There is more said in the meta-communication than what is actually said. That was a huge theme in my college courses, and the last few days, it seems to be popping up everywhere.
Resume submitting: I inserted my voice, made sure it was present. Then had to tone it down a bit. Because my voice sounds like a 22 year old trying to be funny. I was erring on the side of professionalism, but wanted it to reflect me at the same time. I wonder if all of those people you hear about landing their dream job via crazy antics simply thought their message wasn’t getting across.
Friend bailing: I invite you because I know you would like to be included, or at least have the option. It is polite, so I extend the invitation. I am okay when you don’t come, but there is no need to make up an excuse. A simple thanks, but no thanks works every time. It doesn’t reflect any better on you that you can’t leave your house to socialize, because you tell me the traffic will be too bad. The message is the same every time, it is only the excuse that sounds different.
Unreturned messages: Whether it be via phone or email, there is something valuable being communicated in each unanswered attempt. In fact, the time it takes you to return them and the medium by which you respond tells me everything I need to know. The words that accompany the silent message are simply filler. For certain uncertain personalities, this message kills me. I am hoping you get a clue as to why I am not calling you back.