The Incomplete Email Reply

You sit down and take the time to carefully compose an email. You have a couple topics that you want to address and need answers to. For the sake of time, you put everything together in one email so the recipient can read it and address all your questions rather than going back and forth numerous times in some long drawn out thread.

You make sure to use the return key on your keyboard to put it in an outline format so it’s easy to read … rather than just some huge run on paragraph. Each question is on a separate line for easy viewing. You proof read it. You proof read it … again. It’s a pretty damn good email! Short. Concise. To the point. You send it off.

A short time passes and you hear *DING!*

You’ve got mail.

You open their response to find out that the only question they have answered is the last question you asked and the other 4 questions were completely ignored! What the fuck!?

If it’s family … then it’s no big deal. You just reply back …

“Hey dumb shit! Maybe you didn’t see that I asked you a couple questions in that email and you ignored all but one of them! I always knew you were stupid but you don’t have to keep proving it! Reply back again and answer ALL the fucking questions! By the way … tell your Mom I said Hello.

That works fine if it’s family … but the problem arises when it’s for work!

You feel exactly the same way but you can’t reply like that in a professional setting … even though you’d like to! So … after you finish the silent rant in your head about what a dumb shit this person is … you try to respond in a way that comes across professional and without showing any of your condescension in your tone or words.

Do you just ask one question at a time and wait for a reply before asking another … since obviously this person can’t handle more than one idea at a time?

Do you ask the other 4 questions again in the same manner … hoping this time they’ll actually see them and answer them?

Do you try to ask the questions in a different manner … because obviously communicating is not this person’s strong point?

I don’t know the correct answer because every scenario will be different based upon the topic and the personality on the other end. What I do know … is that I have to proof my response many times before hitting the send button to make sure my indignation does not permeate through in my response!

Whichever way you decide, their response will show you their true colors. If they have character, they will notice when you ask again that they missed the questions the first time and own up to their oversight and apologize for not answering all the questions. If the person has a self-inflated ego they will gloss over the fact they ignored your questions and just answer them the second time you ask. If the person is just a fucking idiot they won’t even notice they’ve completely ignored a large part of your email and then you know you’re never going to get the answers you need.

I just don’t understand how a person does this!? I mean it’s not like it was a conversation that they could have possibly forgotten! It’s a fucking email in black and white that they can read and RE-READ again to make sure they’ve answered all your questions!

I get it if you’ve written an email that rivals A la recherche du temps perdu in length … obviously some points could be missed … but if it’s not a very long email then there’s no excuse not to address everything in the email!

Show some couth for fuck’s sake! I took the time to sit down and carefully craft my message to you in a clear, concise manner so that we can communicate effectively and efficiently in an effort not to waste your time with the constant back and forth that I know gets on MY nerves.

The least you can do is take the time to fucking read it and answer all my questions rather than scan it half-ass and blow me off with an answer that shows you put as little effort into reading it as possible.

What it’s really saying is that you’re not important to them and they couldn’t care less about you … or … they’re a fucking idiot!

4 thoughts on “The Incomplete Email Reply

  1. Yes, yes, YES! I’ll spend all this time carefully writing numbered lists worded with such clarity a five year old could grasp it, and yet, all they ever answer is the first question. And often misunderstand it.


  2. What’s worse: ghosting. No acknowledgement, no replies, no “thank you and I’ll get back to you soon” — nothing. Especially when the recipient was supposed to answer questions; the information sent was of great value and in response to a request for help from the recipient; or was time-sensitive.


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