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Below is an exerpt of an article I wrote about 5 years ago. I came across it recently and thought I would share it, since much of it is still is valid today.

Electronic Manners

Even though we are in a computer-dominated society, the same business manners that worked for companies in 1930 work in the 21st century as well.

Here’s a short list of my favorite rules:

Acknowledge your messages. Whether you receive an email, voice mail, fax, instant message, letter, FedEx, page or loud speaker announcement, the person who sent it would like to know you received it and that you understand what they have said.

Don’t burn bridges. Even in a heated email exchange, always show a respect for the other party. You may not be allies in this issue, but you never know when the next big deal might include you. Re-read emails before hitting the send button. In an especially heated or intense debate, have another party review messages before they go.

Be available, at least electronically. No one can expect business people to be sitting at their desks waiting to take phone calls. But many people will prefer contacting you via email or voice message if they know you’ll respond quickly. Instant messaging can be the ultimate in tool in availability, if staff can be trusted to keep it to business. If your fax machine is always busy, add another, or a fax server.

Don’t waste people’s time. I don’t necessarily believe in anti-advertising rules, but a company or salesperson shouldn’t keep bothering people who don’t want to talk to them. The best rule is, if you send something unsolicited, leave them a way to opt-out, whether by email, Web site, fax, instant message, or phone. That is the only complaint I have with local email advertising: no way to stop a firm once they’ve started to send ads except to add them to the spam filter, which precludes me from getting any mail from them at all.

Remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Not “Do unto others before they do unto you,” which is the current business climate.

Copyright © 2003 by Jack Huber

Jackhuber.com
Where poetry meets photography

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 Copyright © 2007 by Jack Huber

“Hurricane John has just made a right turn at San Diego and will hit the Las Vegas area with wind speeds of 135 miles per hour. We expect  up to 16 inches of rain, and for damage to be extensive.”  You turn off the radio and sigh.  The wind has been unbearable all day, and now it looks like Sin City will get the brunt of the storm.

After a long night of howling winds and pounding rain, you make your way to your business and find moderate damage, but repairable.  A look at your  office building, however, is devastating.  Right in the path of the storm’s wind tunnel, the flooding was up to two feet before receding.  When you are allowed inside, you find all of your customers’ core files are wet and disintegrating, your computers shorted out or dead, and your carpeting smelling of rancid, sitting water.

You set up shop in your relatively dry home office, renting a couple computers and restoring all your company data from your remote backup facility.  There could have been a much different ending, one filled with anger, scrambling, waiting, and perhaps bankruptcy.  There is virtually no part of the country that does not have a potential for disaster.  How safe is your data?

Another example:  The riots leave your office stripped bare.  You took home a backup tape just two days ago, so you won’t lose much data.  After installing a new computer and tape drive, you insert the backup cartridge and run the Restore Wizard provided by the backup software.  You can’t understand why the list of files on the tape is blank. You try three , four, five times and finally call the Support Department.  “Sorry, it looks like the backup didn’t take.”

Data is information.  Whether on stone tablet, papaya scrolls, hardback books, faxes, email, text messages or digital documents, untimely loss of that information can have significant consequences.  A Remote Backup Service will let you rest easy knowing you’ll still be there after the catastrophe.

Copyright © 2008 by Jack Huber
All rights reserved.

Jackhuber.com
Where poetry meets photography.

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