Home African Caribbean Has Courtesy And Efficiency Gone Out Of Fashion These Days?

Has Courtesy And Efficiency Gone Out Of Fashion These Days?

by Tony Kelly

In recent times I have had to make arrangements to see senior managers in person  at three different  establishments which  will remain nameless as despite sending  emails pertaining to their business none have deemed it necessary to even acknowledge their receipt or address the matters at hand.  It is not as if it is the old-fashioned method of having to write or type a letter, post it and wait for it to be delivered  in order to get a reply which is often referred to these days as ‘slow/snail mail’.  At the touch of a few buttons on a laptop/desktop computer or an iPad or mobile phone one is able to send a message no matter how long or short in an instance.  

Gadgets such as Alexa and Siri are capable of dictating correspondence without the need  to type so  I find it incomprehensible that correspondence is ignored and goes unattended. Some computers even have the facility to say when exactly the message was opened and hopefully read by the recipient. That is what cyberspace is capable of doing and life in any office setting has been made so much easier.  Even the words ‘will revert’ are hardly used these days as a standard get out clause. To  patiently wait sometimes up to 2 months for a response and that is after sending a reminder is incredible.  All of these situations that I am referring to have happened in England  whilst dealing with organizations that should know  and act better. Their tardiness and unprofessionalism are serious cause for concern.

I recall as a child  growing up in Jamaica receiving  periodically from England a postal order of varying monetary value from my mother in a registered letter whilst she was there training to be a state registered nurse.  Before I could blink my grandmother would tell me to reply, using what in those days was an air letter and even if it was two lines thank her for the money sent via that method. Hence it was instilled in me from an early age what needed to be done as a matter of course and is something that I have always been accustomed to.

Why do some senior managers find it  difficult to respond in a timely manner  for what  is considered to be  good practice and the right means of communication?  Surely that  lack of courtesy and respect cannot be added to a bygone era when today’s  technology is so advanced and seamless?  Many people  like to complain about the younger generation and their poor level of manners and decorum  which is not always the case as the managers that I am alluding to are by no means young and need to lead by example.

It is unbelievable  when one gets apologies  with excuses such as they thought someone else had been in contact,  they are inundated with emails or never had the chance to read it claiming to be busy. Would they adopt that approach to their line manager as these excuses clearly show  who they view as  their priority? Most have personal assistants (PAs) who deal with their correspondence and diaries  and even telephone/voice messages on answering  machines or messages left with (PAs) are sometimes not followed up. 

A clear case of the need to go back to basics as if they  struggle to get even these  simple things right, what does that say about the organization as a whole?  The proverbial adage ‘A chain is as strong as its weakest link’ springs to mind and simply put they need to do better.  I am sure these are by no means isolated experiences  as some readers will bear that out. I see no reason any of us should accept such poor performances and regard it as standard practice or the norm.  To use a Jamaican phrase ‘ common assault’  is appropriate, meaning it is a regular occurrence  and  with that in mind  I am urging those with little regard for their customers/clients or whatever they wish to call them, to make  room for improvement.

Tony Kelly

Tony Kelly

London born Tony Kelly of Jamaican parents grew up in Jamaica and returned to live in Birmingham in 1979.
He is a graduate of Mico Teachers’ College and taught in Kingston high schools prior to working for 30+ years as a middle manager in central and local government with an emphasis on equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. He has a masters’ degree in socio-legal studies from the university of Birmingham.
For over a decade Tony has volunteered as a diabetes ambassador firstly for Diabetes UK and now for the National Health Service – Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group. A multi-award winner doing a yearly average of 150 health and well-being events, locally, nationally and internationally focusing on type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed with this medical condition 18 years ago. However with a combination of physical activity and diet he has never taken medication thus proving with the right mindset and discipline it can be achieved.
As a diabetes advocate/activist Tony will continue delivering the message of healthy options to readers of CaribDirect.com .


You may also like


Susan October 26, 2023 - 4:38 pm

Despite the anecdotal and qualitative accounts of poor email etiquette in some organisations, the behaviour and conduct of the email recipients highlighted by Tony Kelly’s article ‘Has Curtesy and Efficacy Gone Out of Fashion These Days?’ has relevancy in today e-data driven economy.
It is interesting to note that both public and private sector organisations spend thousands of pounds on programmes in development and training of staff regarding communication, begging the question, what do people learn from these programs?
Email is a form of communication, used extensively in private and public sector organisations it is disappointing to in read Tony Kelly’s article that the senior managers whom he contacted do not have basic email etiquette. Answering all you email you receive can be difficult, but its good email etiquette to try or at least send an acknowledgement and confirm a timeframe for a response.
The English vocabulary historically includes the terminology ‘Manners Maketh Man’ reputed to have been coined by William Wykham, Bishop of Windsor nd chancellor to both King Edward III and Richard II. It is a pity that this phrase is limited to vocabulary and not email communication conduct or behaviour from those senior managers in the article

Antsall1 October 25, 2023 - 12:24 am

This is a very interesting perspective. I would further analyse this lack of courtesy to the assimilation of class and race. England,s immigration and population dynamic has changed behaviours among the working classes. There are bougrosie influences created by those wirh new money who have not learnt decorum and courtesy therefore though in positions of power, they cannot demonstrate what they have not been taught. The aristocrats and upper middle class still repeat the same behaviours taught at home and school.


Leave a Comment

Copyright © 2024 CaribDirect.com | CaribDirect Multi-Media Ltd | CHOSEN CHARITY Caribbean New Frontier Foundation (CNFF) Charity #1131481

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy