Jack was sitting at his desk, battling with a report that had ironically taken up more time this week than his actual job, when the email arrived.

Jack,

Do you have the numbers for the ECM account?

Simon

Simon was Jack’s new boss and like to be kept up-to-date with all the goings-on and every potential scenario related to Jack’s accounts. However, this message struck Jack as a little odd, not the content of the message itself but rather the method of communication. Jack stood up and leaned over the partition. “Yes Simon, the ECM numbers are in the sales drive.”

“I’d prefer if you replied to my email,”  said Simon without looking away from his screen.

Jack tried to bite his tongue, but the temptation was too great. “Why?”

“It maintains the integrity of communication,” said Simon. “If a conversation begins with an email, it should continue as such, that way there’s no confusion and complete accountability at the back end.”

Jack nodded and slowly sat down. “So what happens if I begin a conversation by talking to you and then you leave the room?” Asked Jack standing up again.

Simon sighed, but his eyes never left the screen. “If I’m no longer in the room Jack, it would no longer be practical for you to talk to me, obviously. Therefore, you could move on to email or text.”

“Very good. So based on that logic, if we begin a conversation via email and then you come into the room, I could continue the conversation using speaking words out of my mouth, correct?”

Whatever was on Simon’s screen must have been incredible, because his steely gaze remained on his monitor. “It would depend on the conversation.”

“I see,” said Jack. “Can you give me an example, in order for me to reference it at a later date?”

Simon finally looked away from his computer, and fixed a hostile glare on Jack. “What are you talking about?”

“I just want to know a circumstance in which I could transition from email typing words, to mouth making words without destroying our agreed terms of communication.”

Simon squinted, not certain if he was being messed with.

Jack looked lovingly at Simon, his eyes wide and innocent.

“Well,” said Simon. “If an email conversation begins and the required response is brief enough to not merit an email, simply saying aloud it is acceptable. Efficiency, after all is our ultimate goal.”

“Thank you Simon, I understand completely.” Jack sat back down and restarted the fight with his report. “Our, I almost forgot,” he said peeking over the partition. “Yes Simon, I do have the numbers for the ECM account. They’re in the sales drive.”

Simon stood up, and went to say something to Jack who was furiously typing with his tongue poking out of the side of his mouth, then he thought better of it.

A few moments later, an email appeared on Simon’s screen.

Simon,

Good chats.

Jack.