almost always wake me, and that's on purpose. Most of my cell phone communication is by text and phone calls are usually reserved for urgent communication where I need to get in touch asap, or longer discourse when texting is just not practical.

    Most devices nowadays have separate notification settings for texts and phone calls. My phone is always on vibrate, but I could turn off text notifications completely when I go to sleep, or even set up one of the built in smart features on my phone to recognize bed time and automatically silence text and email notifications, but not calls.
  16. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    An alternative to dual devices is getting a Google Voice number and using it for business. You can configure the Google Voice number to forward to your cell phone during certain hours and route the calls directly to voice mail outside those hours. People can also send text messages to your Google Voice number but I don't know if you can similarly schedule how Google Voice deals with incoming texts. If your really want to get drastic, change your cell phone's number and give the new number only to close friends and family. Give the Google Voice number to everyone else (they don't need to know that it rings to the same device).
  17. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Family I answer immediately if possible. Anyone else gets prioritized. That's a personal boundary for me. If somebody goes nuts over my not responding immediately, it doesn't bother me. I figure they'll be the one to stroke out, not me.
  18. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    She can do all that, but she'll still get the @$$hats who demand faster responses...no matter what her outgoing message is. Some people are just clueless.
  19. dncergrl

    dncergrl Active Member

    My phone has a Do Not Disturb option with preferences for calls/ texts from specified favorites (kids, parents, hospital) to come through regardless. When working all night, the day is sleep time. Everybody's "business" hours are different.
  20. dncergrl

    dncergrl Active Member

    Wouldn't it be fun if there was a 24 hour "emergency" dance number to call. Maybe "4 & 1"? "I need a cha-cha, stat!" Sort of like a booty call, but without the sex.
    SwayWithMe, chachachacat and twnkltoz like this.

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